While some people assume that the name “snake plant” simply refers to a specific type of house plant, it is actually a blanket term used to describe a whole family of upright-growing, evergreen perennial plants. In reality, there are actually many different species within the snake plant, or dracaena trifasciata, family.
Since snake plants require very little maintenance, and they are known to purify the air by removing toxins, it is no wonder that they are such a popular type of indoor plant. When you also consider the fact that they have a striking appearance that can add color and character to any room in your home, you might wonder why you waited so long to grow your own indoor snake plant.
To help you choose the perfect houseplant, we are going to count down eight of the most beautiful types of snake plants you can grow indoors. But firstly let’s answer:
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What are the benefits of Snake Plants?
Snake plants are popular indoor plants for several good reasons. They offer a range of benefits:
- Air Purification: Snake plants are among the few plants that can perform photosynthesis at night. They can convert CO2 into oxygen even when it’s dark. This makes them a popular choice for bedrooms.
- Removal of Air Pollutants: According to some studies, including those by NASA, snake plants can remove toxins such as formaldehyde, xylene, toluene, and nitrogen oxides from the air.
- Low Maintenance: Snake plants are hardy and can tolerate a variety of conditions. They can survive with low light and irregular watering, making them ideal for people who might not have a lot of time for plant care.
- Humidity Control: By releasing moisture into the air, snake plants can help increase the humidity in a room. This can be beneficial in environments where the air tends to be dry.
- Disease Resistance: The plant has natural resistance to pests and diseases, reducing the need for chemical treatments.
- Decorative Appeal: With their upright, spear-like leaves and varying green patterns, snake plants add a modern and aesthetic touch to indoor spaces.
- Tolerant to Varied Conditions: Snake plants can handle a range of temperatures and light conditions, making them versatile for different settings.
- Safe for Most Allergies: While they are toxic to cats and dogs, snake plants are generally non-toxic to humans and can be a good choice for people with plant-based allergies.
Given these benefits, it’s no wonder that snake plants are a favored choice for both novice plant owners and seasoned gardeners. However, if you have pets, it’s essential to ensure they don’t ingest the plant.
1. Sansevieria Trifasciata “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue”
When most people picture a snake plant in their head, they are actually thinking about the Sansevieria Trifasciata, or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. This is the most popular type of snake plant, and when you see one, you understand why. Their tall and pointy green leaves grow directly upward, and they usually grow to about three feet in height.
The upright leaves tend to have an alternating dark green and light green pattern with an eye-catching yellow trim along the sides. The unique coloration and distinct, upright growth explain why these beautiful snake plants are so iconic.
Since they are so popular, another advantage of choosing a Sansevieria Trifasciata is the fact that they are wildly available and usually relatively inexpensive. You can usually walk into any garden center and find plenty of these classic snake plants for sale.
2. Sansevieria Futura Robusta
The Futura Robusta indoor snake plant’s leaves tend to have a grayish-green color with wavy, horizontal stripes. Like the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, the leaves grow in an upright direction; however, the fleshy leaves tend to be shorter and broader.
Since they are more compact than most snake plants, they can be a great way to add color to smaller spaces. If you are looking to add a plant to a small home office, or you are an apartment dweller with limited floor space, a Futura Robusta is a beautiful and practical option.
3. Sansevieria Cylindrica
The Sansevieria Cylindrica almost has a bamboo-like appearance. As the name suggests, the leaves are almost cylindrical in shape, but they come to a narrow point at their tips. The leaves tend to grow in a light green color with subtle, yet beautiful stripes.
Since they can grow up to 6 feet in height, it is a good idea to plant this snake plant variety in a pot that will sit on the ground. Given that they are really easy to care for, and their cylindrical leaves give them a really attractive appearance, it is no surprise that they are quickly becoming one of the most popular types of snake plants you can grow.
4. Sansevieria Masoniana “Shark Fin Snake Plant”
The Sansevieria Masoniana gets its nickname, the Shark Fin Snake Plant, from its broad, fin-like leaves. These succulent leaves grow quite wide by snake plant standards, but they still grow in an upright direction and come to a point.
The dark green leaves tend to have light green spots, so the plant has a really unique and attractive appearance. Some people will even grow a single leaf in a pot, which gives the plant an almost cactus-like charm.
5. Sansevieria Kirkii “Star Snake Plant”
The Sansevieria Kirkii is less common than other snake plant varieties, but it has a really beautiful appearance. They have smoother leaves than most snake plants. The leaves tend to grow in a flat, upright direction and also grow tighter together than other snake plants.
They have a light green color that tends to grow darker toward the tips of the succulent leaves. If you can find one, they make an excellent indoor plant that can add plenty of character to any room.
6. Sansevieria Fischeri
The Sansevieria Fischeri is one of the smallest snake plant varieties, and they usually only grow to a maximum height of about 15 inches.
This sansevieria plant has uniquely curved leaves that usually grow forest green in color. As the plant matures, yellow stripes can appear along the edges of the leaves. While they have a really eye-catching appearance, and they look great on desks and window sills, it is worth noting that they are mildly toxic if consumed, so they might not be a great option if you have curious pets or small children.
7. Sansevieria Patens
The Sansevieria Patens has really vibrant leaves that almost always grow out in a dark green color. The leaves tend to branch out in all directions, rather than grow in a straight and upright direction. Some of the leaves will even curve over each other as they grow, which gives the plant a beautiful yet wild appearance.
Compared to other snake plant varieties, they do not grow very large, so they work well for those with limited indoor space. Some people compare the Sansevieria Patens to an aloe vera plant, but they are usually easier to care for. Under the correct growing conditions, this type of snake plant will sprout grayish-white flowers, which tend to bloom in small clusters.
8. Sansevieria Gracilis
The Sansevieria Gracilis is another type of snake plant that does not grow in a strictly upright direction. The succulent leaves are relatively thin and almost have a conical appearance. They will grow in all directions and can even begin to spiral as they grow out in length.
They are almost always light green in color and will sometimes have darker green stripes, especially close to the soil. Under the correct conditions, they will bloom and reveal small and fragrant flowers that grow directly upward.
Out of all the snake plants listed above, the Sansevieria Gracilis is perhaps the least snake plant-like in appearance. With that being said, their unique appearance can make them a stunning and interesting addition to your indoor garden.
Are snake plants toxic to cats?
es, snake plants (Sansevieria trifasciata), also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, are considered toxic to cats (as well as dogs). If ingested, they can cause symptoms such as:
- Swelling of the tongue and mouth
The toxicity is due to saponins, which are natural chemicals found in the plant. While snake plants are popular indoor plants due to their air-purifying properties and low maintenance needs, it’s essential to keep them out of reach if you have pets in the house, especially cats, who might be tempted to chew on plants.
If you suspect your cat has ingested any part of a snake plant, it’s a good idea to contact a veterinarian immediately for guidance.