Complete Beginners Care Guide for Green Mermaid Snake Plant
Discover the care requirements for the rare yet beautiful Green Mermaid Snake Plant. Perfect for all levels of indoor plant expertise, from collectors to first-time owners.
Green Mermaid Snake Plant Quick Care Summary
|Watering||Allow soil to dry between watering|
|Lighting||Position in a space that receives plenty of bright indirect light|
|Temperature||55-85° Fahrenheit (12-29° Celsius)|
|Humidity||Relative humidity levels at 30-50%|
|Feeding||All-purpose houseplant fertilizer at the beginning of Spring|
|Soil||Loamy well-draining soil|
Getting to Know Green Mermaid Snake Plant
We generally recommend our readers do their research on the plants they bring into their homes. Not only will it help with understanding their care requirements, but it will also help you to become a more mindful gardener.
To do this, we need to understand where they come from and their origins.
Scientific Name: Dracaena Trifasciata Green Mermaid (recently reclassified from Sansevieria),
Common Name(s): Green Mermaid
The Green Mermaid Snake Plant grows naturally in the wild in tropical parts of Africa, like Somalia, Tanzania, Kenya, and Ethiopia.
They grow on sandy substrates close to water sources. And even though they are classified as ‘tropical,’ these African areas receive sporadic rainfall.
Due to the water supply’s unpredictability, the Green Mermaid Snake Plant has developed the ability to store water reserves in its leaves and rhizomes (underground stems).
In the wild, the Green Mermaid snake grows in full sun. However, when grown as a houseplant, their light preferences can change – we will discuss this later in the care section.
Appearance and Flowers
As a close cousin to the Sansevieria Trifasciata, the Green Mermaid Snake Plant has similar growth patterns. Both have long, fleshy, broad leaves.
However, where the Green Mermaid begins to take its own path is in the curvature of the leaves. The Green Mermaid leaves curl inwards along the length of the foliage, creating oddly cupped-shaped leaves.
Their colorations are very similar, with the traditional dark bottle-green as the base with light-green variegated patterns.
The Green Mermaid Snake plants can produce flowers. However, because the Green Mermaid is a rare variety, we are yet to find any reports of their flowers.
As a close member of the Sansevieria Trifasciata, we can assume the flowers will be similar in appearance. They produce flowers that look like fireworks in suspended animation and develop on stalks that grow from the base of the snake plant. The dainty flowers can range from cream to off-white, sometimes with a pinkish hue.
Green Mermaid Snake Plant Detailed Care Instructions
Now let’s get into the detailed care instructions for your Green Mermaid Snake Plant.
Allow the soil to dry before adding more water to your Green Mermaid Snake Plant.
Although this sounds straightforward, it can be more challenging to determine when the soil is dry.
The longer you care for your Green Mermaid Snake Plant, the easier it will be to understand its water needs. Especially since the watering frequency changes as the season’s change.
We’ve put together a guide on water frequencies in different seasons to make things easier. Check out our article HERE.
Green Mermaid Snake Plant require plenty of bright indirect sunlight to thrive.
Indoor Green Mermaid Snake Plant can tolerate direct sunlight. However, only in short doses. If you expose your Green Mermaid Snake Plant to direct sunlight, ensure it is only dappled sunlight in the early morning or late evening. Midday and afternoon sun is too intense for indoor snake plants and will quickly dehydrate the leaves, causing leaf burn.
When grown outdoors, the Green Mermaid Snake Plant becomes hardened to the weather elements and has higher tolerances for direct sunlight.
Read more HERE for tips on lighting conditions for snake plants.
As we explained in the Getting to Know the Green Mermaid Snake Plant section, they originate from Africa. This means they thrive in warm weather.
The recommended indoor temperature for Green Mermaid Snake Plant is between 55-85° Fahrenheit (12-29° Celsius).
We caution all snake plant owners to be careful of extreme temperatures. At freezing temperatures, water expands when frozen. This means the water reserves in the Green Mermaid Snake Plant leaves can freeze, causing irreparable damage to the leaf cells.
If your area is susceptible to freezing temperatures during winter, we recommend bringing your snake plants inside the house, where the temperature is acceptable.
Humidity isn’t talked about much when it comes to snake plants. However, it is essential in regulating your snake plant’s internal processes, such as transpiration.
Keep your Green Mermaid Snake Plant in between 30 and 50% relative humidity.
Not enough moisture in the air (low humidity) accelerates the transpiration process, dehydrates your plant, and causes water stress.
At the other end of the spectrum, too much moisture in the air (high humidity) will prevent transpiration at the other extreme, and your Green Mermaid Snake Plant will suffocate.
We have written an in-depth article discussing how humidity affects snake plants.
Soil & Fertilizer Requirements
The properties of the soil you use for your Green Mermaid Snake Plant can have profound effects on the health of your houseplant.
Choosing the best soil for your Green Mermaid Snake Plant can significantly impact your plant parent experience. Poor-quality soil will lead to rot issues and may even cause your snake plant to become mushy.
Good-quality soil will reduce the frequency of your watering, facilitate the uptake of nutrients by your snake plant, and reduce its susceptibility to pests and disease.
To be effective, your snake plant soil must be:
- a sandy loam consistency (light and airy), and
- contain some organic materials with water absorption properties.
We have devised a recipe for the perfect snake plant potting mix. You can also watch our video on making snake plant soil below.
Pest and Diseases
If there is one disease that you should familiarise yourself with for your Green Mermaid Snake Plant, it is root rot.
Root rot is a fungal disease that can develop when your snake plant has been sitting in waterlogged soil from being overwatered. The process of eliminating root rot is straightforward. However, it is onerous. You can read our step-by-step guide for removing root rot in snake plants HERE.
Some leaf-borne fungal diseases, such as mildew and leaf spot, can infect your Green Mermaid Snake Plant. We explore these diseases and (more importantly) treatments HERE.
Snake plants are most susceptible to sap-sucking insects like mealybugs, spider mites, and thrips. These pests have the equipment to penetrate the tough outer layer of the foliage and access the nutrient-rich sap.
The best way to detect any signs of pests (or disease, for that matter) is to regularly inspect your potted plants and manually remove any pests you see. The key is not letting their population get out of hand and become an infestation.
You can read more about symptoms of pest infestation HERE.
Like other snake plants, Green Mermaid Snake Plant requires a tight root system to support its large leaves.
When placed in a container too large for their root system, they will refocus their energy on developing the roots rather than growing new leaves. While they are still growing (under the soil), they will appear to be experiencing stunted growth.
Your snake plant pot should also have adequate drainage with plenty of drainage holes. As we pointed out earlier, constantly wet soil rots your Green Mermaid Snake Plant root system.
Green Mermaid Snake Plant Propagation Techniques
There are several ways to propagate your Green Mermaid Snake Plant. We’ll discuss our recommended method for propagation.
Propagate by Division of Snake Plant Pups
To propagate by plant division, follow these steps:
- Identify the Point of Separation – identify the best point on the rhizome (thick roots) that will sustain the snake plant pup. Try to leave each section of the rhizome with smaller roots that will help absorb nutrients as they settle back into their homes.
- Make the Cut – take a sharp knife sterilized with rubbing alcohol and make a clean cut.
- Re-pot your Plants – fill your propagation containers with a good-quality potting mix (discussed above). Place each newly separated walking snake plant into a pot and backfill with quality potting mix until the soil level covers the roots. Give all your plants good watering and ensure all excess water drains out.
You can find detailed step-by-step instructions HERE.