Please Identify my favorite houseplant: Sansevieria

Hi Judy,

I have had this houseplant for 8 years, which was originally part of an arrangement of several plants given to us after my nephew’s surgery. All the other plants in the arrangement unfortunately expired, and this is the sole remaining plant from it, which I’ve been taking extreme gentle care of through the years. But I’d like to know what it is, and if you have any pointers to help it grow more stems and stay super productive. I’m always concerned once the existing leaves expire that no more will grow back….it’s only ever had 3-5 leaves at most at a time. What kind of soil and fertilizer would you recommend…I did transplant it about 2 years ago into the homemade pot I painted for it.
Thank you sincerely for your help!

Hi Melissa,

Your plant is a type of sansevieria trifasciata, also called a snake plant or mother in law’s tongue. This is a hardy almost impossible to kill houseplant that thrives on neglect. Over-watering is really the main reason sansevieria plants die. Feed monthly when the plant is actively growing with a cactus plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength; never use a fertilizer that contains nitrates. The best soil for a sansevieria is a rich potting soil that drains quickly.

You can read all my care tips for a sansevieria in the Popular Houseplant section of the website.

These plants are considered poisonous and should be kept away from pets and children. Read more about common houseplants that are poisonous in Don’t Feed Me To Your Cat! A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.