In recent years, the Sansevieria Fernwood, also known as the Snake Plant (this is the name that the article will use from now on), has gained the appreciation of plant enthusiasts and interior stylists alike.
Native to Africa, they are resilient, tough little creatures. Many plants are believed to be indestructible because the only way to harm them is to overwater them (which is the downfall of many).
This plant has very distinctive leaves that are pointy, emerald-green in color, and have a striped pattern on them.
This plant can grow to about 4 feet in the right conditions, and since they are easy to replicate, they have grown in popularity over recent years, along with many other houseplants.
Let’s take a closer look at that pointed green little guy in this article as we will describe everything you need to know about it.
Sansevieria Fernwood Profile
Snake plants are members of the Asparagaceae family. Sansevieria Fernwood is its specific species. Sansevieria is the genus, but if you look at the APG III classification, it is listed as Dracaena.
Find out what we can learn about our beloved snake plant by exploring its genus in more detail.
A Genus of Sansevieria
This genus consists of plants that grow on three continents: Asia and Africa, as well as Madagascar.
Most species within this genus are flowering plants, making them very popular throughout the world. Their ornamental purposes make them particularly popular.
In the previous section of the article, we mentioned that there is some overlap with the genus Dracaena. Several Sansevieria plants were added to the Dracaena genus by a classification system called the APG III.
It is a diverse genus of plants with unique characteristics. Depending on where in the world they grow, they exhibit varied characteristics. The leaves of some plants in this genus are thin.
Plants with thin leaves (also known as soft foliage plants) grow best in tropical and subtropical climates. Arid climates are home to the plants with harder leaves.
Due to their hard leaves, the harder leaf plants have been able to adapt to their environment well to survive these dry climates and still obtain the nourishment they need from underground, while also being more succulent with cylindrical leaves that take up less space.
Plants with soft foliage, on the other hand, have leaves that are longer, thinner, and more delicate, and require lots of water.
Names Associated with the Genus Sansevieria
Sansevieria gets associated with many different common names. In many instances, these names relate to the characteristics of the plant, specifically its leaves.
The names may also be influenced by the leaf patterns. Many of them bear names derived from the tongue because of their flat, pointed shape:
- Devil’s tongue
- Snake tongue
- Mother-in-law’s tongue
Other names include:
- Snake plant
- Bowstring hemp
- Twisted sister
- Golden bird’s nest
- Spear orchid
- St George’s sword
… and more!
Features of the Sansevieria Fernwood
Afterwards, we need to examine some of the distinguishing characteristics of this beautiful plant. It was evident from the beginning of the article that it was green and pointed.
However, this description does not do it justice, and we need to delve deeper into it. In the right conditions, the plant can grow as tall as 4 feet.
Snake plants are typically found between 2 feet and 4 feet tall. Obviously, many will be much smaller than this, especially varieties of ornamental house plants that are bred to be smaller.
The leaves on the plant (and there are usually many of them) are pointed, upwards and in many directions. Plants grow from the same base, which is like the body of the plant.
A snake plant’s color is emerald-green, as we mentioned before. The plant would be severely harmed if its color was just mentioned. The stripes on the plant are usually lighter shades of green, yellow, yellow-gold, and brown.
Spring is the time when the snake plant flowers. In contrast with an indoor snake plant, an outdoor snake plant is more likely to have flowered.
Snake plants have small flowers growing on a long stalk of around a meter in length. It is white or light green in color and resembles a lily.
Smalls are fragrant and sweet, but they have been known to attract pests due to their strength. Nonetheless, flowering snake plants are relatively uncommon outside, so it is unlikely that there will be a problem with pests.
Snake plants are believed to flower only when they are under ongoing mild stress, such as when they are root bound (because they have grown too big for their pot).
Snake plants flourish when they are neglected and are extremely hardy, producing beautiful flowers when they grow too large.
Does the Snake Plant Contain Toxins?
Snake plants (or Sansevieria Fernwood as their scientific name is) are generally considered safe. Thus, it is not likely to harm you when used as a houseplant.
The plants are mildly toxic when consumed, either by humans or animals. There are numerous poison-related side effects associated with ingesting snake plant leaves, such as numbness in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, and swelling of the tongue.
It is best not to have a snake plant in your home if you have a child or vulnerable adult who is known to nibble on things they are not supposed to such as plants – bear in mind that even if your snake plant is high up, many pets can still reach it.
The snake plant, like all members of the Sansevieria genus, is known to purify the air. Because of this, it is so popular as a houseplant.
Even if they are not exposed to the sun, they are thought to be able to convert carbon dioxide into air. Additionally, they can remove harmful chemicals and toxins such as formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
Due to this, they are an excellent addition to any home, especially city apartments and other areas with high levels of pollution. For this reason, they make great bedside plants.
How to Care for Sansevieria Fernwood
It has already become clear in this article that these hardy little plants are difficult to kill. This does not mean that you should just leave them to rot!
If you want them to look as aesthetically pleasing as they should, you need to provide them with at least a minimal level of care. We should discuss different elements of their care in separate sections in order to explore all the ways you should take care of them.
Snake plants require low water requirements and are easy to maintain, making them a great choice for beginners or plant parents who tend to neglect their green children.
A simple plan of action involves watering it once a week, or when the top layer of soil feels dry.
If your plant shows signs of dryness (brown tips or drooping) in the winter, you should continue to provide it with moisture.
It is important to remember that they thrive under neglect, so if you don’t overwater them, they’ll be fine. Overwatering can cause root rot, as any water that accumulates at the bottom.
Snake plants require indirect sunlight. In other words, they shouldn’t be left directly in the sun’s rays. They should be placed in a bright room with direct sunlight, but not directly in the path of the sun.
Since they can tolerate shade, they do well in the winter when there is less sunlight. They even thrive in artificial light, making them an ideal office plant!
Soil and Fertilizer
You should choose a soil with a pH level between 6.1 and 7.8 for your snake plant. It is therefore a good idea to purchase cactus soil mix. State-wide, these are readily available.
It should allow for excellent drainage and be loose, as opposed to being tightly packed. Snake plants would certainly appreciate the added nutrition provided by fertilizer.
Use them once a month in the spring and summer, following the instructions on your chosen fertilizer.
Best Temperature and Humidity
Snake plants are adapted to dry climates and conditions, so they don’t need a lot of humidity. Increasing humidity and moisture can cause root rot, leaf rot, and fungus to grow. Warm temperatures are, however, what they enjoy.
They flourish in temperatures ranging from 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In the winter, keep them away from drafts and cold areas in your home.
Ideal Growth Zone
If you are looking for ideal growth zones for snake plants, USDA zones 9a and 11 are the best. You can grow them outside in a range of 4a to 11, if you are growing them outside.