With chemical toxicity in the air, the Snake plant might just be exterminator you need to take care of indoor pollution.
Did you know the amount of air pollution present inside your home is 5 times more than the smoking fog you feel outside?
You might not believe it but every manufactured product—old or new— off-gases.
That means whatever appliances you use at home or workplace constantly release toxic in the air worsening the air pollution every day.
But the worst part?
After cigarettes, the supplies that contribute most to the air pollution are used in cooking and cleaning.
A fact many might not even notice under normal circumstances.
While the air pollution from the daily grind is not something you can eliminate, adding a snake plant would definitely help filter out some of the fumes.
Why You Should Invest In Snake Plants
We, on average, inhale almost 11,000 gallons of air daily, out of which only 500 (20%) contains pure oxygen.
That implies the remaining 80% we consume are other gases and fumes—an alarming situation for those who live in the heart of the city.
If you keep snake plants in your home or workplace, they would absorb the atmosphere fumes into their leaves and filter out Oxygen in the process.
What’s interesting is they’ll not only purify the air in the day but continue to do so in the night. (A reason that makes them legendary bedroom ornaments.)
But the Snake plant’s winning feature? Their ability to get rid of any lingering chemical stench brought in from new furniture, freshly painted walls, or other home appliances.
You see, when they absorb the aromatic chemicals such as formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, and such, they dispel their scent altogether during the filtering process.
This leaves your place with a crisp and fresh air without any unpleasant smell.
And as if these reasons are not enough, snake plants are magnificent in appearance as well.
You can’t get a better deal than that.
How Many Snake Plants Should You Have
If you are interested in acquiring a snake plant, you should know, before buying it, the number of plants needed to keep the air fresh and pollutant-free.
For a large apartment or an average size house, 15 to 20 air purifying plants would be perfect, give or take.
To add variety, you can place Devil’s Ivy, cactus and Aloe Vera along with snake plant as well.
Once you’ve the general idea of how many to buy, take a few pointers for snake plant’s care as well—which we will discuss it in a minute—but in general, they are pretty low-maintenance.
Meaning, anyone with or without a green thumb can keep the snake plant alive with little efforts.
Where To Buy Snake Plant
Being a prevailing succulent plant, Snake Plants are remarkably easy to acquire and care.
You can find several Snake plant varieties in the market (such as; Cylindrical, Hahnii, Robusta, etc) but the commonly bought one is S. trifaciata Laurentii (Variegated Mother-in-Laws Tongue).
It has flat long leaves painted with stripes of yellow and green.
The leaves narrow into sharp tips garnering it “mother-in-law tongue” and “St.Goerge sword” name.
To purchase mother in law tongue, look out for any nearest nursery in your area. Almost every nursery has a readily available collection of snake plants for sale.
If not, you can buy snake plants from Amazon as well.
Once bought, you’ll need to spare a few minutes of your weekly time to care for the snake plant.
Snake Plant Care
Here are some easy-to-follow guidelines to care for snake plant.
1.Select An Appropriate Pot For Snake Plant
First and foremost, look for a pot that not only complements the room décor but also appropriate for the snake plant size.
A normal indoor snake plant can grow as small as a couple of inches to as high as 2 feet depending upon the size of the pot.
That means you can control the growth of your snake plant based on the pot you buy.
To give them a height, wide shape pot would be a good choice, while round and smaller pot is fit for smaller lengths.
There are varieties of pots available in the nurseries, but for easy availability, you can check it out on AliExpress. It has international delivery options.Click Here to Buy From AliExpress
Make sure any pot you are planning to buy has a draining hole at the bottom of the pot or snake plant roots would otherwise rot.
Secondly, in times of snake plant repotting, buy a pot an inch larger than the previous one, to accommodate the plant comfortably.
2.Choose A Fertilized Soil For Snake Plant
Although evergreen, your snake plant would need a bit of care and will thrive fully in well-drained soil and occasional fertilization.
Most nurseries have ready-made cactus-mix potting soil available for succulents but you can also create a homemade soil mix for snake plant.
To do it yourself, mix sand and grit in potting soil.
If you are using topsoil, make sure to add more grit and small pebbles for more drainage. Because topsoil—or garden soil—is not really ideal for any potted plant let alone a snake plant.
Therefore, if you notice the plant beginning to wilt, either reduce the amount of garden soil or replace it with the commercial one.
