Snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata) are hardy houseplants with stunning sword-shaped leaves that come in several different types and may even help to purify the air. However, some growing conditions may cause issues for snake plants. In this article, we’ll explain whether you can keep snake plants near a radiator or heater.
Can You Keep Snake Plants Near a Radiator or Heater?
Snake plants are tropical houseplants native to dry, hot deserts or savannahs in West Africa. As such, snake plants need warm, stable temperatures and low to moderate humidity levels.
Ideal indoor temperatures for snake plants range from 65 to 85ºF (18 to 30ºC). However, these houseplants can handle temperatures between 60 and 90ºF (15.5 to 32ºC). Snake plants also need humidity levels ranging from 30 to 50%, which means that average household humidity should be sufficient.
Usually, placing a houseplant near a radiator or heater is a recipe for disaster. Heaters can dry out the air around a plant, severely lowering the humidity. Most tropical houseplants need warm conditions with moderate to high humidity.
But because snake plants need relatively low humidity and warm temperatures, they can be safely placed near radiators or heaters (either in living areas or the bedroom). This helps keep snake plants warm, especially during the winter months. And snake plants can happily cope with the drier air around a heater.
Houseplants kept near radiators usually dry out quickly, which means that you have to water the plant more frequently. However, Snake plants are low-maintenance houseplants that have minimal water requirements. Therefore, snake plants won’t need to be watered more often if placed near a radiator, especially during the winter.
Snake plants only need watering every 2 to 3 weeks during the spring and summer. In winter, snake plants use less water and will only need a drink every 6 to 8 weeks.
What Causes Temperature Stress in Snake Plants?
Although you can place snake plants near radiators or heaters, they hate cold conditions. During the winter, snake plants can tolerate temperatures as low as 45ºF (7ºC) as long as the soil is dry.
Protect snake plants from cold drafts at all times, especially during the winter. Air vents, open windows, and air conditioning units cause cold drafts. Position snake plants in a warm room with stable temperatures. A radiator or heater is not essential.
If your snake plant’s leaves start drooping or falling over while positioned near a radiator, the plant is probably thirsty. Increase watering frequency or move the plant slightly further away from the heater.
Drooping, yellowing leaves can indicate that your snake plant is too cold. Move the plant away from cold drafts and use a thermometer to find the right spot. If necessary, position your snake plant in a room with a heater or radiator. Under optimal growing conditions, your snake plants can also produce flowers.
Snake plants need warm, stable temperatures and low to moderate humidity at all times. During the winter, you can position your snake plant near a radiator or heater without worrying about it drying out. Provide temperatures between 65 and 85ºF wherever possible.
For more, see our in-depth guide on whether snake plants are pet friendly.
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.