Most commonly known as “Mother in Law’s Tongue”, the snake plant (Sansevieria) could win the award for “Most Tolerant Houseplant on Earth”. Even if neglected for long periods of time (even weeks) these plants are hearty and still look healthy and grow to their maximum height of 12 inches. Our best recommendations for care are:
The snake plant is a very versatile plant which can be placed in almost any lighting condition. Hearty in both low light and sufficiently lit areas, the snake plant prefers East, West or South facing light. If you can only provide a Northern exposure window, or minimal light, fear not! Try to place your plant outdoors on occasion to catch up on its light consumption.
Do NOT over water this plant especially in the winter times. It is best to allow the snake plant to dry out, nearly completely, between watering. Although this should be left to personal judgement based on the area you live in, at best estimate, watering this plant every 2-3 weeks, is sufficient. When watering, be sure to use tepid to room temperature water so as not to shock the roots. Because the snake plant is tropical in nature it enjoys humid locations and thrives well in bathrooms.
When watering, be sure to water at the root. This will help you avoid the most common snake plant problem: rust spots. Rust spots occur when water stands on the plant’s leaves or “tongues” during times of lower light. Also, in avoiding over-watering, you will avoid root rot, also common to snake plants.
Fertilizing and Feeding
The snake plant requires little to no feeding / fertilizing. It will survive and thrive on its own well. If you choose to fertilize, do so sparingly, once a year. Use a dissolvable , general purpose fertilizer once a year in the spring or summer. This is the primary growing season for snake plants.
A little known fact about the snake plant is that NASA research has shown that the snake plant can help clear the air in your home, ridding it of toxins such as formaldehyde. In short, this is the perfect houseplant for pretty much anyone, in any space, and especially for those who are not great at remembering to water often!