7 Benefits of Snake Plants (Our Favs and Why)
Snake plants are so much more than just stunning feature plants for your home. They deliver a raft of benefits, like improving air quality, mental endurance and overall quality of living. We’ll be exploring the top 7 benefits of snake plants and identify how you can use them in your home.
Snake plants are incredible houseplants that come with many benefits. To be honest, we wish someone had introduced us to Sansevieria (or mother-in-law’s tongue) plants earlier on in our indoor plant journey. Because then we could have benefitted from them in so many ways, like:
- their low maintenance requirements and ease of care
- oxygen producing and air purifying abilities
- positive impact on energy flow properties
- mental health and clarity,
- and much more.
By the end of this article, if you don’t already have a snake plant in your home, we guarantee you will be rushing out the door to go add one to your indoor plant collection.
Let’s get into it!
Low maintenance and Ease of Care
Like we said earlier, we wish someone had told us about snake plants when we first dipped our toes into the wonderful world of plants and gardening.
One of the primary reasons is because snake plants are extremely easy to care for, and are quite forgiving, hardy plants when it comes to making mistakes.
As a succulent, snake plants are somewhat beginner-proof in that they can endure periods of neglect with little water (not that we recommend neglecting them).
This is the main reason why snake plants are one of the first recommendations for beginner and novice gardeners.
We usually provide 3 pieces of advice for care for snake plants:
- give them plenty of indirect light,
- some well-draining soil, and
- make sure you don’t overwater them.
As long as you have these three key care instructions mastered, you will enjoy many years of a thriving snake plant in your home. Who knows, you may even be lucky enough to witness a snake plant flower in bloom!
Snake Plants Produce Oxygen
Succulent plants are beautiful-looking plants that can help purify your house by contributing pure oxygen to your breathable air. Snake plants use a process called photosynthesis to take carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen as a result. On average, a snake plant will produce between 0.9 and 1 liter of oxygen per day. Assuming an average person breathes roughly 11,000 liters (3.5 gallons) of air every day when at rest, you’d need a lot of snake plants to survive!
Suffice to say, we won’t be solely reliant on snake plants anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean growing snake plants in your house is a bad idea. They still release more oxygen than they absorb. Plus, they have the ability to absorb toxins that are polluting the air. We’ll explore this property in another benefit later on in the article.
Snake Plants are Natural Air Purifier
Snake plants not only help us breathe better inside our homes, but they also contribute to our overall health. They can also help us improve our indoor air quality by removing a wide range of harmful pollutants and airborne allergies from the air we breathe.
NASA conducted a study to determine ways to clean the air inside the sealed space stations. According to their research, they found that
in addition to absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen through photosynthesis, certain common indoor plants may also provide a natural way of removing volatile organic pollutants.
They tested a range of houseplants, including snake plants, and had varying levels of success in removing different kinds of toxins from the air. Snake plants were found to be effective at removing 87 percent of toxic chemicals from the air, including benzene, formaldehyde (a common household chemical), trichloroethylene, and xylene.
However, this experiment was only performed within a sealed room, so it didn’t take into account other factors such as humans inhaling and exhaling, and open windows, among others.
Despite this, it is still encouraging that snake plants can absorb some harmful toxins from the air. Plus you don’t have to use any electricity to clean your air. You just need to add a bit of water every couple of weeks.
Think Smarter and Work Harder
Breathing cleaner air isn’t just about breathing better; it means we’re healthier and more productive too. Snake plants can also help us improve our cognitive abilities, like helping us think better and having longer attention spans.
A paper released by the Nation Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) studied the effect of concentrated oxygen administered to both elderly and young subjects. In both cases, they found oxygen improved cognitive abilities and faster thinking.
This means, as snake plants clean our air of toxins AND release oxygen into our homes, they help to improve our mental capacities. We can process information quicker, as well as think for longer durations.
A study by the University of Michigan found that people who walked and worked around trees experienced improved memory and recall ability. When tested against subjects that walked city streets, the participants who were exposed to nature were able to recall 20% more on a memory recall test.
We know not everyone has the luxury of having a forest nearby when they want to remember something, so why not bring the outdoors inside with a stunning snake plant.
They’re not only low-maintenance, but you can create your own personal oasis within the sanctuary of your home.
Snake Plants Can Generate Positive Qi
In the circles of people who practice the ancient art of Feng Shui, snake plants can be considered as a symbol of growth and prosperity.
They consider the upward growing pattern of the long sword-shaped leaves, as a good omen. It encourages the yang wood element, which is the element of positivism and personal growth.
Some go as far to say that placing snake plants in your home office, or areas that require concentration, will boost productivity and mental clarity. Definitely something that we need now and then.
You can also protect against negative energy flows in your home if you place the snake plant at the entry point of the energy.
For more information on how and where to place snake plants in your home to create positive energy flow, check out our article on the Role of Snake Plants in Feng Shui.
Create a Snake Plant Garden via Propagation
The last one may not be a benefit by definition, but it is an aspect of snake plants that will help to cultivate and boost the other benefits we have discussed above.
Snake plants are notoriously easy to propagate.
For those new to gardening, propagation means creating and producing new snake plants from the original mother plant.
There are several ways to propagate snake plants.
- splitting away snake plant pups (baby snake plants) that have grown from the roots (or rhizomes) of the original plant.
- Cutting a healthy leaf and rooting it to produce a new plant.
- Collecting the seeds after the snake plant flowers (although flowering doesn’t occur very often, so we suggest using one of the first two methods)
Snake plant propagation doesn’t require any expertise or specialized knowledge. And it doesn’t take too long to begin your own snake plant garden.
You know what this means, right? More snake plants means:
- you can start cleaning the air in your house quickly,
- quickly dissipate the toxins in your home,
- increase the positive chi in your household, and
- think smarter and be more productive in your working life!
Snake Plant Benefits: Closing Thoughts
Snake plants make wonderful indoor plants.
Not only are they low maintenance and look stunning in any room you place them. They can produce many amazing benefits for the inhabitants of your home. Such as cleaner air by removing toxic air pollutants and cancer-causing pollutants from our indoor environment. They also help with improved mental and cognitive functions and positivity.
So what are you waiting for – go out and grab yourself a few snake plants today!