Beginners Guide to Caring for Sansevieria Metallica

Sansevieria Metallica earns its name from the beautiful muted shimmer on the leaves. They are rare, so consider yourself fortunate if you have one in your collection.

Sansevieria Metallica


Sansevieria Metallica:

  • a rare variety of snake plants with unique colors
  • easy-to-care-for and low maintenance making them perfect for beginners
  • easy to propagate by division or snake plant pups (babies)

Sansevieria Metallica Care Summary

WateringOnly water when soil is dry
LightingA position that receives plenty of bright indirect light
Temperature60-85° Fahrenheit (15-29° Celsius)
HumidityLow–Med Humidity
FeedingAll-purpose houseplant fertilizer at the beginning of Spring
SoilLoamy well-draining soil

Images of Sansevieria Metallica

Getting to Know Sansevieria Metallica

Understanding where your Sansevieria Metallica came from is the cornerstone to providing optimal care for your snake plant.

Armed with the knowledge of their natural environment will help you mimic the conditions at home and recognize their symptoms in the ever-changing environment around them.


Scientific Name: Sansevieria Metallica short. ex Gérôme & Labroy

Common Name(s): Iguana tail, Siam Silver, Sansevieria Metallica


Like other members of the snake plant family, the Sansevieria Metallica grows natively in Africa. They grow in the tropical parts of the continent. However, the rainfall is sporadic and unpredictable.

Due to the erratic rainfall, the Metallica has adapted to become drought tolerant by storing water in its leaves. They bring these tolerances into the home, which makes them the perfect houseplant for beginners or busy individuals.

In their natural environment, they can be exposed to natural direct sunlight. However, indoor plants are not as hardy and should only be exposed to different intensities of light – we’ll discuss more in the care section.

Appearance & Flowers

A big part of the appeal of Sansevieria Metallica is its shimmery appearance. Unlike other members of its family, the foliage takes on a dulled sheen when hit with light from the right direction.

The base color of the foliage is usually a dulled green, with vertical variegated lines. They indeed are an extraordinary variety of Sansevieria.

The Sansevieria Metallica is considered a medium-sized plant, reaching between 2-3 feet (30-61 centimeters) at maturity.

Like other snake plants, the Sansevieria Metallica can produce flowers that grow on long stalks with bushels of flowers that look like fireworks exploding.

However, seeing a snake plant blooming is rare and only usually occurs when conditions are perfect.

Sansevieria Metallica Detailed Care Instructions

Let’s get into the juicy parts of caring for your Sansevieria Metallica.

This section will explore best practices in caring for your Metallica at home. We’ll also provide links to more detailed resources explaining the topics.

Sansevieria Metallica Quick Care Guide

Water Requirements

As mentioned earlier, Sansevieria Metallica doesn’t require much water compared to other indoor plants. They are drought tolerant, meaning they can go without water for long periods, sometimes weeks in the cooler seasons.

Allow the soil to dry before watering your Metallica.

The easiest way to determine when the soil is dry is to use a finger soil moisture test or a soil moisture meter from your nursery or online at Amazon.

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed?

Don’t be. As you care for your Sansevieria Metallica, you will begin to understand their water needs intimately. We believe in you!

The watering frequency changes each season. For guidance on seasonal water frequency, check out our article HERE.

Lighting Requirements

Provide your Sansevieria Metallica with plenty of bright indirect sunlight.

We mentioned earlier that indoor snake plants could tolerate sunlight only in short doses. Midday and afternoon sun is too intense for indoor snake plants and will quickly dehydrate the leaves, causing leaf burn.

When grown outdoors, the Sansevieria Metallica becomes hardened to the weather elements and has higher tolerances for direct sunlight.

Read more HERE for tips on lighting conditions for snake plants.

Temperature Requirements

As succulents originate from African climates, your Sansevieria Metallica thrives in warmer weather.

The recommended indoor temperature for Metallica is between 60-85° Fahrenheit (15-29° Celsius).

We caution all snake plant owners to be careful of extreme temperatures. Water expands when frozen. This means the water reserves in the Metallica leaves can freeze, causing irreparable damage to the leaf cells.

Suppose your area is susceptible to frost or freezing temperatures in winter. In that case, we recommend bringing your snake plants inside the house, where the temperatures remain in a safe zone.

Humidity Requirements

Keep your Sansevieria Metallica in between 30 and 50% relative humidity.

Humidity is often a factor that is easily overlooked. However, it is essential for regulating your snake plant’s internal processes.

Not enough moisture in the air (low humidity) accelerates the transpiration process, quickly dehydrates your plant, and causes water stress.

On the other hand, too much moisture (high humidity) will prevent transpiration at the other extreme, and your snake plant will suffocate.

We have written an in-depth article discussing how humidity affects snake plants.

Metallica Snake Plant

Soil & Fertilizer Requirements

Choosing the best soil for your Sansevieria Metallica can significantly impact your experience as a carer. 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:

  • well-draining,
  • 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. We have also included a video showing you how to make the recipe, so be sure to check it out.

Pest and Diseases

If there is one disease that you should familiarise yourself with for your Metallica, 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 and not something you would like to do often.

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 Sansevieria Metallica. 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, becoming an infestation.

You can read more about symptoms of pest infestation HERE.

Pot Size

Like other snake plants, Sansevieria Metallica 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 Metallica’s root system.

Sansevieria Metallica Propagation Techniques

To preserve the stunning variegated patterns and colors, we recommend only propagating your Metallica using the propagation method by plant division or by splitting snake plant pups.

Propagating your Metallica 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:

  1. Remove the root ball – lift the mother snake plant root ball out of its container.
  2. Clean and prepare the root ball – rinse your snake plant’s roots under warm water to clear the soil away.
  3. Identify the rhizome – find the rhizome attached to the baby Metallica 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.
  4. 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.