14 Best Types of Snake Plants to Grow at Home

Whether you’re a new or seasoned houseplant owner, you’ve likely come across the snake plant. This species has grown popular over the years for its easy care needs and fascinating look. The snake plant is known for its distinctive yellow and green striped leaves. However, this species comes in a variety of shapes and sizes. Here, we’ll take you through 14 of the most popular types of snake plants you can add to your houseplant collection. Plus, we’ve included essential growing and care tips for each. Let’s go!

Best Types of Snake Plants to Grow at Home

1. Variegated Snake Plant (Sansevieria laurentii)

Variegated Snake Plant (Sansevieria laurentii)

The variegated snake plant, or Sansevieria laurentii, is known for its marbled green coloring and bright yellow edges. It is one of the better-known varieties, growing upright in clusters of tall, blade-like leaves.

Along with some other snake plant cultivars, the laurentii has earned the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit. This was also the variety that proved its air purification abilities in NASA’s Clean Air Study.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This plant prefers medium to bright, indirect light, warm temperatures, and infrequent watering. It is also tolerant of shaded environments.
Size and growth expectations:The laurentii variety grows slowly and reaches around three feet in height or taller.

2. Indian Bowstring Hemp (Sansevieria zeylanica)

Indian Bowstring Hemp (Sansevieria zeylanica)

Sansevieria zeylanica is a variety of snake plant known by its scientific name. However, it is sometimes called Indian bowstring hemp. This plant’s vertical, sword-shaped leaves have marbled coloring in a mix of darker and lighter shades of green. 

This snake plant variety is just as hardy as other Sansevierias, with a similar easygoing nature. It stands out from the popular variegated snake plant, as it doesn’t have the bright yellow stripe around its leaves.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This plant prefers medium to bright, indirect light, warm temperatures, and infrequent watering. It is also tolerant of shaded environments.
Size and growth expectations:This is a slow-growing plant that can reach up to three feet in height or taller.

3. Mother-in-Law’s Tongue ‘Moonshine’ (Sansevieria ‘Moonshine’)

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue ‘Moonshine’ (Sansevieria ‘Moonshine’)

Sansevieria moonshine is another type of snake plant known by its scientific name. However, it may sometimes be called mother-in-law’s tongue ‘moonshine.’ This plant grows lighter, silver-green leaves without the typical marbled look that is common in snake plants.

This variety gets its name for its pale, silvery color, but it will become much darker in lower-light environments. It may produce small, white blooms in the right conditions.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:The moonshine snake plant prefers medium to bright, indirect light, warm temperatures, and infrequent watering.
Size and growth expectations:This slow-growing plant can reach up to two feet in height indoors.

4. Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Mother-in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata)

Sansevieria trifasciata, also called mother-in-law’s tongue, is the original snake plant from which other cultivars and varieties have developed.

This plant grows from a creeping rhizome in clusters of sword-shaped leaves. Interestingly, this shape earned the snake plant an alternative nickname: Saint George’s sword.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This plant will enjoy medium to bright, indirect light, temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and infrequent watering. However, it will tolerate lower light conditions if necessary.
Size and growth expectations:This plant grows slowly indoors and can reach up to eight feet tall in the right conditions.

5. African Bowstring Hemp (Sansevieria hyacinthoides)

African Bowstring Hemp (Sansevieria hyacinthoides)

Sansevieria Hyacinthoides is a snake plant variety from South Africa, also known as the African bowstring hemp. The name bowstring hemp is common among snake plants because the plant’s fibers were used in the past to produce bowstrings.

This variety has flat, green leaves with lighter, silvery-green speckling. It may produce white blooms and small, orange fruit in the right conditions.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This plant prefers medium to bright, indirect light, but it is tolerant of low light conditions. It enjoys warm temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and infrequent watering.
Size and growth expectations:This plant grows during the warmer months and can reach two to four feet in height.

6. Mikado (Sansevieria bacularis)

Mikado (Sansevieria bacularis)

The Sansevieria bacularis, sometimes referred to by the name Mikado, is a unique snake plant with thin, cylindrical leaves. The plant’s leaves grow in vertical spikes with green marbling.

This type of snake plant is native to Central Africa, specifically the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This plant prefers medium to bright, indirect light, warm temperatures, and infrequent watering. It is also tolerant of shaded environments.
Size and growth expectations:Like other snake plants, this variety is slow-growing. It may take up to ten years to reach its maximum height of eight feet, though it will typically be much smaller indoors.

7. African Spear Plant (Sansevieria cylindrica)

African Spear Plant (Sansevieria cylindrica)

The Sansevieria cylindrica is native to tropical regions of southern Africa. The variety gets its common name, the African spear plant, due to its thin, cylindrical leaves that resemble spears.

The African spear plant is hardy and lends a unique focal point to any space. There are a few different varieties of this spear-like variety of snake plants. Cultivars include Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Spaghetti’ and Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Patula.’

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This variety will enjoy medium to bright, indirect light, and warmer temperatures, but it needs protection from hot, direct sunlight. Let soil dry between waterings.
Size and growth expectations:This plant grows relatively slowly and can reach up to six feet in height.

