Sanseveria - commonly known as the Snake Plant or Dragon Plant - is a super chill dude. Extremely tolerant. Almost impossible to kill. Low light? All good. Forgetful waterer? He'll be sweet. We love his architectural lines and sturdy nature. He gets the coveted 1 out of 5 LTLC rating for being so incredibly easy care. This is THE plant pressie if you want to give a loved-one a living gift, but don't know how good their plant parenting skills are.
These guys have a rich history too. Prized as a protective charm in Africa (and used for fibre and medicine). Treasured in China, where they're placed near entrances inside the home to attract the Eight Virtues: long life, prosperity, intelligence, beauty, art, poetry, health and strength. Named for the Prince of Sansevero, a patron of horticulture in the 18th century. He gets his common name 'Snake Plant' from his wavy striped patterned leaves.
More about this easy care chap below...
These chaps will thrive in bright, indirect light. Yes, they will tolerate low light too, but give him bright light for him to become his happiest, healthiest self. When kept in lower light areas, but wanting to move him somewhere brighter, don't go from one extreme to the other all of a sudden. Slowly move him to his new spot over a week or two, just moving him up light levels every couple of days.
Being such slow and sturdy growers, these guys don't need much in the way of food or fertiliser. We refresh the soil for ours every 12 months or so, but don't upgrade pot size unless he's got himself really squished. You may need to repot maybe every 3 years or so. When you do, only got up one or two pot sizes. A sudden increase in the amount of soil can otherwise lead to root rot.
Snake Plants are actually succulents. Those impressive leaves (and BIG roots) hold plenty of water in reserve. The more neglectful you are with watering, the more he will probably thrive! Only water again when his soil is completely dry to touch (stick a finger down at least 5cm to check). Talk about an ultimate office plant too when everything thinks it's someone's job to water the plants.
Pro tips & problems solving
Sad, droopy leaves
Provided you haven't over-watered, the other common reason for sad, drooping leaves is too little light. Shift him slowly to a brighter light area and he should perk up.
Uh oh, you probably gave him too much love. A soggy stem down where the leaf connects to the roots at soil level, is a sure sign of over-watering. Something has to go pretty wrong for a Snake Plant to show signs of abuse - and for these guys - overwatering is definitely not a good thing.
New leaves coming through wilted
Twists and turns are totally normal for Snake Plant leaves, but if new leaves are coming through looking wilted even when they're newbies, that's a sign he may need a repot. If you can't repot, try a diluted feed with fertiliser, but don't overdo the plant food. He doesn't need much. If you can't upsize him but do have fresh soil, then just use the same pot and change his soil for a boost.
These look like the leaf is rotting but are actually fungus eating your plant! They look a bit like lesions or wet, reddy-brown blemishes. Normally caused by water on the leaves. Snake Plants like being dry. No need to mist or wet the leaves. If you do get them wet, or need to wipe them free of dust, make sure to completely dry the leaves after - and we'd suggest avoiding misting all together. Yes, they like humidity, but not from misting.
No, sorry. This chap is not pet safe. Chewing the leaves can cause anything irritation to swelling, or vomiting, and diarrhea if swallowed. The taste isn't pleasant, which is normally enough to put off a curious pet with no harm done, but we still recommend putting them safely out of reach of pets and kids.
LTLC Rating (Love That Leaf Care Rating)
An easy peasy 1 out of 5 LTLC Rating from us. This chap is the best friend of collectors and newbies alike. We especially love them standing tall at entrances and doorways, like dragons protecting your home. Dramatic only in looks though, not in care. One of our all-time favourites as gifts also, and to add some nature in to drab office spaces.