Snake Plant is an umbrella term for a range of plants in the Sansevieria genus. Notable varieties of Snake Plant include the Mother-in-Law's Tongue (Sansevieria laurentii and Sansevieria trifasciata Zeylanica) and the archetypal Snake: Sansevieria cylindrica.
The Sansevieria cylindrica is a tough, easy-care succulent, found across the continent of Africa. It grows upright in a series of water-filled, spiky fronds. They can be anything from a few inches to several feet high. You'll sometimes see these plaited or otherwise trained out of this upright growth habit, but we like our Snake Plants au naturale!
Mother-in-Law's Tongues have similar properties, but where the Cylindrica's fronds are rounded (sometimes called witches fingers), Mother-in-Law's Tongues have flatter, weaving fronds and a tighter growth habit.
Snake Plants are loved in homes and offices for their sculptural simplicity and tolerance of neglect and ability to thrive in low light conditions making them extremely easy to care for. However, given a warm summer with good light conditions you may be rewarded with delicate white flowers.
How To Care For a Snake Plant?
While your Sansevieria will tolerate and grow in low light conditions, how to care for your snake plant is to give it as much indirect sunlight as possible. Direct sunlight may scorch and burn the leaves so bright indirect light is the best way to care for your snake plant. Long periods of bright indirect sunlight will also encourage flowering.
All Sansevieria store water in their spiky fronds making a healthy specimen plump and firm to the touch. However, how to care for your snake plant is to water very sparingly. Overwatering can actually prevent your snake plant from taking up water as the roots start to rot, particularly when temperature falls and the roots become cold. So how to care for your snake plant is to test the soil below the surface to see if it is really dry and only then water your plant. In winter you may not need to water your plant for several months if it is kept in cool conditions.
What Kind Of Soil Do Snake Plants Need?
How to care for your Snake Plant to keep it healthy and thriving is to feed it twice a year in spring and autumn with a good quality houseplant feed. However, overtime, your Snake plant will exhaust the nutrients in the soil and will cease to thrive. If your snake plant stops growing or sending up new shoots it might be time to refresh the growing medium. How to care for your Snake plant if this happens is to repot your plant into a well-draining cactus soil. Follow our instructions here to learn the best way to repot indoor plants.
Check Out - Everything You Need to Know About Sansevierias
How Snake Plants Take Care of You?
All types of gardening, including indoor gardening have been shown to benefit mental health in a number of ways. The colour green is associated with nature and considered a restful and calming colour that can reduce anxiety, help promote peace and make you more alert. This makes the Snake plant ideal for offices. Scientists have discovered in houseplant soil a bacterium called Mycobacterium which has been shown to trigger the release of Seratonin which reduces anxiety and lifts the mood. Simply taking care of your Snake plant and watching it grow and thrive can help your mental health.
The benefits of taking care of your Sansevierias are not just limited to improved mental health. It can improve physical health too by improving the quality of the air you breathe, inducing feelings of calm and helping you feel alert and giving you a restful nights sleep.
How Does This Work?
We tend to associate foliage plants with air-purification, but Snake Plants are just as good. They may not have lush green leaves, but they have a broad surface area, covered in tiny plant pores which take in carbon dioxide and expel oxygen at night. This makes it the perfect plant to put in a bedroom to create healthy air while you sleep.
While all plants produce oxygen as they photosynthesise, the Snake plant is especially good at doing so. In fact Sansevieria laurentii was one of the houseplants featured in NASA’s famous Clean Air study. In fact, if you take care of your Snake plant, 150gms of new plant tissue growth has been shown to produce 22 litres of Oxygen under normal growing conditions.
Check Out - Top 5 Air Purifying Plants
Providing the best care for your Snake plant by feeding, ensuring a good growing medium, careful watering and providing good indirect light will reward you with a strong healthy plant with rapid growth. The bigger the plant, the more you will be rewarded with the benefits of physical and mental well-being.