Snake Plant Care: Beginner’s Guide

This beginner’s guide to snake plant care will teach you everything you need to know to grow these striking succulents!

With their sword-like leaves and dark green colors, snake plants add a touch of modern beauty to any home. 

These popular indoor houseplants are one of the easiest plants in the world to grow. They can tolerate a variety of lighting conditions and are drought-tolerant. 

Snake plants help purify the air and add a modern vibe to the home decor, adding visual interest and fun to home decorating.  

Let’s dive into all the details of caring for this unique houseplant!


Also known as Mother In Law’s Tongue, these resilient houseplants hail from dry, rocky areas of West Africa.  

In their native environment, they are used to lower humidity levels, drier air, and times of drought. 

They have distinctive long, pointed leaves that have earned them funny names like Mother In Law’s Tongue and Viper’s Bowstring. Their Latin name is Dracaena trifasciata.  

There are over seventy varieties of snake plants, some featuring long tubular leaves and others that are shorter, smaller plants.

Their leaves have a thick, leathery texture and these versatile plants are famous for tolerating low light conditions. They are one of my favorite easy indoor plants to grow.

These popular indoor plants grow to be 3-4 feet and can grow upwards of twenty years!

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Snake plants are one of the easiest houseplants to add to your collection, but they can suffer if they are over watered or given too much humidity! 

Let’s dive into the care details so you can make sure your plant thrives:


 Remember that these sassy houseplants are drought-tolerant succulents, so give snake plants a deep drink of water when the soil is completely dry.

They store water in their leaves like a camel in a desert, and their water needs are very, very minimal. 

Over watering is the number one cause of problems: soak this houseplant often, and you’ll end up with mushy, rotting roots that will eventually send your succulent to the houseplant graveyard. 

Wait until the soil is entirely bone dry before watering. Trust me, less is more when watering a snake plant!

Don’t tease your plant with a sprinkle of moisture when you do water. Hydrate it deeply and ensure that water reaches roots that lurk deep within the soil. 

Check out our complete guide to watering snake plants here. 


Snake plants need nutrient-rich soil that also has great drainage. This soil type will allow the plant to get the nutrients it needs, all while keeping the roots dry enough to prevent root rot. 

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To create the perfect soil mix for this succulent, mix one potting soil with one part succulent mix. I also toss in a cup of orchid bark to increase the permeability. 

Never use garden soil for houseplants. Outdoor potting soil compacts quickly and will not give your fabulous houseplant the drainage it deserves. 

In sum, your snake craves loose, fast-draining soil with just enough nutrients to keep it thriving. 


These popular plants can thrive in many types of containers. Terra-cotta, plastic, and ceramic all work just fine. 

Remember that the bottom of the container must have drainage holes. These holes allow the water to drain from the bottom of the container, preventing the build-up of moisture that can lead to root rot and eventual plant death. 

Drainage holes are essential for maintaining the plant’s health.


If you are looking for a plant that can lurk in the darkest corners of your home, you’ve come to the right place!  Snake plants can tolerate low, medium, and bright light, making them one of the most versatile houseplants you can grow!

Of course, this plant won’t last long if you live in a cave. They do need some light to thrive, after all. 

Remember that snake plants will grow faster and more lush when given more light. So, if you have a bright and cheery area, opt for that location!

Keep these hardy succulents away from the rays of direct sunlight. The direct light can scorch their leaves. 

A great location is about 10 feet from a south-facing window. The pretty light pours in all afternoon, but the plant is far enough away to receive any of the harsh rays of light. 


These succulents do best in moderate humidity, around 40%. Unlike many houseplants, they will not thrive in high-humidity environments. 

High humidity can bring on root rot and invite pesky insects like fungus gnats to set up shop in the plant soil. 

Crispy, dry leaves are indicative of low humidity levels.  

If you are concerned about humidity levels, use a hydrometer to get an accurate reading. 

When the humidity is too high, you may need a dehumidifier. And if it is too low, consider moving your plant near an area with higher humidity, like a bathroom or kitchen. 

Do not mist to add humidity, which can encourage rot. 


Snake plants are minimal feeders and rarely need fertilization. If you decide to fertilize these plants, do so twice a year with a general houseplant fertilizer.  

I use this gentle formula for my plants that don’t crave a lot of extra feeding. 

Final Thoughts

Snake plants are versatile, flexible, and happy: the perfect plant for a slightly sloppy houseplant owner. 

They are perfect if you don’t have time to hover over a houseplant but want the beauty benefits of lush indoor greenery. 

Be careful not to over water snake plants and give them loose soil to nestle their roots into. Other than that, these plants are flexible and will reward you with lush green leaves for years to come!

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