Welcome back to the world of plants

This week’s plant: the snake plant; easy to care for, grows big over time, perfect college student plant



The moonshine snake plant is known for its beautiful light green leaves.

SANDI KOBIESA, Editor-in-chief

Welcome back to Plant World. This week, I thought we could move up to the very beautiful, and very sturdy snake plant, also known as Sansevieria or Dracaena.

There are, again, many varieties of Sansevieria. The Sansevieria Trifasciata “Laurentii” is dark green all around with a lime green border. The Ceylon Bowstring Hemp is dark green with almost-black stripes running horizontally through its leaves.

They grow relatively slow compared to the pothos, but with proper care, they will shoot out new leaves, and eventually new pups — baby snake plants that have their own root system and bulb — which you can propagate.

Snake plants are easy to take care of, once you get the hang of them. I struggled in the beginning, because believe it or not, this plant thrives off neglect. They are the ultimate college plant; I went without watering mine for three months and instead of dying, she popped out three new leaves.

Your snake plant, depending on location, could go one to three months with no water. I found it is better to under-water this guy rather than over-water. When you water too much, the leaves get rotten and fall out, and man do they stink.

In the summer, you can water once a month but winter is closer to three. But that also depends on lighting and heat; the hotter your home is, the more you have to water. The best way to check if your plant needs water is to either obtain a water meter or use your finger. If you can stick your entire finger into the soil without any sticking on you, water that bad boy.

Lighting wise, these plants do well in most light levels. They can survive in a bathroom with basically no natural light, or right in front of a window. I currently have three plants, all in different locations; one by my front door and window, one on my fireplace that has no natural light and one on a side table about four feet from a window. They are all doing well, but the one by my front door skyrocketed to about five feet in height.

Snake plants have a habit of getting floppy when they reach a certain height. The best way to deal with this is to stake them with some garden twine and bamboo.

When snake plants love you, they will give you pups. You can separate pups from your big plant and add them to a different pot. But my favorite thing to do with them is spread the love and give them to a friend.