Sansevieria cylindrica (Cylindrical Snake Plant)
Sansevieria cylindrica (Cylindrical Snake Plant) is a striking succulent with smooth, striped green-gray leaves. It grows fan-shaped, with…
Caring for Your Indoor Snake Plant
Some people say that snake plants do best when neglected. That's an exaggeration, but they do flourish with very little care. Keep their arid African roots foremost in mind, and you're halfway to ideal care. Always use coarse, fast-draining potting soil and containers with good drainage holes. Then meet these simple snake plant requirements:
- Light – Snake plants are versatile, but avoid light extremes for best results. They tolerate poor light and prolonged shade, but they prefer strong, filtered light. Warm, sunny locations protected from direct hot sun are ideal.
- Water – Snake plants are very drought tolerant, so underwatering is rare. But overwatering is a quick route to root rot. During the active summer growing season, water only when the soil feels dry about 3 inches deep. Then water thoroughly. During winter, water only as needed to keep leaves looking and feeling firm.
- Fertilizer – Because snake plants are native to poor rocky soil, avoid overfertilizing. A premium plant food such as Pennington UltraGreen All Purpose Plant Food 10-10-10 fed once each spring gives your snake plant the primary, secondary and micronutrients it needs. Then it keeps gently feeding for up to four months.
- Repotting – Snake plants are slow growers that rarely need repotting. When your container is overflowing with leaves or roots appear from drainage holes, it's time to repot. Used as directed, Pennington UltraGreen Plant Starter with Vitamin B1 provides newly repotted plants with beneficial nutrients and reduces transplant shock.
- Propagating – Repotting is the perfect time to start new snake plants. Division is the easiest way to propagate. Gently pull the plant roots apart to divide the root ball. Then plant the individual rooted rosettes, and you have new plants to nurture or share with friends.
Starting new snake plants is simple when you divide roots and repot.
Uhh, What’s This?
As I was snipping away my little babies for their new homes and making my way toward the mom plant, I found something I wasn’t expecting: the plastic basket that originally contained the plant at the propagation house (the nursery where it was likely first born as a cutting before making its way to IKEA). All the snake plant pups I’d been trimming away had squeezed between the slits of the basket, and the mom plant was strangling in the center, bulging the basket with her root strength! I carefully snipped this basket off with scissors and gently teased it off the roots, then repotted the mom in fresh soil.
Snake Plant - A Guide to Growing Sansevieria
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’. Photo by: Aquarius Studio / Shutterstock
In recent years, succulents have become one of the hottest trends in home décor because they look exotic, yet are super-easy to grow. One old-school succulent enjoying a resurgence in popularity is Sansevieria, more commonly called snake plant because of its long, sinuous foliage. Not only is it one of the few succulents that doesn’t require a sunny windowsill to thrive, it’s also one of the best houseplants for improving indoor air quality.
“When sansevierias started their steady climb in the popularity polls, new varieties started emerging. As for care, they are all bulletproof.” says Tovah Martin, author of The Indestructible Houseplant.
Today, there are more varieties than ever before, from short and cylindrical to tall and elegant, with variegated leaves displaying streaks of silver, gray, yellow, or white. Once you’re introduced to the versatility of these tough and forgiving houseplants, you’ll want to include at least one in nearly every room of your home.