Snake plants provide a host of uses and benefits and are prized for their ease of care and ability to be placed in many different parts of the home. The scientific name for this plant is Sansevieria trifasciata, but they are also commonly called Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. No matter what you call them, these plants have a distinctive and sharp appearance that can keep your home modern and unique. However, there are concerns with using this plant in the practice of Feng Shui that we’ll run through so you know where to position Snake Plants in this helpful guide.
- Where to Position Snake Plants in the Home – The Essentials
- About Snake Plants
- Snake Plants and Feng Shui
- Where to Position Snake Plants in the Home According to Feng Shui
- Where Not to Position Snake Plants in the Home
- Where to Place Snake Plants Outdoors
- Essential Snake Plant Care
- Where to Position Snake Plants FAQs:
- Where to Position Snake Plants – The Final Word
Where to Position Snake Plants in the Home – The Essentials
According to Feng Shui, snake plants are able to generate a lot of energy in a living space, so they’re best placed in the East or South-East of the home or office for maximum benefit. Snake plants are also tolerant of varying light conditions so are able to thrive in a number of locations.
About Snake Plants
There are over 70 different plants, commonly called Snake Tongue or Snake plant, but the Sansevieria trifasciata is the one most widely grown as a houseplant. Other popular snake plant varieties include the rounded Spear Snake plant or Sansevieria cylindrica. They form part of the Asparagaceae family and are distantly related to asparagus and many other plants.
This houseplant’s native range is the sub-tropical parts of Asia and Africa. While it doesn’t need the high temperatures and humidity of many other popular houseplants, it does prefer to stay in stable conditions regardless of the specific temperature range.
What’s more, Snake plants often grow in obscured areas with little rain exposure in the wild, so they can generally handle minimal watering and not much light.
It will also do well with higher levels of light and high humidity as long as it is not watered too often. The Snake plant is a type of succulent which means it can store the water it needs internally rather than constantly watering (snake plants can also be grown directly in water).
Under optimal growing conditions, snake plants can live for 20 years or more and may even help to purify the air in your home or office. Snake plants are also helpful in killing mosquitos thanks to the saponin in their leaves.
Under optimal growing conditions, snake plants can also produce flowers.
Snake Plants and Feng Shui
Snake plants are generally assigned symbolism based on the stiff, tall, and lance-shaped leaves that they form.
In Chinese culture, the Snake plant is believed to encourage qi levels and provide a strong boost in energy. This can be positive in many ways, but it’s also an issue in parts of the home where you may not want a lot of energy, such as the bedroom and other relaxing areas. That’s where the practice of Feng Shui comes in.
Feng Shui fundamentals assign all live plants like the Snake plant in the element of wood. Wood is stable, expansive, part of your career, and plays a big role in your family structure. Snake plants can stimulate all of these things when placed in the right part of the home.
However, placing the Snake plant in the wrong part of the home could lead to conflict, lack of relaxation, or a scattering of your energy.
Snake plants are also unique in that they can be placed in parts of the home where Feng Shui principles generally don’t recommend the use of a live plant. Their strong shape and sharp look help them provide a strong burst of energy when used by the entryway of the home and other areas with a lot of foot traffic.
Where to Position Snake Plants in the Home According to Feng Shui
Feng Shui is used to lay out all sorts of structures, from entire city blocks to the rooms in a home, based on the four directions of the compass. A map of energy known as the Bagua is aligned with the home’s northern direction.
Each sector of the home that aligns with a direction has a different purpose and focus. Arranging which parts of the home are used for certain purposes, then decorating them properly based on the recommendations of the Bagua, could result in a smoother flow of energy through it.
Snake plants are best used in the parts of the home associated with the wood element, especially due to their strong vertical orientation. Placing a Snake plant in the South-East part of the home helps activate the Xun region, which is believed to rule your abundance and wealth. It’s an excellent place to stimulate energy rapidly with the sharp shape of this plant.
If you’re trying to start a family, you may want to place it in the East or the Zhen region of the home. However, this can cause disagreements in established families since the pointy shape of the plant can lead to arguments.
