A quick glance at the #plantmoms and #plantdads on Instagram will tell you that snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata) are among the most popular indoor plants. With their striped, sword-like leaves, these hardy plants are a staple in stylish homes and apartments. These hardy plants, which are also known as Saint George’s sword, mother-in-law’s tongue, and viper’s bowstring hemp, boast countless benefits that complement their aesthetics — they’re easy to grow, low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and can purify the air in your home.
Snake Plant Care
Looks aside, snake plants are incredibly easy to care for. They’re native to the arid regions of Africa, Madagascar, and southern Asia and need little water or day-to-day upkeep. They thrive in bright, direct, or indirect sunlight, meaning they’ll make themselves at home in basically any corner of your space. While care instructions vary slightly by type, all snake plants are pretty low-maintenance and are considered a great option for new plant parents.
Snake Plant Benefits
While many house plants could be considered natural air filters, snake plants are both allergy-reducing and air-purifying. A thorough study by NASA revealed that snake plants remove four major toxins from the air, including benzene and formaldehyde (which is present in cleaning products, toilet paper, and wood products like plywood).
Snake plants release more pure oxygen than most indoor plants, which minimizes the impact of household allergens like dust and dander. Plus, snake plants come in an array of sizes — you can purchase a small snake plant for your bedside table, or a large floor Sansevieria for a bare living room corner.
The Various Types of Snake Plants
Sansevieria Moonshine is famous for its wavy, dark green leaves that feature minimal markings or stripes. They typically grow up to two feet high and may turn to a dark olive shade in low-light conditions. Moonshine prefers bright, indirect light, infrequent waterings, and normal humidity levels. Like the other snake plant varieties, the moonshine is great for city dwellers that travel for work and don’t spend much time at home.
The Sansevieria Sayuri features narrow, straight leaves that boast a beautiful silvery-sage color. The Sayuri can grow up to three feet tall and makes for a great statement plant. In true snake plant form, the Sayuri is incredibly laid back and can tolerate full sun to low-light conditions. Its kryptonite is overwatering, so make sure the soil is completely dried out before filling up the watering can.
The Samurai is a smaller, more cactus-like Sansevieria that features layered, v-shaped leaves. Samurai Sansevieria will only grow to around four to six inches tall and looks great on any shelf or side table. Like all snake plants, it’s drought-tolerant and will thrive in a dark corner or on a sunny windowsill.
Sansevieria Golden Hahnii, or the “golden snake plant,” is known for its unique, bright yellow leaves and vertical green stripes. Similar to the Samurai, the Golden Hahnii is rather petite and will only grow six to eight inches tall. While this variety tolerates low light, bright sunlight will bring out its vibrant yellow leaves.