There are two possible reasons why your snake plant isn’t growing as expected: either it’s lacking something it needs, or it’s a miniature variety making it impossible for it to grow larger than it already is.
Snake plants come in over 70 varieties, did you know?
A few of those varieties are dwarf varieties, so if you can’t grow your snake plant, perhaps it’s just because it can’t.
Snake Plant Species that Will Not Grow Tall
- Twisted Sister looks like a bird’s nest and reaches a mature height of 15 inches, sometimes 12 inches.
- Several dwarf varieties grow in clusters with rosette-like patterns, including Golden Hahnii. The mature size of these plants is 12″.
- Sansevieria Ehrenbergii ‘Banana’ is a dwarf species that only reaches 6″ in height.
- A mature Cleopatra snake plant measures 11″ long.
- As with the Golden Hahnii, the Kenya Hyacinth grows in larger clusters and can reach a mature height of 16″.
How Long Does a Snake Plant Take to Grow?
Snake plants grow slowly by nature. Snake plants usually grow by two inches per year until they reach the maximum mature height for the species you’re growing.
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Golden Hahnii’, for example, does not grow taller than 12 feet.”
How to Encourage the Growth of Immature Snake Plants
Make Space for Them to Grow
Replacing the soil and repotting your snake plant into a container that’s 2″ larger than the current container could be all your snake plant needs to grow.
The best way to grow snake plants taller is to divide them, repot them in 1-gallon containers, and use a 50/50 DIY mix of well-draining potting soil and cactus potting mix.
Since snake plants produce pups, you can (and should) propagate them so that more energy is directed toward growing taller rather than flowering.
Some people grow snake plants indoors to improve the air quality or just for aesthetic reasons. Interestingly, they need good air flow to grow tall and strong.
Terracotta pots are porous, so they allow air to circulate in the soil better, which will help improve air flow.
The location of the plant is also important. A plant should be placed near an air vent or window, since the more air there is, the more quickly the soil will dry, preventing soggy soil from damaging the roots.
If you place the plant near an air vent, you might need to move it in the winter, or if there are strong winds blowing because they prefer good circulation but not too much cold air.
Temperature consistency is necessary.
There is an advantage to snake plants that they grow in low-light environments, such as a shady corner of your room. They can, but the growth will be ridiculously slow.
Snake plants do not like low light, so move them indoors! It will be difficult for plants to grow without sunlight.
They prefer plenty of indirect sunlight, but they can also cope with some direct sunlight, such as for up to two hours.
If your plant is too close to a window, look for scorch marks (yellowing or browning on the leaf tips) and if you see them, either move your plant, or apply a window film to filter the sunlight.
Plants, especially succulents, can be tricky to grow. In order to grow these plants, you must keep in mind that they absorb water from a room’s humidity. After all, they are air plants.
In order to keep the soil moist, they require only a little watering. Just moist, not soaking wet.
Because they can drink more easily underwater than the soil can be dried, it is better to do it underwater. Succulents grown in soggy soil will eventually turn to mush and rot, resulting in the complete destruction of the plant.
Snake plants should only be watered when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Generally speaking, this happens weekly, but it can vary depending on the temperatures. In the winter, watering will be less necessary, so don’t follow a watering schedule.
You should water these plants in a planter with drainage holes and use tepid water to avoid dropping the soil’s temperature. Snake plants should be watered by soaking the soil until water runs out of drainage holes.
Use a saucer to collect the water, and remove it after an hour to prevent the water from evaporating and causing the soil to constantly absorb more moisture than it needs. Snake plants can drink enough water in an hour.
Requirements and Precautions for Fertilizers
Do not fertilize snake plants in the winter as they need to go dormant. Fertilizer should be applied in the spring, just before new growth begins.
In the spring and summer, a diluted mix of 10-10-10 cactus fertilizer can be applied weekly up until September or October, then the plant can go into dormancy.
Growth occurs between April and September.
Pests That Will Hinder the Growth of Snake Plants
Mealybugs and spider mites. It is likely that both of these pests will damage the plant and stunt its growth. In the worst case scenario, they’ll eat so much sap that your snake plant will starve to death.
You might think you need to let the soil dry out because mildew is appearing on the plant leaves when you see a mealybug infestation with the untrained eye. Naturally, when you see mildew or mold, you think there’s too much water present.
As opposed to powdery mildew, mealybugs appear as white spores that are scattered throughout a leaf. The spots look like white fuzzy spots.
Rubbing alcohol is the most effective way to treat a snake plant with mealybugs. Use either a spray or Q-tip to remove it.
In order to prevent mealybug infestations, use a balanced fertilizer on your snake plant, such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10, since too much nitrogen can make plants prone to pest invasions.
Spider mites are so tiny that they can go unnoticed for quite some time. On snake plants, spiders leave webbing on the leaves as they move around as an early warning sign of spider mites. You’ll likely see a colony of these tiny insects if you see the webbing.
It is possible to lay 20 eggs in one day by a female spider mite. In four days, they will hatch, the nymphs will develop in two to four days, and five days after that they will be sexually active and lay more eggs.
By eating the sap of snake plants, these critters will kill them relatively quickly.
If you prefer to use natural solutions, use liquid soap (not detergent) mixed at a 40:1 ratio (40 parts water to 1 part liquid soap) and add 8 parts rubbing alcohol.
The plant should be separated from any other plants if there are any signs of pest problems, since they will spread to other plants nearby. Isolate plants in a shower tray, bath, or sink for one to two weeks and continue treating them until the pests are gone before reintroducing them to their usual spot.
Moist Conditions Attract Pests!
Moist areas are prone to pest infestations. It applies to plants as much as it does to a water leak that rots the wood in your home, resulting in termites.
When a plant is overwatered, it invites insects to quench their thirst. Once inside, the insects find that the plant sap can provide warmth and shelter, as well as a source for nutrition and water.
Their young will thrive in the perfect conditions to grow into flourishing colonies within no time at all when they lay their eggs and build their nests.
By letting the soil dry before watering the snake plants, you prevent pest problems.
With the proper care and attention, your snake plant will continue to grow at a rate of up to 2 inches per year until it reaches its maximum mature height.