Snake plants, or sansevieria trifasciata, as the botanists have named them, are among the most popular plants you will find in homes across America today for a good reason.
Not only do their long stiff pointed leaves make a striking addition to your home décor, but they are also resilient, low-maintenance plants that are easy to care for.
But just because they are robust and can hold out in different environments doesn’t mean you can leave them in a corner and expect them to flourish.
They are living things, after all. The key is to provide them with their optimum growing condition to thrive.
To understand how to keep your snake plant happy, you need to understand what environment they come from and how you can modify the conditions in your home to match.
While most plant owners think about water, light, and soil quality, many forget about humidity, another equally important factor.
In this blog, we go over the humidity a snake plant likes best, why it is essential and what you can do if the humidity drops too low or rises too high.
Natural Climate of the Snake Plants
These grass-like plants come from tropical countries in West Africa, such as Nigeria and Congo, but grow where the habitat is rocky and arid.
This harsher environment has molded the snake plant into hardier vegetation that can survive with less water, lower light, and minimum fertilizer.
These evergreen flowering perennials come in a few varieties, such as the white snake plant, the rhino grass, and the cylindrical snake plant.
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Humidity and Your Plant
Humidity is essentially the water content in the air. When temperatures rise, water evaporates bodies of water like lakes and oceans and is held in the air.
When the water vapor in the air increases, the heavier and clingier it feels. When the humidity reaches 100%, the air can no longer hold any more water, which is when it rains.
You may be wondering how humidity affects plants. Well, it is the determining factor in how much water is inside the plant cells.
When the humidity is low, the air is drier, which causes the plant cells to lose their water to the atmosphere. This drop in moisture can dehydrate your houseplant.
However, increasing the humidity means more water is in the air, and this damper air can keep water inside the plant. But that doesn’t mean an extremely high level of moisture is good.
If it is too humid, your plant will not be able to regulate its temperature through the process of transpiration, which can lead it to overheat. Each plant has an ideal range.
Does a Snake Plant Like Humidity?
Snake plants don’t mind humidity. Thanks to its cultivation in the West African environment, a snake plant can live in a humidity range from 30% – 50%.
It can survive up to 60% but not for an extended period. The ideal humidity level is around 40%.
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What if the Humidity is Too Low for a Snake Plant?
If the humidity is too low for your snake plant, it will dehydrate even if you regularly water it. This plant’s long, broad leaves make for a large surface area.
When the humidity drops too low for too long, it can lose a lot of water. So if you are watering your snake plant on time but see the following symptoms, it’s time to check the humidity.
Signs of Low Humidity:
- The edges of the leaves start to brown
- The leaves begin to droop and wilt
- The leaves become duller, like dried grass
- The leaves lose their flexibility and become rigid or crispy
Way to Increase the Humidity:
There are several ways you can increase the humidity around your snake plant. These are listed below:
- Keep Snake Plants Close
While most plants like to keep their distance, snake plants love to be near each other. That is how they grow in their natural habitat. So if you have one, get a couple more and keep them close together.
As one releases water vapor (transpires), others nearby can absorb this extra moisture and create a pleasant little environment for each other.
- Mist The Leaves
Spritz your snake plant leaves on those drier days when the humidity is very low, and you can see the leaves losing their rigidity. You can use a mister with room temperature water.
But don’t overdo it! Your snake plant does not need to be misted regularly. It has thick leaves that are very efficient at keeping moisture in.
- Get a Humidifier
Invest in a humidifier. It can be used in the cooler, drier seasons and the summer if you use central air conditioning, which can dry out the air.
A humidifier can give off bursts of cooling mist that can keep the air damp.
- Get a Greenhouse
Housing your snake plants in a greenhouse, even a mini one, is an excellent option if you live in a colder, drier climate and have a lot of plants, not just snake plants.
Snake plants like the warmth, so autumn and winter are not their friends despite the drier weather. A greenhouse can help keep the temperature up while stabilizing the humidity.
- Get an Aquarium
Adding an aquarium to your home is not just about the colorful fish. This lively addition acts as a body of water in your home; as the water evaporates from it, it can increase the humidity inside.
What if the Humidity is Too High For a Snake Plant?
A snake plant can withstand pretty high levels of humidity but will suffer if it stays in such an environment for too long.
This heaviness of the air prevents air circulation, which stops your plant from transpiring and pulling nutrients up from the soil. This issue can significantly affect your plant’s growth and vibrancy.
If your snake plant is forced to endure such conditions for too long, it will begin to rot because extreme dampness is the ideal breeding ground for fungi and bacteria.
Signs of High Humidity:
- Lack of leave sweat
- Stunted growth
- Dull leaves
- Leaves are softer with a jelly-like feel
- Dark spots near the base
How to Decrease the Humidity of Your Surroundings:
- Water Your Plant Less
Water your snake plant less, especially if you are living in a climate that is on the wetter side, like on the West coast near the water.
Always feel the soil around your snake plant to ensure it is dry and breaks apart before you water it again.
- Plant in Soil with Better Drainage
Even though snake plants aren’t all that fussy, planting them in soil with better drainage will be helpful when it is too humid.
The extra water in the soil will drain out so that your plant doesn’t suffer from rot.
- Move Your Snake Plant
Change the home of your plant to a less humid place. Specific areas of your home, like the bathroom or kitchen, can be very damp, while other parts of your home, like an office or study, are comparatively drier.
- Remove Water Points
Remove water sources like aquariums, fountains, water bowls, etc. All these little things can add up and increase the humidity of a room.
- Increase Air Flow
Improve the airflow around the plant by moving it near an open window or a fan. But remember not to let your snake plant be anywhere it is too cold because these plants grow best in the warmth.
- Get a Dehumidifier
Invest in a dehumidifier. It can suck in all the damp air, remove the water and send out drier air. You can also adjust the settings on your air conditioning to do the same kind of thing.
How to Check the Humidity of Your Surroundings
Your weather app on your smartphone or a quick search online can give you a pretty accurate idea of how humid your area is but won’t tell you what the water content of the air in your room is.
Consider getting a hygrometer, an instrument that can tell you the exact humidity. This technique is a great way to find the optimum spot for your snake plant and keep an eye on the water levels in the air.
As one of Mother Nature’s most resilient species of flora, snake plants are just about the easiest ones to keep alive in your home. But surviving is not the same as thriving, especially when it comes to plants.
If you want your snake plants to live their best life, provide them with the best conditions. Don’t forget the humidity! You don’t have to wait for it to show signs of damage.
Just keep a regular check. When you see little issues starting to pop up, consider trying any of the fixes listed above to prevent more significant problems down the line. Hopefully, all this information will help keep your snake plant happy and healthy! If you’re in the USA and want to take care of your snake plant, this is the way to do it!
Read more about plants:
- Are Ladybugs Good for Houseplants
- Best Organic Fertilizer for Houseplants
- Does Neem Oil Kill Millipedes in Houseplants
- House Plants with White Flowers
- Does Snake Plant Need Drainage?
- Growing a Snake Plant Using its Cuttings
- The Top Tips to Repotting a Potted Indoor Snake Plant
- A Guide on How to Make Snake Plant Grow Faster
- How to Trim a Snake Plant?
Hi! I’m Sophia, and I love plants – especially an expert in growing house plants. I stay in Chicago, United States of America, and through my blog and social media platforms, provide tips and tricks on how to grow healthy, vibrant plants indoors. Check out more here.