There are few plants that are easy to grow, such as the snake plants. It is recommended if you have tried to raise houseplants previously without much success to try snake plants, as they are low maintenance. If you want to grow them in the ground in your backyard, how can you do it?
Snake plants can be planted in the ground if your soil has good drainage. The reason for this is that too much water can rot and kill all your snake plants. The thick cuticles of snake plants allow them to thrive in arid conditions because they don’t dry out easily.
Our goal in this article is to give you easy step-by-step instructions on how to plant your snake plants in the ground, how to care for them, and how to make sure they thrive.
What Are Snake Plants?
The snake plant, which is also called Sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue, is a popular indoor houseplant. Originating from Africa, South Asia, and Madagascar, these plants have a stunning evergreen appearance.
Snake plants are hardy succulents as well, and can live for decades if they are cared for properly. A process of photosynthesis known as crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) enables them to survive both drought and heat. Therefore, they absorb carbon dioxide at night and release oxygen during the day.
The stomata close during the day to conserve water, and at night, as they release CO2, they open up to store it as salt-free acid. Following the storage of acid, the plants use that acid for their photosynthetic needs.
Snake plants come in about 70 different species. Green, upright leaves characterize the snake plant most commonly. Their height ranges from 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 meters). It features gold-bordered leaves typical of the mother-in-law tongue.
Despite having tiny flowers, snake plants are more commonly grown for their foliage. The flowers produce berries when in their native environment. In contrast, pollination doesn’t occur when you plant them indoors, since the flowers need moths for pollination.
The cool temperatures are harmful to snake plants, since they are tropical plants. Their preferred temperature is warm, and they dislike frost and snow. The ideal temperature for these plants is between 70 and 90 F (21.1 C and 32.2 C)
Are Snake Plants Beneficial?
There are many benefits to snake plants. The following are some examples:
- Air pollution is reduced through their removal of toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene
- The fiber that is used to make rope and other products
- In the evening, they release oxygen, making them ideal bedroom plants
How to Plant Your Snake Plants in the Ground?
The basic needs of all snake plants are similar – including the right soil – but each growing environment is unique. In this case, you might have to make some adjustments. They are quite resilient, snake plants will thrive if neglected – perfect for someone who is constantly on the move.
If you have clay soil, your plants won’t grow. Because Snake plants grow best in well-drained soils (like sandy soils), snake plants need well-drained soils to grow. In order to get around this, you can plant them in raised beds.
The plants require more sunlight when they are planted outdoors, but can also thrive in light shade. In any case, if you are planning to plant mother-in-law’s tongue, you should plant it in a sun-drenched area so that it can sport its beautiful gold border. An inadequate amount of light can result in dull, weak, and spindly plants.
Growing Snake Plants From Divisions
Although snake plants can be grown from seeds, they are typically propagated by rhizomes. These organs, which resemble roots, grow underneath the soil before erupting with leaves. Performing this activity during the spring is ideal.
Follow these steps:
- Rhizomes should be divided using sharp scissors. Remove the section of a healthy leaf from the section you removed.
- After it has dried for a day, you can replant it in well-drained soil.
- Once you plant it, do not water it until a few days later.
If you wish to propagate your snake plant using leaf cuttings, do so. Leaves should be cut into pieces of 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm) and placed one inch deep (2.54 cm) in well-draining soil. Make sure the cuttings are bottom-down. After some time they will develop roots and you will be able to transplant them into your garden or in their own pot.
It is important to note that snake plants can become out of control due to their aggressive roots. Additionally, they require dividing annually since they grow fast with abundant sunlight.
Growing Snake Plants From Seeds
It can be difficult to find snake plant seeds, and typically only snake plants grown outdoors will reproduce. It is also possible to struggle to obtain the desired leaf color or shape when propagating from seeds.
The seeds they produce from their fruit can be used, however. Make sure the soil is moist and well-drained. It will take 3 – 6 weeks for seedlings to appear. A paper towel dampened with water can be used as a base for your seedlings, and then they can be wrapped in a Ziploc bag to germinate. You should maintain a temperature between 65 and 75F (18 and 23.8 C). It should take one or two days for the seeds to sprout. Seeds should be transplanted into the soil gently.
Plants should be spaced 6 – 36 inches apart (15.2 cm) depending on the effect you are hoping to achieve. Snake plants, which tend to invade large areas of your garden, are typically smaller varieties that make excellent ground cover plants.
Snake plants are also susceptible to weeds, especially those that grow upright. They do not shade the soil well, which allows weeds to grow as they don’t provide enough shade. You can use mulch to keep weeds down, or you can pull them out as soon as they appear.
Why Your Snake Plants Are Not Growing?
The snake plant is not one of the fastest-growing plants, so don’t worry if it seems to be taking longer than you expected.
Many factors could impede the growth of the plant. Here are some examples:
- The roots could be waterlogged or drowning if they are mushy and dark brown instead of tan
- Overwatering or fungi can cause spots or rot on the leaves
- Leaves are often spotted with unsightly holes caused by slugs
- Increasing the amount of water will result in brighter and greener leaves when you spot deformity in the leaves
- The plants shed leaves and develop small wounds as a result of insects like mealybugs and spider mites
In general, you can resolve most of these problems by providing the right amount of water to your snake plants. Fungal issues should be avoided as they may cause wilting and finally death to your snake plants. For best results, make sure your leaves are always dry and check on your watering consistently.
How to Care for Your Snake Plants
Those of you without a green thumb won’t have any problems because snake plants are relatively easy to maintain. You may want to follow these tips:
Keep your plants from getting root rot and fungus by not overwatering them. Just enough water is required to maintain the soil around the plant base moist. In the same vein, it’s best not to water the soil between waterings – that is when the soil is dry several inches beneath the topsoil.
Snake plants do not need a lot of pruning, which is an advantage. It is possible, however, to grow plants from the new growths at the base.
Keep the plants moist until roots develop until you put them in soil. You should wait until the roots are about 1 – 2 inches (2 – 5 cm) long before planting the cuttings. You will have thriving plants within 4 – 6 weeks.
Children and pets should not consume snake plants because they could be toxic if eaten. It is also possible for some people to have an allergic reaction, although this is rare.
Growing snake plants outdoors requires a lot of sunlight – approximately six to eight hours per day. The result is that their colors are more vivid. Yet, they are quite forgiving, and they are able to adapt well to bright sunlight and also survive in shady corners.
A mild cactus fertilizer like the one found in most gardening stores can be used to feed snake plants, but it’s not absolutely necessary. During the winter, you should avoid adding fertilizer since the plants are not actively growing. Once you have learned all you need to know about growing snake plants, you are ready to go outside and plant some.