I hope these 11 snake plant benefits help you discover how resilient and easy this succulent is AND that it can add more than just beauty to your home! It’s so easy, even I can keep them alive.. and that says a lot!
In this post I’m covering 11 snake plant benefits (also commonly called Sansevieria, their former genus name), this beloved houseplant offers so much more than aesthetic appeal, let me share them with you!
Stick around to the end of the post for basic care and propagation instructions.
Snake Plant Benefits
There are so many positive things to be said about the snake plant, such as:
1. Improves sleep
One of my personal favourite snake plant benefits is that it helps my family sleep more deeply at night. A good night’s sleep can make a world of difference in the upcoming day – especially with little kids at home.
The snake plant is one of those wonderful plants that has a unique type of photosynthesis which allows it to release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide at night.
This 2015 study shows that decreasing the carbon dioxide levels in your bedroom at night objectively increases sleep quality. The study also shows that improvement in air quality can subjectively increase your concentration and alertness the next day. Sign me up!
2. Very low maintenance
The snake plant is incredibly low maintenance. It has preferences for sure, but it will be forgiving if you forget to water it or if you put it in a less-than-ideal location.
This makes it a perfect choice for beginners, busy mamas, or anyone who wants to enjoy the benefits of houseplants without having to tend to them very often.
So, what does “low maintenance” mean?
Place your snake plant in indirect light and water when the soil is completely dry. Or be like me and keep the rooted part of the plant in water (no dirt at all) in a glass jar. I’ve kept my snake plants like this for nearly 5 years now with no problems!
And that’s it! I love the simplicity of it. I give more detail in the basic snake plant care section below.
3. Tolerates low to bright light
Another feature that makes the snake plant an ideal choice is that it tolerates low to bright light. This is a definite benefit!
The low-light areas of my home often seem to be begging for plants. I would definitely consider putting a snake plant there as it will likely survive while looking beautiful and healthy!
If the leaves start to look a bit floppy, it likely needs a bit more light. So maybe move it or try hanging it up if it’s small enough to bring it closer to the nearby window light! I have a post on my favourite indoor hanging plants if you’re interested. Find it HERE
So, while indirect light is best, the snake plant is quite resilient to non-ideal lighting such as very low light or direct sunlight. You’ll have to experiment in your home to see where your plants thrive.
4. Perfect for beginners
As we’ve discussed, this beautiful and bold succulent is low maintenance and versatile to different lighting situations. You can forget it for some time, and it can still thrive!
Snake plants were one of my first indoor plants when I got my own home. And it’s a good thing too because I neglected them so much and they still survived!
For these reasons, I would definitely recommend a snake plant to anyone just getting started on their house plant journey! It’s very forgiving of the slight learning-curve beginners have in caring for plants.
5. Removes toxic pollutants
Now for one of my favourite pieces of science-meets-natural-living research.
In September of 1989, NASA published a Clean Air Study in which they proved that houseplants have the ability to remove toxic pollutants (often called VOCs, or volatile organic compounds) from enclosed indoor areas.
Based on that study, as well as other similar studies, it seems that the snake plant is a superstar air purifier with the ability to remove most types of household VOCs!
If this is a big benefit for you, you’ll appreciate Wikipedia’s summary table which clearly lays out which plants remove which compounds. Their data is based on NASA’s 1989 study as well as other similar studies.
Indoor plants have always been a benefit to our family, especially during winter when we are inside more and less able to open windows and doors to air out the house.
6. Snake plants are affordable
Snake plants are typically affordable which is a huge benefit for those (like me) on a tighter budget!
For cheaper snake plants, you could start by checking your local hardware stores. These types of stores usually have larger plants for less money. Just pay careful attention to quality in these cases.
You could also consider buying plants online from a variety of sources like Facebook Marketplace or Etsy. Or check out your local plant nurseries to pick out the exact one you want.
For me, I got my snake plants from my grandma whos plants were multiplying faster than she could keep up with!
7. Stress reducing and increased focus
It seems that studies are beginning to prove what has been generally understood for years. Namely, we tend to feel happier, more focused, and less stressed when we interact with nature.
While this benefit applies to any indoor plant, it is certainly a benefit of a snake plant due to its super ability to absorb toxins and produce oxygen.
Personally, I feel that plants make my house feel more like a home. They seem to foster a more peaceful, calm, and welcoming environment. During winter I love my indoor plants even more. They brighten up our days and bring a certain earthy smell to the room that remind me of my summer garden.
From a designers viewpoint, indoor plants bring life to a space. Large plants like the Snake Plant can visually ground a room with its strong large leaves, and deep green appearance. Its proven that live plants bring a calm grounding feeling to people who are in the room.
