Department of Horticulture New York State Horticulture Study Guide for Youth 4-H Logo


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Cornell University

Snake Plant
Sansevieria trifasciata
(san-sah-veer-ee-ah tri-fas-see-ay-ta)

Click on thumbnails for larger image.

What about it?

The snake plant comes from African-Asian origins and has 4 primary variants: Golden Hahnil and Hahnil,( the Bird's Nest varieties), Laurentii Compacta, and Laurentii. Snake plants are marked by their erect, slender, and stiff leaves. The leaves are channelled down the face and rounded on the back. They are usually a very dark green and banded with lighter green, yellow, or black. They are a favorite of people without green thumbs!

What is it used for?

Snake plants are known as the most durable indoor plants. Many will survive for over 25 years.

Where does it grow? How do we grow it?

Snake plants will do well in any kind of lighting situation. They are often used in offices for this reason. They prefer a mild temperature setting - no extremes - and dry soil.

What are its primary problems?

Snake plants occasionally have difficulties with mealybugs.

How do we propagate it?

Propagation through division and sectional leaf cuttings (except with S. Laurentii).

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Copyright, Department of Horticulture, Cornell University.