Starfish snake plants are native to southern Africa and most commonly found in Angola. There are zigzag bands on the leaves of the starfish snake plant that run horizontally and are a pale green color.
This plant’s leaves are straight and grow vertically. In most cases, this plant will grow to a height of one foot and a width of one foot.
Leaf lengths on this plant can reach 10 inches, and flower stalks typically reach 3 feet in height. The foliage on these plants is shaped like a starfish, which makes these plants ideal for decorating.
How Do You Take Care of Your Starfish Snake Plant?
Ideally, starfish snake plants should be grown in a bright room with lots of direct sunlight. If they are placed in a sunny window, which is ideally south facing, they will thrive.
The plants will still grow in partial or complete shade, even though they are desert species. If the plants are deprived of light for too long, they will become leggy and lose their color.
A starfish snake plant can grow outside in a warm environment. Plants of this type prefer temperatures of 15 to 26 degrees centigrade, so they do well indoors. Plants such as these need protection from extreme climates.
In order for snake plants to grow, the soil needs to be sandy and loose with good drainage. Soil and perlite are good ingredients for a mixture.
Using a soilless potting mix designed for succulents and cacti will also work for these plants. Use a soil that is not too dense.
High humidity levels are essential for starfish snake plants to flourish. A good circulation of dry air is necessary for these plants.
As indoor air tends to be dry, this plant thrives in indoor environments. If the succulents are properly watered, they will be able to obtain the right amount of moisture.
Watering Starfish Snake Plants
It is only necessary to water starfish snake plants once the soil becomes dry. These plants need to be watered every couple of weeks during the summer. It will be less necessary to water them in the winter.
The potting mix should be allowed to dry before watering because this plant is drought tolerant. Use your finger to test the soil’s moisture level before watering these plants.
You should drench the soil in water that is at room temperature before placing the plant back in a sunny location after it has dried out.
Fertilizing Starfish Snake Plants
The starfish snake plant doesn’t need a lot of feeding, since it grows in sandy soils, which don’t provide much nutrition. Although not necessary, feeding these plants on a monthly basis is beneficial.
During the growing season, it is best to feed these plants with a half strength succulent fertiliser, but avoid feeding them during the winter. Starfish snake plants are slow growing, so overfeeding will cause an excess of minerals and salts to accumulate.
Additional Tips for Growing Starfish Snake Plants
Pests and Diseases
The plant is low maintenance and hard to kill, so there are not many problems that it can face. Other indoor plant pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and mealyworms may also attack these plants.
If the leaves develop a white cottony substance, this is an indication of mealybug infestation. As long as you deal with any household bugs that appear on the plant, the plant will grow well.
It is not necessary to use chemicals to deal with the problem, as several organic insecticides can be used.
Vine weevils can be controlled with the addition of neem oil to the soil. Neem oil is used instead of water to add moisture to the plant, which will kill any vine weevils in the soil.
The only disease problem that starfish snake plants face is a fungal infection called root rot.
Most fungal problems are caused by overwatering, which causes the roots to decay. Plants can be prevented from developing this problem by correctly watering them.
Pruning is not often necessary with this plant, which makes it easier to maintain. Plants like this one have thick, fleshy leaves that make them very attractive.
These plants really need pruning only for propagation when necessary or for removing yellow leaves.
Plant division is the best method of propagating Starfish snake plants. The roots of this plant produce small leaves called pups, which usually have underground rhizomes.
Make sure each of the small sections of the plant has roots by splitting it carefully and then repotting it.
Plants of the starfish snake family will only need to be re-potted annually. Plants of this type will grow well when they are rootbound, as with most slow growing succulents. Repot these plants in a pot that is one or two sizes larger than the current pot.
It is best to use heavier pots, such as terracotta ones, as these plants can become top heavy.
- Removing the existing container should be done carefully.
- Roots should be checked for decay and trimmed if necessary.
- Put the Starfish snake plant in a new pot and fill it halfway with potting soil.
- Make sure the plant is stable in the soil by filling the remaining space with soil and pressing it down.
- Give the new potted plant time to settle in by allowing the soil to dry out before adding water.