Sansevieria Trifasciata Care (Aka Snake Plant)

The Sansevieria Trifasciata has a few names that you may know it by. In my region, it’s commonly referred to as the Snake Plant, but there’s a few others that you may know it as: Saint George’s Sword, Mother-in-law’s tongue, and Viper’s bowstring hemp.

This plant makes a wonderful low maintenance indoor plant. One of the many selling points to this plant is it’s ability to purify the air. It has been tested by NASA to remove Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene, Xylene, and Toluene. In the study, you’ll see the Snake Plant listed under the scientific name “Sansevieria Laurentii” which is a synonym for the Sansevieria Trifasciata. I’m only able to find that they’re synonyms, but not the reasoning for the link. However, in most species where they have multiple scientific names it’s usually due to the scientific community reclassifying the species of plant.

Some other benefits to this plant are the beauty of the plant and it’s low maintenance to keep healthy. This plant is tolerable to low light situations and bright lights. However, it does best in partial light. The snake plant is also tolerant of lack of watering. The only real Achilles heel for this plant is over watering.


SpeciesSansevieria Trifasciata
Common NameSnake Plant
LightingPartial Shade
WaterWater when soil is completely dry.
Common Propagation MethodsLeaf Propagation / Division
Soil TypeWell Draining

Common Propagation Methods

  • Leaf Propagation – For this, you can break off an entire leaf and drop it in water for several weeks. Once the root system starts getting an inch or two in length transplant into well draining soil. However, the snake plant has a unique ability where you can actually cut the leaf into sections of a few inches each. Then, each section of the leaf will grow into a new plant.
  • Division – Division is an easy way to propagate the Snake Plant. The snake plant will naturally have multiple clusters appear overtime. All you do is separate these clusters into multiple pots. Try keeping as much of the root system intact with the snake plant as possible.

Lighting Requirements

For my snake plant, I keep mine close to a north facing window, which will receive around 8 – 10 hours of indirect light. Doing this, seems to have kept it the healthiest. All the leafs still stand on there own (no floppiness that you’ll sometimes see when conditions aren’t perfect), and it’s continuing to provide offspring.

Watering Requirements

This plant is fairly tolerant to drought, but can easily be killed with over-watering. For mine, I usually go a week and a half to two weeks between watering. In the winter months, I will go a little longer (3-4 weeks) as they do not need as much nutrients.

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