SNAKE PLANT : PLANT CARE GUIDE
While Sansevieria sounds fancy, it's the common names that make them seem like they've always been a part of your family. More popularly known as snake plants, mother-in-law's tongue, and more, they are not only the easiest but also the easiest plants to care for. With its long pointed leaves that grow tall in a concentric pattern, Sansevieria has very basic needs as far as water, light and fertilizers are concerned. You can literally put them in a corner and marvel at them every day.
If you've ever seen a Sansevieria, it must have immediately caught your attention with its leafy design. Long green, lance-like, erect leaves raised above the ground. The leaves sometimes have variegation or come in different colors depending on the species of Sansevieria in question. This is one of the best air-purifying plants you can keep at home (NASA certified). The best choice for new gardeners and those looking for more architectural beauty in their green spaces.
Let's take a look at the care tips and learn how to make snake plant the centerpiece of your home.
Common Names : Snake Plant, Mother-in-law's Tongue, Viper's Bowstring Hemp, St. George's Sword
Botanical name : Dracaena trifasciata (formerly Sansevieria trifasciata)
Sunlight : Less light from partial sun
Air : Well ventilated
Soil : Sandy and well drained
Water : When the soil is completely dry.
Fertilizer : Once a month. no fertilizer in winter
Problem : Rot due to excess water. It does better with underwatering.
incense for snake plant
For snake plant, direct sunlight is not required and prolonged exposure can burn leaves. It can live happily in anything from partial sunlight on windowsills to low-lit corners of your bedrooms. Bright light ensures rapid growth on this typically slow-growing houseplant and if your sansevieria is variegated, the bands glow brighter with light. Bright light also ensures healthy plants. While the plant can live happily in the lowest light, this leads to slow growth, small leaves and very slow growth.
Snake plant setup
The snake plant will do great in almost any corner of your home, from your shaded patio to your dark corridors. If your Sansevieria is small, place it on tabletops, shelves or windowsills. Large plants look great anywhere to put them. Their upright compact development makes them a great fit for tight corners with nothing going for them. Even if you're keeping your snake plant in really low light corners, keeping it out in the sun for a few hours weekly gives them enough fuel to stay healthy and keep you happy.
watering snake plant
Snake plants are drought-resistant plants with rhizome roots. Thick leaves store water for a long time to dry. This plant does better with under water than with more water. Water your snake plant only when the entire potting mix is dry. Watering is significantly reduced in winter (about once a month) as this is the dormant period for the plant. The frequency of watering depends on the amount of light it receives, bright light plants need more frequent watering and vice versa.
When watering excessively dry soil (cracks and soil leaving the planter walls) in batches. Watering all at once allows water to pass through the soil without being absorbed, so water in batches and allow the soil to absorb completely.
Every time I water a plant, water it thoroughly until you see some drain from the drainage hole and always vacuum the bottom plate.
Fertilizer for Snake Plant
Feed your Sansevieria with a general houseplant fertilizer every three to four weeks, as directed on the packaging. Make sure fertilizers have three major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium. Another great way to add nutrition to the soil is to add vermicompost or another organic fertilizer monthly.
snake plant propagation
Sansevieria plants can be propagated by separating pups and leaf cuttings.
Once smaller plants have grown around the main plant, wait for them to reach a respectable size, and develop their own root system. Unpot the plant and divide the root rhizome to separate the mother plant from the pups and pot them both separately.
For propagation via leaf cuttings, use a sharp shear to take a cutting at least 4 inches long from a leaf and place it in a well-lit area with water right side up. Make sure the cutting is placed in the direction it was growing. Change the water when it is cloudy. Within a few weeks, you'll see roots and new leaves sprouting up.
Snake Plant Potting and Repotting
When potting, choose a sturdy pot because snake plant roots are famous for breaking through delicate material. Snake plants are slow growers and rarely need to reproduce, but they can grow rapidly with suitable light conditions and need to be repotted or divided. The best time to repot these plants is early spring. When repotting, always use fresh potting soil, cactus potting mix, or a mixture of both.
Plant Problems for Snake Plant
Scale, gnats, spider mites, aphids, mealybugs and whiteflies are common pests of snake plants. If you keep your plant healthy, you can avoid insect attacks. If you see insects on your plant, remove them by using a mild spray of water, or spraying the insects with organic neem oil, to keep the insects away.
Smelly and consistently wet soil is a clear sign of root rot. Open your soil to check for rot and wash the roots. Cut off any black/brown and soft roots and keep the white healthy parts. Reapply in a fresh well-draining potting mix and water rarely.
Curling leaves are a sign of thrip infestation. These little black bugs are easy to deal with. Cut off severely twisted leaves and spray the plant with neem oil or vegetable soap to keep the pests away. New leaves will eventually grow.
Yellowing leaves that are falling are due to over-watering or poor lighting. Water barely and only when that potting mix is completely dry. If your plant is in an area with very little light, either move it to a bright spot or put it in the sun for a few hours every week.