‘Don’t even water it!’ Houseplant expert’s surprising care tips for snake plants in winter

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Snake plants, also known as dracaena trifasciata, is a popular houseplant that is native to tropical West Africa. The plant, also known as Saint George’s sword, mother-in-law’s tongue, and viper’s bowstring hemp among other names, has a unique appearance with tall, dark-green leaves and pale green horizontal stripes. Most people will have a small version of the plant in their homes but the leaves can grow to three feet long.

Unlike other houseplants, snake plants are not fussy and can be grown in any light level apart from strong direct light which can burn the leaves.

In the winter months, snake plants need a slightly different care routine to normal.

CEO of independent houseplant site Friends or Friends, Silver Spence, said snake plants need to simply be left in the winter months.

The houseplant expert even claimed the plants don’t need water.

Silver explained: “Just leave snake plants. Just leave them!

“Don’t even water them in the winter.

“If it looks like the plant is getting too compacted, you can use a chopstick and make sure it’s aerated.”

The chopstick method is actually something plant owners can do to all their plants to ensure their roots aren’t getting too compacted.

She continued: “This is one thing you can do for every plant.

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“You take a chopstick and poke little holes in the soil.

“Or, if it’s a small enough plant for you to be able to do it with your hands, go and squeeze it around the pot.

“This will stop the roots being stuck to the dirt and compacted.

“That way you can make sure it has nice healthy roots.”

Snake plants, like many houseplants, can go dormant in the winter months when there are lower light levels and cooler temperatures.

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The plant should start growing again in spring when the days become longer.

In the winter months, Silver said you just need to remember to three things.

She said: “With a snake plant, all you have to do is provide that aeration, give it a tiny bit of water whenever you remember and just leave it be.

“If it starts drooping, that means it’s still growing so you will want to cut back on the water.

“If you want it to continue to grow, you can provide a light.”

If your snake plant has damaged leaf tips, this may impact how it grows.

Friends or Friends is The UK’s number one destination for baby plants.

They’re a small independent company bringing affordable houseplants to your doorstep – because plants are friends.

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