7 Great Snake Plant Benefits (Best Household Plant)

If you wish to know about snake plant benefits1, read this article on its use, how to plant, and take care of one.

What Are Snake Plants?

Snake plants or Sansevieria trifasciata2, also known as Mother in law’s tongue and Bowstring hemp, are part of the lily family and native to Africa, i.e., rocky and dry habitats.

It is one of the most tolerant decorative plants which can survive in many growing conditions with minimum care.

This versatile plant has green sword-shaped leaves resembling artificial foliage. Although they are safe among indoor plants, they can also be toxic if eaten in large doses. So, it is better to keep it away from children and animals.

Some of the snake plant benefits include removing toxic pollutants3, protecting against allergies, and helping with minor ailments. Let us look at it more in detail.

1) 7 Healthy Snake Plant Benefits

7 Great Snake Plant Benefits Proven In Research & Studies

The snake plant or mother in law’s tongue has several benefits, apart from providing ambiance, like

1.1) Snake Plant Filters Indoor Air

snake plant benefits
By Andrea Grover/Flickr. Copyright 2022.

Snake plants help with filtering indoors, just like other succulents. The unique factor being it can convert carbon dioxide into oxygen during nighttime; this ensures healthy air during the night.

This is known as Crassulacean acid metabolism4 (CAM photosynthesis). It is performed by plants that are drought tolerant. The source for this is through studies conducted in an office environment and one on oxygen-producing plants.

Ideally, if you have 6-8 snake plants in your house, you can even survive without airflow.

This is one of the healthy snake plant benefits – as CO2 can be harmful in many places. It affects our cognitive skills and causes side effects like nausea, and dizziness, proven by studies. Of course, being a great oxygen-producing houseplant 24*7 makes it super healthy.

1.2) Snake Plant Remove Toxic Air Pollutants

air pollution
By Cristiangrowing/Flickr. Copyright 2022.

One of the snake plant benefits is that it helps improve indoor air quality by reducing air pollutants.

Gradually, it can also help absorb cancer-causing pollutants or harmful toxins like -Carbon dioxide, Benzene, formaldehyde, Xylene, trichloroethylene, and toluene.

To elaborate, these cancer-causing pollutants 5are as follows:

1.2.1) Benzene

Healthy airflow can be disrupted by the toxic substances that are spread from solvents, paints, smoking, heating, and cooling systems.

The side effects caused are nausea, headache, vomiting, and even cancer (backed up by research.) One can prevent this with the snake plant benefits mentioned above.

1.2.2) Formaldehyde

Another one of the toxic pollutants caused by cooking, paints, fuel combustion from traffic, and cosmetics, as well as features in a newly made home, is formaldehyde.

The side effects caused by this are irritation, breathing problems, and the risk of throat or nose cancers. One can prevent this with the snake plant benefits mentioned above. 

1.2.3) Xylene

Studies prove that this toxin is hazardous to humans and can be exposed to rust, paint, varnish, removers, and even pesticides. It can cause general irritation.

Snake plants and other plants like areca and mum plants can also be used to remove toxins like these.

1.2.4) Trichloroethylene And Toluene

Trichloroethylene6 can irritate the upper respiratory tract and cause nausea, headache, and fatigue, found in paint removers, adhesives, and varnishes.

If you wish to gain mental health benefits, it is better to keep toluene away, as it can affect the nervous system. It can also affect the reproductive system and cause necrosis in the long term.

If you wish to keep yourself safe from these, a snake plant in your surrounding can do the trick.

A NASA clean air study conducted on indoor plants proved ones that are leafier and bigger are better for air purification. Under this, the snake plant falls. Click here to get the details

1.2.5) Other Effects Of Better Indoor Air Quality

Snake plant benefits do not only help reduce indoor air pollution but also take care of airborne allergies. This is quite a cheap and natural way to stay healthy.

More specifically, the sick building syndrome is caused by one’s residence, symptoms varying from moderate to acute, like irritation in the ear, nose, and throat, itching, coughing, dizziness, fatigue, and muscle aches. But, they lessen once the surroundings change.

This can be caused by several factors like bad ventilation, pesticides, chemicals, and so on, which can be curbed with snake plants.

So, it helps reduce indoor air pollution, which is equally problematic as outdoor air pollution.

1.3) Snake Plant Is A Mental Health Booster

mental health
By iQoncept/unlimphotos.com Copyright 2022.

