Snake Plant

Sansevieria Zeylanica; Mother-in-law's tongue; Viper's bowstring hemp

Why we love Zey

Like all our snake plants, Zey is great for new plant parents. He likes all light conditions, needs very little watering and looks fantastic.

Most light conditions
Easy care
The patch promise

You can keep him extra happy by wiping his leaves whenever they get a bit dusty. It helps him breathe more easily.

Quick facts

Botanical name

Sansevieria trifasciata


Snake plant; Mother-in-law’s tongue, Viper’s bowstring hemp

Plant type

Indoor, evergreen perennial

Air purifying


Plant height (including pot)


Pet/baby safe

Mildly toxic if ingested

Nursery pot size


About snake plants

The snake plant is made of tough stuff. It grows primarily across Africa, in very dry conditions. It’s used to places so hot that during the day it keeps all its pores completely closed, so it doesn’t lose any water to evaporation. When the temperature cools at night, its pores open, releasing all the oxygen its been holding in. 

Its toughness makes it a dream of a houseplant. If you’re a beginner, this is the one for you. It thrives on neglect. It can live in any light conditions and doesn’t care if you forget to water it. The only thing it hates is too much water. If you want to help it grow faster, give it a feed with liquid fertiliser once per month in spring and summer.

Low-key as it is, the snake plant is treasured all over the world. Across Africa, it’s associated with Ogun, the deity of war, and Oya, the bringer of storms. In China, it’s the ‘tiger’s tail orchid’; in Brazil, the ‘sword of Saint George’. Basically, this plant is pretty famous.

If you’d like this plant with broader, darker leaves, check out his sister Susie. They make great companions.

Did you know?

Another nickname for this plant is ‘viper’s bowstring hemp’, because its strong fibres were once used to make strings for bows.