Where Does It Come From?
The tag ‘sansevieria’ covers an enormous genus of flowering plants all native to the steamy climates of Africa, South Asia and the island of Madagascar. The incredible diversity of the ecosystems contained within this territory is reflected in the plants themselves. Depending on which variety you go for, your Sansevieria could range from a spiky succulent desert plant, to lush and leafy forest-dwelling climber.
Why Should I Get One?
How Big Can It Grow?
As we’ve already touched upon, how big your plant can grow varies hugely depending on exactly which species you opt for. The spikier snake-plants have long, cylindrical leaves that, if looked after well, can easily reach the height of a human, even in a small or medium sized pot. Some varieties, (such as the Honey Bunny!) Have more rounded, flatter leaves that grow in tidy little rosettes. These more petite varieties are easy to keep neat and small, making the perfect addition to a self-contained terrarium.
Where Should I Keep It?
Snake-plants tend to prosper best in positions where they are drenched in bright, filtered light. However, not ones to be fussy, many species also grow to their full potential in partial or low light conditions making them an ideal choice for hallways or offices. Due to their exotic origins, they are a little more tolerant of direct light conditions than many other common houseplants too. Ultimately, as long as they’re somewhere with a warm ambient temperature, they should not give you any problems.
The leaves of most Sansevieria subspecies are toxic to both animals and humans, so these plants should be kept well out of the way of any pets and children in the home.
How Often Should I Water It?
Don’t test this if you can help it, but most Sansevieria are pretty indestructible. Across most common varieties kept as houseplants in the UK, the vast majority of them only need to be watered once every few weeks. Around a small cup for each watering should be more than enough. Owing to the blistering heat of their drought-prone native countries, these plants tend not to be too demanding when it comes to hydration. This being said, be careful not to love your snake-plant to death – overwatering can quickly upset these plants and cause leaves to droop and discolour. For optimum health, a dose of a generic houseplant feed every few months can help to ensure your plants have access to key nutrients.
There’s just so much to enjoy about being the proud owner of a snake-plant. From the boundless variety of leaf-patterns, shapes and tones; to the exotic and often tongue-in-cheek names of the various species in the genus (Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, we’re looking at you). Adaptable, easy-going and spectacularly unfussy; whether you’re planning to include a Sansevieria in a terrarium or use a larger one to brighten up your living space, you cannot go wrong.