How To Grow Snake Plant : Snake Plant Varieties

Details on how to grow snake plant, Snake Plant characteristic and Snake plant varieties with pictures. Also know which snake plant is best for air purification. The Snake plant, Sansevieria trifasciata is commonly called the Mother-in-Law's Tongue and the Snake Plant. How to care for snake plant

Picture of Snake plants
 It is so called because of the sharpness of the leaves (like mother-in-law's tongue) and the the shape of leaves. The snake plant has green banded leaves and the Mother-in-Law's Tongue features a yellow border. 

The plant is an evergreen stemless, erect succulent perennial plant, a cultivar of the Sansevieria species in the family Asparagaceae and is a native Africa. These plants produce upright ovate or strap-shaped green leaves up to 4 feet tall and 2-2.5 inch wide [1].

Snake Plant Characteristics

You may see Snake plants or Mother-In-Law's Tongue plants in supermarkets and offices as they can absorb toxins such as nitrogen oxides, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and formaldehyde from air, no wonder, these plants are among the best plants for improving indoor air quality.
These plants may be placed in bedrooms as they gives off oxygen at night and absorb toxins (benefits of snake plant).

Different names of Sansevieria trifasciata in different countries like USA, Australia, India, China, Japan, Turkey, Nigeria, Africa, Spain, France, etc. are mother-in-law's tongue, snake plant, viper's bowstring hemp, Saint George's sword, good-luck plant, huweilán, tiger's tail, tiger's tail orchid, Pasa Kilici (pasha sword), Ogoun, the Orisha of war, espada de São Jorge (sword of Saint George), lengua de suegra, lengua de vaca, chanvre d'Afrique; langue de belle-mère, etc.

The mother-in-law's tongue plant is an evergreen stemless, erect succulent perennial plant, a cultivar of the Sansevieria species in the family Asparagaceae and is a native Africa. These plants produce upright ovate or strap-shaped leaves up to 4 feet tall.

Sansevieria Varieties

  1. Sansevieria is of different sizes and colors. The Sanseveria Laurentii, the most common variety has a yellow boundary on the thick leaves of sword shape.
  2. Sansevieria 'Hahnii' is shorter with a rosette type of growth, while Sansevieria 'Superba' is somewhat larger and wider leaves. 
  3. The sansevieria 'Moonshine' and sansevieria 'Zeylanica' have silver-green foliage, while the sansevieria 'Black Gold' has a dark leaf centre with a gold leaf edge.
  4. The growth rate of snake plant depends on its type, however, they grow slowly, about 4-10 leaves a year.

Best Snake Plant Varieties

Snake plants are known are air purifying plants, they remove formaldehyde, xylene and nitrogen oxides from the air, and they produce oxygen during night so they are good for bedroom.  But all the varieties of snake plant are not the same. In a Nasa report, Sanseveria Laurentii Snake Plant variety is the best air-purifying plants among Snake Plants.

Making Snake Plant Bushy

Can you make your snake plant bushy? You can encourage your plant to grow more leaves making it bushy by providing it a good amount of sunlight, along with correct watering, fertilizer and container size. 

Snake Plant Propagation

The snake plant can be propagated from division, and leaf cutting in soil and water (how to propagate snake plant, how to propagate snake plant in water). 

It is considered as a weed in dry and wet habitat in tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions as they grow and propagate very rapidly and extensively [2]

Life of Mother-In-Law's Tongue Plant

The Sansevieria species can survive more than 50 years. These plants are very tough and can withstand virtually any growing conditions. The only way to kill them is to over-water or never water at all.

Flowers of Sansevieria

Does Snake Plant produce flowers? Yes, but flowers are extremely rare. It may flower once in several decades.

The Mother-in-laws tongue flowers are white or cream colored which grow on a very long stalk. The stalk will be covered in dozens of flower buds that open into flowers looking like lilies. The root bound plant will produce a flower stalk when it is under continual mild stress.

Video on How To propagate snake plant from leaf cutting

Snake plant propagation from cutting in soil
Snake plant benefits in home
Hydroponic Snake plant 
How to care for Snake plants video

  1. S. Csurhes and R. Edwards (1998), Potential environmental weeds in Australia: Candidate species for preventative control. pdf
  2. Australian Weeds Committtee, 2013, Weeds of Australia. Canberra, Australia