Snake Plant Humidity: #1 Important Care Tips

With its distinctive long ribbon-like leaves, the ever-popular snake plant is popular in many homes and offices. These low-maintenance plants that feature sharp vertical lines and a patterned appearance add a sophisticated look to most settings.  Snake plants are hardy plants tolerant of various light conditions and can even handle poor air quality. However, they can become prone to various conditions if the relative humidity of the environment in which they are kept is not maintained within the optimum range required.

The ideal humidity levels for Snake plants is between 40-50%. Although they can tolerate levels outside of this range, keeping them in incorrect humidity levels for prolonged periods can make them prone to develop conditions or diseases that can easily be avoided.

A key factor in a plant’s health is the humidity of the environment where they are kept. Snake plants, which originate from West Africa, tolerate a range of lighting conditions and are low maintenance.  The tall stiff leaves may appear invincible, but before you reach for the spritz bottle to give an indiscriminate douse of moisture to your pot plants, it may be wise to skip this lanky houseplant.

Snake Plant Humidity

Why Is Correct Humidity Important For Snake Plants?

Snake plants are remarkable.  Besides just looking good, they improve the quality of the air. Their long twisted leaves filter toxins from the air inside buildings, so keeping them healthy isn’t just for their appealing lines.

Temperature and humidity are often confused with each other. Both are very important, but these are distinctly different issues and, if incorrect, both will affect the health of your snake plants. The ideal temperature range for snake plants is between 55F and 80F. They are not tolerant of cold temperatures but make ideal houseplants because they are attractive and hardy.

In terms of humidity, snake plants prefer to stay in a drier environment and don’t do well in damp conditions. If the moisture levels in the air are high for a prolonged period, water droplets build upon the plants’ succulent leaves. This moisture can lead to leaf diseases or bacterial infections.

If humidity levels are too low, the plant will lose too much moisture through transpiration from its leaves, and it will grow very slowly, discolor, and may even begin to droop. Fortunately, there are several ways to quickly remedy humidity issues and keep your snake plant healthy and looking its best.

Read more: Snake Plant Leaves Curling? Main Causes And Solutions

How Can I Measure The Humidity Of A Room?

Plant owners hear a lot about the importance of maintaining the correct humidity levels for their plants, but a lot of the time, the actual level has been a matter of guessing. Being able to gauge the humidity of various rooms accurately will be helpful when deciding on the best initial placement for your house plants and ensuring that the humidity level remains ideal.

Small hygrometer devices are inexpensive and can quickly and accurately provide you with the information that you need to keep your snake plants thriving. Besides providing information on the humidity, a hygrometer like the type available from Acurite will also keep you updated on the current humidity and temperature levels at the time of reading. It also tracks highs and lows to keep you aware of fluctuations over more extended periods. 

In addition, there are apps that you can download to your smartphone that will give you an accurate room humidity reading.

How To Increase Humidity For The Snake Plant If Its Too Low

Snake plants usually prefer drier conditions to the reverse. However, they will not thrive, and their plump rigid leaves will not look their best if the air around them is constantly sapping them of moisture. You should be aware of some signs that may indicate that the humidity of the air around your snake plant is too low.

  • The leaves may become yellow or brownish in appearance
  • The plant may appear wilted
  • The leaves may begin to droop or curl

Room temperatures of around 60-80F with a humidity level of 50% or above will be the perfect growth environment for your snake plant. If the air is too dry are some simple ways that you can increase the humidity levels around a snake plant.

Use A Humidifier

Humidifier

Installing a humidifier in a room will benefit the health of your house plants and the human inhabitants. Humidifiers can be set to ideal settings to balance the humidity in a setting.

Lower The Temperature

Lower temperatures hold more humidity in the air than higher ones. Of course, snake plants don’t do well in cool conditions, but the cause of the dry air in the room maybe because the temperature is slightly too high. Temperatures should never drop below 55F

Check that your snake plant is not being directly affected by the drying action of a vent or warm machine. 

