Snake Plant Care Overview

  • Sunlight

    Medium Light

  • Soil

    Succulent or cactus mix

  • Watering

    Infrequently

  • Temperature

    55-85Ā°F

  • Humidity

    30-50%

  • Toxic

    Toxic to people and pets

Photo of a dragon tree thriving under the African sun in an arid grassland setting. The tree features multiple branches with spiky leaves,

Genetics Vs. Morphology

Snake plants, formerly known as Sansevieria, have been reclassified as Dracaena trifasciata due to genetic and morphological similarities discovered in recent studies. This places snake plants in the same genus as other well-known houseplants like the dragon tree and lucky bamboo.

Snake Plant Care Requirements

With minimal care, snake plants can maintain their stunning appearance. To create an optimal environment for your snake plants, follow the recommendations below and watch them thrive.

Photo of a blooming Dracaena trifasciata, with light green and yellow-hued flowers that create a striking contrast against the dark green leaves.

Lighting

Flexible with light, snake plants can handle a range from low light to bright, indirect light. For optimal growth and a chance at the rare indoor bloom, provide them with about 6 to 8 hours of bright light per day. Snake plant flowers appear in alien clusters of greenish-white and rarely bloom indoors. Avoid direct sunlight, which can lead to leaf scorching.

Photo of a Dracaena trifasciata 'Laurentii' snake plant, displaying vivid yellow stripes, with exposed roots ready to be repotted. The roots, tinged with red, are visible on a table alongside small black scissors. Hydroballs are positioned to the left, while the blurred background.

Soil

Snake plants prefer well-draining soil to avoid root rot. Use a cactus or succulent mix, or add perlite/sand to improve drainage in regular potting soil. Maintain slight moisture, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings. For optimal growth, fertilize snake plants with a general houseplant fertilizer once a month throughout the spring and summer seasons.

Photo of a Dracaena trifasciata 'Laurentii' snake plant being gently watered with a yellow watering can.

Watering

Water snake plants sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Thoroughly saturate the soil when watering, ensuring it drains well. Remember, snake plants are drought-tolerant and prefer to be underwatered rather than overwatered.

Photo of a black cat with white spots resting on an armchair beside a snake plant houseplant and a stack of books on a side table. In the foreground, a Monstera leaf catches the eye, while the room is illuminated by the soft light pouring in through a nearby window.

Toxicity

Snake plants, while attractive and hardy, are toxic if ingested. They contain saponins which can cause discomfort in humans and pets, including cats and dogs. To ensure safety, it's best to keep these plants out of reach of curious pets and children.

Photo of hands holding a cleaned snake plant, delicately separating the stems where they clump together.

Propagation

To propagate snake plants, cut a healthy leaf into sections and plant in well-draining soil, keeping the original top side up. Alternatively, divide the plant into smaller parts during repotting. Water sparingly until rooted.

A Serpent's Garden: Snake Plant Varieties

Welcome to the diverse world of snake plant varieties. With unique forms ranging from tall cylinders to broad, vibrant leaves, each type offers its own distinct charm.

  • Photo of a Dracaena zeylanica on a white background.

    Dracaena zeylanica

  • A photo of a series of Dracaena angolensis in little pots.

    Dracaena angolensis

  • Snake Plant Texture Dracaena kirkii

    Dracaena kirkii

  • Snake Plant Texture Dracaena trifasciata 'Laurentii'

    DracaenaĀ trifasciataĀ 'Laurentii'

 Photo of two snake plants, each potted in a green ceramic plant pot, positioned in front of a grey armchair and a side table. In the image, two hands are gently lifting the larger snake plant out of its pot, illustrating the process of handling and repotting the plant.

I hope this article helps your snake plants flourish! Snake plants are resilient and low-maintenance, making them a joy to cultivate. At Happy Roots, we offer double-lined and bottom watering compatible plant pots, which are ideal for snake plants. Wishing you a happy gardening experience!

- Rikki

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Works Cited

New York Botanical Garden - Snake Plant (Dracaena)

The Pennsylvania State University - Snake Plant: A Forgiving, Low-maintenance Houseplant

Colorado State University - Plant Talk Colorado Snake Plant

University of California - Snake Plant!

Cornell University Extension - Sansevieria trifasciata

North Carolina Extension Gardener - Dracaena trifasciata