Snake Plant Care Guide (Dracaena Trifasciata)

Difficulty Level: Low Key
Low Key

What is the Snake plant?

Also known as the “Golden Bird’s Nest” and the “Mother in Law’s Tongue,” this version of the Snake Plant is extremely popular as a houseplant due to its ease of care and unique appearance. Its foliage grows straight upward in a wavy, snake-like pattern, and it sports a bright green throughout with golden yellow accents along its border. Instead of growing out from a long stem as many other houseplants do, its leaves grow straight out from the soil.

Native to Africa, the Snake Plant enjoys a wide range of environments, making it an ideal option for almost any household. A central aspect of this plant’s appeal is that you will not have to make any serious accommodations when introducing it to your home. So long as it receives consistent watering sessions and is not placed directly in the sun, you should have no problems keeping it happy!

Light CareLight Care

The Snake Plant enjoys the areas of your home that provide it with bright, indirect light. This form of lighting is easily achieved by placing your plant a short distance from any windows or other sources of natural sunlight in your home. If you feel that you have to place it close to a window, make sure that there is some form of curtain standing between it and the sunlight.

Bright, direct light is not ideal for this plant, as it is often much too harsh and causes the plant to become damaged. This damage appears in many forms, with the most common of them being discolored leaves and stunted growth. Low light conditions are also detrimental to the Snake Plant for all the same reasons, so avoid these areas of your home as well.

Water CareWater Care

The Snake Plant is drought-resistant, meaning that it can tolerate not being watered for long periods of time. While it prefers to be watered on a consistent basis, it offers a bit of leeway for those who are new to plant care. You only need to water the Snake Plant once the first 2-3 inches of soil are dry. Start by watering weekly, and if you feel that the first few inches of soil are not dried in that time, simply adjust your watering schedule to fit its drying cycle.

To determine the moisture levels of your plant, simply place a water meter 2-3 inches into the soil. If you do not own a water meter, place your finger into the soil at the same length. You should be able to feel the moistness this way!

Food GuideFood Guide

The Snake Plant is not picky when it comes to soil, so look for any option that is loose and well-draining. Sand-based soils and cactus soils are popular choices for this plant, as its arid roots are susceptible to overwatering and need all the extra drainage support they can get. Regular potting soil works as well, but consider adding peat moss or perlite to the mixture for additional drainage.

During the growing months of the spring and summer, provide your Snake Plant with a balanced, slow-release liquid fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer to half-strength, so as to avoid over-feeding the plant and causing its foliage to become “burned.” If you’re choosing to use cactus soil for your plant, you can also opt to provide it with cactus fertilizer.

Staff Holy Grail Tip:


While the Snake Plant is drought-resistant and doesn’t require constant care, its roots can easily succumb to overwatering. To avoid providing your plant with too much water, make sure to purchase well-draining soil that will filter out any excess water that would otherwise pool around the roots and threaten the plant’s livelihood. Always remember: underwatering is much less dangerous than overwatering when it comes to the Snake Plant!

Jacob

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