8. Easy to divide and propagate
By investing in one high-quality snake plant, you can truly produce an endless amount of snake plants as the years go on!
You can multiply snake plants in two ways:
- Dividing your snake plant. Your “mother” snake plant will send out “pups” (new leaf shoots) beside her through what’s called a creeping rootstocks. I just love that they’re called pups… But regardless, you can divide these pups into their own containers when they become large enough.
- Propagating from snake plant leaves: You can also create new snake plants by cutting a leaf off near its base, allowing it to dry out, and then placing it in water until it grows a substantial amount of roots. At this point, you can place it in a small pot with soil and care for it as usual.
9. Decreases allergy symptoms
By releasing oxygen and moisture into the air, snake plants can play a role in decreasing allergy symptoms. And since these plants are exchanging carbon dioxide for oxygen 24/7, placing them in your room can help with allergy symptoms overnight!
As with benefit #5, plants are just a piece of the puzzle in overcoming allergies. But – I would argue – the most lovely piece of that puzzle!
10. They can grow impressively large
Now, I don’t want to get your hopes up too high here. Snake plants are slow growers. But over time, snake plants can grow several feet tall! I would count this among the many snake plant benefits for sure.
A local plant-friend recently taught me that sufficient sunlight has a lot to do with how quickly and how strong the snake plant grows.
Too little light can cause thinner leaves which can break when they become too tall. Not all is lost, though, if this happens! Simply cut the leaf off, as mentioned in tip #9, and propagate it into a new plant.
Give your snake plant abundant indirect light, and watch it grow! It won’t happen overnight… or likely over a few months. But with consistent, simple care it can grow into a masterpiece in a few years!
11. Snake plants are pest resistant
And for the final benefit… snake plants are pest resistant!
As a houseplant lover, one of the most infuriating things is a lovely houseplant becoming infested with any sort of pest. These tiny critters can cause a once-thriving plant to suddenly wilt or even die.
While most houseplant pests can be eliminated with consistent action, it can sometimes feel like an uphill battle (that I’ve given up on a few too many times).
This is why I absolutely love this snake plant benefit. I would much rather not have to fight this battle in the first place!
Where do you buy a snake plant?
Are you convinced? I am! If you’re looking to add this lovely and beneficial plant to your home, here’s a few ideas for where to buy one (or more…).
- Local hardware stores: as mentioned above, these places may be cheaper. Just be sure to watch out for low quality plants (broken or browning leaves). Despite these possible downsides, you can get a lot of plant for your buck.
- Local plant nurseries: these tend to be higher quality and, consequently, higher priced. But you’re much more likely to go home with a healthy happy plant.
- Local giveaways or sales: Sometimes you can get lucky with a Facebook Marketplace “moving sale” in which someone sadly (for them… happy, for you!) has to get rid of all their plants when they move.
- Online: I have yet to try this method, but some people have great success with it.
- Family or friends: So many people have extra plants that they would love to see go to a loving home!
How do I care for my snake plant?
Taking care of your snake plant is simple, all you need is:
Maintaining the health of your snake plant is easy and takes only a few minutes every couple of weeks!
As mentioned a few times before, indirect lighting is best. This means a place that gets abundant sunlight, but never directly (likely a north-facing window if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere). However, these plants are versatile, so feel free to experiment in other lighting situations.
The basic rule of thumb is to water your plant when the soil is completely dry (as with other succulents). However, if you miss this by a day – or by a week – your plant will likely not be phased.
Choose a pot with drainage holes to avoid rotting the roots.
Make sure you use filtered water if you’re on city water, or collect your own spring water like my family does! My plants thrive on it.
You want to be careful not to over fertilize your snake plant. 1-2 times per year should be plenty (possibly more if your plant is in a high-light location).
I choose natural ways to fertilize since I don’t use the conventional store bought companies. Google it, there are so many natural alternatives!
A quick note on toxicity
While snake plants are considered relatively safe, they are mildly toxic if consumed. So, if you have little kids or pets who like to eat odd things like dirt and plants, be sure to put your beloved snake plant out of reach (on a shelf or in a hanger).
Large doses seem to be the issue. The common reactions are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and a numb/swollen tongue.
So, let’s stick to eating our indoor herb gardens instead!
Another post you might like;
Low light hanging plants are a great option if you’re living in a tiny space. They purify the air and provide oxygen which is great during the darker months when people are inside more often. Check out this list of 20 beautiful plants that are well-suited for hanging and can tolerate low light.
11 Snake Plant Benefits You’ll Fall In love With
Shoutout to my friend Amelia for her contributions and insight within this post! Thanks girl!