Sansevieria may be one of the most ubiquitous house plants. Known by many names—snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, viper’s bowstring or Saint George’s sword—these plants can be found in interiors ranging from the dentist’s office to college dorms. But the hardy and practically indestructible Sansevieria can be so much more than a corner filler. In their natural habitat, Sansevieria are found in the rocky, dry habitats of tropical Africa and southern Asia. They can often be seen at the edge of the forest. Sansevieria are one of the top houseplants for reducing indoor pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, xylene and toluene. They will also reduce allergens in the air. These benefits combined with easy care make the Sansevieria a plant that should never go out of style.
Sansevieria are incredibly adaptable when it comes to light. They are most often placed in low light interiors, as they can survive well there. But they will thrive in brighter light. Your sans can be placed anywhere from low light to full sun, but moderate to bright indirect light is best. If you choose to place your sans in very bright light or full sun, be sure to slowly transition it, so you don’t shock or burn your plant. Sansevieria will only flower in bright light. Sansevieria are slow growers, but brighter light will increase their growth speed. So, if you want your plant to grow, give it as much light as you can. Dust the leaves occasionally with a soft cloth to keep them clean. Your plant will grow better and look better. Also, be sure to protect your leaf tips—if a tip breaks that leaf will stop growing.
It’s much easier to over water a Sansevieria than to under water. Be sure to allow the soil to dry between watering, and to keep the leaves dry. Over watering or allowing water to collect in the leaves can lead to rot. After watering, wait 15-20 minutes and then dump any water that has collected in the saucer. Never leave your Sansevieria sitting in water. In most homes, Sansevieria only need water every two to eight weeks—the brighter the light, the more often you should water.
There are many different varieties of Sansevieria readily available. Color, leaf shape, leaf size, and overall stature can vary greatly. Luckily, the care is the same for the vast majority of these varieties. A few of our favorites:
So Many Locations
Due to their easy care, Sansevieria can be placed just about anywhere in your home. Like all houseplants, avoid drafts and placing them near heat vents. Sansevieria are a great plant for your bedroom. They are one of the few plants that produces oxygen at night and one of the highest overall houseplant oxygen producers.
Since the majority of Sansevieria varieties have the same light and water requirements, they are happy planted together. Mixing leaf shape and size within a consistent color palette creates visual interest without looking busy or overdesigned.
While these plants are a classic and look amazing in mid-century modern inspired planters, don’t be limited to this style. Sansevieria are just as at home in a basket or an aged terracotta planter.
Place in a variety of lighting conditions - from low light to full sun
Allow soil to dry completely after watering – water every two to eight weeks
Sansevieria are great at reducing indoor pollutants and producing oxygen