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8 Types of Snake Plant – Most Popular Sansevieria Varieties

8 Types of Snake Plant – Most Popular Sansevieria Varieties
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When you hear the term ‘Snake Plant’ there may be more than one type of plant that comes to mind.

The moniker is often used to describe more than one type of Sansevieria or there are several sansevieria varieties so it can be a little misleading if you’re referring to a specific plant. To add to the confusion, some species can also be found in a variety of different cultivars with vastly different appearances.

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Snake Plants Caring Tips

Caring for snake plants is very easy, in fact, it is like caring for most succulent species. When cared for correctly, snake plants grow rapidly, and they are ideal plants for propagation.

Due to the shape of their large, flat leaves, they will gather dust very easily and begin to look very unaesthetic if they are not dusted down regularly. You must be careful while doing this to ensure you don’t damage the leaves and cause scarring.

Sansevieria varieties are very tolerant and resistant to most pests and diseases. It is best practice to check your plant’s leaves, root system, and soil for any signs of pests or diseases.

You should also be aware that regular potting soil is not suitable for snake plant species as the soil is far too dense for these plants to thrive. Instead, pot them in cactus or succulent soil that is porous with great drainage to stop the roots from suffocating.

Best Climate Conditions for Snake Plants

Snake plants can live in most conditions as long as the temperature never reaches below 50°F (10°C). They make great houseplants, and they are also lovely plants to have in your backyard.

Never leave your plant in frosty conditions, as it will deteriorate very quickly. If your plant is situated on a balcony or in your backyard and the weather takes a turn for the worst, you must move snake plant varieties indoors for protection.

Optimal Watering

It can be very challenging to water your snake plant correctly. Overwatering is the most common succulent plant problem that growers all over the world face.

Watering your plant from the base is recommended. This helps the roots grow deep into the pot; it also helps you avoid flooding the roots as any excess water can be tipped out.

Use the ‘soak and dry’ method of watering for your succulent plant. Touch the soil every day and only water the plant if the soil is completely dry. This is very important as premature watering will lead to root rot and similar diseases.

Optimal Light

If you want your snake plant to grow rapidly, place it in a sunny corner of the house, in partial or indirect sunlight. Likewise, if you want your plant to grow slower, place them in a shaded area that gets some sunlight during the day.

Leaving your succulent in direct sunlight for long periods of time can be very detrimental. Its leaves may become brittle, they may split, and permanent scarring can develop that will not go away unless you trim and remove the damaged areas.

Top Tip: You should always plant your snake plant in pots rather than in large containers that can’t be moved around. This is so that you can control the plant’s environment at all times.

Sansevieria (Snake) Plant Varieties

In all, there are over 70 types of Sansevieria that have been given the name ‘Snake Plant’.

Whether you already have Snake Plants in your collection or are considering your options, you have plenty of plants to choose from. Here are ten Sansevieria that every Snake Plant lover should consider.

Sansevieria trifasciata

Sansevieria trifasciata is one of the most common types of snake plant and there are quite a few cultivars to choose from. Some have deep green leaves, while others have variegated or even curly leaves.

At maturity, the leaves are typically about three feet in length and 2.5 inches in width. This plant is native to West Africa and is a popular choice for landscaping or as an accent in indoor décor.

Sansevieria trifasciata is easy to care for plant and is a great choice for beginners and experienced gardeners alike.

It requires moderately bright light but can survive in low-light environments. It prefers well-draining soil as too much moisture can cause root rot.

Sansevieria gracilis

Sansevieria gracilis
This unique and compact Sansevieria looks great in any garden.

This Snake Plant is one of the more petite varieties. Typically, the leaves stay under about 18 inches in height.

The green and white banded are long and pointed, as with most varieties of Sansevieria. It typically blooms in late fall and produces clusters of greenish-white flowers.

Bright filtered light or partial sun is ideal for Sansevieria gracilis. It’s possible for this plant to grow in full shade or low-light conditions, but the colors will not be as vibrant as they would with more sunlight.

As with most varieties of Sansevieria, propagation is possible through leaf cuttings and offsets.

Sansevieria canaliculate

The cylindrical leaves of Sanseveria canaliculate measure up to three feet long and about an inch in diameter at maturity. The leaves grow either singularly or two at a time.

This Snake Plant is native to Madagascar and blooms in the spring. The flowers are tubular and greenish-white in color.

Sansevieria canaliculate prefers bright filtered light and well-draining soil. Infrequent water will keep this plant in top shape.

It is not a frost-tolerant plant and must be protected during temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sansevieria patens

This chunky Sansevieria is native to eastern Africa and grows in a rosette shape with short, cylindrical leaves. The grooved leaves can reach up to three feet long and about two inches in diameter.

They are typically dark green with light green bands. When in bloom, the plant produces clusters of grayish-white flowers.

As with other varieties of Sansevieria, Sansevieria patens grow best in moderately bright light. Brighter light will bring out the plant’s natural colors, but it can tolerate most light levels.

This plant prefers to be watered infrequently but deeply. It’s not frosted hardy and must be protected or brought inside during frigid weather.

Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’

This variety of Sansevieria features deep green leaves with golden edges. At maturity, the plant can reach up to four feet tall.

