How Long do Snake Plants Live?

Snake Plant Shrub
Snake Plant (Source: Pixabay)

Snake plant may sound a bit deadly name for a plant, but have you heard the plant’s other names? Devil’s tongue, Mother in Law’s tongue, Viper bowstring hemp; Eerie, right?

The names may be creepy, but the plant isn’t. They are a lovely addition to your home’s decorative arsenal. And they live for a looooooong time.

Some snake plants have lived for 20 to 25 years with excellent care. However, the average lifespan of a snake plant is around 10-15 years.

Snake Plant
Healthy Snake Plant (Source: Pexels)

Here, we shall go through some tips to ensure that our plant gets healthy and lives a longer life.

Snake Plant Life and Growth Rate

Snake plants are slow-growing plants in the containers. However, the growth can be paced or slowed down based upon our requirements.

If we have a small area, we can keep it somewhere on the table or countertops. But, for an indoor plant, a lifespan of 10-15 years is quite a lengthy one.

Snake plant smiling
I live long (Source: Tenor)

However, we can easily make the plant’s lifespan longer than average using the correct caring procedures. Snake plants are pretty robust plants that can grow in harsh conditions.

These plants use minimal resources to grow. Therefore, snake plants are known as one of the best resilient indoor plants.

These houseplants usually grow 2-3 leaves during the growing season, i.e., summer and spring. Winter is a period of rest for these plants.

Pro Tip-As the plants get stagnant during winter, we should not provide much water and fertilizer for the plant.

How Long do Snake Plant Live? [Deciding Factors]

The lifespan of the Snake plant depends on various conditions provided to them and the environment they grow in.

Whether you want them for 25 years or a mere 10 years depends upon you. Let’s see the factors in detail below.

1. Light Conditions

The plant grows best when it is healthy and gets proper light. Snake plants being succulent are best grown in bright indirect sunlight.

Snake plant grown under bright direct sunlight
Snake plant grown under bright indirect sunlight (Source: Pixabay)

But to be honest, Snake plants can survive in almost any light condition they are placed in, From low light to bright light.

Placing them in bright but indirect light is pivotal for their rapid growth. Also, some variegated varieties crave more light.

pss.uvm.edu suggest to place the plant in bright, indirect sun unless you’re sure that the varient can survive low light conditions.

Somedays, when I placed my plant in the morning sun, it showed better growth. So, a few hours of morning sun can improve the development of the plant.

Snake plant does best in light intensity of 200 Foot Candle and can tolerate 5-6 hours of direct sun.

Still, confused about the Snake plant’s light requirements? Have a clearer picture with, “How Much Light does a Snake Plant Require?

I initially kept a plant outdoors all day, only to find it dried too soon. I do not advise keeping the plant in the sunlight for a whole day, as it can dry the potting soil and the plant. 

2. Planting Container

The planting container should be a terracotta pot or of any porous material.

We should avoid plastic planters as much as possible as plastic planters tend to isolate the plant from the environment.

Snake plant in a terracotta pot
Snake plant in a terracotta pot (Source: Amazon)

The planting container must have one or more drainage holes. The snake plant is highly susceptible to root rot, mainly caused by wet soil.

The planter should be at least able to let the plant grow for a few years.

Also, if we wish the plant to grow more, we should use a bigger pot. The small pot can let the roots get saturated within the pot.

However, in such a rootbound condition, you might get some bloom.

Let us solve your pot selection problem and help you in making a wise decision with “8 Ways To Choose Snake Plant Pot

3. Planting Soil Mix

The life of the Snake plant is dependent on the soil mix too. Like most succulents, this plant also requires well-draining soil.

If you are looking for the optimum mix for the Snake plant, you can use a 1:1 ratio of cactus and succulent mix for optimum results.

For better yield, you can add perlite, clay pebbles, pumice, and a handful of fir bark. We can also use lava stones as they contain various minerals for the plants.

You need to plant the Snake plant in soil that has a pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.0.

Snake plant with shoot
Soil for Snake Plant (Source: Flickr)

Make sure the mix you use has a lot of air pockets. This doesn’t only promote draining but also prevents overwatering.

Cheer up; you can prepare your own soil mix at home just maintain the below-mentioned ratio:

  • One part potting mix or garden soil
  • Two parts perlite or sand
  • One part coco coir or peat moss

Okay, I get it, you are too busy or don’t want to prepare it at home. Here are some commercial potting mixes.

For more detailed information on the best soil mix for your Sansevieria, read “What Kind Of Soil Is Good For Snake Plant?

4. Watering Schedule

Succulent are those plants that store water in their leaves. That basically means that it can do with less watering too.

Water Snake plant once every 2 weeks during the growing season (summer and spring). And once a month during winter.

Overwatering the Snake Plant
Overwatering the Snake Plant (Source: tenor)

As the plants do not grow much during winter, watering on the same frequency can lead to root rotting. 

Furthermore, the soil checking method proves to be more beneficial than sticking to a fixed watering schedule. Since water requirements themselves depend on the plant’s light, temperature, and humidity.

Check the top 1 inch of soil. If the soil is dry, we can water the plant right away.

Did you underwater your plant? Read “Underwatered Snake Plants: Signs, Causes, and Solutions

I could not keep up with the regular watering process, as I was out of my place for weeks.

While overwatering is an issue in succulents, too much negligence of their thirst can equally be dreadful. I learned that the hard way, and now I have a little helping hand.

