Snake plant care

Snake Plant is renowned for its adaptable nature, a variety of species as well as an array of usages. Due to their amazing hardiness and striking lines, this plant is hard to kill and hot favorite to people who can’t keep anything green alive. This diehard plant can put up with almost anything in anywhere whether you grow them in your garden, balcony or other indoor spaces.

Snake Plant is generally known as Sansevieria though some people call it ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’ because of the shape and sharp margins of its leaves. This spiky beauty is adored for its bold and tough looks, pointed leaves and the amazing quality of purifying its surrounding air.

Varieties

Snake plants have approximately 70 species to choose from. You can see them in all shapes and colors – dwarf or tall, with flat, round or concave leaves, colored with dark green, light green, gold, silver, yellow, chartreuse, black or white. The most popular snake plant species are Black Robusta, Futura Robusta, Futura Superba, Cylindrica, Golden Flame, Gold Hahnii, Moonshine, etc.

Snake Plant Care

Though snake plant is easy to grow and can be neglected for weeks, you must not be oblivious to its care. After all, proper care is what will make your plant thrive and shine. So familiarize yourself with the plant’s basic needs and preferences.

Water

If you’re someone who tends to forget about his/her plant due to traveling or any other reason, this is the number 1 tip for you. Water your snake plant at an interval of 2 to 6 weeks, considering your home temperature and humidity. Make sure the soil gets completely dry before each watering session. Remember, overwatering can rot out your plant.

Light

Though snake plants like medium light ( a 10′ placement from south or west window), they can endure high and low light as well. How tolerant plants they are! Just don’t expose them to direct sunlight because that could burn out the plants.

Air Circulation

Snake plants don’t bother the stale or dry in a home or office environment. They can even survive in the bathroom where the moisture level is quite high. Another cool quality that makes the plant ‘diehard.’

Temperature

These plants can tolerate a long range of high and low temperatures. However, snow and frost are the key culprits to kill a snake. So, make sure you get your plant indoors if the temperature seems to decrease too low

Insects

Although Sansevierias are highly insect-resistant, they can be caught up by spider mites or mealybugs if you leave them in poor condition. If you get any bug, you should spray the plant with a water hose – this will blast off the insects and their eggs. Don’t use chemicals to get rid of the bugs. Try natural control like neem oil, horticultural oil or insecticidal soap.

Propagation

Snake plants are rapid growers and very easy to propagate. Once you get a plant, you will never need to purchase another one. You can propagate a sansevieria plant by division, by the rhizomes which spread and by leaf cutting. In a garden, these plants typically proliferate on their own through underground rhizomes. In a pot, you should try division method followed by leaf cuttings.

Soil

The soil nutrition requirement is quite easy for snake plants. As root rot is the key threat to these plants, you should use the soil with a good drainage system.

Fertilizer

Well… snake plants don’t need fertilizer. You can feed them during the spring season with a coating of worm compost and compost. If you really need to fertilize them, use an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer; that is also not more than 2 times in one season.

Transplanting

Never hurry to transplant your sansevierias. These plants actually grow better when you put them in a pot. You can repot your plant in every 2 to 5 years time period. Light intensity and duration affect the growth of snake plant. So, If you put your plants in the low light, you can transplant them conveniently every 5 to 10 years.

Toxicity

Snake plants are mildly toxic to pets and can cause nausea, salivation, vomiting, and diarrhea in them. Though the leaves of snake plant aren’t crunchy and appealing to pets, you should keep them away from chewing the plant.

Flowers

Some varieties of snake plants do flower. However, this is a rare phenomenon, and there’s is no certainty that you’d see flowers in your snake plants. If you happen to see so, don’t forget to savor the sweet smell and whitish beauty of the petals.

If you’re looking to freshen up your space with some delightful foliage, be sure to check out snake plants. Their strong, architectural, sassy appearance adds quite a charm in any indoor place.

How to grow and maintain Aloe Vera at home

Aloe Vera is not just for making cosmetic products, but it also adds some tropical flair to your garden.  Aloe Vera is an attractive a tremendous indoor succulent as well as an outdoor companion. The plant is used for many cosmetic purposes as it is a great healer for skin problems.

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However, it needs regular care and maintenance to grow and flourish properly. This post shares some best tips on how to grow and care for Aloe Vera plant at your home.

Soil for Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a succulent, and just like other succulents, it grows well in the dry conditions. It needs the cactus-like soil mix to grow and flourish. You can use the regular potting soil and mix it with some perlite or building sand. It is also necessary to create multiple drainage holes in the pot as Aloe Vera dies in the standing water.

Plant the Aloe Vera plant in the terra cotta pots with multiple drain holes. As the terra cotta dries faster than plastic or clay pots, it prevents the soil from getting overly drenched. You may need to re-pot the Aloe Vera plant in a bigger pot, as it grows and causes tipping. However, repotting is not essential as it can grow well in the snug conditions.

Plant them in the light

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Aloe Vera plants need proper light to grow them. They can tolerate the dry conditions but not the low light conditions. If you plant them outdoor, they get the required light, but if you want to plant them indoor in the containers, you need to place them near the windows. Setting them near the windows allows them to receive the required light.

You can place Aloe Vera plants in direct sun in the winter season to allow them to receive the natural sunlight. However, in the summer season, you should not place them under the direct sun as the overexposure can harm them.

Watering the Aloe Vera plant

Allow the soil of the plant to dry completely before watering the Aloe Vera plant. While watering the plant, keep the soil entirely drenched with water. However, you should allow the water to drain freely from the container. These plants survive well in the low water conditions, but they tend to rot and wilt in access water.

Using the fertilizers

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Usually, the Aloe Vera plants don’t need fertilizers, but you can add fertilizer to the regular plant care routine. Add fertilizer to the soil once a year in the spring. It is best to use a water-based phosphorus heavy fertilizer at half strength.

Replanting the Aloe Vera

The Aloe Vera plants also produce the new little plants that you can use for propagation. You can replant the new smaller plants in separate containers, or you can offer them to your friends. You can cut a few leaves of the plant by trimming them about 3 inches from the tips and put the cut ends in the potting mix in a container.

Not every new plant, but some of them will grow the small new leaves at their base. You need to wait for a few weeks until the new leaves grow a few inches, before repotting the plants or offering them to a friend.

Harvesting the Aloe Vera

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Aloe Vera gel is used in many cosmetic products and home remedies. According to the Mayo Clinic, if the gel is applied on skin burns, it can shorten the time of healing of first and second-degree burns. You can cut an Aloe Vera leaf with a knife or blade close to the stem and take the gel from the cut end to apply on the sunburn or sore spot on the skin.

You can remove the skin of the cut leaf and use the gel to make a paste for using it on hair or skin. Aloe Vera gel is the ingredient used by many companies in their skin care products.

Final Words

Aloe Vera plant increases the visual appeal of your garden and indoors. Some people use it for medicinal purposes, but it should be used only under medical supervision. The tips mentioned in this post can help any individual to plant the Aloe Vera correctly and reap its benefits.