This must-have houseplant is easy to grow. Plus, it’s good for you and your home. Learn more snake plant benefits as well as care tips for this adaptable plant.
As you may have guessed from the name of this blog, I love flowers. The fresh picked ones Little Bear brings me from his explorations on the mountain are my favorite. But you might be surprised to learn that I’d take a hardware store houseplant over an expensive store-bought bouquet any day.
Although a beautiful flower arrangement adds color, cheer, and coziness to the home, I like being able to enjoy plants for a long period of time. Tucked away on a shelf, pressed in the leaves of a book, are the dried flowers from the first bouquet the man of the place ever gave me. In the yard are numerous trees we planted together, and we get to watch them grow and change year after year. See what I mean?
With the exception of dealing with damage by bears, those trees are fairly easy to maintain. That’s mostly because the man of the place takes care of the landscaping. He naturally has a green thumb. He has revived several shriveled plants, which are now thriving out on our porch.
If green thumbs were an inherited trait, mine would be a lot greener than it is. My grandpa grew the prettiest roses with velvety petals and classic, sweet scents. And you should see my mom’s orchids; they’re exquisite. She’s still in disbelief that I have houseplants.
Snake Plant Benefits for Moms
Let me preface this by saying that I never intend to neglect my plants, but I’m not the best houseplant caretaker. That’s one reason why snake plants are my absolute favorite houseplants — they’re incredibly resilient. The more they are ignored, the better they seem to do.
Their striking silhouettes are hard to ignore, even though watering them isn’t high up on my to-do list. With shiny, sword-like leaves, some streaked with silver and other variegated varieties with yellow edges, these statuesque plants have bold, architectural appeal.
Of course, beauty is subjective, and while I may consider snake plants gorgeous greenery, I realize others may think they look strikingly stark. But they aren’t just good-looking plants (in my humble opinion), they are good for a healthy home. These plants clean the air (more on that soon).
That’s right, a plant that elevates home decor and helps clean with it’s upward-growing leaves. Talk about an ideal plant for moms.
With all the responsibilities of being a mother and a homemaker, I appreciate that caring for a snake plant is almost effortless. There’s at least one in almost every room of our home here on the mountain. I guess you could say I’ve been charmed by the snake plant.
Snake Plant Quick Facts
- Common names: snake plant and mother-in-law’s tongue
- Botanical name: Dracaena trifasciata (formerly Sansevieria trifasciata)
- Plant type: evergreen, perennial
- Soil: well-draining
- Lifespan: 5-10 years on average, though some have lived for 25 years
- Flowering: yes, it can flower (sweet-smelling white or cream flowers that resemble lilies or honeysuckles), but it rarely blooms as a houseplant
How often should you water snake plants?
It depends on your home environment and the time of year. Let the soil completely dry out between waterings. You may have to water every two weeks, but you might go two months between waterings in winter.
Easy does it when it comes to watering. In my opinion, this is the most challenging part of keeping one of these easy care plants. The snake plant is a succulent and stores water. I lost one of my favorites, a low-growing one with rosettes of leaves, because I overwatered it.
They don’t seem to like having wet leaves, either. Rather than misting or spritzing them, I just water the soil. Other than that, there’s not much upkeep, which is one of many snake plant benefits.
Tip: As paradoxical as it is, even though you can propagate a leaf in water, don’t allow your potted plant to sit in water because this can damage the roots. I suggest using pots with drainage holes. You can also water them in the sink.
How much light do snake plants need?
Snake plants are happiest when they get several hours of bright, indirect light. They can adapt and do well in low-light conditions, but they will grow slower.
Some people in warm climates grow their snake plants outside, either in the ground or in pots. Outdoors, they may actually help repel snakes because of their sharp, pointy appearance. I like having mine in the house so much that they don’t even get a summer vacation out on the back porch.
Snake Plant Benefits in Your Home
Snake plants add an organic touch to home decor and complement most design styles, including Hollywood regency, minimalist, bohemian, and farmhouse. They’re also relatively inexpensive and easy to find, whether you’re looking in the garden center or online.
There are lots of different varieties of snake plants. One of my new favorites is the starfish snake plant — I’m a fan of its fan shape. With names like Black Gold, Cleopatra, Bird’s Nest, Moonshine, Silver Queen, and Banana, you’re sure to find one that fits your design aesthetic.
From small rooms and corners to blank walls and bathrooms, snake plants can fit in a multitude of spaces. More importantly, they are hardy and helpful houseplants. These are the top reasons snake plants are a top choice indoor plant.
Snake Plants Purify the Air
In studies, snake plants have been shown to remove several toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene. They also improve indoor air quality by filtering mold. Snake plants can be especially helpful for those with allergies, but I think we all could benefit from having less pollutants in our environment.
More Fresh Oxygen
Snake plants take in toxins and give out oxygen. They are one of the most oxygen-giving houseplants, even producing it at night. Many people choose to have a snake plant in their bedroom to get better quality sleep.
A Low-Maintenance Houseplant
Snake plants are excellent for beginners. They are hassle-free, forgiving plants. After all, they tolerate low light, irregular watering, and even being root bound.
Easy Plants to Propagate
Division and leaf cuttings are the main methods of propagation. (If you choose leaf-cutting propagation, don’t be surprised when the new baby plant, or “pup,” is an all-green version, even if the cut leaf was variegated.) Share them as gifts and decorate more spaces in your home.
Promote Peace and Reduce Stress
Indoor plants can make a home feel more comfortable, and they can also affect mood — both the vibe or atmosphere of the home and the emotions of those who dwell in it. Heighten your sense of well-being with these vertical plants. Having them around can lower stress levels and encourage calm feelings, so they benefit physical, mental, and emotional health.
Despite all of the snake plant benefits, it’s important to note one of the only negatives of this plant: it’s considered poisonous. It is mildly toxic if ingested, so be mindful if you have curious children and pets. (I have caught one of my cats nibbling on a snake plant, but don’t worry, he’s fine.)
Do you have a snake plant, or are you interested in getting one?