Snake plants are popular, easy-to-grow houseplants. These slow growing plants have stiff, upright, sword-like foliage or are compact, like the bird's nest snake plant. They are available in several shapes and colors. Some have irregular, horizontal bands of dark green and gray-green with a small, yellow outline. Some do not have the outline and still others have a large, yellow outline and hardly any green.
New shoots arise from rhizomes and may be left to fill the container or divided out for a new plant, or start a new plant by cutting the leaves into horizontal sections and sticking them into a container filled with potting mix. Place the container into a clear plastic bag with a few holes to increase the humidity. They'll root after several weeks.
Snake plants thrive in full sun; they will tolerate low light but color variegations will not be as pronounced. Snake plants are able to tolerate periods of drought but will not tolerate wet conditions since root rot may occur. The bird's nest snake plant also may be used in a terrarium since it is a compact, low-growing plant. Mealybugs can be a problem for snake plants. Mealybugs may be controlled by using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol and placing it on the back of the cottony moss of the insect.
For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).
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Updated Tuesday, November 19, 2013