Snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata) have striking sword-shaped leaves and come in several types. But did you know that snake plants can also flower in the right conditions? In this article, we’ll explore snake plant flowers and how to encourage them.
Do Snake Plants Grow Flowers?
Depending on the conditions in your home, most types of snake plants can grow between 2 and 12 inches every year. Snake plants can also live for approximately 10 to 25 years in the right conditions. But even if your snake plant lives that long, it might not produce flowers indoors.
Snake plants are native to tropical regions of West Africa. In many of these regions, these succulents inhabit dry, rocky areas and can tolerate droughts. You can grow snake plants outdoors in zones 8 to 11 (and snake plants can even grow in water).
In their native habitats, snake plants can produce stalks of cream or greenish-white flowers during the spring. Each flower stalk can be as tall as 3 feet. The delicate-looking flowers may also have a slight fragrance.
If a snake plant flowers indoors, it’s likely a defense mechanism against stress. Like many plants, snake plants may flower if they think they’re at risk. Snake plants are low-maintenance plants that can tolerate neglect, meaning that they will survive low amounts of stress.
How Do I Get My Snake Plant to Flower?
Because snake plants only seem to flower when stressed, getting them to bloom indoors is exceptionally tricky. However, you can alter the growing conditions around your snake plant to make flowering more likely.
Ensuring your snake plant gets plenty of sunlight can help it flower. Ideally, snake plants need about 8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight every day from an east or south-facing window.
As drought-tolerant succulents, snake plants don’t need a lot of water. In fact, slightly underwatering your snake plant might encourage it to flower due to stress. Water snake plants every 2 to 4 weeks during the spring and summer.
Snake plants need warm temperatures between 60 and 90ºF and low to moderate humidity levels between 30 and 50%. Providing temperatures at the lower end of a snake plant’s tolerances could encourage it to flower by slightly stressing it out. Never subject snake plants to temperatures below 50ºF, though. Snake plants will also generally be fine near radiators and other heat sources.
Providing suitable soil and nutrition can also help your snake plant flower. Snake plants like well-draining soils that can hold a bit of moisture. Fertilize snake plants every other month during the spring and summer.
Snake plants are also more likely to flower if they’re slightly root-bound. This causes some minor stress that may induce flowering. Snake plants typically need repotting every 1 to 3 years.
Remember that older snake plants are more likely to flower than younger plants. So if you’ve recently propagated a snake plant, it could be decades before it flowers.
Remember, even without flowers, snake plants offer a host of uses and benefits and can even help to purify the air.
Snake plant flowers are extremely tricky to cultivate, but it is possible if the plant is slightly stressed. Snake plant flowers are cream or greenish-white and may have a slight fragrance.
For more, see our in-depth guide to snake plant care at home.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.
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