8. Sansevieria francisii

Sansevieria francisii

Sansevieria francisii is an uncommon variety that diverges from the typical Sansevieria look. Its leaves are thin and pointed with the usual green marbling. However, they grow in rows that spiral upward, creating a full, sculptural appearance.

This plant is native to parts of Africa, specifically areas in Kenya. It was named in honor of the botanist Francis K. Horwood.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:The francisii plant needs medium to bright, indirect light, warm temperatures, and infrequent watering. It can tolerate some full sun as well as shaded environments.
Size and growth expectations:This plant grows slowly and can reach about two feet in height.

9. Kenya Hyacinth (Sansevieria parva)

Kenya Hyacinth (Sansevieria parva)

The Sansevieria parva is an uncommon snake plant variety also known as the Kenya Hyacinth. Unlike other snake plant varieties, this Sansevieria is a great choice for hanging baskets due to its unique appearance.

The Kenya hyacinth has thin, narrow leaves that arch outward from a central rosette. It also produces impressive white blooms that give off a scent similar to the hyacinth flower.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This plant prefers moderate to bright, indirect light. It will enjoy an indoor placement near a sunny window with a sheer curtain. Water infrequently and avoid temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Size and growth expectations:This plant grows slowly and will reach just under two feet in height and around three feet in spread.

 10. Sansevieria patens

Sansevieria patens

The Sansevieria patens brings new meaning to the snake plant’s common name. Its foliage grows as thick, grooved leaves that spread and arch away from a central rosette, resembling a cluster of living snakes.

The specific origin of this type of snake plant is unclear. However, researchers have said it likely came from Kenya or a nearby part of eastern Africa.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This plant will also enjoy moderate to bright, indirect light, warm temperatures, and infrequent waterings. Avoid environments below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Size and growth expectations:This plant grows slowly. Leaves can reach three feet long and nearly two inches thick.

11. Whale Fin Snake Plant (Sansevieria masoniana)

Whale Fin Snake Plant (Sansevieria masoniana)

The whale fin snake plant, or Sansevieria masoniana, makes a bold statement with its massive leaves and dappled variegation. This plant often grows as just one or two leaves in a pot, creating a unique visual in any space.

The Sansevieria masoniana is native to central Africa. However, it is cultivated around the world for ornamental purposes. The variety also comes in a variegated variety with impressive stripes that run the length of the plant. 

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This plant prefers to live in an area with moderate to bright, indirect lighting, and warmer temperatures. Avoid overwatering.
Size and growth expectations:This plant grows slowly and can reach up to four feet in certain conditions. However, it is likely to stay smaller indoors.

12. Sansevieria kirkii

Sansevieria kirkii

The Sansevieria kirkii is native to certain parts of Africa, like Tanzania and Malawi. It is a slower-growing Sansevieria with a unique cone-shaped bloom that distinguishes it from other snake plants.

This variety has similar green, sword-shaped green to other snake plants. However, its leaves fan out from its center rather than growing up vertically.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This plant will enjoy fast-draining soil and infrequent watering. It can thrive in full sun as well as low light conditions. However, it will bloom better if it receives some direct sunlight.
Size and growth expectations:The kirkii snake plant is one of the slower-growing varieties. Its leaves can grow up to six feet long, but they may arch as they spread rather than growing taller.

13. Sansevieria Whitney

Sansevieria Whitney

The Sansevieria Whitney is a smaller variety of snake plant. It grows in a short rosette of dark green leaves with an attractive green and white variegated border at the edges.

Some consider this to be one of the dwarf varieties of snake plants. Its smaller size makes it a great option to consider for a desk or work surface in your home.

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:Like other snake plants, this variety is low-light tolerant. However, it will prefer medium to bright, indirect light. Avoid overwatering and keep in well-draining soil.
Size and growth expectations:This plant is slow-growing and will likely reach just under one foot in height.

14. Twisted Sister (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twist’)

Twisted Sister (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twist’)

The Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twist’ is commonly known by the names twist or twisted sister. This is because the plant’s leaves are curlier than other Sansevierias. Rather than growing flat, the leaves twist around each other, creating a lively visual.

The twisted sister is also considered a dwarf variety of the snake plant. It will stay smaller, making it great to place on a desk or windowsill. 

General care requirements:Easy and low-maintenance
Environmental considerations:This variety will also prefer moderate to bright, indirect light. Water infrequently allowing the soil to dry between waterings.
Size and growth expectations:This plant grows slowly and will reach slightly over one foot in height.

Wrapping Up

The snake plant is a beginner-friendly species regardless of the type you choose to grow at home.

Its vibrant, upright leaves and easy care needs make it a popular choice, whether it’s your first houseplant or part of a growing collection.

Choose your favorite Sansevieria from the list to welcome a new evergreen companion into your home. With the right materials and care, you can enjoy your new snake plant for years to come.

For more, see our in-depth guide to snake plant care at home.

Contributing Editor | brandy@petalrepublic.com | Full Bio

Brandy Wells is an American copywriter and content writer living in Spain. From hiking in her hometown near the Smoky Mountains to digging in the dirt in rural Oregon, she has always put a love of nature at the heart of her endeavors. These days, you’ll catch her writing content, and of course, taking breaks to tend to her growing houseplant collection.

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