As known as ‘Snake plant’ and ‘Mother-in-Law’s Tongue’, Sansevieria Trifasciata is one of the most tolerant hardy plants ever. New gardeners and those with black thumbs will benefit from this plant. This is because one can forget about the plant for weeks and then come back to find it as beautiful and healthy as it was before. Snake plants have frilled leaves that can grow up to eight feet if planted directly in the ground. If planted in a container indoors, it may grow tall as well.
One of the most effective air cleaning plants has been proven in an international study to be the Snake plant. According to the study, the frozen green snakes can absorb formaldehyde and benzene from the air and replace them with pure oxygen. Let’s look closer at how you can enhance the aesthetics and air quality of your home at the same time.
A Guide to Safely Growing Snake Plants
Optimal Conditions for Growth
There aren’t many plants that can be considered finicky, such as snake plants. Provide your plant with the basic needs we will discuss in this section, and watch it thrive and grow healthy dark green leaves. There are numerous types of mother-in-law’s tongue, but they all have the same needs to flourish domestically. The essentials are as follows:
Snake plants require a lot of sunlight, but it shouldn’t be direct. It is best to plant Mother in Law’s Tongue near a wall that can protect it from the hot midday sun if you live in a warm area. Place it on the western side of your property where it will receive reflected sunlight all day and get some fresh sun rays in the evening before it drowns in the darkness. As long as it can receive indirect sunlight, it can grow indoors, which we highly recommend. It is a perfect example of where you should place it.
Snake plants thrive in soilless potting mixtures! Basically, you can replace the soil with a mix of organic components such as sand, peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite, and you can also add inorganic fertilizers if necessary. A fast-draining soil is preferable to soil, which is not bad either. This is because snake plants grow rhizomes in the soil, which are strong roots, but they can easily rot in moist soil.
A Mother-in-Law’s tongue would most likely not require fertilizer. Use a multipurpose fertilizer once a month in summer and less than once a season in other seasons to improve its health and growth rate.
Even with scarce watering, the plant thrives. Because its leaves are able to soak up moisture from the air, it compensates for a dry soil environment around it. However, this does not mean you should ignore your plant or ignore its needs! In summer, water it twice a month, and in other seasons wait until the water has fully drained and the soil has dried completely before watering again. During the winter, however, don’t water it more than once a month, even when the soil is dry.
Drought climates and hot temperatures are not a problem for snake plants. Temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit are acceptable. However, they thrive better if the temperature does not drop below 70 degrees. You may want to water your plants up to three times a month if you live in a dry area with low moisture and high temperatures. Be careful not to cause the roots to rot.
Snake Plant Care
Snake plants usually take care of themselves, but there are some things they cannot do. Their beautiful flat leaves can collect dust, which may interfere with the plant’s ability to purify the air in your home. Every once in a while, clean the plant with a damp piece of cloth. In perfect conditions, snake plants can also produce pups and offsets very often. You should avoid growing offsets and the mother in the same pot in that case. Following the instructions in the next part of the article, propagate one plant in one pot.
Snake plants should have dark greenish leaves, as shown in the picture. The plant is not doing well if it is yellowish or light green. Keeping snake plants is most commonly plagued by root rot. If your plant shows symptoms of root rot, such as leaf shrinkage, as a result of overwatering, remove the affected leaves. To fight root rot, let the soil dry for a while, then add a few drops of hydrogen peroxide to the soil. Changing the soil or repotting is the best option if root rot has caused the plant to suffer.
Snake plants are extremely poisonous to pets, especially cats. Be sure your pet doesn’t bite the leaves if you have one. It may be a good idea to find a plant type that is more animal-friendly if bite marks are visible on the leaves.
How to Propagate, Plant, and Repot Snake Plants Like a Pro
Propagation & Planting
Snake plants can be propagated in four ways: cutting, pups, division, and rooting in water. It is easiest and most popular to use the first method. To cut a leaf, you need a pair of pruners or a sharp gardener’s knife. Choose a leaf that is not too old, but at least three inches tall. Give the plant a few drops of water and let it rest for a short time before planting the plant in a draining soil. Four weeks later, the plant will start growing roots, so you can start watering it, but in small amounts so as not to damage the new roots.
Plants often give birth to new offsets or pups when they are healthy. If this is the case, you should wait until the newborns reach a length of at least one and a half inches before removing them from the mother plant. As with the cutting, use a sharp tool to separate the pups from the mother. You should take your time so as not to harm the mother plant. Place the pups in a soilless mix or draining soil and leave it for a week before watering it for the first time.
Division is another common method. Mother-in-law’s tongue grows deep roots in the soil. Rhizomes, the big roots of plants, serve as the plant’s water and nutrient cellars, but they can also be used for propagation. Using a sharp tool, divide a thick pair of rhizomes or more. Cutting one’s roots and connecting them with a leaf is better, but newly-grown roots are ok too. You should water it once sparingly when it is planted in appropriate soil and wait a week before watering it as it becomes an adult plant.
Snake roots will rot in the soil if the soil is overwatered. By putting a snake plant in water, you can grow a new one. Here’s how: cut a young, healthy leaf smooth and place it in a container with enough water to cover just the lower part of the leaf. To prevent rotting, change the water every two or three days. The plant will grow roots in a few weeks. When the leaves are one inch long, plant the plant. The method is very efficient and succeeds most of the time.
Snake Plant Repot
Even though the mother-in-law’s tongue plant is hardy, its roots are sensitive. Because of this, you should repot it when it is larger than its pot. Make sure the pot is big enough so that the plant can grow more, and that it has a drainage hole. When repotting the plant, change the soil and brush the roots to remove any stuck soil. Although you can still use the soil you removed with other plants, it is better to use new soil for the newly potted mother-in-law’s tongue.
Mother-in-law’s tongue is a slow-growing plant. It may only need to be repotted once in its lifetime. The plant does not need to be cared for if planted directly into the ground in your landscape. Until it produces pups, at least. If that’s the case, remove the pups and plant them either in pots or in your landscape. Make sure they are at least 10 inches apart.