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Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake Plant)


Scientific Name

Sansevieria trifasciata Prain

Common Names

Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law's Tongue, Mother-in-Law's Nose, Saint George's Sword, African Bowstring Hemp


Aletris hyacinthoides var. zeylanica, Sansevieria craigii, Sansevieria jacquinii, Sansevieria laurentii, Sansevieria trifasciata var. laurentii, Sansevieria trifasciata var. trifasciata, Sansevieria zeylanica var. laurentii

Scientific Classification

Family: Asparagaceae
Subfamily: Crassuloideae
Genus: Sansevieria


Sansevieria trifasciata is a succulent with erect or slightly spreading, sword-shaped leaves that rise stiffly in a rosette from a thick rhizome. The leaves are dark green with light gray-green horizontal stripes, up to 2.5 feet (75 cm) long and 2.4 inches (6 cm) wide. Small, fragrant, greenish-white flowers bloom on mature plants in spring, followed by orange berries.


USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Place Sansevierias in moderately bright or filtered light. Good locations include a spot in front of a north-facing window or front of a bright, sunny window covered by a sheer curtain. Although the plant tolerates low light, bright light brings out the colors in the leaves. However, intense light may cause the edges of the leaves to turn yellow.

Allow the soil to dry completely before watering and then water deeply until water drips through the drainage hole. Allow the pot to drain, and then discard the water that remains in the saucer. Never allow the soil to become soggy and never let the pot stand in water. Water sparingly throughout the winter. Like most succulent plants that store water in their leaves, Sansevieria rots quickly in excessively wet soil.

Place Sansevieria in average room temperatures. Protect the plant from drafts and cold temperatures as it is damaged at temperatures below 50 °F (10 °C).

Feed the plant once every three weeks throughout the summer. Use a general-purpose fertilizer for houseplants diluted to one-half of the strength suggested on the container. Sansevieria is a light feeder, and too much fertilizer makes the leaves fall over.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Sansevieria.


Sansevieria trifasciata is native to tropical West Africa, from Nigeria east to the Congo.



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