If you are new to gardening or simply looking for an easy-care houseplant, sansevieria is the perfect plant for you. These plants are some of the toughest plants you can get, and they are popular because of their adaptability to most growing conditions. Whether you want to plant it indoors, on the balcony, or in your garden, these hardy plants can put up with almost everything.
Sansevieria plants are easy to grow, but there are a few things that you need to know as a beginner. These essential tips will help you care well for this plant to its maturity. We will discuss the 11 most fundamental tips that have been proven and worked well when applied to this plant. As you keep on reading these tips, you will realize how low maintenance these plants need.
If you grow to want to grow this plant and enjoy the flowering beauty, and quality air in your room or balcony, the following tips are a MUST DO.
A snake plant is easy to grow because of its soil requirements. They do well in a free-draining soil mix. Always use a free-draining soil mix, because the Sansevieria plant is prone to rot if the roots are dipped for long in the water. You can grow the plant in commercial succulent soil or cactus soil.
This commercial soil has added sand that helps in drainage. You can also decide to make your mix of soil, and the plant will still grow well. An accessible blend will require
- 1 part potting mix or garden soil
- 1 part peat moss or coconut coir
- Two parts of sand or perlite
This mixture will ensure maximum water drain from the container and provide a nutritious planting medium for the plant, allowing it to glow.
2. Choose the Correct Pot.
Different pots have different looks and different functions. Example of common materials used for potting includes terracotta, plastic, ceramic, or wood.
As a beginner, there is something pretty in combining this gorgeous plant with a beautiful and proper working pot. Choose a pot that has suitable drainage holes. They are prone to overwater, and they may die from root rot. A terracotta pot will work well with you.
Choose a pot considering the place you will grow the plant. If the plant is to be planted outdoor, you may need to choose a pot that will withstand adverse conditions like wind. If you want to plant it on a desk, you may need a decorative pot.
A correct pot will only leave 2 inches of space between the pot and the plant. Not planting a snake plant in that kind of pot makes the plant susceptible to rot.
3. Proper Lighting is Essential
Snake plants should always get enough light. Droopy and sad-looking leaves are always the effects of lack of enough light. Snake plant prefers indirect but steady light with some direct sunlight once in a while. However, they also tend to do well in shady corners or other low-light areas of your home.
Too much sunlight may make the plant susceptible to leaf burn, but only in very severe cases will the leaf burn causing any long-term damage. During the winters, ensure that you protect the plant from drafty windows. Lack of light for a long time can make a plant die from chlorosis.
4. Know How to Water Your Plant
Do not water your plant so frequently. Let the soil dry before watering. To know when it’s time to water, don’t rely on the appearance of the surface of the soil. Instead, stick your finger 2 inches into the soil and feel the moisture.
When watering the snake plant, ensure that you water it at the bottom of the pot. This encourages the roots to grow downwards and reduces the splash of water to the leaves. Watering from the bottom will also stabilize the plant’s thick, tall leaves supported by strong roots.
5. Always Monitor Temperature and the Humidity Levels
Snake plant is a surviving plant that will tolerate fluctuating temperature, but not too cold or too hot. An optimum room temperature of 16-320C is most favorable for the plant. At this temperature, the plant will grow tremendously.
In cold conditions, the plant develops mushy white areas to the leaves, which may occur 1-4 weeks after exposure to cold. During the winter season, get the plant from outdoors to indoors to prevent the plant from dying.
Snake plants do not need a lot of fertilizer. If need be, it should be done during the spring or the summer season. During the winter season, the plant is at rest; hence fertilizing should be avoided. It is also essential to ensure that the plant is not under stress during fertilizing.
How often to fertilize the plant, depends on several factors. When fertilizing, use a composed 10-10-10 or 20-20-20 fertilizer for proper growth. It is recommended that you apply half of the dose of the total strength to avoid over-fertilization. These factors include:
- Size of the plant and the pot. The larger the pot or the plant, the higher the use of fertilizer.
- The type of fertilizer used.
In a nutshell, most snake plants are fertilized after 4-6 weeks and only during the growing seasons.
Pruning is essential as it encourages new growth. To prune, use sterilized pruning shears or a sharp knife. Remove leaves at the soil line or cut off damaged mature leaves and leave the developing leaves to grow. Pruning is best done during the growing season as new leaves can grow.
Pruning the plant during the off-season may make it stressed; hence it is best done when the plant is healthy. Pruning is also done to control the height of the snake plant. To do this, cut the tall leaves carefully and leave the rest. Also, get rid of spoilt leaves.
8. Propagating a Snake Plant
You can quickly multiply your sansevieria plant for your home as a gift to share with friends because; these plants are incredible to propagate. There are two ways to propagate the plant.
Propagate leaf cutting in water
Cut a healthy sansevieria plant leaf near its base. Make a notched upside-down V cut at the bottom and place it in a clean jar of water, which should be slightly above the V cut. In about 3-5 weeks, you will see roots growing from the leaf-cutting. You can transplant it into the soil or keep it growing in the water.
Propagate leaf-cutting in soil
Cut off a healthy sansevieria near its base and let the cut dry for 1-2 days. Plant the cutting in potting soil, water it regularly, and let it grow. Don’t let the soil get too dry or wet as the plant is still very young and sensitive.
9. Common Pests
The snake plant is hardy, and it is rarely infested with pests. Overwatering, high humidity, and air poor circulation are the root causes of pest infestation. Scales, gnats, spider mites, and whiteflies are the common pests attracted to this plant.
If the snake plant is already infested, the methods used depend on the severity of the infestation. You can mix alcohol with water and spray it to the plant or wipe the leaves with a solution to deter the problem. If the plant is severely infected, you should prune the infested leaves and leave the rest to grow.
10. How to Get Snake Plants to Bloom
Snake plant tends to flower annually when water, sun, and humidity level are optimally met. During flowering, the snake plant develops creamy white, tubular flowers that look like lilies. Shifting the plant’s location from indoors to outdoors regularly can encourage blooming as the plant rarely blooms when kept indoors for long.
The coming of spring kicks the plant from its dormancy stage and spurs its growth. Its flowers are fragrant, and it blooms at night. After some time, these flowers drop on their own hence no need to cut them.
11. Don’t Overwater or Underwater the Plant.
There is nothing as dangerous as overwatering your plant. Overwatering is the fastest way to kill your plant. But because the snake plant is excellent, it will always tell by the look on its leaves. The leaves become heavy, squishy, and limp and sometimes may even fall. The leaves start to rot, therefore spread to other parts of the plant.
Though it is a dry plant, don’t let it go for long without water. Underwatering will show itself in the leaves. The leaves might bend over, become limp and die. The old leaves start becoming yellow, turn brown, and lastly, break.
As I promised earlier, snake plants are almost comically simple to grow. You will encounter minor troubles with them, but they are plants that can thrive well even in neglect.
All in all, watering the sansevieria plant is the most important thing. It may survive from other conditions, but not overwatering. Follow these simple tips and be assured of a healthy snake plant in your house, office, or even outdoors.