Most Feng Shui practices call for keeping live plants away from the entrances and exits of the home because it’s believed that the energy they produce will flow out of the openings. Snake plants still should be kept away from any exit doors, but entryways can be a good place for them.
The strong energy the upright growing habit provides can overcome the potential for loss and provide a big statement piece to greet anyone entering the home.
Practical Concerns for Snake Plant Placement
Snake plants are unusual among houseplants in having relatively few concrete needs. They can handle low and high humidity well, are happy in varying light conditions (just avoid bright, direct light), and only need fertilizing about once a year (with store-bought feed or even diluted coffee grounds can be used).
You’re free to mainly place them according to style or energetic considerations like Feng Shui, as long as you’re using a well-draining soil mix and won’t completely forget to water them.
Consider it a type of cacti, although it’s more closely related to many other decorative succulents.
Where Not to Position Snake Plants in the Home
Feng Shui principles warn against placing live plants in the bedroom of the home because they can stimulate too much energy and make it hard to rest.
This is especially true for a plant that inspires discipline and focus due to its height and shape, like the Snake plant. Watch out for placing the Snake plant too close to most doors and windows both for energetic concerns and because the plant doesn’t enjoy drafts.
These plants don’t need high heat, so they may not enjoy being placed in direct sun that could bake them or near a heater.
Where to Place Snake Plants Outdoors
Many varieties of Snake plants can be grown outdoors in areas that don’t freeze over the winter and rarely have temperatures below 40 degrees F. They make a good addition to xeriscapes and desert landscapes because they prefer dry conditions to damp ones.
Watch out for direct sun that could bake them, especially in the afternoon. If you’re placing an indoor Snake plant outside for the summer, try a patio or porch where there’s something to block the afternoon sun.
Keeping them away from strong winds is also recommended to avoid snapping, especially on larger plants that are multiple feet tall.
Essential Snake Plant Care
Snake plants are forgiving and don’t mind low light to bright light conditions. They’re happy with most humidity levels but prefer to stay out of high heat over 75 degrees F.
Keep snake plants above 40 degrees F to prevent yellowing leaves, drooping, falling over, or leaf loss, and water the snake plant sparingly, only giving water when the top two to three inches of soil have dried out.
Make sure to use a well-draining soil mix meant for cacti to ensure there’s no chance of root rot, especially if the plant is kept in a darker environment where evaporation will be slower. You’ll need to repot a snake plant every 2 to 3 years, typically once it has outgrown the current vessel. Snake plants can grow up to 12 inches per year under optimal conditions (which will also help keep common pests and diseases at bay).
This plant is forgiving and will usually wilt if conditions are poor to indicate it needs a change. Watch out for overwatering and a complete lack of light, two of the most common mistakes made in Snake plant care.
Where to Position Snake Plants FAQs:
What room is best for Snake Plants?
According to Feng Shui, rooms in the East to South-East of the house will be best for Snake plants. They’re adaptable enough that any room will work according to their needs.
How far away from the window should a Snake Plant be?
Snake plants don’t like a lot of direct light, so keep them at least two to three feet back from a window. Make sure the afternoon light, in particular, doesn’t bake the plant.
Can I put my Snake Plant in a corner?
Corners are a good choice to keep the Snake plant away from drafts and to prevent overexposure to bright light.
Can Snake Plants thrive in low-light environments?
A Snake plant should be happy with relatively low light levels as long as there’s at least a strong artificial light source or some sunlight.
Can Snake Plants tolerate drafts?
Snake plants aren’t as sensitive to drafts as some plants, but they still don’t like them. Keep cold drafts away, and watch out for heating elements or vents that might cause the soil to dry out quickly.
Where to Position Snake Plants – The Final Word
Snake plants don’t need much care, so they’re easy to use in rooms where other houseplants may not thrive. Make sure to give them a light dusting now and then, so the leaves don’t become dirty and struggle to absorb sunlight. Both small and large varieties are available to suit any space.
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.