Look no further than snake plants if you want to have an attractive indoor or outdoor plant.
Also referred to as “Sansevieria”, snake plants are among the simplest house plants for beginners to care for.
The Snake Plant is native to the southern regions of Africa, where it grows abundantly. Traditionally, African tribes harvested snake plants for their durable fibers that they used in making equipment like bow-strings. However, the United States classifies snake plants as an invasive species, so we recommend you to keep these plants indoors.
By growing snake plants in your home, the air quality will be improved. Snake plants absorb toxins such as formaldehyde from the air, making them an ideal housewarming gift. Here’s everything you’ll need to know about caring for your plants.
Snake Plant Characteristics
Long, blade-shaped snake plants have variegated leaves, and they may reach 4-feet in height. The leaves from the snake plants look like giant blades of grass.
A snake plant’s roots are called rhizomes, which means that the root system can grow anywhere throughout the year. Because of this, it is easy to propagate snake plants by splitting them into multiple clumps to transplant to other pots.
Planting snake plants outside results in the plants spreading quickly and taking over the local area within a season or two. That’s why we recommend growing snake plants in pots indoors.
Snake plants have shallow root systems, so you do not need a huge container to grow them. However, we suggest you choose a container that is sturdy. If the plant grows too large, the weight and height of the leaves may cause it to fall over.
Planting Your Snake Plants
In choosing the appropriate container for your snake plants, we have already previously recommended that you choose a pot with a decent weight so the snake plants won’t fall over. But snake plants have short and shallow roots, which means you don’t really need a deep pot. As a result, you can get away with less watering whenever they’re in a shallower pot.
Improve the drainage of the soil by adding some potting soil to the soil, along with using perlite at a 2:1 ratio. You may want to consider purchasing soils specifically made for plants like succulents. When you plant a succulent, you want to make sure you use the same depth of soil as the mother plant and don’t plant too deeply. If you do, you run the risk of the roots dying.
Avoid direct sunlight on your snake plants, as they can wither and burn. Keep them away from drafts during the winter, as they don’t grow well in temperatures that fall below 50°F.
Snake Plants: How to care for them
It has shown to be almost as resistant to drought conditions as cactus. Therefore, snake plants do not require a lot of maintenance and care, making them the best choice for newbies that previously lost plants due to a lack of proper care.
Snake plants need a lot of watering, and the soil needs to drain well to prevent the appearance of root rot. Wet roots can introduce diseases into the plant, leading to the death of the plant. Also keep in mind that disease-producing plants spread to your other plants in pots.
You can use the finger test to tell when your snake plants need watering. Press your finger 2 inches into the soil and check for moisture. If the soil has moisture, then let the roots dry for a few days before watering again.
You should also make sure to water your plants with room-temperature water. Watering cold water can result in the leaves scarring. If you find your plants’ leaves have become dusty, then wipe them off with a damp cloth.
A great indoor garden that uses very little water over the growing season is one made of companion plants such as cactus, succulents, and spider plants. Plants like snake plants need no fertilizer, and they thrive if only they are given the right nutrients.
Our recommendation is to re-pot your snake plants every three to five years. Snake plants tolerate root-bounding well, however the roots are strong, and large plants can crack clay pots.
Considerations for Potting Snake Plants
You can pot your snake plants indoors in order to benefit from the plant’s ability to eliminate air pollutants. However, in order to ensure the snake plant grows to its optimum level of health, you will need to make sure that you use the right container and mix of soil.
Snake plants grown in large containers result in larger plants. Conversely, plants grown in small containers result in smaller plants. Your plant’s final height and size are determined by the container, so make sure you consider your space carefully when picking a planter.
Snake plants have a clumping up root system that will not cause harm to the plant if the pot becomes root-bound. When the plant continues to grow, the plant’s roots may split the sidewalls of plastic containers.
Consider propagating your snake plant by starting two or three other plants from the original plant, and spreading them throughout your home.
With solid roots, snake plants develop root rot without the proper drainage, so you need to ensure your container has sufficient holes for drainage. Put a layer of gravel in the bottom of the pot to facilitate drainage and use perlite in the soil.
A water tray should be used if you know that there is no hole in the bottom of the planter. If you were to buy a planter without holes, you can drill more holes in the bottom of the container using an electric drill.
Although snake plants need very little water, you should let the soil dry out between waterings as well. They come from regions where droughts are frequent, so if they remain dry for a while, they will not experience any issues.
Snake Plant pests and diseases
If you intend to grow snake plants inside, then you will not need to worry about pests or diseases that may affect the health of your plants. Although watering will need to be done properly, you need to be careful not to over-water your plants. This can result in your plants getting “wet feet,” which can lead to the onset of root rot.
You will notice the tips of your snake plants begins to yellow when it has become infected with root rot. The leaves of the plant may also feel somewhat squishy between your fingers.
Dry your plants immediately if they start to show signs of root rot. Due to its hardiness, the plant might be able to be revived, although it may take 2 to 3 weeks to recover. Don’t water the plant during this time, as watering it can exacerbate the rotting process.
In addition to those who plant outdoors, there might be problems with spider-mites and mealybugs. A spider-mites create a web around a plant’s leaves, and they are easy to identify. Mealybugs causing foliage to fall off cause it to wilt and die. For best results, use organic pesticides.
Varieties of Snake Plants Recommended
The snake plant family has nearly 80 variations, and most are native to southern Africa, Madagascar, and the South Asian subcontinent.
Throughout history, snake plants have been regarded as a major source of fiber used in a wide range of cultures ranging from weaving ropes and baskets to manufacturing bow-strings.
The three best snake plants you can get for indoor gardening are listed here.
- Snake plant – This snake plant has foliage tinted green with horizontal stripes of light-green. It is commonly found in the wild.
- “Golden Hahnii” – This species of snake plant features yellow variegation on the edges of the leaves.
- “Bantel’s Sensation” – A very narrow snake plant that features white stripes vertically, it can grow up to three feet long.
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