Snake plants, also know as mother-in-law's tongue or sansevieria, have become increasingly popular, and rightly so. With their striking lines and hardiness, they're the houseplants even black thumbs can show off. They also act as air purifiers to improve your home's air quality. Here's how to keep them happiest.
Choosing a Snake Plant to Bring Home
When shopping for snake plants, select one that has dark green leaves; leaves that are too pale indicate that the plant may already be faltering. Check to see if your plant needs to be re-potted and choose a terra cotta or porous material pot and a potting mix that allows for good drainage.
Soil for Snake Plants
Snake plants do best with a free-draining soil mix, because they are easily prone to rot. A soilless potting mixture is best to ensure adequate drainage. Also be sure to use a terracotta pot that won't trap water inside and promptly remove any standing water from the saucer.
Water, Light, and Food
Snake plants do well when you almost forget about them. Allow soil to dry between waterings and take extra special care not to over water in winter. Try to avoid getting leaves wet when you water. Place your snake plants in indirect light (although they are tolerant of a variety of light conditions) and fertilize during the growing season with an all-purpose plant food.
Propagating Snake Plants
Snake plants produce rhizomes and are easily divided. Although this can be done any time, spring is best. Your newly propagated plants will also grow faster as summer is growing season.
You can also propagate snake plants through leaf cuttings. Just cut 2 to 3-inch pieces of a leaf and place them about 1 inch deep in soil appropriate for snake plants. Make sure to plant cuttings facing up, the same direction they were growing. Enjoy! Snake plants look great in varied-height clusters.
According to the ASPCA, this plant is toxic to cats and dogs. Chewing or ingestion can result in vomiting and diarrhea.