Snake plant, or Dracaena trifasciata, is a species of plant in the family Asparagaceae, and is native to tropical West Africa. It is most commonly known as the snake plant, Saint George's sword and mother-in-law's tongue. Until recently, it was known under the synonym Sansevieria trifasciata. It is also termed the "viper's bowstring hemp", because historically, it has been one of the sources for plant fibers used to make bowstrings.
Snake plants are easily identifiable with their distinctive stiff and sword-like leaves that grow vertically. The leaves can range anywhere from six inches to eight feet tall and can vary in colour, with yellow or silvery-white stripes. One of the most popular and hardy species of houseplant, the snake plant is nearly indestructible and incredibly forgiving. It’s one of the easiest indoor plants to grow and will live happily in pretty much any area in the house, including some more shady spots. The average lifespan of a snake plant is 5-10 years but some can live for 25 years or more.
This plant is one of our top choices for beginner gardeners or those who prefer an incredibly low-maintenance plant. They grow very well in containers and look stylish displayed either on the floor or on a tabletop. Whilst the plant is very easy to maintain and will tolerate a hefty amount of neglect very well, it is susceptible to root rot so be sure to avoid overwatering and only water the plant if the soil feels dry. Take care to ensure the soil dries out between waterings - perfect if you’re someone who sometimes forgets to water their houseplants!
Snake plants prefer indirect but steady light but they can also adapt to full sun conditions. These plants generally grow slowly in indoor light but growth will boom if they are placed outside in the summer. Snake plants do prefer warmer temperatures, so place them away from anywhere with a draft. Frost will definitely kill this plant!
It’s important to note that snake plants are toxic to cats and dogs. However, the NASA Clean Air Study found that the snake plant is one of the more effective houseplants for improving air quality and has the ability to absorb toxins in the air. So although it may not be good for your pets, it’s actually really good for you!
We regularly stock snake plants in the store, in a variety of sizes. Take a look here or pop into the shop to see what’s in stock.