Snake plants are very popular because they’re hardy and hard to kill; even people with “black thumbs” can usually keep them alive. Snake plants are beautiful indoor plants thanks to their beautiful coloring and air purifying properties. The plants don’t require much water and can grow in low-light conditions, so they are a favorite of those living in apartments. But what size pots should they be placed in? Snake plants should be replanted in pots no bigger than 14% to 13% of the root ball’s diameter. It is recommended to place the plants in a pot that is at least 2 quarts in size, but a pot that is too small may cause root rot.
Within this article, we’ll discuss the basics of snake plants, how to grow them, and why you might want one in your home or office.
What Is a Snake Plant?
The snake plant is the common name for Dracaena trifasciata, once known as Sansevieria trifasciata, and often called flippantly “mother-in-law’s tongue.” In exchange for their long, stiff, sword-shaped leaves, snake plants have lighter green bands and a yellow border, like a cactus. They are available at most local plant nurseries.In general, snake plants can be grown to a height of 2-3 feet (0.61-0.9 m), although some varieties may measure no more than a foot high and others close to 6 feet (1.82 m). The plants are evergreen and perennial.
Sansevieria was the previous classification for the plant. Nevertheless, scientists have now classified the plant as belonging to the family Asparagaceae, which is part of the genus Dracaena. This reclassification has not yet been reflected in many books and plant guides.
There are some important things to note about snake plants, including their mild toxicity; consuming them can result in nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Animals and children should never be allowed to play with snake plants.
Pot Size and Type for Snake Plants?
Snake plants can be grown in different pots according to different opinions. Terracotta is recommended by some gardeners because it absorbs moisture from the soil and prevents root rot. Many snake plants, however, grow better in plastic containers; under ideal growing conditions, the roots of the snake plant can grow rapidly, and strong roots can break terra cotta pots.
Make sure that your pot has a drainage hole and a saucer underneath to catch excess water. Despite being low maintenance, snake plants can and will rot if overwatered or poorly drained.
The size of your pot entirely depends on the size of your plant. Snake plants do enjoy being “crowded,” and if they are housed in a pot that is too big, they generally will not thrive. Make the pot a little bigger than the plastic container it came in at the store (or the container from where it was replanted). A pot should not be larger than 13 times the root ball of your plant.
Repotting snake plants rarely is necessary, and it might even be detrimental to do so unnecessarily. Before moving the plant to a new pot, wait until the roots are visible through the drainage holes at the bottom.
The Right Soil and Sunlight for Your Snake Plant
Choose a potting soil that drains well. Peat moss or sand are some of the soilless potting mixes many people use for snake plants. In general, snake plants don’t need much fertilizer, so any common houseplant fertilizer will suffice once or twice a year.
Indirect sunlight is the best for snake plants, but they will also grow well in low to indirect light. The ideal temperature range is between 70-90°F (21.1-30.2°C).
A Snake Plant’s Watering Schedule and Amount
Snake plants should not be overwatered. Once the top 1-2 inches of the soil are completely dry, water isn’t necessary. This means they only need it every few weeks or every month. Underwatering snake plants is far better than overwatering them. It’s best to keep the leaves dry as much as possible, just like the roots.
Overwatering and improper drainage are the major causes of root rot in snake plants. In general, snake plants are resistant to pests and diseases, although they are susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites. These pests can be eliminated with insecticidal soap if they are found.
How to Propagate Your Snake Plant
The process of propagating snake plants is relatively straightforward. It is possible to take a leaf cutting and cut a straight line across a healthy part of the leaf, let it dry and callus over for two to seven days, and then plant it in slightly damp soil or sand. A new root will grow in a few weeks.
Another method of propagating snake plants is by division. Snake plants have under the soil level organs called rhizomes, which are essentially the main stem of the plant and where the energy is stored to grow new shoots. With sharp shears, you can cut the snake plant in half, then plant each half in a separate pot if you remove it completely from the pot. Providing each half has at least three rhizomes and one healthy leaf, you will end up with two separate plants.
Snake Plant Benefits
Plants are always beneficial to have around the house. It is not only beautiful to look at, but indoor greenery also has documented health benefits. It has been shown that house plants can reduce depression, reduce stress, and boost your mood, among other benefits.
The process of transpiration is used by many house plants to increase indoor humidity: water is taken from the soil, traveled up the stems and leaves, and finally evaporated. Even though snake plants don’t necessarily increase humidity in the air, they still likely do so. You can also use this if you suffer from allergies or asthma.
Increase Air Quality
The NASA Clean Air Study, published in 1989, examined the effects of various house plants on indoor pollution. It was originally intended to use plants to clean the air inside space stations, but anyone can benefit from the air purification provided by various houseplants.
The study shows that snake plants remove organic pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde from the air. No matter what level of air filtration is used in a household, it will be beneficial. Besides producing oxygen at night, snake plants also produce nitrogen. This plant is perfect for improving the air quality in your home.