The snake plant, also fondly called mother-in-law’s tongue, is a popular houseplant revered for its air-purifying abilities and sleek, architectural foliage. And unlike more finicky plants, the snake plant has a reputation for being nearly indestructible and adaptable to just about any environment you place it in.
But can this kind of plant also grow in water alone? The short answer is yes! Snake plants can be grown in water indefinitely once their roots are properly acclimated. However, there are some important care tips you need to know to help your snake plant transition from soil to water and continue flourishing.
Why Grow Snake Plants in Water?
Before we get into the details, you may be wondering why you’d choose to grow this houseplant in water rather than soil. After all, snake plants already do fabulously with regular potting mix and occasional watering.
Here are some of the prime advantages of hydroculture snake plants:
- Requires less frequent watering once roots adapt
- Helps avoid overwatering issues
- Allows you to see root growth and health
- Unique, modern decorative element
- Often faster growth rate
Additionally, by growing plants in water, you are essentially creating a self-contained ecosystem needing less overall maintenance. No soil changes needed!
Choosing the Right Snake Plant Variety
While nearly all snake plant varieties can grow just fine hydroponically, some types are better suited than others.
Look for these ideal water-growing varieties:
- Sansevieria trifasciata: Classic upright leaves with light gray-green bands
- Sansevieria zeylanica: Long, narrow tapered leaves
- Sansevieria cylindrica: Round, tube-shaped leaves
Any smaller dwarf cultivars can work too. The most important factor is choosing healthy plants with an already well-established root system to give them the best transition start. Avoid any plants with signs of rot, pests, or disease.
See also : Why is my snake plant not growing
Step By Step Process For Transferring to Water
Preparing snake plants for water growth is a gradual process. You’ll need to slowly acclimate the roots and foliage before fully submerging. Here is a step-by-step guide:
- Select your plant and gather your water vessel, rocks or marbles, clean shears, and any support structures. Glass vases, jars, and bowls work well. Ensure containers are thoroughly cleaned.
- Carefully remove snake plant from the pot. Gently loosen compacted soil and roots but don’t damage intact root sections. Rinse off remaining soil under running water.
- Trim any excess roots or dead sections with clean shears. Healthy roots should be firm and white/yellow.
- Place a layer of marbles, rocks, or pebbles into your vessel. This will help provide stability. Position the snake plant inside.
- Slowly add water just to cover the root zone. Don’t yet submerge any leaves or leaf tips.
- Place in bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight during initial adjustment phase.
- Let the plant adjust for a week, then inspect root health and ease water level up if all looks well.
- Once completely acclimated, top off water as needed to maintain preferred levels.
Caring For Your Hydro Snake Plant
Caring for your converted hydroponic snake plant is blissfully easy. Just be sure to:
- Top off evaporating water with clean, room temperature water
- Add hydroponic plant fertilizer every 2-4 weeks
- Keep away from intense direct light to avoid leaf burn
- Monitor for algae growth and change water if severe
- Wipe dusty foliage with a soft cloth
- Prune any damaged roots or leaves
The water and fertilizer provides everything the plant needs. The mineral buildup these plants create as they release toxins into the water makes the water itself toxic to microorganisms that could harm the plant, meaning you won’t have to deal with root rot or fungus.
Who would have thought a desert species like the snake plant could grow entirely submerged in water? While it does require some gradual acclimation, converting traditional potted plants is an easy and rewarding process.
And caring for established hydro snake plants demands virtually no effort at all. You’ll love showing off these fascinating roots and vibrant leaves thriving inside creatively decorated vessels.