Group Plants Together

Because of their dramatic appearance, snake plants are often displayed on their own. Their long twisting leaves contrast beautifully against plain backgrounds. But if the humidity of a room is too low, one of the easiest solutions is to add more plants to form a group.

Plants transpire, and if grouped, the humidity of the air around them increases. Grouping is a hassle-free method to keep the humidity level around your snake plant slightly higher.

Keep Your Snake Plant In A More Humid Room

If you notice your snake plant looking dehydrated or curling excessively and you suspect that it may be humidity-related, move it to a different room. Humidity levels in various indoor areas vary, so you can expect to find that your bathroom and kitchen will have a higher relative humidity level than a sunny bedroom.

Pebble Tray

Having an open source of moisture in a room is a good idea. Of course, we can’t leave buckets of water standing about in our homes, but there are some attractive and straightforward methods to quickly increase the humidity in your snake plant’s environment.

A pebble tray is simply an attractive tray of water-covered pebbles that can be placed directly underneath or near your snake plant. At no time should the pot with the plant’s roots ever directly touch the water as that will be a sure cause of root rot. The water in the tray is simply available to evaporate naturally, and the humidity in an area will naturally increase as a result.

Misting

Grabbing a spray bottle of water to apply to your snake plant in an attempt to raise the humidity may do more harm than good. Snake plants don’t like having wet foliage, so spritzing the air around the plant occasionally with a fine mist may be helpful, but be careful never to get the leaves wet.

Misting should only be as an occasional remedy to a temporary humidity situation. For example, if you have been using a hairdryer in the vicinity of your snake plant. It is unlikely that you would be able to mist often enough to improve a room’s overall long-term lack of humidity by misting.

Top view of a Snake Plant

How To Lower Humidity For The Snake Plant If Its Too High

Plant diseases and bacterial infections are far more likely to affect your Snake Plant if it stays in conditions where the humidity levels are too high. The steamy bathroom might seem like a good spot for a house plant that favors warmth, but a snake plant, like its reptile namesake, prefers to stay away from clammy environments.

When the humidity level around snake plants is too high, water droplets form on the long pointed leaves. The dampness makes it prone to diseases like red leaf spot. Here are some clues that you may see on your snake plant if the humidity level is too high:

  • The plant will develop fungus on the leaves
  • Pests may get a foothold and cause leaves to get spots, curl or discolor
  • The plant may develop root rot even though you are not overwatering. This is because the water droplets on the leaves will accumulate and trickle onto the roots, which has the same effect as overwatering.

Keeping your snake plants’ tall grass-like leaves dry is essential to the health of the plant. Although hardy, snake plants are vulnerable to common house plant afflictions like southern blight and spider mites which are far more likely to set in if the leaves are damp.

There are two main methods to reduce the humidity level around your snake plant:

Dehumidifier

If the air in your room is excessively humid, a dehumidifier is a good investment. These units come in various models to suit the size of the room they are selected for. You can find a selection of dehumidifiers.

Sometimes the solution to decrease the humidity in an area is as simple as ensuring adequate ventilation. Bacteria and molds can flourish in excessively humid conditions, which is detrimental to the health of your snake plant.

Move The Position Of The Snake Plant

If you find that the environment of a room is too humid for your snake plant, the simplest way to quickly fix the problem is to move the plant to the less humid room in the house. Bathrooms and kitchens tend to be much more humid while living rooms and bedrooms are generally drier.

Remember that snake plants are tolerant of various lighting conditions and can even do well in lower light areas than many other species of houseplants. They prefer to have their long leaves completely dry to remain healthy.

Users Also Read: Sansevieria Zeylanica: Complete Plant Guide

Conclusion

Snake plants are popular and hardy pot plants. While they are tolerant of a wide variety of lighting conditions, but they are not cold tolerant. They will be affected if the humidity level of the environment is either too low or high. The distinctive long leaves of snake plants should ideally remain in a dry environment.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dracaena_trifasciata

https://hort.extension.wisc.edu/articles/southern-blight/