The Sansevieria Moonshine plant is an ideal house plant, especially for those that don’t have the greenest thumbs. The moonshine snake plant, or Sansevieria Trifasciata is a die-hard house plant, with a rigorous growth rate that can grow in almost any light conditions.
Whether simply in a pot, placed in a plant stand, or as an option for drought tolerant outdoor gardens, this remarkable, African native plant is a staunch survivor, requiring little care. It will even filter the air in your home.
Learn why this plant is a go-to for home gardeners. This guide will give you all the care instructions you’ll need, plus how to propagate plenty of baby moonshine snake plants so you can have them all around your home.
Variations of the plant, including the sansevieria craigii, sansevieria jacquinii and sansevieria superba all make fantastic, care-free house plants. Here’s what you’ll need to know:
Getting to Know Sansevieria Moonshine
The sansevieria trifasciata forms part of the asparagaceae family and stems out western Africa, ranging between Nigeria and the Congo.
Though it’s been afforded many names over its life, the favourite is perhaps the ‘mother-in-law-tongue’ plant donned due to its long, sharp-edged leaves.
These silver-grey-green leaves are also patterned with feint, dark-green, horizontal lines really giving it that ‘tongue’ effect. Once this plant was even used to create bow strings, hence having also been called the viper’s bowstring hemp plant.
The sansevieria plant produces a strong hemp-like fibre which used to be fashioned into a type of string-like material. However, it is now best known globally for its benefits as an indoor plant. Though once quite rare, the moonshine snake plant is now grown worldwide.
The most current application of the plant is in homes and landscaping. Due to its upright growth it's great in smaller spaces or used to frame other flowering ferns.
The moonshine snake plant is also one of the only plants which converts CO2 to Oxygen during the night, thanks to its CAM. Learn more about Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) here.
This means plenty of clean air, 24 hours a day. In a room that is sealed off and has absolutely no air flow, you could survive if you had 6 to 8 sansivieria plants in there with you.
The sansivieria is also used greatly in gardens around the globe. It works well as part of drought resistant areas and in rockier, lower-soil quality areas.
Again, adequate draining is the most important aspect. More so, with is vertical growth you can use at the edge of your garden, or in between plants as a wall or ‘barrier’ of sorts.
Benefits of Growing Sansevieria Trifasciata
One of the biggest benefits of the moonshine snake plants is its remarkable air-filtering abilities. This plant is able to filter many air borne toxins, including formaldehyde, toluene and nitrogen.
This makes the sansevieria moonshine not only ideal for homes, but for workspaces that experience a high-level of air borne toxins, such as mechanic workshops, carpentry work spaces, nail salons and other locations which require the use of strong chemicals.
People with allergies have also noted the positive impact of the plant when placed in their bedrooms. As it photosynthesises and releases oxygen during the night, it diminishes the amount of allergens present in the air.
Some Eastern cultures even believe in the incredible Feng-Shui properties the plant may possess. Apparently, placing the plant in Eastern, Southern and South Eastern positions in your home can help alleviate negative energy.
Either way the Moonshine snake plant really is an easy plant for anywhere.
How to Grow Sansevieria Moonshine
The sansevieria moonshine plant is an incredibly durable plant and can be grown either indoors or outdoors. This plant is particularly good at adapting to light conditions, so will do well either in direct sunlight, semi-shaded or even in low light conditions.
Ideal growing temperatures are between 55° and 85° F, however the sansevieria moonshine can still grow in temperatures as low as 32° F. You can plant your moonshine snake plant in a container or right in the ground as long as you ensure good draining soil.
This plant grows vertically – why it’s also such an awesome indoor plant- so make sure you give it some room above to grow. Varieties of the sansevieria plant can grow as tall as 6 inches.
The sansevieria moonshine plant is incredibly easily propagated due to its strong, fast-growing rhizome structure. That means it’s easy to make lots of baby snake plants.
Moonshine Snake Plant Propagation
- Using a sharp blade remove a 2-inch cutting from a leaf.
- Ensure the edge which has been cut has time to dry and callous.
- Then, plant straight into the soil, at least 1 to 2 inches below the rim.
- Alternatively, you can even propagate snake plant in water. Remove a medium sized, healthy leaf with a sharp blade and place into a glass with water. (It may take a little while but after 4 to 6 weeks you will notice fibrous root growth. Once you have enough roots, you can replant into peat moss or well-draining soil).
There are a lot of ways to propagate this plant so be sure to check our guide on ways to propagating snake plants and find out which way would best suit your style.
Repotting Sansevieria Moonshine
- Your cutting will take about 3 to 4 weeks to start rooting.
