If you’re new to houseplants or looking for a low-maintenance option, snake plants are a great choice. While these stunning plants have a reputation of being almost impossible to kill (in addition to being symbolic of luck and positivity), you’ll still need to provide the proper environment and care. We’re going to cover all you need to know about snake plant temperature and humidity tolerance when growing these plants indoors.
- Snake Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerances – The Essentials
- Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges in Snake Plants’ Native Habitats
- Signs Your Snake Plant Has Been Exposed to the Wrong Temperature or Humidity
- Ideal Temperature and Humidity for Snake Plants
- How to Boost Humidity in Your Home
- Caring for Snake Plants in Spring and Summer
- Caring for Snake Plants in Winter
- Wrapping Up
Snake Plant Temperature and Humidity Tolerances – The Essentials
Snake plants can withstand temperatures between 60-90ºF but prefer temperatures between 65-85ºF. Avoid large swings in temperature as well as hot and cold drafts. Snake plants thrive in low/moderate humidity, between 30-50%.
Typical Temperature and Humidity Ranges in Snake Plants’ Native Habitats
While there are many different snake plant species, all of these plants are native to Africa. These areas are warmer and never receive freezing temperatures. However, the exact native location and corresponding conditions vary between species of snake plants.
For example, Dracaena eilensis is native to a dry area region in Northern Somalia. This snake plant receives less than four inches of rain each year!
Other snake plants like the popular Dracaena trifasciata are native to tropical areas in West and Central Africa. These regions have higher humidity and receive more rainfall.
Fortunately, it’s easy to replicate a snake plant’s native habitat in your home. The most important thing is keeping the temperature above 60ºF since these plants don’t like the cold. You’ll need to be particularly careful with freshly propagated snake plants and those that have just been repotted.
Signs Your Snake Plant Has Been Exposed to the Wrong Temperature or Humidity
While snake plants have a reputation for being some of the hardiest houseplants, that doesn’t mean they don’t have their problems. Exposing your snake plant to the wrong temperature or humidity can cause minor or severe issues and also cause the plant to droop, flop, or turn shades of yellow.
While many houseplants like high humidity, snake plants prefer moderate to low humidity. If the humidity is constantly above 60%, your plants may develop issues.
Even if you’re using well-draining potting soil and watering on a proper schedule, high humidity can cause issues with rot. If you notice your plant’s leaves have become soft and mushy and the plant is drooping somewhat, high humidity might be to blame.
Air conditioners and heaters typically lower the humidity within an acceptable range. However, high humidity can become a problem if you’re not running either of these. If the humidity becomes too high, you can utilize a dehumidifier.
You should also remember that snake plants like lower humidity than many other houseplants. They will be happier next to cacti and succulents than they would be hanging out with monsteras and pothos.
Now that you know the issues that high humidity can cause let’s look at low humidity. If the air around your snake plant is extremely dry for an extended period of time, your plant may develop crispy, brown leaf margins.
As far as snake plants go, you’ll have to worry more about the temperature being too low rather than too high.
If the temperature dips below 60ºF for an extended period, your snake plant will slow its growth and be generally unhappy.
However, the real danger is when temperatures dip below 50ºF. When this occurs, plants will become cold-damaged. The leaves may become soft and wilted, or mushy.
If temperatures dip below freezing, your snake plant will likely die.
As far as high temperatures go, snake plants are pretty tolerant. While hot temperatures and direct sunlight could become an issue, hot temperatures (up to 100ºF) themselves are nothing to worry about. Snake plants can tolerate being near heat sources such as radiators.
If you’re planning on growing snake plants outdoors, see our in-depth guide on the ideal hardiness zones for these plants to thrive.
Ideal Temperature and Humidity for Snake Plants
Since snake plants are native to warm regions, you must keep the temperature warm. Always keep the temperature above 60ºF, but avoid letting the temperature reach above 100ºF. The ideal temperature range is between 65-85ºF.
To check the temperature in your home, you can use a basic thermometer. Once you’ve ensured the temperature is within the correct range, you’ll also want to check for any drafts.
You should keep your plant away from both hot and cold drafts. This means placing it away from heating vents, drafty doors, and fireplaces. Additionally, you should place it somewhere where it does not receive direct light.
Snake plants prefer humidity between 30-50%. Fortunately, this is also a comfortable humidity range for humans. Additionally, this dry to moderate humidity range is common in most homes.
If you’re unsure of the humidity in your home, you can use a humidity reader. However, if the air feels comfortable to you, it’s probably suitable for your snake plant.
It’s important to note that snake plants prefer lower humidity than many other houseplants. While your other plants might like to sit next to a humidifier, it’s best to keep your snake plant in a drier location next to succulents.
When it comes time to choose the best location for your snake plant, look for somewhere you would be happy since snake plants have similar preferences to humans. Since snake plants can thrive in low light and medium light, they’ll be happy tucked in a hallway or a corner of a room.
How to Boost Humidity in Your Home
Snake plants prefer moderate humidity and can tolerate periods of low humidity. With that in mind, you’ll rarely need to increase the humidity for your snake plant.
With that said, you may need to boost the humidity if it’s constantly below 30%. The best way to do this is by using a humidifier. This will increase the humidity in a room, which will benefit more than one plant.
If you don’t want to invest in a humidifier, you can place a tray of pebbles and water under your snake plant’s pot. Make sure the pot is sitting on top of the pebbles rather than in the water. As the water evaporates from the tray, it will slightly increase the humidity.
While many tropical plants like to be misted with water, you should avoid misting snake plants. These plants like their leaves to remain dry and can develop disease issues if the leaves are often wet.
Caring for Snake Plants in Spring and Summer
As temperatures warm, you might start to turn on the air conditioning in your home. While cooler temperatures feel great to humans, you’ll want to make sure your snake plants stay warm.
Avoid placing your plants near vents or AC units that release cold air. You should also ensure that your home stays above 60ºF but below 90ºF. Snake plants may also benefit from some light pruning and fertilizing in the summer months to help sustain growth and health.
Under optimal growing conditions, snake plants can live for 20 years or more and may even produce flowers.
Caring for Snake Plants in Winter
As you crank up the heat in the winter, your home will probably dry out. While snake plants can handle a bit of dryness, they will suffer in extremely dry air.
If you find your skin cracking, it might be too dry for some species of snake plants. Place a tray of water near your plant to increase the humidity.
Another thing to watch out for in the winter is intense heat. While snake plants like it warm, they don’t like to be sitting next to hot radiators or heating vents. Make sure your plants are at least a few feet away from these direct sources of heat.
On the other hand, you want to make sure to protect your plant from the cold! Keep your snake plant away from exterior doors and drafty windows that let in cold air, and move them out of unheated rooms.
Since snake plants are hardy, you can move them around without much worry.
Now that you know about snake plants’ proper temperature and humidity preferences, you can add a few of these guys to your home! Since these plants are quite hardy, you won’t have to worry about them much. Just check the conditions every once in a while and make sure your plants look happy, and they’ll continue to provide you with a host of uses and benefits, including their special air purification powers.
Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State University. She manages a small market garden where she grows vegetables and herbs. She also enjoys growing flowers and houseplants at home.