Snake plant is one of the most favorite indoor plants all over the world, as it is highly tolerant to any environmental conditions. Though initially it was utilized as a source of fiber plant for making bowstrings, its prime utilization is for decorative purposes, these days.
Its leaves are of unique shape and color that makes it the first-hand choice for any household, interior decoration. It is also known for its air purification qualities as it has the ability to remove most of the toxins from the environment.
Snake Plant belongs to the family Asparagaceae. Its genus is Sansevieria and its scientific name is Sansevieria Trifasciatea. Snake plant is a perennial, evergreen plant. It has a solid, dense base from where rhizomes creep up, sometimes above and sometimes below the ground level.
Leaves of snake plant grow vertically with a rosette-like base. Leaves are dark green with grey-green light colored cross bandings. Length of its leaves may extend up to 35 inches, however normal range is between 28-30 inches long and 2 to 2.5 inches wide.
The most interesting part of snake plant is its traditional names in various parts of the world. The most common name all over the world is “mother-in-law’s tongue”. Another traditional name is “viper’s bowstring hemp”. In Netherlands and Belgium, snake plant is called “Vrouwentong” which means “women tongue”.
Eurasian call it “Huweilan”, whereas Chinese call it “Tiger’s Tail Orchid”. The Japanese name of snake plant is “Tora No O” meaning “tiger’s tail”, while Turkish people call it “Pasa Kilici” meaning “Pasha’s sword”. In Brazil, they call it “Sword of Saint George”.
Due to its resistant nature, it needs the very low level of maintenance and watering. Even if you forget to take care of your snake plant for a couple of weeks it won’t mind.
Additionally, its beautiful looking leaves, make it one of the most favorite choices as an ornamental plant almost all over the world. In warmer areas, it is mostly grown outdoors whereas in cold areas it is mostly planted indoors.
So, if you are interested in growing snake plant at your home, this article will guide you on how to take care of a snake plant?
Types Of Snake Plant
While the most common species of the snake plant is the one, called Sansevieria Trifasciata, there are more than 70 different types of snake plants. If you are interested in doing something different you may try one of the following.
- Golden Hahnil – this type of snake plant has short leaves that have yellow borders.
- Cylindrical Snake plant – This type of snake plant has round leaves which have dark green colored stripes.
- Twist snake plant – It has twisted leaves, which are horizontally striped with yellow edges.
- Rhino Grass – It has red tinted leaves.
- White snake plant – it has narrow leaves with vertical stripes of white color.
Growing Snake Plant
Snake plant can be easily grown through cuttings. Despite the fact that it is one of the most resistant plants, these are vulnerable to excessive watering. Therefore, to successfully grow the snake plant from cuttings, plant them in a well-drained soil, otherwise, they may rot.
Another method of cultivation of snake plants is dividing. Roots of the snake plant have rich fleshy rhizomes which can be cut easily with a knife and planted in a pot for further growth and propagation of a new snake plant. However, remember to use a well-drained soil to avoid rotting.
Taking Care Of Snake Plant
As said earlier, snake plant does not need much care but still, you must follow a certain level of care and maintenance to keep your decorative snake plant in good health condition.
- Whenever you want to plant a snake plant, always plant it in a good planting medium in a small pot. Once the roots start coming out of the pot, it is time to transplant it. Remember not to transplant the snake plant until its roots start coming out of the pot.
- At the time of transplanting, you may add a fertilizer, most preferably during the spring season. You may use any reliable brand of houseplant fertilizers, available in your local garden shop. However, care should be taken to prepare the mixture strictly as instructed on the packaging.
- Snake plant needs very low watering. Too much watering may result in rotting. Keep a close watch on the plant and water it only when the soil is drying out. Do not splash water on the leaves; water it around the base of the plant in the pot.
- Avoid too much of watering. Only water the snake plant, when its leaves are drying and the soil is also getting drier. It is recommended to let the leaves dry out to some extent before you give water to your snake plant. Give the small amount of water around the base of the plant and never water the leaves.
- Though not necessary, try to use distilled water instead of normal tap water.
- Since the leaves of snake plant are quite large and wide, they are vulnerable to accumulating dust on them. Make sure to clean the leaves with a damp cloth preferably every day. However, remember not to splash water directly on leaves.
- Place the planters or containers having snake plant near the windows, so that they can get reasonable sunshine during the day.
- You may also arrange artificial fluorescent light for your snake plants if direct sunlight is not possible
- Very high level of direct sunlight for an extended period is also harmful to this plant. So, if you have placed the pots near a window which receives too much of sunshine during the most part of the day, you may need to protect your snake plant by installing curtains or drapes.
- Make it a habit to rotate the pot once a week so that all its leaves may get chance of direct sunlight through the window.
Having a snake plant in your room is a nice experience. It gives freshness to your room, cleans the environment by removing toxins such as formaldehyde and benzene and above all, it adds beauty to your interior decoration.
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