Meanings and Symbolism of Snake Plants

Besides being one of the easiest to care for houseplants, snake plants have different symbolic and spiritual meanings to cultures worldwide. We explore their meaning and how it impacts you.


  • a snake plant’s sword-shaped foliage can be interpreted as both negative and positive symbols in different cultures
  • snake plants are used for unique purposes as both protection and to encourage positivity in people’s lives
  • understanding a culture’s beliefs will help to shape how snake plants are viewed

Snake Plant Spiritual Meaning

Okay, we understand this topic may go a bit beyond the boundaries of gardening. However, it does involve one of our favorite houseplants, the beautiful snake plant (mother-in-law’s tongue). And we are simply fascinated with these stunning succulents, so we can’t help but try to learn everything we can about them.

We’ll be exploring a snake plant’s spiritual meaning in cultures worldwide. We’ll then bring it home to discover how these beliefs impact how they interact in your home.

So grab yourself a coffee, and let’s begin.

Snake Plants – What Are They?

Okay – we know it sounds strange to introduce snake plants. Who hasn’t heard of these hardy, versatile plants?

credit: tenor

However, we purposefully built Garden Bench Top for all levels of experience. As such, we don’t want to make any presumptions.

Snake plants are from the dracaena genus (recently re-categorized from the sansevieria genus) and are succulents that essentially thrive naturally in the tropical parts of the African continent.

You can find snake plants worldwide living as indoor plants or gardens as ornamental plants.

They are hardy succulents that can store water in their leaves and underground stems called rhizomes. This ability means they are drought-resistant and low-maintenance, making them ideal for novices and enthusiasts beginning their plant parent journey.

Our plant care guides have extensive information about different types of snake plants. We encourage you to check them out HERE.

Okay, that’s enough about snake plants – let’s now explore how different cultures regard these beautiful plants.

Snake Plant Spiritual Meaning in Feng Shui

ying and yang of snake plants spiritual meanings

Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art form that analyzes the flow of energy in a space based on the corresponding position of objects (or documents) around that space. All forms have an impact on the energy flow, including snake plants. The goal is to optimize good energy in your home or office and avoid bad energy.

Feng Shui generally dictates that sharp objects should be avoided in your home. The points (like the ends of the snake plant foliage) represent poison arrows, which attract negative energy. However, these poison arrows can effectively protect against unwanted energy when harnessed correctly.

So, depending on the intention, snake plants can have both a good and bad symbol.

We’ve explored the role of snake plants in Feng Shui in another article ARE SNAKE PLANTS GOOD FOR FENG SHUI?

In terms of symbolism, snake plants tick many of the right boxes in Feng Shui:

  • Protection against negative energy – as discussed above, the poison arrows at the tip of the snake plant’s leaves prevent unwanted energy from entering your home.
  • The tall vertical growth – of the snake plants symbolizes positivity and personal development.
  • Yang wood element – plants represent the cultivation of the wood element in Feng Shui, which contributes to the promotion of personal development and wealth.
  • Snake plants are considered lucky – in general, and snake plants are considered lucky plants that can be positioned strategically to enhance your productivity and positive energy.

Snake Plant Can Help Facilitate Spirituality

Besides their role in Feng Shui, snake plants can benefit individuals trying to form a deeper connection with themselves and their spirit.

A popular way to connect with one’s inner spirituality is to calm yourself to a point where all the daily distractions and stress from your everyday life are out of your mind. According to the National Library of Medicine, interaction with indoor plants, including snake plants, reduce psychological and physiological stress, which helps you achieve a level of serenity, allowing you to connect spiritually.

indoor plants help to connect spiritually

Promotes Health for Spirituality

Snake plants also assist people spiritually by healing them and enabling a healthy body and mind.

They achieve this by producing health benefits when cultivated as indoor plants.

Snake plants are renowned for their air purification abilities. As they absorb the surrounding air, they remove toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, and xylene.

Not only do they clean the air, but they also replace it with pure oxygen as a byproduct of the photosynthesis process.

Additionally, unlike electronic air purifiers snake plants don’t have an on-and-off switch. They release oxygen all day and oxygen at night.