Sansevieria trifasciata, also known as the snake plant is a popular indoor plant native to tropical West Africa. These plants can be identified by their bold pointy leaves, which can grow up to 6 inches in height. Nowadays, however, there are a wide variety of Sansevieria plants available to purchase. You can find them in a range of shapes, sizes, and colors.
The best thing about Sansevieria is that its super low maintenance. if you’ve never owned a plant before this is the perfect specie to get you started. What’s more is that these plants aren’t the pickiest when it comes to temperature and light exposure, so they can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
How to care for Sansevieria trifasciata
In this guide well go over everything there is to know about growing a healthy snake plant.
Sansevieria can tolerate a wide range of temperatures and can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9 through 11.
One thing to know about these plants is that they are not cold hardy it important to protect your Sansevieria from temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Extended exposure to frosty conditions will kill it.
If you live in a region with cold harsh winters, grow the plant in a container and bring it inside as temperatures begin to fall.
Sansevieria isn’t picky about light either. While they prefer low light conditions, they’ll do perfectly fine with bright light too.
If you growing them outdoors, choose a spot that’s only partly sunny. When grown indoors choose a spot by the as sunny window preferably one that’s north-facing. Watch out for signs of sunburn, which include yellowing or browning leaves.
If your home or office space is dimly lit it shouldn’t be too much of an issue. just keep an eye on the plant to see how it’s doing. Some varieties of Sansevieria such as those with brighter variegations will appear faded and less patterned under low light conditions. Others such as the dark leafed varieties do better with low light exposure. Adjust the surrounding light according to what suits your plant best.
These plants are susceptible to root rot if overwatered. When watering your Sansevieria, follow the soak and dry method. This involves letting the soil completely dry between each watering session. Check the top inch of soil for moisture to know when its time.
The exact frequency at which you’ll need to water your Sansevieria will depend on the climate you growing them in as well as the time of year. On average every 2-8 weeks should be fine.
In the winter reduce watering to once or month or even less if your growing them outside. Again, check the soil for moisture to best gauge your plants watering requirements.
Sansevieria requires loose well-draining soil. A potting mix composed for cactus or succulents should work well. There are loads of different types available online so finding one shouldn’t be difficult.
If you don’t trust store bought soul mix you can always make your won using sand, regular potting soil and perlite or pumice for drainage.
A slow-release liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength should work well for these plants. Feed only during the plant’s active growth period in the summer.
Do not feed in the winter season. Doing so may actually harm the plant.
Sansevieria is slow-growing and will rarely require repotting. If you do repot the plant d, do it in the warmer seasons and use a pot with a draining hole. Also, make sure to use the right kind of soil as discussed above.
Repotting is also a great time to check for root rot. If you spot roots that have succumbed to rot, cut them off with a sharp sterilized blade and let the wounds dry before repotting.
How to Propagate Sansevieria
Sansevieria can be propagated through division or cuttings. The two methods are disused in detail below.
Sansevieria grows from under-the-soil organs called rhizomes which can be divided and used for propagation.
- Pull the plant out of the soil
- use sharp clean shears to cut the base apart into sections.3 rhizomes and a leaf per each new plant is ideal for successful results.
- Plant each section into a pot of fresh well-draining soil.
- Water as normal and you should see new growth within a few weeks.
This isn’t the best or most successful way of propagating these plants but it may work. You can propagate a leaf cutting in either soil or water. It works faster in water.
- Prepare a glass, jar, or any other container, with at least an inch of water.
- Use a clean, sterilized blade to cut off a healthy leaf. Make sure the cut is clean. A damaged leaf has a reduced chance of propagating successfully.
- Leave the newly cut leaf out to dry.
- Place the leaf in the container, ensuring one end is submerged in water.
- Wait for the roots to grow
- Once the roots are an inch long, you can plant the leaf in a pot of fresh soil.
Disease and Pests
Besides root rot as a result of overwatering, Sansevieria is a plant resistant to most diseases. As for pests, the two most commonly known to bother these plants are Mealybugs and aphids.
Mealybugs are hard to spot on a succulent because they love hiding in any small crevice they can find. Left untreated they can eat away at your plant and eventually kill it. A sign that your plant is infected can include misshaped new growth and a white cotton substance between the leaves and stem which the bugs are known to produce. Fortunately, you can easily rid your Sansevieria off these pests using some simple organic methods.
The first method involves spraying the plant with 70% isopropyl alcohol. You don’t have to worry about this causing har to your plant. alcohol evaporates fast and isn’t going to stay long enough to burn any leaves.
The second method you can opt for is using diluted neem oil. Neem oil is also known to mess with the bugs’ hormones, preventing it from reproducing and causing further damage to your plant.
Sansevieria is mildly toxic to humans and pets if ingested. In humans, they can cause nausea, mouth pain, and salivation.in dogs, and cats the symptoms are more severe and include vomiting and diarrhea. It is best not to keep these plants around small children and pets.
Signs to watch out for
1. Shriveled leaves
Shriveled leaves may be a sign of underwatering. Underwatering is easy to fix, just water the plant and it should perk up within a few days.
2. Soft yellowing stem
A soft squishy stem may be a sign of overwatering. Overwatering first takes effect on the roots causing rot. By the time you notice any other signs, it is often too late. To avoid this situation, stick to the watering schedule discussed earlier and always check the soil for moisture before watering.
3. Browning laves
Browning leaves are a sign of sunburn. To prevent further damage, move the plant out of direct sunlight.