Hey plant friends! Many people like to keep houseplants around because they help purify the air. Well it’s your lucky day! Garden Gateway has a plant called Sansevieria that is an excellent purifier! According to NASA’s Clean Air Study, it can filter 107 known air pollutants, including formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, toluene, and trichloroethylene! It is also known as Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Djinn’s Tongue, Dragon’s Tongue, and many more.
Sansevieria is a plant that is incredibly easy to care for. The main reason this plant would die is if you water too much. They love to really dry out between waterings. I water mine once a month. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is to look at the leaves. When the leaves lose their shine and start to wrinkle a little bit, it is time to water. Water deeply, or do a good bottom chug. Make sure that your snake plant is in a pot that has drainage, or a hole in the bottom. Sitting in water for a long time will make your plant sick. One really great thing about this plant is that you can forget to water for a week or two, and it’s still perfectly fine! It quickly recovers once you start watering it again.
As for light, they’re very forgiving. They can handle a range of light, from bright indirect light in a window, to very little light. They ideally like indirect light, but they will adjust to wherever you put them. Avoid direct light, though, as this will burn them. With less light there will be less growth, so keep that in mind. If your Sansevieria seems unhappy, your first things to check will be the water and the light.
Sansevieria are very slow growers. It’s always exciting when you see new growth on them! As mentioned, they do grow a bit faster when they have more light, and an occasional fertilizing. They won’t survive outside for the winter, but as long as you don’t let them get too cold, they’re rather tolerant of a variety of temperatures.
These lovely plants are also great because you rarely need to repot them. They actually prefer to have tight roots. They’re happiest when the pot is all full! They do better in soil that drains well, which makes sense since they don’t like soggy roots.
There is one potential downside to Sansevieria. Unfortunately they are somewhat toxic to pets. If eaten, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. It likely won’t kill them, but they’ll be very unhappy and ill for a while. Probably don’t let your kids eat it, either!
There are a couple different ways. One way is to just cut off a leaf and put it into water. It will start to root, and you can plant it. You can even just put it straight into soil and keep it damp until it starts rooting! Another way is to divide the plant. This is easiest when you’re repotting. Often you’ll be able to see a natural dividing point, and just cut it off. The leaves connect to each other through the roots, so you can cut off a leaf section with roots attached, and then plant it.
Garden Gateway and many other plant nurseries and garden centers have this great houseplant. It’s easy to care for, forgiving of neglect, and keeps the air clean in our living spaces. They’re great for people with busy lives, small spaces, little light, people who are forgetful. Pretty much everybody! Feel free to head on in to Garden Gateway, and thanks for gardening with the Gardening Moose!