Small studies have shown that indoor plants play a positive role in a person’s mental health, even though further research is required.

Snake plant benefits fall under horticultural therapy, which is quite popular. Many indoor plants like these can be added to a home, workplace, school, and even medical facilities for the same.

1.4) Snake Plant Is Easy To Care For

THE (almost) UNKILLABLE SNAKE PLANT | Sansevieria Care Tips & Tricks

A snake plant is easy to care for, making it a part of the best low-maintenance houseplants. They can be found everywhere – from windowsills and apartments to public buildings.

Snake plants can tolerate any climate – shade, sunlight, less water, and dry air. In more detail:

1.4.1) Low Light Tolerant

One of the snake plant benefits is that it can thrive in low light areas and indirect sunlight. But keep them away from direct sunlight to avoid burning.

Generally, a bedroom with fewer windows is the ideal place. Basements with low lights and bathrooms with small windows also work.

1.4.2) Drought Tolerant

Yes, you can save plenty of water with this plant; it can be watered even with a 6-week gap.

Considering this, overwatering can also cause harm or even death to the plant. Watering the plant moderately and checking every 15 minutes would work.

Good drainage becomes necessary for snake plants to avoid the rotting of roots. In winter, water every two weeks to protect the plants. Once it starts growing, let it dry in between.

Tip – Adding Cactus or succulent soil with the regular potting one would help in this regard. Make sure your pot has draining holes, or use draining rocks and activated charcoal at the bottom.

1.4.3) Tolerant To Humid Temperatures

Snake plant benefits also include thriving in humid climates and being one of the dry climate plants. Thus, both a bathroom and office are ideal locations.

For households, 65 to 80 degrees works but make sure it doesn’t go below 55 degrees.

Here, watering and drainage need to be adjusted carefully, i.e., either less water and extra drainage or more water in drier climates.

1.4.4) Simple To Propagate

Snake plants can are easy to propagate, and there are two main methods –

1) Leaf Cuttings – The cuttings can be placed in a glass jar to develop the roots, then planted directly in the pot.

2) Offset or Rhizome Cutting – Cut Rhizomes as close to the stem as possible, take a glass jar with water and place it in it, let bigger roots grow, then plant in a pot for proper drainage.

Tip: When the plant is smaller, the cutting process becomes easier.

To know more about this process, click here.

1.4.5) Pest Resistant

Apart from bugs and spider mites, Snake plants are pest resistant, and this can also only happen if the conditions above are not followed.

This is one of the rare snake plant benefits as many plants kept outside during summers are affected by pests.

It also adds snake plant benefits like less fertilization required to the list. If needed, organic ones like cow urine, cow dung manure, and tea compost, once a month, can be used.

Other benefits of snake plants are they are root bound, so repotting can be done in-between years when the pot is about to burst.

So, it becomes a very low-maintenance household plant 7to have.

1.5) Snake Plant Protects Against Allergies

snake plant benefits
By BDS/unlimphotos.com Copyright 2022.

The oxygen released through a snake plant adds moisture to the air, lessening dust and dander, which are quite common airborne allergens. This is one of the efficient snake plant benefits. 

This ensures that poor indoor air quality can be avoided, which causes many side effects like:

  • Irritations in the nose, eyes, and throat, 
  • dizziness, 
  • fatigue, 
  • headache,-and worsening symptoms for asthma patients.

Indoor air pollution can lead to long-term effects like heart and respiratory diseases and cancer. If you wish to know more, click here.

1.6) Snake Plant Is A Good Source Of Feng Shui

How to incorporate plant Feng Shui into your home

The Ancient Chinese Art of Feng Shui is something that helps align a person’s energy with the surroundings, as has been proven by various studies.

Snake plant benefits can include optimizing the environment. According to Feng Shui, they can absorb negative energies of bitterness and jealousy, and placing them in a conflict-ridden environment would work.

But, since they have spiky leaves, it is best to place snake plants in open areas. Also, where the plant’s wood elements are highlighted in the Southern, Southeastern, and eastern corners.

This is not scientifically proven, but if you plan to buy snake plants, you can always see if this is one of the snake plant benefits. 

1.7) Snake Plant Help With Minor Ailments

snake plant
By wellphoto/unlimphtoso.com Copyright 2022.

