My birthday was this past weekend and to celebrate we took a drive over to Cottleville, Missouri to visit The Potted Plant. I wanted to get a little plant I could take to the office to brighten up my desk. My requirements were minimal – he needed to be able to grow in artificial light and require minimal maintenance. A Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) was the perfect solution so I grabbed this adorable little guy for about $3 and a cute new planter.
I named him Plisskin which is a reference to the ‘Snake Plisskin’ character Kurt Russell played in the 1981 film Escape from New York and again in Escape from L.A. When I first told Brandon I’d name the plant Plissken I joked, “I bet you thought he’d be taller.” It’s a running gag in the Escape from L.A. movie. Every time someone met Kurt Russell’s character they’d say, “I thought you’d be taller.” No matter how tall my Snake Plant gets I’m sure that’s a joke I’m never going to get tired of cracking.
Some varieties of the snake plant can grow up to 12-feet though so it’s going to be fun to see what happens with Plissken over the years. Right now, Plissken is about 5 inches so he’s pretty small but I’m excited to see watch him grow.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) Basics
- Requires full sun to low light, can grow under artificial light
- Can be grown indoors
- Grows up to 12-feet tall
- Propagation by dividing new shoots
- Mildly toxic to animals
The Snake Plant is in the succulent family and as I recently mentioned, can be toxic to dogs. The toxicity level of the Snake Plant is low but if your dog ingests any of it they may experience nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea which is why I’m taking Plissken to the office. I doubt my dogs would try to eat it because the leaves are tough and pointy but with my guys – who knows?
How to Grow a Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Snake Plants are easy to grow and perfect for anyone who considers themselves a “black thumb” when it comes to caring for houseplants. These guys are nearly indestructible! They grow well in a wide range of light, from full light to artificial light to dark corners. This makes them ideal for taking to the office or for darker spaces in your home like bathrooms or laundry rooms.
Soil and Water Needs
Snake Plants are succulents so they prefer a loose, well-drained potting mix. I also like to put a thin layer of small gravel (like you’d find in a fish tank) in the bottom of the planter to improve drainage. A sandy, rocky soil is best for this variety so I’d recommend looking for something designed for succulents or cacti.
Because it’s a succulent, you should err on the side of too dry when it comes to the soil. You’ll want to let the soil dry completely between waterings. If your planter has a hole in the bottom, try checking the soil there. If it’s completely dry, your Snake Plant can be watered.
Propagating Snake Plants
Snake Plants are easy to propagate and can be divided easily when you repot them to bigger planters. Snake Plants are rapid growers so you should expect to repot them at least once or twice a year. Plissken has a little room to grow in his current planter but I can already tell he’s going to need a new home next spring. When you’re repotting your Snake Plant, divide it up and propagate.
Alternatively, you can propagate your plant when new shoots pop up out of the soil. Those spikes can be taken and potted independently to grow new plants or to give away as gifts.
I can’t wait to get Plissken to the office! He’s going to be such a great addition to my little workspace.