What's in a name?
The Sansevieria is also known as a "Snake Plant" or "Mother In Law's Tongue" due to how sharp the points are at the end of its spear-like leaves. This plant is perfect for anyone who finds it hard to remember to water their plants.
These plants thrive in drought-like conditions, so you'll want to make sure you're only watering once every month or two. Snake plants require minimal pruning or fertilizing, making them ideal for the office.
Snake plants are native to tropical areas of Western Africa. They were first recorded in the 1700s by European explorers but the plant has long been used for various medical, textile, and ornamental purposes.
Snake plants are easily identified and loved for their structured, modern aesthetic, which allows them to blend seamlessly into any interior space. As snake plants grow, pups (new growth) come out of a central rosette just below the soil. This circular rosette produces fleshy rhizomes that store water during droughts. While snake plants grow slowly, you will want to re-pot them after a couple of years, as they tend to grow faster and wider once the spears reach tall heights.
Snake plants are number one on the list of air cleansing plants produced by our friends at NASA. They are especially effective at removing formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, and nitrogen oxides from the air while producing high volumes of oxygen, especially at night (breathe that fresh, morning air). For those with allergies, Snake Plants are very good at taking a number of common allergens out of the air as well!
Bringing Your New Frond Home
First, give your snake plant a name. It makes it easier to remember to care for your plants when they have names. Second, find a spot away from the window that has access to bright, but indirect light (don't put them right in a window or they might burn). Look at your Desk Plants care card and set a watering reminder using your iPhone's custom reminders, Siri, Amazon Alexa or your Google Home.
Remember to gently wipe your snake plant down regularly with a damp cloth or paper towel as this will help to remove dust that can clog up the tiny holes that let the plant exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide.
If your plant friend is having issues, contact us on instagram @desk_plants or via email email@example.com and add a photo. Otherwise, you can use the chart below to try to diagnose your issue.
What I look like when I get:
Shriveled leaves, especially at the tips
Leaves drooping or slumping
Random brown spots
Leaves turn from yellow to brown, especially near the soil
Light / Sun
Plant may stretch out vertically, and may fall over (this is the plant "reaching" for more light)
Crispy leaves, and sun spots
Keep me away from cold drafts!
The hotter it gets, the better I feel
Pro Tips for Advanced Plant Parents
You can grow new friends for your snake plant by simply dividing up the plant once it outgrows its pot.
To divide your snake plant you'll want to move it somewhere that can handle getting messy. Slide your plant out of the pot, and try to separate the plant into sections at the roots. If you have been a good plant parent, your Snake Plant may have filled its pot with roots and rhizomes, therefore, you may have trouble getting them separated. Don’t be afraid to cut it apart with a clean pair of scissors. Once you’ve separated the plant into more manageable sections, put the larger one back in the pot and backfill it with well-draining cactus or succulent soil. You can pot the smaller section into a new pot to take home, or you can give it to your envious work friends.
This plant is toxic to pets and humans! Please keep it away from particularly hungry individuals or pupperinos.