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How to Care for your Variegated Snake Plant

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How to Care for your Variegated Snake Plant

What is a Variegated Snake Plant?

This tropical indoor plant is a structural sensation within your home or office decor. It’s variegated leaves show off dark green to lighter greenish-gray horizontal bands with light yellow margins. The rigid leaves grow 3-4 feet tall, standing vertically like a soldier pointing it’s tips upward. Because it's virtually undestroyable, it is a top contender for the ‘easiest plant to grow.’ It is considered a succulent plant and stores water in its leaves, which means low maintenance! 

Bloom: Don’t expect to see a bloom because it’s rare, but if you are one of the lucky ones, it will have numerous dainty, fragrant, white flowers clustered near the top of a tall stalk. 

Toxicity Level: Mildly toxic to humans, pets, cats, and dogs as it does contain saponins. This toxin can cause oral swelling and numbness and intestinal distress. 

Air Cleaner: Cleans, filters and purifies the air in your home or office of formaldehyde and benzene. 

Great for People: 

  • Plant beginners.
  • On the go with no time to waste.
  • World travelers.
  • Who has a small space but want immediate impact.
  • With a variety of lighting conditions

Great for Space:

  • Rooms with artificial, low-medium to high light (northern, eastern, southern exposure). 

How to Care for a Variegated Snake Plant 

Light preference: This statuesque indoor plant does best in medium light but can survive in a range of low to high. Although bright lights will enhance the colors in the leaves and edges will appear more yellow. Place near the north, south, or eastern-facing exterior window for best outcomes. 

Water/Humidity: Be sure to water this plant when you receive it. Let the soil dry between waterings. Water it approximately once a month in an average home or office environment. This architecturally structured plant should never sit in water for any length of time. Be careful, applying too much moisture as the stalks can rot. This indoor plant doesn’t prefer humidity but can tolerate it and allow you to water much less. Turn your plant 180° each time you water to support all sides for adequate light requirements. 

Ideal Temps: Provide room temperatures around 55-80°F(12°-27°C)

Plant Food/Fertilizer: See our available organic fertilizer. Fertilize once or twice per year to optimum growth and plant health. 

Repotting Frequency: Replant these plants when the roots are too crowded in the container. Check the root system every 2-3 years and, if so, transfer to a container one size larger using a lightweight indoor potting mix

Cleaning: Take a damp cloth and delicately wipe the leaves without using commercial leaf cleaners or shine products. These could damage and discolor the leaves. If overwatering occurs, leaves will become droopy and rot at the base. Remove them with sterile pruners.

Common Issues of the Variegated Snake Plant

  • Overwatering will cause root rot. Roots will die from a lack of oxygen or overgrowth of soil fungus, which spreads to the roots, turning them brown and soft. Repot the indoor plant, removing the infected soil, and add clean indoor plant mix. Adding mycorrhizae (found in some fertilizer) can ward off unwanted bacteria and fungi as well when replanting. 
  • Snake Plants desire typical home temperatures. If this plant is exposed to cold temperatures, it will damage the cell walls leaving scarring, yellowing, or mushy leaves. 
  • Mealybugs can attack this plant if stressed. Inspect the leaves and base of the plant each time you water. 
  • Spider mites have a productive nature and can, at times, attack the waxy coating to access the Snake Plant's internal fluids. Even though you may not water your plants weekly, admire their leaves, and watch their overall health. 

Complimentary Plants with your Variegated Snake Plant 

To compliment your Variegated Snake Plant, try the Spider Plant! It’s another excellent plant for beginners and proves to be similar in light requirements as the Snake Plant. It enjoys bright to moderate, indirect light too. It needs a little air space to enhance the view since its leaves spill over the edge of the container. It’s also a variegated leaf plant, making an attractive comparison to the other plants in the mix. 

Bromeliads are another favorite since they come in a variety of colors. Their thick leaves mimic the Snake Plant. Overwatering can lead to the same results with root or crown rot, so these two together don’t like soggy soil. And again, this one is another indoor plant to grow that removes air pollutants. 

For more information on caring for your new indoor plant, check out our comprehensive care guide here

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