- Make sure you give it enough time to grow sufficient rooting before re-planting.
- To replant, grab at the base of your moonshine snake plant or cutting and softly shake to loosen soil.
- Place into a pot with standard potting mix for growing succulents and be sure that all roots are properly covered with soil.
- Then, follow usual care instructions.
Sansevieria Trifasciata Care
The sansevieria moonshine really doesn’t need much care once planted and is quite happy to be left alone. Here’s the few things you can do to make sure your plant stays happy:
Don’t water too frequently. Be sure to let the soil dry out fuller in between watering. Overwatering will result in root rot, so cut back on watering especially in colder conditions.
Fertilizing Sansevieria Moonshine
You can add some general purpose plant food to the soil twice a year. Again, be sure not to over-feed.
Removing Dying Leaves
The only ‘pruning’ you may need to do is the removal of yellowed leaves. Should many leaves be yellowing, it may be a sign of root rot.
Repot Every 2 to 5 Years
Though it is not necessary, you can re-plant into fresh soil every now and then. Re-potting will also assist in preventing root rot.
Sansevieria Trifasciata Toxicity Concern
Despite it’s amazing air-cleaning abilities- which have even been documented in tests performed by NASA- the moonshine snake plant can pose mildly toxic to humans and animals when consumed.
The sansevieria species contains saponins that when consumed can cause irritation of the mouth and/or stomach. If consumed in large quantities it can also cause nausea and vomiting.
Again, the plant needs to be ingested for it to be toxic, so general care and interaction with your plant won’t do you any harm at all.
In any case, it’s best to make sure the plant is out of reach of children or particularly nosy pets. Should, it is advised to seek out a health care professional for further instructions.
Sansevieria Moonshine Pest and Diseases
Besides root rot, your moonshine snake plant is not really prone to many other problems. You may, however, come across the basic household-plant pests like Mealybugs and Spider mites which suck sap out of the leaves.
Luckily, you can treat these pests quite easily and naturally. You can even treat bugs with homemade bug spray. Click here to find out how to make your own homemade bug spray.
Don’t take too much note of scarring which may occur on the leaves, this is natural. Only raise concern when you notice particularly yellow or droopy leaves. If you’re plant is looking a little sad, consider re-potting and cutting back on watering.
Flowering varieties of the plant are incredibly rare and quite infrequent. Should it flower, however, it will produce pretty, white flowers.
Sansevieria Moonshine FAQs
Is sansevieria trifasciata air purifying?
Sansevieria emits oxygen and moisture in the evenings and removes toxins from the air in your home, making it an excellent plant for any inner city home struggling with traffic fumes, or general pollution.
What is the best location for Sansevieria moonshine?
Snake plants, or Sansevieria trifasciata, are best kept in bright locations out of direct sunlight but can cope in full sun if watered more regularly. Keep them moist, but not drenched, and aim to water when the soil has slightly dried at the surface.
Is Sansevieria trifasciata easy to propagate?
Sansevieria trifasciata is one of the easiest houseplants to propagate, as it can root directly from its leaves. Simply cut the leaves into 2” sections and leave them to callous before popping them (bottom end first) into fresh, moist compost.
Keep them humid and warm for the next few weeks and they should start to show signs of growth after 1-2 months.
Are snake plants the same as mother-in-law’s-tongue?
Mother-in-law’s-tongue and snake plants are one and the same. Because they have such distinct growth habits, and recognizable leaves they have been given plenty of funny names over the years, all aiming to describe their sharply pointed, tough foliage.
When should I repot a snake plant?
Snake plants actually like being pot-bound. It helps them to control the water within the soil, and they don’t need repotting until they start to stretch their containers.
For that reason, keep snake plants in plastic pots where possible, and they often break terracotta pots when their roots surpass capacity.
Wrapping Up Sansevieria Moonshine Grow and Care Guide
So, now you know why so many homes make use of the magnificent moonshine snake plant. This fuss-free plant does great things for your breathing air and because you can easily propagate plenty of baby plants, you’re able to have clean air in every room of the house.
Plus, they make really cute (perhaps for your mother in law, even). Pop a quick cutting into an adorable ceramic pot and you’re good to go. Whether for your workspace, workshop, office, garden, kitchen, bedroom or bathroom, you’ll enjoy nothing but benefits from the Moonshine snake plant.
Enjoy cleaner air and some fabulous extra foliage around the house. Your sansevieria moonshine will be happy wherever you plant it, just keep checking that your soil is well-draining (and that you keep that darn moonshine away from your mouth).