Green up your backyard and clean the air in your home with indoor snake plants!
Snake plants are some of the easiest plants to grow. If you are new to gardening these are for you. We’ll take you through some different types of snake plants in pictures below to help you choose.
We’ve also got top tips on how to care for snake plants. The great thing is they barely need any looking after. Indoor snake plants are seriously low maintenance houseplants. Sound good? Read on.
Benefits of Snake Plants
- Drought-tolerant – they hardly need watering
- Available in compact forms so they don’t get out of hand
- Easy to look after
- They clean the air by releasing oxygen at night
- Will grow in light and shade
They are easy to care for, and they also come in some incredible forms. Most have leaves shaped like spears or swords. Colors range from pale grey-green and bright green to yellow and black. Yes, there’s a black snake plant!
Snake plants purify the air, so they are ideal houseplants. In the wild, when it is extremely hot, they close their pores during the day to keep moisture in. At night they open these pores and release oxygen. This makes them perfect for bedrooms and offices.
How to Look After Snake Plants – Three Top Tips
- Don’t water them too much. This is why lots of houseplants die. Snake plants can live for months without water in the wild. Never sit snake plants in trays of water, they will rot.
- Put your indoor snake plants in a bright room, but out of direct sunlight. Too much direct sun may burn the leaves. They are happy in partial shade. Don’t forget, these are tough plants.
- If you live in a tropical or sub-tropical area it’s best to keep your snake plants in patio pots or as houseplants, not in the garden. Snake plants can be invasive in certain climates. In pots you can control how big they get. You will save yourself a headache later!
17 Different Types of Snake Plants With Pictures
Common name: Snake plant, St George’s sword, mother-in-law’s tongue, viper’s bowstring hemp
It’s no surprise that snake plants are popular houseplants. They naturally grow in some incredibly hot places in Africa and Asia and will thrive on being neglected. As long as your snake plant has plenty of light and a good-sized pot (they can get a bit top-heavy when they grow tall) you can leave it to do its own thing. It will barely need watering. If you forget to water, it will forgive you.
Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Hahnii’
Common name: Bird’s nest snake plant
Height: 8 inches to 1ft
A short stocky snake plant, Hahnii is great if you don’t have endless space for your succulents. This one grows slowly and stays quite small. It sort of looks like a bird’s nest. Like all the snake plants, it is a tough cookie. It will rarely need any attention. You can also get ‘Silver Hahnii’, ‘Golden Hahnii’ (pictured above) and variegated versions.
Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Bantel’s Sensation’
Common name: Bantel’s Sensation, White Sansevieria
Height: up to 2ft
Straight, slender dark green leaves with creamy-white stripes are the signature of this elegant snake plant. A great addition to any house. It really stands out in a tall pot like the one pictured above. This way you get to see the full length of the leaves from about waist height upwards.
Common name: Cylindrical snake plant, spear sansevieria, African spear
With smooth, spear-like spikes for leaves, the cylindrical snake plant makes an architectural statement in any house or garden. It is slow-growing but will eventually reach about 3 feet in the right conditions. It looks ultra-modern in a tall slim pot.
Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Moonshine’
Common name: Moonshine snake plant, silver snake plant
Height: up to 2ft
This could be our favourite snake plant. The silvery grey and green colouring of this stunner makes it much-sought-after. The broad leaves have faint bands of darker green running through them. To make a standout display of snake plants, group this with some of the darker green and yellow-edged varieties on your patio or in a bright room.
Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’
Common name: Variegated snake plant, striped mother-in-law’s tongue
With creamy-yellow edges to its mottled green leaves, ‘Laurentii’ is probably the most recognisable snake plant. It’s popular and it’s pretty much indestructible. If you are a beginner and you want to try container gardening, this is a great choice. Remember, snake plants can live for months without water. A tall patio pot is a perfect spot for the long tongues of ‘Laurentii’.
Common name: Ceylon bowstring hemp
Height: up to 3ft
With tall green leaves and distinctive mottling this plant is another standout for a warm patio or bright indoor space. The patterns look rather like a tiger’s stripes. This Sansevieria has quite a rugged look to it. Like all of the plants on our list, it will positively enjoy being neglected.
Common name: Mason’s congo, shark fin, whale fin
Height: up to 4ft
This is a cool plant. The patterns look like they belong on a big fish. The leaves are deep and wide unlike some snake plants, and the striking green of this central African native adds to the wow factor. They make impressive indoor snake plants.
Common name: Star sansevieria
Height: up to 6ft
We haven’t talked much about flowers here because snake plants are not known for their floral displays, but you do get flowers. Most are green-white in colour. In the wild some have an enigmatic habit of opening at night and closing as the sun comes up.
Common name: Blue or sword sansevieria, Somaliland bowstring hemp, East African wild sisal
This snake plant makes an interesting shape, fanning out from a central short stem. You can see this in the wild plants growing in Tanzania, pictured above. The leaves can get to a hefty 5 feet. The flowers have a purple tinge to them.
Sansevieria Stuckyi or Dracaena Stuckyi
Common name: Snake stuckyi plant
Height: Over 6ft
A striking plant that is very easy to grow, the stuckyi snake plant sends up groups of poker-straight leaves. They make an impressive display planted in the garden or as a funky feature in a large patio pot.
Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Black Dragon’
Common name: Black dragon snake plant
Height: Around 1ft
A compact snake plant that makes a great indoor choice. The more sun it gets the greener the leaves look. Keep it in a shadier spot and the leaves will tend towards black. It makes a perfect houseplant for a windowsill as it won’t grow to a monster size and needs little care.
Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Twisted Sister’
Common name: Twisted sister snake plant, gold twist snake plant
Height: Up to 15 inches
An attractive dwarf snake plant, ‘Twisted Sister’ is bright gold and green. The leaves grow in a curly fashion from the base of the plant to form a pleasing rosette shape. Think about combining different leaf shapes and colours in a display when you buy your snake plants.
Common name: Kenya hyacinth
Height: Up to 1ft
A popular indoor snake plant, the white-pink flowers of the Kenya hyacinth release a beautiful scent in the evenings. The leaves are straight green spikes with darker green crossbands. The markings become more noticeable the bigger the plant gets.
Sansevieria Bacularis ‘Mikado’
Common name: Mikado snake plant
Height: Up to 3ft
This is a neat-looking snake plant with bright green rod-like leaves. It has fainter green stripes running horizontally across the leaves. The straight, tidy growth makes them perfect for a modern, clean look indoors.
Sansevieria Ehrenbergii ‘Banana’
Common name: Banana snake plant
Height: up to 1ft
Yes, there is a snake plant shaped like a banana. This is a fairly small plant with leaves that bend over in an incredible fashion – you can see how it got its name. Like other ehrenbergii snake plants, it will eventually grow in a fan shape. The leaves are fat and almost boat-like. It grows slowly and might reach 1 foot tall. The banana has a relative called ‘Dwarf Samurai’ which grows in the same way.
Common name: Cleopatra snake plant
Height: Up to 1ft
Last but definitely not least on our list. Cleopatra is a slow-growing plant that comes from Indonesia. It’s quite a new hybrid and it has some fascinating leaf patterns. The leaves grow into neat rosette shapes. They make perfect indoor snake plants.
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