Snake plant benefits include healing skin wounds and burns, reducing inflammation, standardizing blood pressure, strengthening the immune system, flushing out parasites, and relieving headaches.

But, this is not backed up by science. 

One should also be cautious of using a snake plant for the above benefits, as the leaves have poisonous substances – saponins, which can be harmful to health.

2) What Are The Different Types Of Snake Plants?

With so many snake plant benefits given, there are different varieties that one can choose from, depending on the species that suits their environment more.

The most common ones have slender and green leaves, with horizontal streaks of grey or silver color, growing up to several feet, even in low-lit areas.

The other common types include:

2.1) Bird’s Nest Snake Plant

Also known as Hawaii, this snake plant is quite small in size, and it can grow up to 6 inches tall.

The leaves of this plant resemble a cup, like a bird’s nest. Although they can adapt under any light conditions, a bright and filtered space works better.

This plant fits under low maintenance requirements, especially if you prefer a smaller variety.

2.2) Cylinder Snake Plant

This snake plant, also known as Sansevieria Cylindrica, has round leaves that can grow quite tall, reaching outwards, resembling a crown.

These can be placed under bright light, a north-facing window or curtained windows are the best choices. Low light is generally not given for its full growth.

A well-drained pot is preferred, with sandy or cactus soil. Make sure not to keep them in large clay pots, as they often break.

This plant is best used for ornamental purposes, generally contemporary designs.

2.3) Laurentii Sansevieria

This popular snake plant has a green-colored center with yellow margins. They are stiff and thick, with a glossy texture.

Low light conditions and less water are preferred; the leaves can be sprayed, especially during the summer.

These are best used for their air-purifying qualities and fresh oxygen supplies, especially at night, also providing better sleep.

However, it can also be toxic to animals and humans, depending on the person, with irritation to upset stomach effects. It is best to cautious.

2.4) Twisted Sister

This snake plant, scientifically called Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twist’, is dwarf size, reaching 15 inches.

It’s quite hard to find, consisting of twisting gold and green leaves, giving a bird’s nest effect.

Average temperatures, low light, and moderate water are preferred. These can be used for display in planters and flower beds.

2.5) White Snake Plant

This snake plant or Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Bantel’s Sensation’ has dark green leaves with white vertical stripes, which makes it unique.

It is easy to care for and can thrive over longer periods, even in drought conditions. Indirect light is better, and low light should be avoided.

2.6) Rhino Grass

This snake plant, also called the Sansevieria desert, is one of the most attractive indoor plants, producing a clump of vertical leaves.

They can be quite difficult to kill and grow great on floors, tabletop displays, and even clusters.

3) Why Buy A Snake Plant?

So, to sum up, by buying this plant, you get one that is safe and tough everywhere, can be placed anywhere, is environment friendly, and overall a good house plant to have.

If the above-mentioned reasons do not convince you, the best option is purely for decoration purposes. They can be kept in any space, and the smaller varieties can fit into the darker areas.

If you liked this article, click here to read another interesting piece on plants.    

  1. Fitrah, Adelia, and Tadjuddin Naid. “Anti-free radical activity test of endophytic fungal fermentate extract on the Snake Plants (Sansevieria trifasciata Hort. Ex Prain) using the TLC-Autography method.” Jurnal Akta Kimia Indonesia (Indonesia Chimica Acta) (2021). ↩︎
  2. Adeniyi, A. G., S. A. Adeoye, and J. O. Ighalo. “Sansevieria trifasciata fibre and composites: a review of recent developments.” International Polymer Processing 35.4 (2020): 344-354. ↩︎
  3. Bhatt, Pankaj, et al. “Nanobioremediation: A sustainable approach for the removal of toxic pollutants from the environment.” Journal of Hazardous Materials 427 (2022): 128033. ↩︎
  4. Ting, Irwin P. “Crassulacean acid metabolism.” Annual review of plant physiology 36.1 (1985): 595-622. ↩︎
  5. Irigaray, P., et al. “Lifestyle-related factors and environmental agents causing cancer: an overview.” Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy 61.10 (2007): 640-658. ↩︎
  6. Lash, Lawrence H., et al. “Metabolism of trichloroethylene.” Environmental health perspectives 108.suppl 2 (2000): 177-200. ↩︎
  7. Haehle, Robert G., and Joan Brookwell. Native Florida plants: Low maintenance landscaping and gardening. Taylor Trade Publishing, 2004. ↩︎

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