As for fertilizer, Sansevieria trifasciata are pretty well equipped to take care of them, hence, a one-fourth strength fertilizer solution would work well.
The usual blooming period is from spring to early fall. So, fertilize the soil during the same.
3.Water Your Snake Plant Once A Week
The benefits of Snake plant being a succulent is they have a natural in-built system to store water and don’t require regular care in terms of watering.
Nevertheless, for their good health, water your snake plant weekly in summer and once or twice a month in winter.
If the leaves are starting to turn yellow or falling off, you might be overwatering them.
To avoid letting it decay further, sever the affected part from the healthy leaves. That will save the plant from dying.
That’s said, except for death by over-watering, Sansevieria trifasciata are usually too tough to perish easily.
Some even last decades.
As long as you are careful with watering and soil, rest assured your snake plant would live a long healthy life.
4.Place Them In Bright Area At a Room Temperature
While snake plants can withstand direct sunlight, indirect sunlight is better for their care.
Any bright place at room temperature is enough to make the mother in law’s tongue happy.
Set it near the door, windows, or open screen rooms if you have any.
Once positioned, settle it in south direction for optimum Fen Shui vibes. Since it’s also the side sunlight would be staying longer, the south is a good position for the plant either way.
As for temperature, Sansevieria trifasciata can survive in summer and winter both, however, being a tropical plant, they will flourish at room temperature.
In case of cold weather below the 10 Celsius or 50 Fahrenheit, keep the snake plant in the living room instead of the porch or balcony.
5.Choose Any Of The Three Methods For Snake Plant Propagation
Snake plants are normally propagated through three methods, however, since leaves grow from rootstalk; the safest option is the dividing method.
To achieve that, pull out the plant, cut a part of it from the roots, let them to heal for a day or two, and then plant the bundle into the soil mix.
The second method requires cutting the leaf instead of the whole root-stalk.
Cut a healthy leaf from the base; let the severed part to dry for a day or two until it has callus over the open flesh. Then bury the leaf semi-deep in the soil—too deep might rot the roots.
The third and the least preferred method is to let the plant propagate the natural way by seeds planting.
A Few Precautionary Measures
Sansevieria trifasciata — despite their resilient nature—are vulnerable to pest infestation and diseases.
The most you might face would be spider mites and mealy bug’s infestation, but there’s always a likelihood other bugs; such as thrips and gnats, might attack your snake plant.
To make matters worse, cold and humidity could bring with it the looming complications of fungus and decay.
For snake plant care, keep an eye on the leaves to recognize the below symptoms first.
If you notice a white substance of web forming on the leaves or yellows spots, your snake plant has been invaded by the mealybugs and spider mites.
If there are black specks and silver hues on the leaves or the leaves themselves are curling, thrips might be the reason behind it.
If the leaves are turning black around the edges, fungal infection is happening. The trouble with Fungus is it would probably attract gnats as well, besides rotting, if moss is included in the soil mix.
Once you are aware of the symptoms, preventing your plant from further damage would then be fairly easy.
To treat the bug infestation, spout water on the leaves to clear the bugs or wipe it with a cloth.
If the insects keep coming back, use antiseptic homemade bug spray—1:3 ratio of vinegar and water would work well as a DIY bugs spray.
As for fungal infection, discard the infected part and reduce the amount of watering. It would also keep the moss bugs away.
Add in their odor eliminating nature and air-purifying properties, you’ve got to admit snake plants are majestic.
Native to Africa, Sansevieria trifasciata have been part of indoor ornament for many years tracing their footprints back to ancient times.
The succulent plants emerged early in South China where they were revered as the bringer of Eight Virtues of Fen Shui.
(A principle that was originated as a ritual by Hakka farmers of china and was later transformed into modern-day architecture foundation.)
It was believed that if you cultivate a Sansevieria trifasciata and place it near the entrance facing south, the plant would attract the boon of eight virtues of happiness.
A gift of beauty and intelligence, of long life and health, of crafts and poetry and, of tremendous strength.
Over the years, Snake plants were used by the African tribes to make bowstrings labeling the name “viper’s bowstring hemp.”
South American clans cherished snake plants for their healing properties. In their medicine, snake plants took care of snakebite poison and other skin diseases.
At present, snake plants enjoy the position of a perfect bedroom plant for their ability to release Oxygen at night—unlike other flora.
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Check out Chinese Money Plant for more Indoor Plant Ideas.