Sansevieria patens

Common Name: snake plant 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Asparagaceae
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.50 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: Rarely flowers indoors
Bloom Description: Rarely flowers indoors
Sun: Part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen


Winter hardy to USDA Zone 10-12. In St. Louis, this is an easy-to-grow houseplant that tolerates a wide range of cultural and environmental conditions. It prefers warm, bright locations, but tolerates some shade. Protect from hot afternoon sun. Best grown in a well-draining potting mix. Water regularly during the growing season, with significantly reduced watering from fall to late winter. Do not pour water on the center of the rosette. Indoor plants may be placed in shady outside locations in summer. Propagate by leaf cuttings or dividing offsets.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sansevieria patens is an evergreen, succulent perennial native to eastern Africa. Mature clumps can reach up to 3' tall with a similar width. The stiff, spreading, cylindrical leaves can reach 3' long and 2" wide, with a central groove along their length. The foliage can take on green-grey tones with contrasting dark green bands. The leaves form a loose, fan-shaped rosette. The creamy white, tubular flowers are held in clusters atop an upright flowering stalk reaching 1.25' tall. Plants will slowly form a small colony from pups.

Genus name honors an 18th-century Italian patron of horticulture.

The specific epithet patens means "spreading" in reference to the growth habit of this species.


Overwatering often causes root rot. Watch for mealybugs and spider mites.


Good low-maintenance indoor plant.