If you are stuck in the same scenario and don’t want to take the risk of underwatering your plant, you can invest in a self-watering pot.

You may want to read this. “5 Best Self-Watering African Violet Pots

Initially, it can do with less water when the plant is small. But, as the plant grows, it requires more water and time.

5. Pruning and Trimmings

We generally keep house plants for aesthetic purposes. Our eye for beauty might want us to trim our indoor plants, so they maintain their beautiful look.

Pruning is a lovely way to help plants grow and look better. 

So, we can feel obliged to trim our plants as soon as they have problems like the browning of leaves, which is not appealing to our eyes.

However, pruning haphazardly and on an irregular basis can hurt our plants.

We should trim our Sansevieria during the growing phase, limiting it to only once a year.  

Timely pruning of a plant
Keep your plant Healthy: Prune Timely (Source: Tenor)

Plants pruned frequently feel stressed and cannot grow healthy.

Irregular pruning will delay growth, and your plant is likely to become susceptible to various pathogens.

Remember, do not throw away the cuttings you obtained during pruning. You can use them later for propagation.

6. Fertilizer Requirements

Snake plants are slow-growing plants. At best, these plants grow 2-3 leaves during the growing season. So, we can boost plants’ immune systems by providing them with organic manures. 

If the Snake plant looks healthy and dark in color, it can do without fertilizers. Only fertilize the plant when it shows any nutrient deficiency.

Worm compost in hands
Worm Compost (Source: Flickr)

We can avoid using fertilizers unless the plant seems sick. The symptoms can be seen on the leaves of the plants. If you fertilize your plant only out of whim, you can risk overfertilizing the plant.

Every spring, I use a light application of worm compost on my snake plant. That yielded good results for me. You can try the same.

Or, you can opt for organic all-purpose houseplant fertilizer once or twice during spring and summer. Remember, snake plants are not heavy feeders.

Snake Plant Fertilizer – Everything You Need to Know“: This might surely be helpful.

7. Temperature Requirements

Snake plants are susceptible to freezing and scorching temperatures.

Snake plants do well in temperatures ranging from 13-29 degrees Celsius ( 55-89°F). 

If the temperature outside is frosty, we must keep the plants inside. Frosts are highly harmful to these plants.

Relation between Rate of Plant Growth and Temperature
Relation between Rate of Plant Growth and Temperature (Source: Research Gate)

There is nothing to worry about if the temperature is well between the ranges mentioned above. However, the temperature below 10°C is the dead zone for the plant. 

Snake plants can do well in hot temperatures but make sure to protect them during the cold months.

Also, keep them away from drafty windows and air conditioner vents.

If you raise the plant in its optimum temperature range, it will reward you with healthy growth. Also, avoid providing fertilizer with excess nitrogen, or it may damage the plant more in winter.

8. Solving Plant’s Issues

No matter how deadly the Snake plant’s name sounds, it is still susceptible to problems.

To ensure that it has a long life, we advise you to diagnose the problems and solve them as soon as you discover them.

After all, a sick plant won’t have a long life, will it?

Let’s take a look at issues with suitable restorative steps.

IssuesCausesSolutions
Brown and Mushy Roots1. Overwatering
2. Fungal Diseases
Prune the infected roots ONLY and repot in healthy soil mix.
Curling of Leaves1. Under watering
2. Thrips
3. Over fertilization
Use Horticultural neem oil to get rid of pests.
Thorough watering
Wrinkled Leaves1. Heat-stress
2. Under watering
3. Transplant Shock
Water the plant immediately with tepid water.
Yellow Leaves1. Overwatering
2. Under watering
Water when the soil is dry almost completely.
Brown tips and spots1. Extreme Weather
2. Nutrient issues
Protect the plant from extreme cold weather.
Feed the required fertilizer to the plant.
Here I have some article recommendations for the Snake plant problem along with their fixes: Snake Plant Leaves Curling, Snake Plant Root Rot, and Snake Plant Fungus.

Re-potting and Enhance the Growth of the Snake Plant  

Most of us have ordered our Snake plant from various nurseries. The plant comes in a small pot that is just enough to contain the small plant.

After giving it a new home and a new place, we should re-pot the Snake plant into another larger container to let the plant grow and live longer.

Repotting Monstera Adansonii
Repotting (Source: Unsplash)

The plant will get more space for its roots to grow. More extensive roots result in more significant and growing plants. 

Follow the steps below to re-pot it successfully.

  • We should firmly hold the base of the plant with the roots and some amount of potting soil.
  • Then, we should keep the plant in the next bigger container with enough space. The rhizome should be just below the surface of the soil. 
  • We should not place the roots deep in the container. They should be covered by the soil and kept towards the surface. There must be enough room for the roots to grow downwards.
  • We should keep the roots intact with the soil during re-potting and carefully place the plant in the next pot without jerking the plant. 
  • We should not compress the soil too tightly, resulting in less airflow in the roots. The soil should be loosely placed. After some days, the soil will gradually be compressed as the roots grow inside.  
  • Keeping a few earthworms in the pot will make the soil looser as earthworms penetrate the soil. However, earthworms should be kept only when the plants are outside the room.

You would want to care for it more; watch this.

In the End,

Using these tips, we can improve the longevity of our Sansevieria. We can keep the plant healthy by checking for any sudden changes within some weeks. 

As resilient the plant is, it will grow healthy, significant, and have a long life. 

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