Snake Plant aka Sansevieria trifasciata or Dracaena trifasciata
When it comes to houseplants, snake plants are so easy to take care of and might actually beat out the Photos plant as the best first plant to get if you’re a new plant parent. This week’s Flora Friday features Snake plants. They are perfect for the home, particularly the bedroom, because they purify the air by absorbing toxins and producing pure oxygen. With 70 different species and a lifespan ranging from 5-25 years, you can build a huge collection just from this one type of plant. Care may vary between different varieties, but they can withstand pretty much any environment so this is a perfect plant for a basement apartment with low light, the office, bathroom or in a room that gets plenty of light; so versatile!
Types of Snake Plants
With 70 different species, I’m not going to go ahead and name them all, but here are some of the most common types that you should be able to find in your local nursery.
- Black Gold
- Futura Robusta
- Futura Superba
- Golden Hahnii
Personally, I currently own a Futura Robusta and a Cylindrica but I’m sure they won’t be the only 2 snake plants I own for too long. I seriously love how much they vary from species to species and how unique they can be, particularly my Cylindrica whose stems have a round shape similar to bamboo stalks (not going to lie, when I first got it I had no idea it was part of the snake plant family because of how different it looks compared to the other species of snake plants!).
Cylindrica Futura Robusta
Snake plants are very easy to take care of because they can thrive in just about any environment and need minimal care, however, care can vary depending on the species.
Light: indirect sunlight is the ideal environment for your snake plant to thrive, but they can also survive in full sun and/or very low light. For example, I keep my Future Robusta in my windowless bathroom and take it out for some indirect sunlight every few weeks.
Water: snake plants rot easily, so when I say it requires minimal care I mean it. Over watering your snake plant will quickly kill it, so make sure you don’t water it too much and that you have good drainage in your pot. Water your snake plant once the soil dries completely and avoid getting the leaves wet. In the winter, your snake plant will require even less water. For example, I generally water my Cylindrica once a week, while I only water my Futura Robusta every 2-3 weeks.
Are Snake Plants safe?
If you have pets at home, it’s always good to know whether or not your new houseplant would be a danger to them. Snake plants are only mildly toxic so the consequences of your pet ingesting the plant are generally going to lead to an upset stomach and that’s about it, so yes, this is a great plant to have at home even if you have pets.
If your snake plant leaf tips are turning brown, it is most likely due to: inconsistent or improper watering, over-chlorinated water, excessive direct sunlight and/or heat. If you struggle to remember your plants watering schedule, mark it on your calendar, set reminders in your phone or download an app (there are so many out there!). When watering, I personally use distilled water or rain water to avoid giving my plants over-chlorinated water. It’s a cheap thing to add to your grocery list and will have a significant positive impact on all of your houseplants.