Home > Meet One of the Most Drought Resistant Plants

Snake Plants are a member of the Lily Family, and are named for their striped, vibrant leaves, which mimic the scales of a serpent. They are evergreens native to Africa. While they can grow up to twelve feet tall, they're often kept as small houseplants because of their ease of care and durability, which has made them popular in recent years.

In China, they are kept inside for Feng Shui near the entrances of homes to promote the Eight Virtues- intelligence, prosperity, long life, art, beauty, poetry, strength and health.

Watering

These plants are famous for tolerating long periods of drought, and only need to be watered every two to three weeks. Wait for the soil to dry before watering, and during winter, you can even water once a month. Do not overwater, or this could kill the plant. Water if the leaves look dry or drooping, and if they turn yellow, cut back on the watering.Overwatering is the number one cause of death for plants. Use room temperature, distilled water if possible. When watering, make sure to not get the center of the leaves wet, only soaking the soil until water runs through the drain holes of the pot.

Lighting

They can easily tolerate bright light, to very dim lighting, making them a first choice for beginners or apartment dwellers. Place them by an east, west or north facing window, or if outside, a place where they can get full sun and partial shade. Turn the pot once a week to encourage straight growth. Keep them in a temperature range from about 40F to 85F, and never let them frost. The only downside to these robust plants is that they cannot withstand severe cold for long periods. Once temperatures drop below 40F, bring them inside.

Repotting

Choose a well draining sandy soil, not garden soil. The plant will need to be transferred to a new pot when you see the roots crowding out the drain holes. Spring is the best time. Remove the plant from the pot, and cut back the roots a few inches if needed. Don't cut off too much. Snake Plants are similar to succulents in that they retain a lot of moisture, so using a heavier, sturdier pot helps to keep it grounded and not fall over.

Pests and Disease

Generally they are disease and pest resistant, but they can sometimes attract mites and mealybugs, which like to feed off sap from the plant. If infected, you may see holes and the plant may start shedding its leaves. Keep a close eye and remove any bugs you see starting to make a home with tweezers or dabbing them with alcohol. Increasing humidity around the plant helps to keep them away, by placing a tray full of pebbles and water underneath the vase.

Fungus

If there's too much moisture, then they might contract fungus. You might see discoloring in the leaves, like reddish patches, brown layers or fuzzy white webs. Keep the leaves dry to avoid any mold.