How to Grow Snake Plant

Growing snake plants, also known as "Mother-in-Law's Tongue" or Sansevieria can be a rewarding endeavor, as they are one of the easiest houseplants to care for.

How to Grow Snake Plant
Growing Snake Plant

Not only do these tropical plants thrive in low light, but they also require minimal water, making them an ideal choice for any indoor space.

To begin nurturing your snake plant, select a well-draining potting soil and a bright location near a sunny window.

While these plants are adaptable, providing indirect light and planting during the spring will yield the best results.

Proper care will make your snake plant a staple in your home décor.

About Snake Plant

The snake plant, also known as Sansevieria or Dracaena trifasciata, is a popular houseplant with striking, sword-like leaves.

Known for its many nicknames like Mother-in-law's Tongue and Viper's Bowstring, this plant is visually appealing and low maintenance, making it ideal for beginners.

The leaves of the snake plant can showcase a variety of green shades, often with a twist or rosette-like form, and some cultivars, like the twisted sister and golden hahnii, boast unique patterns.

It is hardy in USDA Hardiness Zones 10-12 but can be easily grown indoors as a trendy decor.

Snake plants are also known for filtering formaldehyde and other toxins from the air, providing additional benefits for those who choose to include them in their indoor space.

Growing Snake Plant

To grow a snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata), choose a container with a drainage hole and fill it with a good quality, well-draining potting soil mix.

Spring is the ideal time to plant, allowing the plant to thrive in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 10-12.

Place your snake plant in the container, press the soil slightly around the plant, and water lightly.

Position it in a location where it receives indirect bright light, as snake plants are tropical plants that do well in low-light conditions.

Plant the cut end in a moist potting mix when propagating and ensure proper drainage.

You can also use seeds for a new snake plant, though this may take more time and effort.

Caring for Snake Plant
Caring for Snake Plant

Caring for Snake Plant

Sun and Temperature

Snake plants thrive in bright, indirect light. Place them near a sunny window, but avoid direct sunlight.

They can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, from 60°F to 85°F, but avoid exposure to temperatures below 50°F.

Water and Humidity

Water snake plants sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out completely between waterings to prevent root rot.

They prefer a humidity level of around 40-50%, so you may need to increase humidity if your home is too dry.

Soil and Fertilizer

Use a well-draining potting mix for your snake plant, adding perlite or sand to improve drainage.

Fertilize sparingly with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer, diluted to half-strength, every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring through fall).


Snake plants typically need repotting every 2-3 years when the roots become visible at the surface, or the plant outgrows its container.

Choose a new pot with a drainage hole slightly larger than the current one, and fill it with fresh, well-draining potting mix.

Pruning and Propagation

Remove dead or yellowing leaves by cutting them at the base with scissors.

To propagate snake plants, you can use leaf cuttings or division.

Cut a healthy leaf into 2-inch segments and bury it halfway in a moist potting mix for leaf cuttings.

For division, gently separate the plant at its roots and repot each section.

Troubleshooting Plant Problems

Growing Problems

One common issue with snake plants is yellowing leaves, which can be caused by overwatering, as they prefer dry soil conditions.

To keep your snake plant healthy, ensure you're providing the proper balance of light, temperature, and watering—avoid overwatering and place the plant in an area with indirect light.

Another issue might be slow growth due to your snake plant being rootbound.

Inspect the plant for roots from the drainage holes and repot the plant in a larger container if necessary.

Pests and Diseases

Spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs are common pests affecting snake plants.

Regularly inspect and clean your plant's leaves to prevent infestations and treat any pests with neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Root rot is a disease that can occur in snake plants, often due to overwatering. To prevent root rot, use a well-draining soil mix and avoid waterlogging the soil.


Snake plants are an excellent choice for indoor gardening due to their low maintenance requirements and ability to thrive in various conditions.

You can easily grow a healthy and attractive snake plant at home by ensuring proper care, such as well-draining soil and avoiding overwatering.

Remember to use a pot with drainage holes, and position your snake plant in an area with indirect sunlight.

Following these simple guidelines will help you cultivate a resilient houseplant that also purifies the air, enhancing the overall ambiance of your living space.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of fertilizer is best for snake plants?

Apply a balanced, slow-release fertilizer for your snake plant during the growing season. Dilute it to half the recommended strength to avoid damaging the plant.

How often should I water my snake plant?

Water your snake plant sparingly; allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it's better to err on the side of caution.

Can snake plants grow in water?

Yes, snake plants can grow in water, although this is not their native environment. Place a healthy cutting in a container with water, frequently changing the water to prevent bacterial growth.

Do snake plants need direct sunlight?

Snake plants can tolerate low light but place them in bright, indirect sunlight for optimal growth. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch their leaves.

How can I make my snake plant grow straight?

Choose a well-draining soil mix to help your snake plant grow straight and provide it with adequate light. Rotating the pot periodically can also help it grow evenly.

What is the growth rate of snake plants?

Snake plants typically grow slowly, taking several years to reach two feet tall. The growth rate may vary depending on light, temperature, and care factors.