Complete Guide to Jaboa Snake Plant Care
The Jaboa Snake Plant is a magnificent specimen of the snake plant genus, with unique zig-zag-like variegated patterns on the broad sword-shaped foliage. Low-maintenance and hardy, they are the perfect houseplant.
Jaboa Snake Plant
- beautiful broad leaves with stunning variegation patterns not seen on other snake plants
- drought-resistant with low care requirements, they are perfect for beginners and experts alike
- easily propagated by dividing the rhizomes or from leaf cuttings
Jaboa 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||60-85° Fahrenheit (15-29° 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 the Jaboa Snake Plant
Scientific Name: Sansevieria Trifasciata Jaboa
Common Name(s): Jaboa Snake Plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, Jaboa
Like many of its relatives, the Jaboa Snake Plant originates on the African continent. However, due to its popularity, it is now cultivated worldwide in nurseries and by many indoor plant enthusiasts in their homes.
Even though the Jaboa grows in the tropical parts of Africa, the rainfall is still unpredictable, meaning the Jaboa Snake Plant endures extended periods of dryness. Owing to this fact, they have developed the ability to store water reserves in their leaves and underground stems, called rhizomes.
Fortunately for us as plant parents, this means they are incredibly hardy plants that are low maintenance that thrive on neglect. Actually, snake plants, in general, are susceptible to being loved too much (who would’ve thought you could love a plant too much!). New snake plant owners tend to overwater snake plants, causing issues such as root rot and attracting insects. We’ll explore these risks later in this guide.
Appearance and Flowers
With its broad foliage with distinctive colors, it is hard to miss the Jaboa Snake Plant.
One of their main attractions is the stunning light green variegations running horizontally across the leaves against a dark bottle-green background.
The patterns often remind us of watching streams of water running down a window during a heavy downpour. They are unlike any patterns you see on other snake plants.
With leaves that can reach up to 2-3 feet (60-91 centimeters) in length, they are classed as medium-sized snake plants. And they make an excellent feature plant indoors and outside.
The Jaboa Snake Plant can develop flowers. However, conditions need to be optimal – even then, they may not have any blooms. Snake plants do not flower annually, so take plenty of pictures when they blossom.
The flowers 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.
Jaboa Snake Plant Detailed Care Instructions
Now let’s get into the detailed care instructions for your Jaboa Snake Plant.
Allow the soil to dry before adding more water to your Jaboa Snake Plant.
Although this sounds straightforward, it can be more challenging to determine when the soil is dry.
The longer you care for your Jaboa Snake Plant, the easier it will be to understand its water needs. Especially since the watering frequency changes as the weather changes.
We’ve put together a guide on water frequencies in different seasons to make things easier. Check out our article HERE.
Jaboa Snake Plant require plenty of bright light to thrive.
Indoor Jaboa Snake Plants prefer bright indirect light but can tolerate direct sunlight. However, only in short doses. If you expose your Jaboa 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 Jaboa 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 Jaboa Snake Plant section, they originate from Africa. This means they thrive in warm weather.
The recommended indoor temperature for Jaboa Snake Plant is between 60-85° Fahrenheit (15-29° 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 Jaboa 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 Jaboa 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 (high humidity) will prevent transpiration at the other extreme, and your Jaboa 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 Jaboa Snake Plant can profoundly affect your houseplant’s health.
Choosing the best soil for your Jaboa Snake Plant can significantly impact your plant parent experience. Poor-quality or incorrect soil (like regular potting 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 you should familiarise yourself with for your Jaboa 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 Jaboa. 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.
Jaboa Snake Plant requires a tight root system to support its large leaves like other snake plants.
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 Jaboa root system.
Jaboa Snake Plant Propagation Techniques
To preserve the stunning variegated patterns and colors, we recommend only propagating your Jaboa Snake Plant using the propagation method by plant division or by splitting snake plant pups.
Propagating your Jaboa Snake Plant with a cutting in water or soil risks the new plant reverting to a regular pattern on the foliage, similar to the Sansevieria Trifasciata.
To propagate by plant division, follow these steps:
- Remove the root ball – lift the mother snake plant root ball out of its container.
- Clean and prepare the root ball – rinse your snake plant’s roots under warm water to clear the soil away.
- Identify the rhizome – find the rhizome attached to the baby Jaboa Snake Plant snake pup. Cut the rhizome as close to the main root ball of the mother plant as possible. You want to retain as many thin roots as possible with the rhizome.
- Re-pot your Plants – re-pot your mother snake plant into the original pot with some fresh potting mix. At the same time, fill your propagation containers a third up with a good-quality potting mix (discussed above). Place each pup into the pot and backfill with quality potting mix until the soil level covers the white parts of the rhizome and pups. Give all your plants good watering and ensure all excess water drains out.
You can find step-by-step instructions HERE if you prefer to propagate using cuttings.