Snake Plant, known by other names such as Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, Bowstring Hemp, Sansevieria, or Saint George, are native to South Africa and very popular as a house plant in many countries. In Brazil, the plant is believed to have protection properties and is considered a sacred plant connected with both Saint George and the entity Ogun in the Afro-Brazilian religion of Umbanda.

Snake plants have a reputation for being air purifiers after a 1989 survey done by NASA indicated their ability to cleanse toxins such as formaldehyde from the air and were significant reducers of four major indoor pollutants. These guys are not too complicated and they are not a fussy plant. However, there are some important do’s and dont’s of snake plant care, so read on to make sure your plant is getting the best care possible.


Water Infrequently

Water your snake plant every 2-6 weeks depending on the humidity levels and temperature of your environment or home, the type of soil that houses your snake plant, and the type of pot it is in.

Let The Soil Dry

Always let the soil of your plant dry completely before watering again. This will ensure that the continued atmosphere of moisture that leads to mold and rot will not have a chance to develop. You can check this by sticking your finger or a bamboo stick a few inches into the soil. If you feel moisture in the dirt, or if the dirt sticks to the bamboo stick, do not water your plant.

Water Less In Winter

Snake plants rarely grow in winter, so less water is needed then. Reduce the amount of watering your plant gets–if you continue to water as you did in the spring and summer, the plant may end up with an excess of water that leads to root rot.

Treat Root Rot

Root rot due to over-watering is the most common problem when it comes to snake plant care. Watering your plant less during the winter months is essential, as it is not actually growing–but also make sure you know how much water your plant needs the rest of the year. If it has root rot, remove completely the dead leaves and let it dry out even more than usual. If this is not enough, repot the plant in new, dry soil.

Choose The Right Pot

When potting preferably choose a Terra cotta pot with a drainage hole at the bottom. Terra cotta is important because it allows the soil to dry out much more efficiently than that of a plastic pot. Water your plant from the bottom of the pot, if you can, as it encourages downward root growth which then create large, straight, upward-reaching leaves.

Choose The Right Potting Mix

Using a potting mix that is specifically for cacti and succulents will ensure that the soil does not hold onto moisture and allow it to dry out more quickly.



Snake plants need bright and indirect light and can handle a bit of direct light. Placing them in a room with larger, east- or west-facing windows which let in a lot of natural light is ideal as long as the sun doesn’t hit them directly for long. And remember that a lot of windows in a room can actually act as a greenhouse, heating up the sunlight as it bounces back onto the windows, so adjust the temperature of your home accordingly or invest in some blinds where the light can be diffused. However, heat is not normally a problem for these plants, and you yourself would be uncomfortable far before the heat would start to have an affect on your plant.


Above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 Celsius) is ideal. As they are native to South Africa, these plants can withstand a good amount of heat, but they do not do well in cold. Make sure your windows are fully sealed; old homes and apartments can sometimes have tiny cracks in the molding or the windows do not shut completely. If this is the case you should not place your plant by the window in the winter.


Their leaves are prone to collect dust due to the size and texture. Use a water-based wipe to dust your plant. If your home or apartment is older you may get a lot of dust from the plaster itself, in which case you would need to dust your plant more frequently.


Don't forget to add MARPHYL Organic Soil Enhancer every other watering

Plants rely on potassium to facilitate the circulation of nutrients and on nitrogen as the essential element in photosynthesis, while the roots need phosphorus to thrive. MARPHYL® Organic Soil Enhancer is high in potassium, nitrogen, and phosphorus, and also contains trace amounts of other nutrients, such as calcium and magnesium for optimum plant health and growth.

Add MARPHYL® Organic Soil Enhancer to the water every other time you water your snake plant. Recommended ratio is 1:20.

Marphyl Marine Phytoplankton Natural Multi-species Soil-Enhancer 2 products beauty shot

Divide Every Spring

Remove the entire root and leaves of the snake plant which you are dividing, and re-pot it in a Terra cotta pot with a drainage hole in the bottom. You can place the new pot next to the old plant.


If snake plants are potted, they may flower! These flowers are fragrant, light green blooms which form on spikes–but it is not guaranteed that they will appear. If your plant flowers, there is no additional care that is needed – continue to care for it as usual.

Yellowing Leaves

If your plant’s leaves are yellowing, it is a sign that the plant is not in good health. Move the pot to a warmer place and water less frequently – or switch the soil completely.


If snake plants are kept indoors they are pretty pest-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about that unless you keep it outdoors some of the time, such as the summer or warmer months. Outdoors they can be susceptible to mites, so check your plant before bringing it back into the house or apartment.


Important Note! These guys are TOXIC to animals. If ingested, the plant can cause severe gastrointestinal distress. If you have a cat, do not keep it in an area accessible to the cat. If you have a dog, keep the snake plant on a shelf or table elevated enough to not be a concern. But know your pets–if your dog is the kind of animal to get up on furniture when you’re not home and chew things up, or you simply do not have a room or area that your cat cannot get to, you may need to ask yourself how much you really want this plant.


As always, we are happy to hear any thoughts or comments you might have!