Beginners Guide to Sansevieria Moonshine Care
As one of the most stunning snake plant varieties, the Sansevieria Moonshine will shine in any indoor or outdoor plant collection.
- pale green broad sword-shaped leaves that fan out into beautiful forms
- drought hardy and easy to care for, it is an excellent houseplant for beginners
- easy to propagate via rhizome division
Sansevieria Moonshine Care Summary
|Only water when soil is dry
|A position that receives plenty of bright indirect light
|55-85° Fahrenheit (12-29° Celsius)
|Any humidity, except for high humidity
|All-purpose houseplant fertilizer at the beginning of Spring
|Loamy well-draining soil
Images of Sansevieria Moonshine
Getting to Know Sansevieria Moonshine
As snake plant owners, we must find out as much as possible about the origins of our plants. Get to know their roots (pun intended😉) if you know what we mean.
By learning about their origins, we can hope to introduce these conditions into our homes to allow them to thrive.
Scientific Name: Sansevieria Trifasciata Moonshine
Common Name(s): Silver Snake Plant
Originally from parts of Africa, the Sansevieria Moonshine can now be found worldwide. It grows naturally in parts of the Congo and Nigeria, in dry, arid areas with unpredictable rainfall.
They grow on sandy substrate with excellent drainage, keeping their roots and rhizomes dry.
In the wild, they are constantly exposed to direct sunlight, which they can tolerate, as they store water in their leaves and rhizomes below the surface. However, it is essential to understand if you cultivate Sansevieria Moonshine as a houseplant, their tolerance towards direct sunlight diminishes. And they’d prefer a position with plenty of bright indirect light – more on that later in the care summary.
Appearance and Flowers
The strongest appeal of the Sansevieria Moonshine is its seemingly white foliage appearance, as white as the moon. Hence the name.
If paired against the traditional (more common) snake plant, Sansevieria Trifasciata, you can immediately see the stark contrast and appreciate just how spectacular these plants are. The color is a very light green, which can show darker lines running along the length of the leaves.
They have similar shapes to the traditional form of a snake plant, with broad sword-shaped leaves, and is considered medium-sized snake plant with foliage that grows to 2 feet (60 centimeters) tall.
Like other snake plants, the Sansevieria Moonshine can produce flowers. They are generally cream in color and 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. And even then, it is a rare occurrence.
Sansevieria Moonshine Detailed Care Instructions
This section will expand on the care summary we provided earlier in the guide. We’ll look deeper into the care regiment required to get these beautiful plants flourishing at home.
The good thing about Sansevieria Moonshine is that all snake plants have low watering requirements, which is part of why they are popular as indoor plants.
Sanseveria Moonshine prefers its soil to dry between each watering.
The challenging part is knowing when the soil is dry.
Using a finger soil moisture test is a budget-friendly and convenient way to tell when the soil is dry.
However, a more accurate way to tell when the soil is dry is to use a soil moisture meter from your nursery or online at Amazon.
We are confident as time progresses, you will begin to pick up your Moonshine’s water absorption habits and instinctively know when it needs more water.
The watering frequency changes each season. For guidance on seasonal water frequency, check out our article HERE.
How Much Light Does a Sansevieria Moonshine Need?
Indoor Sansevieria Moonshine plants thrive in bright light for 6-8 hours a day.
Position your indoor Sansevieria Moonshine in a position that receives plenty of indirect light. Direct sunlight can be tolerated by your indoor snake plant, however, only in small doses. Midday and afternoon sun is too intense for indoor snake plants and will quickly dehydrate the leaves, causing leaf burn.
As mentioned earlier, outdoor Sansevieria Moonshine plants are more tolerant of direct sunlight. Similar to their natural environment in Africa, they become hardened to the weather elements and have higher tolerances for direct sunlight.
Read more HERE for tips on light conditions for snake plants.
Temperature Requirements Sansevieria Moonshine
As succulents from Africa, your Sansevieria Moonshine thrives in warm weather.
The recommended indoor temperature for Moonshine is between 55-85° Fahrenheit (12-29° Celsius).
Where you want to be careful is at the extreme temperature zones. Water expands when frozen. This means the water reserves in the Moonshine’s leaves can freeze, causing irreparable damage to the leaf cells. Note the rhizomes beneath the soil’s surface will be insulated.
We recommend bringing all snake plants indoors for the winter. It will protect them from the harsh cold temperatures and ensure they don’t experience frost damage.
Keep your Sansevieria Moonshine in between 30 and 50% relative humidity.
Short-term fluctuations won’t bother your Sansevieria Moonshine. However, check the relative humidity with a hygrometer if your Sansevieria is beginning to suffer.
Humidity can be challenging to control, and as such, it is easy for a beginner to overlook. It is essential for regulating your snake plant’s internal processes, like transpiration.
Not enough moisture in the air (low humidity) accelerates the transpiration process, quickly dehydrates your plant, and causes water stress.
Too much moisture (high humidity) will prevent transpiration at the other extreme, and your Sansevieria Moonshine will suffocate.
We have written an in-depth article discussing how humidity affects snake plants.
Soil & Fertilizer Requirements
The soil quality you use for your Sansevieria Moonshine can profoundly affect your houseplant’s health.
Quality soil will reduce the frequency of your watering, facilitate the uptake of nutrients by your Sansevieria Moonshine, and reduce its susceptibility to pests and disease.
To be effective, your snake plant soil should be similar to that of its natural environment:
- 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 Sansevieria Moonshine, 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 the foliage on your Moonshine. 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, Sansevieria Moonshine 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 Moonshine’s root system.
Sansevieria Moonshine Propagation Techniques
To preserve the stunning variegated patterns and colors, we recommend only propagating your Moonshine using the propagation method by plant division or by splitting snake plant pups.
You are propagating your Sansevieria Moonshine from a cutting, which 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 Moonshine snake plant 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.