Yes, a snake plant is a succulent. Succulents are known to be hardy plants, and snake plants are no exception. Snake plants are not cactus plants, as they have characteristics that are different that the cacti specifications
These are one of the easiest types of succulents to care for and are a popular choice amongst beginner plant parents.
Snake Plants, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue and Sansevieria, are much-loved evergreens that can complement pretty much any style of decor. Some varieties of snake plants have sharp, upright, buttery yellow edges on their leaves, while others have striking dark green bands.
Even though our much-beloved snake plants are tough succulents, they still need a little tender loving care to look and feel their best.
In this article, we’ll cover what succulents are, how to identify succulents, why a snake plant is considered a succulent and what the difference between a snake plant and a cactus. Plus some snake plant care guide quick tips for our succulents.
What is a Succulent Plant?
Succulent plants, or succulents, are plants with thickened, fleshy parts that usually retain water in arid soil conditions.
From cold and hardy to tropical, succulent plants come in an assortment of sometimes bizarre colors, shapes, and features. Some with fleshy leaves or stems that can help them store water for weeks and sometimes months on end.
To expand on the definition of succulents, cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti. Sansevieria plants are considered succulents, or semi-succulents, especially the thinner leaved ones like the common snake plant types (varieties of Sansevieria Trifasciata).
They are indigenous to seaside cliffs, cold mountains, arid deserts, and even tropical jungles.
The main defining characteristic of a succulent is its ability to store water. Succulents are drought-tolerant and best grown in light conditions, though some are averse to direct sunlight.
Is the Snake Plant a Cactus?
Snake plants are succulents but are not considered cactus plants. Snake plants and cacti have an interesting relationship that causes some uncertainty for new plant growers. However, they do not represent the same relationship of plant categorizations.
Let’s distinguish the difference between the two and answer the question: ‘Is a cactus a succulent?’.
- Succulents: As mentioned earlier, succulents are known for their ability to store water in their fleshy roots, branches, or leaves. However, cacti also possess the ability to do so.
- Cacti: These plants have spines and thorns, but so do succulents, so what is the difference between the two? The distinguishing feature between succulents and cacti is known as areoles. These are small round mounds of flesh, where flowers, leaves, and hair grow from the cacti (and it’s not present in succulents).
How To Identify Types of Snake Plants | Sansevieria Varieties
There are over 70 sansevieria types, so it can be a little challenging to distinguish snake plants from other kinds of plants. However, there are a few characteristics that most snake plant varieties possess.
All sansevieria plants are succulents, and most species have long sword-shaped green leaves that stand upright and erect. Most snake plants’ colors vary in hues of green, and some contain yellow, red, and purple leaves.
Take a look at these popular types of snake plants, including:
- Sansevieria Trifasciata Laurentii
- Sansevieria Patens
- Sansevieria Gracilis
- Sansevieria Canaliculata
- Sansevieria Masoniana
- Sansevieria Black Coral
- Sansevieria Moonshine
- Sansevieria Fischeri
Did you know: Sansevieria Trifasciata, a variation of snake plant and native to Africa, yields a strong fiber that was once used to make bowstrings for hunting. For this reason, the plant is also identified as “Bowstring Hemp.”
How Big Do Snake Plants Get?
Snake plants are evergreen perennials that may reach heights of up to twelve feet. Their beautiful sword-like leaves can rise to approximately two feet tall, with broad, stiff, and upright foliage.
Are Snake Plants Tropical?
Mother-in-law’s tongue plants are tropical and subtropical. They’re indigenous to various continents including Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
These plants can thrive in moderate shade as well as areas with bright light. This is one of the many benefits of growing snake plants indoors – you can place them almost anywhere in your home, and they will be as happy as Larry.
How to Care for Snake Plants
Let’s take a brief look at the elements that help the succulent snake plants look and feel their best and how to take care of snake plants.
- Soil: Snake plants love loose, well-draining soil. This gives their roots free rein to grow easily and provides the plant with nutrients to survive. You can use all-purpose cactus soil for your snake plant. Try to stay away from any plant medium that may have peat in it, as this could make it difficult for the soil to drain properly.
- Fertilizer: Like many succulents, snake plants don’t require a lot of fertilizerto grow and thrive. However, there are some great mild liquid fertilizers if your plant needs a little boost in growth or if it’s suffering for some reason.
- Repotting: Unlike many other succulent varieties, snake plants prefer to be a little root bound in their pots, and you won’t need to repot them again until they are bursting out. Wait until you see the obvious signs of overgrowth or the roots sticking out of the drainage holes. You should expect to repot your snake plants every three to six months.
- Temperature: Snake plants prefer temperatures that are similar to their natural environments – ideally 50 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. Their ideal temperatures range from between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you see your snake plant’s leaves begin to droop, one of the culprits to look at would be cool temperature.
- Light: These plants grow best in partial or indirect sunlight. If you want your snake plant to grow rapidly, place it in a sunny corner of the house. Place your plants in a shady spot that receives partial sunshine during the day if you want their growth to slow down.
Tip: If you see your beautifully erected snake plant leaves start to wilt or droop, this is an indication your plant could do with a little more light.
How Often Do You Water a Snake Plant – Watering Guide
Snake Plants prefer to dry out completely before watering. You won’t need to water your Sansevieria more than once every ten days at the most (during the growing season).
But ‘How Much Water Does a Snake Plant Need?’
It’s recommended that you should let the soil dry out between each watering session. You won’t need to water your plant more than once or twice every month.
And during the winter months, it’s recommended that you only water the plant when the soil is extremely dry.
How Long Can Snake Plants Go Without Water?
Snake plants can go without water for as long as six weeks. However, this could also vary in regard to the environment the plant is in. Factors that can influence a plants drought tolerance include:
- Indoor humidity
- The specific variety of snake plant
- Indoor temperature
- The amount of light the plant receives
How to Water a Snake Plant?
It is best to water your succulent from the bottom. This allows the roots to grow deeper into the container while also preventing overwatering.
For succulents, um-hum snake plants, you should use a ‘soak and dry’ method for watering.
Touch the soil to feel if it’s completely dry, and if so, you should water it. Premature watering can be detrimental to your plant and can lead to root rot, splitting leaves, and other common diseases associated with overwatering.
Do Snake Plants Have Babies?
A unique feature of snake plants is their habit of creating baby snake plants called ‘pups’ from the parent Sansevierias. A fleshy rhizome will spread from the main root ball and grow a vertical set of leaves next to the mother.
These ‘pups’ will begin to grow their own root structures and eventually divide from the main plant to become a new little plant.
How To Propagate Snake Plants
If you’re not sure how to propagate a snake plant, fret not. Many succulents can easily be propagated by cutting their leaves, and snake plants are no different.
Once their leaves are clipped, the cut part of the plant can be placed in water or topsoil to create an off-shoot of the mother plant.
Pssst…Take a look at this step-by-step guide and the different methods of how to propagate snake plants here.
A Footnote: Are Snake Plants Succulents?
Snake plants are very common succulents and are perfect for beginners – they thrive on neglect and enjoy low-light conditions, making them perfect for growing indoors.
By now, I won’t blame you if you’ve already run to your local garden center to pick up one of these gorgeous plants.
Snake plants are low-maintenance, beautiful house plants that just about anyone can grow – regardless of gardening skill level.
We love their beautiful tall sword-like leaves, color variations, and greenish-white flowers. What’s your favorite thing about the snake plant? Did you know that it’s succulent?
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