After years of attempting to keep any kind of greenery alive in my home — and failing — I've finally hit pay dirt with one particular houseplant: the snake plant. Finally, my brown thumb has been put to rest.
Officially known as Sansevieria trifasciata, the snake plant is also referred to as mother-in-law's tongue or St. George's sword because of the sharp looking leaves. (Sorry to mothers-in-law everywhere.)
So, why is it so magical for those of us who typically can't keep houseplants alive?
- It grows well in bright sun or shady corners.
- It only needs occasional water to thrive: every couple of weeks in the summer, and once a month in winter.
- It's virtually indestructible. It can be left to its own devices for weeks at a time.
- It's tough: you can place it in the kitchen (with temperatures over 50 degrees Fahrenheit) and it won't wilt in the heat.
- It's been said that certain specimens have been known to survive for weeks stashed away in closets. (Now, that just sounds cruel, but proves the point, yes?)
- Also, an extra bonus for everyone: NASA named them among the best air-cleaning plants.
Our resident plant expert, Teo Spengler, says, "With its elegant, upright architectural structure and pleasing emerald/gold leaf variegation, the snake plant doesn't look like the ultimate survivor plant. But it is, tolerating neglect, low light conditions, and the worst kinds of brown-thumb abuse. Mine has been with me a decade and still looks terrific."
And she's not alone.
"I have one in the darkest room with blackout curtains and I water it, like, every four months ... and it thrives," shares Gina Goff, Hunker's Director of Audience Development.
So, what are you waiting for? Buy it here.
Oh, and here are some shots of snake plants thriving in my home (if you're looking for some proof):
In my kitchen...
At my work-from-home desk ...
And outside by my front door (during the fall season) ...