Flower Care Flower Information Plants

Snake Plant Care

potted snake plant on a wicker side table outdoors on a patio

With a reputation for tolerating a wide variety of conditions and practically flourishing on neglect, you may think there’s not much to snake plant care. However, that’s far from true! If you want your snake plant to thrive rather than simply survive, providing the proper environment and care is key. We’re going to cover all you need to know about setting up these plants in your home or garden and providing them with everything they need to blossom into beautiful serpents.

Basic Snake Plant Care

If you want your snake plant to be the envy of other plant parents, keep these care tips in mind.

Choosing a Snake Plant

If you want a healthy and vibrant plant, you need to start with one! When you’re looking for a snake plant to bring home, check to see that it is free of any pests and diseases. The leaves should be firm and waxy, without any discoloration or soft spots.


One of the reasons why people say snake plants thrive on neglect is that they like their soil on the dry side. Forgetting to water for a few days or even weeks is generally better than constantly dousing your plant with the watering can.

With that in mind, only water when the top few inches of soil is dry. The exact amount you’ll need to water will depend on the time of year, temperature, and humidity. That said, you can expect to water your snake plant every one to two weeks.

When you water, do your best to water the soil around the base of the plant rather than the leaves themselves. This will help prevent issues with rot.

Temperature and Humidity

Snake plants like warm temperatures and will suffer if the air temperature drops below 50ºF. Aim to keep the temperature between 70-90ºF.

As far as humidity goes, snake plants thrive at average household humidity levels.


Snake plants don’t need much fertilizer, but they can benefit from low doses of nutrients. Apply a balanced fertilizer that is designed for houseplants once in early spring and again in early summer. Make sure you dilute fertilizer as necessary and do not overapply. Applying too much fertilizer is more dangerous than not applying enough!

Pests and Diseases

While snake plants are generally low-maintenance, they are susceptible to a variety of pests and diseases.

As far as pests go, keep an eye out for little sap-sucking pests such as aphids, spider mites, thrips, and whiteflies. Although these critters are small, they can quickly multiply and do some serious damage. If you see any of these pests on your plant’s leaves, you can wipe them off with a soapy cloth. However, if larger outbreaks occur, you may need to resort to spraying the pests with neem oil or insecticidal soap.

The most common disease of snake plants is root rot. This is a type of fungus that attacks the roots and causes them to disintegrate. While it can occur under various conditions, it is more likely to appear when the soil is wet. This is one of the reasons why you should avoid overwatering.

Growing Snake Plants in the Garden

If you’re looking for plants for your garden, you may jump straight to flowering plants and shrubs (if that’s the case, learn more about azalea care and begonia care). However, don’t discount plants like snake plants!

If you live in a warm area, you can grow snake plants outdoors in your garden. However, before you plant one, make sure you live in an area where temperatures rarely dip below 40ºF.

Choose a location that has well-draining soil—if you need to improve drainage you can mix in compost or peat moss into the soil. Snake plants can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, so you can plant them in shade, part-shade, or full sun.

If you are expecting a cold spell in the winter, you can attempt to protect your snake plant. Use an old sheet, blanket, or piece of frost cloth to cover your plant. When the cold temperatures pass, remove the protective covering.

Growing Snake Plants in Containers

While you can grow snake plants in the garden in warm environments, these plants are more frequently grown in containers. This allows them to act as beautiful houseplants or transition from outdoors to in when the weather gets cold. Caring for potted snake plants is a bit like caring for their garden cousins, with a few notable differences and key care points.

Choose a Container

First things first—you need to select a proper container for your snake plant! If you order a plant from The Bouqs, it will already come nestled into an appropriate (and gorgeous) pot. However, if you purchase a snake plant at a plant nursery or receive one from a friend, you may want to upgrade the plant’s home.

When you’re choosing a container, make sure to check for drainage holes that allow excess water to escape. You should also choose a pot that is just a few inches larger than the plant’s root ball. Too small and the plant will become rootbound, too big and the soil may remain wet.

Select an Appropriate Potting Soil

Unlike when you grow a snake plant outdoors, you won’t be growing your potted plant in true soil. Instead, you’ll want to opt for potting soil that is engineered to make the snake plant sing with happiness.

Snake plants like potting soil that is well-draining yet also able to hold moisture. The soil should also provide good aeration. A houseplant potting mix that is based on peat moss or coco coir is generally a good choice. If you find that your soil is staying wet longer than you’d like, you can mix in additional drainage materials like perlite or pine bark fines.

Choose the Right Location

Once your plant is snug in its pot, it’s time to figure out where to place it in your home, office, or wherever else is its new home. While these plants can tolerate dim conditions, they will grow best in bright yet indirect light. That means placing them along a brightly-lit wall or next to a few feet away from a sunny window.

As far as temperature goes, make sure to avoid placing your plant in a spot where it will experience large swings in temperature. That means keeping it away from those old, drafty windows as well as heating vents and radiators.

Varieties of Snake Plants

All snake plants are members of the Dracaena genus (formerly the Sansevieria genus), but there are different species and varieties. Here are some of the most popular types of snake plants.
Cylindrical snake plant: While many types of snake plants are varieties of Dracaena trifasciata this type belongs to the species Dracaena angolensis. It has thick, conical leaves that resemble spears.

  • ‘Mother In Law’s Tongue’: Perhaps the most popular variety, this snake plant has long green leaves with yellow edges. It can reach up to three feet tall.
  • ‘Twist’: As the name suggests, this snake plant sports fun, twisted leaves.
  • ‘Bantel’s sensation’: Another tall variety, this one has narrow leaves that are stripped green and white.
  • ‘Moonshine’: A truly elegant snake plant, ‘Moonshine’ has thick, light green leaves that sport a slight twist. The bold leaves can reach up to four feet tall.

Pick Out Houseplants and Flowers You Love

Whether you’re looking for a new snake plant to dress up your home or are hoping to send flower arrangements to friends, The Bouqs has you covered. We’ve made it easy to send houseplants and cut flowers to friends, family, or even yourself! If you don’t know where to start, check out popular new bouquets for inspiration.

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