How to Care for Snake Plants

Snake plants are easy and low-maintenance houseplants. They also do a wonderful job of purifying the air inside the house while acting as decor items. With over 70 varieties of snake plants, it can be tough choosing which one to grow. Here is a guide with tips to grow and care for your snake plant regardless of the variety.

How to Care for Snake Plants

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Soil preparation

Snake plants are not choosy about the kind of potting soil they grow in. The rule of thumb is that the soil should be well-drained. If you water the soil and see that water is sitting on top of the soil and not seeping through, this indicates that the soil is poorly drained and may not support snake plants well. 

Related Article on Beginner Houseplant: Common Soil Problems of Indoor Plants

Lighting and temperature

Snake plants are mistaken to be low-light houseplants. Well, this may have some element of truth. Snake plants tolerate low-light conditions. That is why they will still thrive and outlive other plants in the dimly lit bedroom or bathroom corner. However, if you want your snake plant to thrive, keep them where they can access indirect, medium-to-bright light. 

Low Maintenance Houseplants

Snake plants are also tolerant of a wide range of temperatures. They can grow in temperatures as low as 40 degrees or as high as 80 degrees. The optimal range is about 60-80. Most will be okay with the general temperature of the household.


Snake plants will not bother you much when it comes to watering. They can go for weeks without watering and still look lively and vibrant. Watering frequency depends on the season, location, and type of container. Water less frequently during the winter season and more in the summer. 

If you keep them in a brightly-lit area, you will need to water them more often than if the plant is in a dimly lit area. If you have your plant in a plastic container, the water retention is higher than if the plant is in a ceramic pot.

How to Care for Snake Plants

Fertilizing Snake Plants

Snake plants are not too fussy about whether you use fertilizer or not. But like every other plant, they grow faster when they get a boost. Use a very mild solution of organic fertilizer if you took the plant from a nursery, because you do not know whether the one they used is still in the soil. Add compost to provide the necessary nutrients organically.

Pruning Snake Plants

Snake plants are almost carefree and very little pruning is needed, if necessary. Prune off the leaves with bacterial spots to prevent them from spreading disease to the healthy parts of the plant. Cut off droopy leaves as well. If the leaves are healthy, propagate them into new plants.

Propagating Snake Plants

You can propagate snake plants at any time of the year. There are three ways to do this;

From cuttings

Cut off a leaf from a healthy plant, put it inside a pot, water it, and wait for the roots to form.

Through root division

This is the easiest and one with the highest chance of success. Take a plant with many leaves and carefully separate some of the shoots. Ensure the roots are well formed and take caution to not break them apart before transplanting them into a new pot. Water well.

In water

This method takes time. Place leaf cuttings into a cup/jar of water. Change the water as often as possible until the roots began to form. Transplant into a new pot.

How to Care for Snake Plants

Related Article on Beginner Houseplant: How to Propagate Your Houseplants

Are Snake Plants Toxic to Pets?

Unfortunately, snake plants are toxic to your cat and dog. Once ingested, pets experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Keep them out of reach of children as well because they contain a chemical called saponin that can cause the same symptoms but a bit milder.

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