Snake Plant: Grow & Care for Sansevieria trifasciata

Written by Iris

Jul 23 2021

Snake Plant: Grow & Care for Sansevieria trifasciata
Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) leaves erect, plump, strip-shaped, dark green, with horizontal white stripes, resembling a tiger's tail, hence the name. Like warm and humid climate and sufficient sunlight, but also tolerant to half shade. The optimum temperature for growth is 20-30°C. Tiger Piran has upright leaves, resembling tiger tails, strong adaptability and more shade tolerant, and is more suitable for home indoor layout. It can be arranged on a sunny balcony, window sill, or in a bright indoor place. However, if the indoor light is insufficient, the leaf color and markings on the leaf will become lighter and dull.
Snake plant
Snake plant is one of the best trees for pots

How to Choose and Prepare a Planting Site

While snake plants are famously unfussy and are especially well-known for tolerating low-light conditions, you can show your snake plant a little love by placing it in a location with indirect or filtered sunlight.
To encourage the most vibrant colors and healthy growth, set your sansevieria near a north-facing window (of course, that’s a south-facing window, for those of you reading this from the Southern Hemisphere), or a bright window with sheer curtains, or place it a bit farther away from a source of bright sunlight.
If the lighting is too intense, your snake plant’s leaves will turn crisp and yellow at the edges.And although your plant will survive in a location with low light, too little light will result in inhibited growth, muted colors, and plants that have become thin and weakened as they stretch out in search of light. Snake plant is one of the Most Common House Plant.

How to Grow Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Steps for Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) Propagation with Leaf Cuttings

Cut off a healthy Snake plant leaf near its base. Make a notched upside down V cut at the bottom, and place the leaf in a clean jar of water.
The water level should be slightly above the V cut. Because root will grow from the cut tissue, this technique helps to lift up most of the cut surface so roots have room to grow.
After about 3 to 5 weeks, you will see roots growing from the bottom of the leaf cuttings. In another 2 to 3 weeks, tiny pups will start growing. You can transplant the cuttings in soil or just let them keep growing in water.

Steps for Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) Propagation with Division

Division, in horticulture and gardening, is a method of plant propagation, where the root clump of a plant is broken up into two or more parts. Both the root and crown of each part is kept intact.
Take your plant out of the pot, or dig up a clump from the soil. Use clean and sharp knife or scissors to divide the root clump. Each division should have roots and some leafy top or pups attached.
Plant the divided clumps in their new pots or in the garden. This method creates more room for new growth as your plant multiplies.

How to Care for Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)


Although they are very forgiving, snake plants prefer indirect but steady light with some direct sun. They can adapt to full sun conditions and will also survive quite dim situations.


Sansevieria plants prefer a loose, well-drained potting mix. This plant will do well in sandier soils. Pick a potting media low in peat, which eventually packs and refuses to re-hydrate or drain properly. An all-purpose cactus potting soil is a good choice.


When it comes to watering your snake plant, less is truly best. While these plants may not be fussy about much, snake plants will begin rotting quickly when their growing medium is too moist. What happens in this situation is that the roots take up more and more water, in a desperate attempt to gain the oxygen that’s been displaced by water in the growing medium.
This causes the plant’s water storage cells to become overfilled, which causes irreparable damage to the cell structures and eventually leads to rotting of the leaves and roots. A good way to determine how often you should water your snake plant is to simply allow the potting mixture to dry out completely before watering again. As with most plants, sansevierias need more frequent watering during the summer, when they are undergoing active growth, so you should water your plant again as soon as it has dried out during this time of year. The frequency will depend on conditions such as the amount of light, temperature, and humidity of the plant's environment.

Temperature and Humidity

The best temperature for your Sansevieria Trifasciata is around the average room temperature in most homes. Be sure that you protect your plant from drafts and fresher air as it could start to damage as the temperature reaches below 10°C (50°F)


When fertilizing your Sansevieria Trifasciata, be sure that you do so every three weeks during the summer. A most common way to feed your plant is by using a diluted to one-half of a strength fertilizer as it should be explained on the container. Sansevieria Trifasciata requires a lot of light, but if you fertilize your plant too much, expect your plant to start losing leaves.

Pests and Diseases

Rarely will you encounter any serious pest or disease problems, but be on the lookout for white mealybugs, which can easily be removed with cotton swabs dipped in 70% rubbing alcohol (not 99%—this strength will kill plants).

Varieties of Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)

‘Bantel’s Sensation’ — Narrow leaves have white vertical stripes and grow to about 3 feet long. This variety can be hard to find.
‘Bird’s Nest’ — Short, wide leaves of dark and light green form a tight nest shape, like that of a bromeliad. Leaves only grow 6 to 8 inches long. This variety does need much light to grow well.
‘Golden Hahnii’ — Like the standard ‘Bird’s Nest’, but with leaves variegated along the edge in yellow.
‘Cylindrical Snake Plant’ — As its name suggests, this species of snake plant has cylindrical leaves that end in a fierce point.
‘Starfish Snake Plant’ — The starfish snake plant has cylindrical leaves that fan out from its base, giving it a starfish-like shape.
‘Whale Fin’ — These interesting snake plants have large, wide leaves that resemble the fin of a whale breaching the water’s surface.

Snake Plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) FAQ

How can I tell if I am overwatering my Sansevieria?

Overwatering results in mushy brown stalks. Hold off on watering and prune your plant. Only when the soil is completely dry all the way through the pot is your plant ready for a drink.

How can I tell if I am underwatering my Sansevieria?

Though difficult to do, underwatering a Sansevieria is not impossible and results in dry crispy tips on the plant's leaves. If this is the case, prune your plant and increase your frequency of watering.

Can my Sansevieria tolerate really low light?

It can, however this is likely to stunt the growth of your plant. Also the risk of overwatering becomes heightened, so take extra care when placing you plant in low light conditions.

How often should I fertilize my plant?

In general, house plants will thrive when they are fertilized spring through fall. Fertilize once a month with an organic houseplant fertilizer, following the package instructions for dilution and administration. Greenery NYC uses an organic potting mix with a slow release fertilizer in the soil, so your plant will not need fertilizer within the first 6 months of receiving it.

How often does my plant need to be repotted?

For smaller desktop plants, we suggest repotting once every 12-18 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 1”- 2” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don’t choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plant's roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Spring or summer is the ideal time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.
For larger floor plants, we suggest repotting every 18-24 months. Typically you want to choose a potting vessel 2”- 4” larger in diameter to allow for growth. Don't choose a pot much larger than the previous as this could drown the plants roots. If you prefer to maintain the current size of your plant, repot into the same vessel, providing new soil and trimming away some roots and foliage. Spring or summer is the ideal time to repot as the plant is at its strongest.