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If a prize were available for the most tolerant plant, snake plant (Sansevieria) would certainly be one of the frontrunners. Snake plant care is very straightforward. These plants can be neglected for weeks at a time; yet, with their strappy leaves and architectural shape, they still look fresh.
Additionally, they can survive low light levels, drought and have few insect problems. NASA research has even shown that snake plants are able to help keep the air inside your home clean, removing toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene. In short, they are the perfect houseplants.
Snake Plant Info – How to Grow a Snake Plant
Growing snake plant from cuttings is relatively easy. The most important thing to remember is that they can easily rot, so a free draining soil needs to be used. Leaf cuttings are the usual method but probably the easiest way to propagate snake plants is by dividing. The roots produce fleshy rhizomes, which can simply be removed with a sharp knife and potted up. Again, these will need to go into a free draining soil.
Snake Plant Care
After they have been propagated, the care of snake plants is very easy. Put them in indirect sunlight and don’t water them too much, especially during the winter. In fact, it’s better to let these plants dry out some between waterings.
A little general purpose fertilizer can be used if the plants are in a pot, and that’s about it.
Types of Snake Plant
There are around 70 different species of snake plant, all native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of Europe, Africa, and Asia. They are all evergreen and can grow anywhere from 8 inches (20 cm.) to 12 feet (3.5 m.) high.
The most commonly used species for gardening is Sansevieria trifasciata, often known as mother-in-law’s tongue. However, if you’d like something a little different, the following species and cultivars are worth looking out for:
- Sansevieria ‘Golden Hahnii’ – This species has short leaves with yellow borders.
- Cylindrical snake plant, Sansevieria cylindrical – This snake plant has round, dark green, striped leaves and can grow to 2 to 3 feet (61-91 cm.).
- Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twist’ – As the name suggests, this cultivar has twisted leaves. It is also striped horizontally, has yellow variegated edges and grows to about a 14 inches (35.5 cm.) tall.
- Rhino Grass, Sansevieria desertii – This one grows to around 12 inches (30+ cm.) with succulent red tinted leaves.
- White Snake Plant, Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Bantel’s Sensation’ – This cultivar grows to around 3 foot tall and has narrow leaves with white vertical stripes.
Hopefully, this article has helped to explain how to grow a snake plant. They really are the easiest of plants to look after, and will happily reward your lack of attention by giving clean air to your home and a little cheer in the corner of any room.
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Snake Plant Care Indoors (Everything You Need to Know)
The snake plant is one of the most popular indoor plants. It is known for its unique appearance, and makes for a fine addition to any room in the house. But, more importantly, you need to understand that snake plants require quite a bit of care.
Like all plants that are kept indoors, you will want to make sure that you follow a specific regime.
Snake plant care indoors is not as easy as it looks, and despite the fact that the plant is quite hardy and can withstand a wide range of conditions, you should know that appropriate care is necessary if you want the plant to thrive.
The snake plant is a species of flowering plants that are native to Western Africa. The plant is found from Nigeria in the east to the Congo.
It’s an evergreen perennial plant that usually spreads through creeping rhizomes. But, the real difference between the snake plant and the other plants is the fact that it looks really unique.
The leaves are pointy and tend to stick upward. They are also considerably harder, and have a green stripe running through the middle.
Because of their unique appearance, snake plants are sought after by many people who want something different in their houses.
The plant is also quite popular and used in houses, mainly because it is capable of purifying the air.
There are actually quite a few benefits that you get for putting a snake plant in your house.
Pot in a container with good drainage.
When it comes to planting and potting your snake plants, the type of container you use is key. "Snake plants don't tolerate over-saturated soils, so a container with good drainage is crucial," Cunningham explains. "If you prefer decorative planters, consider housing your snake plant in a plastic container with drainage holes that can fit comfortably into a more ornamental container—removing the center pot when watering and allowing it to fully drain before moving back to [a] larger container—to ensure the soil stays dry."
How to grow snake plants
Ideally, grow your plant in a bright spot, out of direct sun. Water only when the compost has dried out. It will benefit from a liquid feed once a month, from April to September.
