How to grow and care for a snake plant [4 Steps Guide]

grow snake plant

Did you know that the snake plant is actually a kind of dracaena? Grown in the highlands of Kenya, Zimbabwe and also in some parts of Asia. What is interesting about this plant is that the locals use it to treat earache, snake bites and even ulcers.

Now supposedly it’s an easy to care plant but despite that, I have often managed to mess up with it. Sometimes it just dries, sometimes the cuttings start to rot, and sometimes it just takes forever to grow.

So in this article, I’m going to try and share whatever I have learned about caring for this plant.

4 steps guide on how to grow snake plant

1. Growth of Snake Plant

Growth of Snake Plant

So first let’s talk about the growth of snake plant. How can one improve its growth.

After much experimentation, I have realized that the snake plant does best in small pots, so this means you don’t have to repot this plant very quickly.

Now, of course, adding a fertilizer also helps but since this plant has evolved to sustain in conditions where there’s not a lot of nutrients in the soil it can still do well without fertilizer. The main thing is that you concentrate on the size of the pot.

If you’re using a big pot with just a couple of leaves, these leaves will take a very long time to establish themselves in this soil and will take a lot of time for you to see new growth coming out.

2. Watering Snake plant

Watering Snake plant

Now the second most important factor is watering. Since this is a succulent meaning a plant that stores water in its leaves if you keep watering it too much when I say too much I mean if you water it probably every two to three days also and it’s too much of water for this plant and it’ll start becoming soggy so you don’t want that to happen.

Now on the other extreme is that you don’t water it at all which is what I did with this plant.

Now when you don’t know what is this plant at all the first stage you would see that the leaves are drooping and they also become very soft and if this continues then they’ll eventually become Brown and completely dry out.

From this stage there’s no going back you can’t reverse this. So it’s important that you keep an eye on your plant if you see that the leaves had started drooping and that becomes soft then most likely your hunt is thirsty you need to add water to your plant.

Also Read How does broccoli grow? When to harvest broccoli? (Easy Guide).

But this also happens if you watering too much. So an idle frequency to water this plant is probably once in 14-15 days.

Now for my snake plants a couple of times I don’t water them even in 20 or 30 days, it’s still okay.

But with this plant, I completely forgot to water this plant. So what went wrong for this plant is that it was kept in the bathroom, we don’t use so much and I kept thinking that there’s already so much humidity in the bathroom and it should be enough because it’s a succulent.

Now that didn’t help why because I realize later it’s a plastic pot. The soil can not absorb moisture from the air and within 50 to 60 days it turned into something like this.

after 50-60 days of watering

Now, this is irreversible I can’t do anything about it. But if your plant is in this stage and in fact the supplies for most indoor plants if you see that the edges have started becoming Brown this most likely that there is infrequent watering, sometimes probably you water too much and sometimes you just don’t water or it could be that you’ve completely stopped watering your plants.

So in both these cases what you should do is first follow a regular regime of watering. So for snake plant needs watering every fourteen, fifteen days and shifted to a well-lit place.

Now, what is a well-lit place? The room which doesn’t get direct Sun and neither it is dark in the daytime, it doesn’t need a tube light in the daytime so this is what you will call a well-lit room.

well lit place

So for most of the indoor plants shift them to space like this and follow a regular watering regime this will basically help your plant to gain immunity to fight any problem that it’s facing. A lot of times could be a disease, a fungal problem as well.

This reminds me of something fun I read online it said “remember to drink water and get some Sun basically humans are like plants just with complicated feelings”.

3. Light Conditions

Light Conditions

So for this plant you might have seen sometimes with the leaves have started drooping. If all the leaves are drooping that means there’s a watering problem but only a leaf or two is drooping this means there’s a light problem.

When the plant is starving for light and is not able to carry on its normal photosynthesis process, some of the leaves start drooping and in this case, you should shift your plant to a well-lit place.

You can keep this plant for a week or 10 days in this well-lit place and then shift it back as well but just give it a good dose of light this will help the leaves to stand up erect again.

4. Propagation of snake plant

Propagation of snake plant

Now the other problem I faced with this plant is its propagation. By the book, you can take a cutting either an entire leaf or you can cut it into three inches pieces and propagate it in water or in soil.

Now I took a couple of cuttings about two weeks back and I completely failed with it, I had started them in water. About three-four months back I did exactly the same but it was successful in the water. Where I went wrong was that I forgot to change the water.

Now, if you are as forgetful as me or if you are lazy, I would say then start them in dry soil, take the cutting put them in soil, and do not water, why? Because this would increase the chances of rot.

Start watering only after three-four days by that time a callus would have fogged. Then you propagate snake plant it can also take about 30 days a month for the roots to grow but that’s completely okay.

One thing I would recommend for a snake plant is to start them in a pot do not start them in the ground. Because the thing is that once it’s able to establish itself in the ground it’ll grow while it will grow crazy, you don’t want that to happen because then it will stop or hinder the growth of other plants.

So it’s a good idea to grow them in the pot.

Also Read 5 Best things to grow in a garden [Easy to Grow Plants].

Now all these tips that I’m sharing with you apply for all the varieties of snake plants. Actually this term varieties are very confusing.

Sometimes people use it to refer to a subspecies which is just a variation of a species and sometimes people are referring to different species of the same genus.

You don’t have to get into those details if it’s confusing I’m really sorry but I wanted to point out that all the varieties of snake plants that you see in the market these tips will be applicable for them.

fun fact

fun fact on snake plant

Until 2015 scientists thought that this is the species of Sansevieria. But in 2015 they found out that this plant is actually a species of dracaena and it’s no more a different species.

Although commercially a lot of shops continue to use that name Sansevieria I just thought of letting you know that it’s no more a Sansevieria species it’s actually a dracaena species and that’s what I refer to early in this article as well.

So to summarize if you don’t have any indoor plants and if you’ve been looking for easy to care for the plant, I would say invest in a snake plant, it’s pretty simple to care for and you can multiply it very easily in water and soil.

Apart from the fact that it’s very easy to grow and very simple to propagate, it’s also a great air purifier by which I mean that it can absorb contaminants from the air such as formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide from the air.

These contaminants mainly either come from indoor furniture, paints and detergents. So feel that if you’ve been looking for that fun perfect plant this is worth investing in.

I hope you like this article.

Also Read What plants grow fast (List of 15 Fastest-Growing Plants).

I am Fenil Kalal. Professionally I have done Engineering in Information and Technology. Gardening is my passion/love/favorite hobby and I have 5+ years of experience in Gardening.

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