Like other Sansevieria, the sword-shaped leaves grow vertically in a tight clump. It’s rare for this cultivar to bloom, but when it does, it produces greenish-white leaves at the top of a slender inflorescence.

Laurentii does best in moderately bright light. Brighter light will result in more vibrantly colored leaves, but the full sun may burn the leaves. This plant does best with infrequent water, especially during the winter. Well-draining soil is essential in preventing root rot.

Sansevieria cylindrica

Sansevieria cylindrica
Click on the photo to get your own Sansevieria cylindrica from Mountain Crest Gardens!

This cylindrical variety of Snake Plant is native to Angola and is sometimes called ‘African Spear’. Larger than many other Sansevieria, the smooth rounded leaves can reach up to six feet tall.

It’s common practice to braid the leaves while they are young, securing them at the top. This helps control growth and creates a pleasing arrangement.

Sansevieria cylindrica is a great plant to use for landscaping, provided that you live in a warm climate.

Like other succulents, well-draining soil is essential, and water should be provided infrequently. This plant is mildly toxic, so use caution if planting in a location frequented by children or animals.

Sansevieria fischeri

Sansevieria fischeri is one of the smaller varieties of Snake Plant, measuring less than 16 inches in height at maturity.

It’s an ideal plant for container gardening but can also be grown successfully outdoors. In the summer, the plant produces an inflorescence with a cluster of tubular white flowers.

This variety of Snake Plant does well with plenty of suns and adequate drainage. It’s not a frost-tolerant plant, so be prepared to bring the plant inside or protect it if the temperature dips below freezing.

Sansevieria masoniana

Sometimes called Whale’s Fin or Shark’s Fin, this Snake Plant is native to central Africa. It has broad, mottled green leaves that can reach up to four feet in length.

The paddle-shaped leaves may also be variegated, depending on the cultivar. This plant can easily be identified by its purple-banded sheath, but this is often below the soil line.

Sansevieria masoniana thrives in bright light. In fact, this plant is unlikely to bloom if it does not receive enough sunlight.

It requires water only when the soil is dry and should never be left in standing water. This Snake Plant will not tolerate freezing temperatures, so it will need to be protected during particularly cold weather.

These are just a few of the many wonderful sansevieria varieties. Snake Plants are perfect for indoor container gardens and outdoor landscaping alike.

They’re easy to care for and are a great choice for both inexperienced and expert gardeners. With so many shapes and colors to choose from, how can you bring home just one?

Snake Plant Buying Guide

When looking for your next snake plant, you want to purchase something that is going to grow luscious for years to come. It isn’t as easy as it sounds to buy a snake plant; you have to consider which types of snake plants are suitable for you and which one you like the look of the most, along with many other factors. Take a look at the following buying guide for advice.


A plant’s color is a big indicator of its health. Discoloration can be a sign of many conditions, some more serious than others.

Snake plants should be bright and vibrant. Their leaves should be a rich green color, and their stems should look vibrant and crisp. Watch out for signs of yellowing or spots of black or brown, as this could be a sign of a very serious condition.


The plant’s texture is a very important indicator of its health. Snake plants should have firm stems, and their leave should be crisp and keep their shape.

Soggy leaves or stems or a floppy-looking plant are a bad sign of plant health. Flimsy stems and soggy leaves could be a sign of root rot, which is a very difficult condition to overcome.

Root System

If you are purchasing the plant from a garden center and not from an online store, you should remove the plant from the pot and inspect its root system. This shouldn’t be a difficult task.

If the soil and the roots stay tightly packed and keep the shape of the pot even when the plant has been removed from the pot, then the plant has well-established roots. If the soil crumbles away and leaves you with a load of dirt in your hand, then the root system is not established.


The pot a snake plant is planted in can always be changed, so don’t base your final decision on the look of the plant’s pot. Make sure that the pot has plenty of drainage holes in it for the excess water to escape from. Terra cotta pots are great for snake plants.

Snake Plant FAQ:

Are you looking for more information on snake plants? That is where the following frequently asked questions section will come in handy. Read through the section below to discover more about snake plants now.

Q: Is there a snake plant called ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’?
A: Yes, there is! The sansevieria trifasciata is also known as ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’. It is one of the most popular species of snake plants, and many people choose it for their home due to its hardy nature and low maintenance.

Q: How many types of snake plants are there?
A: There are about 70 species of snake plants around! No wonder choosing a snake plant for your home can feel like a challenge!

Q: Should you fertilize a snake plant?
A: Snake plants are slow-growing plants that do not require fertilizer. You can use fertilizer if you want to give your plant a boost, but this is not recommended if you are unfamiliar with using fertilizers as using too much will kill your plant.

Q: What do snake plants symbolize?
A: Keeping a snake plant in your home is symbolic for many reasons. It symbolizes cleanliness and positive energy.

Q: Are snake plants hard to maintain?
A: No, snake plants are very low maintenance plants. They don’t require fertilizer, and they need very little water to survive, which is great for people that love the idea of having plants in their homes but hate having to fuss over them constantly.

Q: Why is my snake plant leaning?
A: Overwatered snake plants will start to droop down or wilt, which could cause them to lean. Another reason your snake plant might lean is due to insufficient sunlight. Your plant might be leaning towards the light source to get as many nutrients from the light as possible.

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