More on growing snake plants:
Snake plant: jump links
Where to grow a snake plant
Ideally, give your snake plant a bright spot, out of direct sunshine. It will cope in a dark corner but may lose some of the attractive variegation on the leaves.
How to plant a snake plant
You can probably keep your snake plant in its original pot for a while after you have brought it home, unless its roots are bursting out of the bottom of the pot. Snake plants are relatively slow growers so won’t need repotting that often. If it has outgrown its current pot, repot it in spring into a slightly larger one. Use house plant or cactus compost, or ordinary peat-free multi-purpose compost with some horticultural grit added. If your snake plant is tall, you might want to plant it in a heavy pot, to stop it toppling over.
Caring for a snake plant
Snake plants don’t need much water – just water whenever the soil is dry. Make sure you let the water drain away fully – do not let the plant sit in water as this may cause the roots to rot. Snake plants need very little water in winter.
Feed once a month from April to September. Wipe the leaves occasionally, to prevent dust building up. Be careful not to damage the leaf tips – this will stop the plant growing. Snake plants can cope with draughts and dry air, and don’t need misting.
How to propagate a snake plant
You can propagate snake plants by taking leaf cuttings, but the simplest method is by dividing. Using a knife, carefully cut away a leaf and a piece of root, and plant it up in a small pot of compost. Water in well and put the cutting in a bright spot, out of direct sunlight.
Growing snake plants: problem solving
Yellow leaves are a sign of overwatering, especially in winter. Check the base of the leaves and the roots for rot. Allow the compost to dry out before watering again and always let the water drain away. Snake plants do not need much water, especially in the winter months.
Wrinkled leaves mean you may have under watered your plant. Lightly water it over a few days and it should perk up.
If leaves are falling sideways, you may have under- or overwatered your plants. It may also not be getting enough light. Tall, older leaves do occasionally collapse.
You may spot mealybugs on the foliage. L ook out for insects that look like white, fluffy blobs on the undersides of leaves. Wipe them off with a damp cloth or cotton bud that has been soaked in an insecticide that contains fatty acids or plant oils.
Snake Plant Propagation By Division
- Newspaper or space outdoors
- Clean, sharp knife or handsaw
- Enough clean pots for your divided plants
- Succulent soil or potting mixture
If you need more snake plants in a hurry, you can try propagation by division. This is a means of separating a single plant so that it becomes two or more plants. Gently lay your plant on its side and slide the plant out of its pot. You’ll probably want to put down some newspaper or do this outside.
Inspect the roots carefully and look where the rhizomes are. If your plant is smaller, you’ll probably only separate it in half, but if it is a large plant, you can separate it into more pieces. Using a handsaw or even sharp shears, cut the plant so that there are at least 3 rhizomes and one good, healthy leaf per section.
Ready to divide my root bound snake plant
Make sure there are a couple of roots in each section, as well. If there aren’t, then your plant is not ready to divide and you probably should give it more time to grow more roots and rhizomes before you split it.
After you have split your snake plant, repot each separate plant into a fresh pot with succulent soil. Give each one a small drink of water and then do not water your plants again until the soil is thoroughly dried out.
Moisture Attracts Pests!
Always remember that moisture attracts pests. It applies to plants as much as it applies to a water leak that rots the wood on your home resulting in a termite infestation.
Overwatering any plant is an open invitation to insects to quench their thirst, then they find they can feed on the sap of the plant leaves, get warmth and shelter from the soil and under the foliage.
In no time at all, they will make it their home by laying their eggs and building a thriving colony of their young in the perfect conditions to thrive.
The best protection is prevention and with snake plants, you prevent pest problems by letting the soil dry out before watering it again.
Give your snake plant the care and attention it needs and it can continually grow year after year at a rate of up to 2-inches per year until it reaches its maximum mature height.
It is used above all for its ornamental value. It is easy to take care of, can be potted throughout its life, and looks great in any corner. But also, NASA cataloged the species as an air-purifying plant, since it eliminates toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde.
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