How to care for the Moonshine Snake Plant
House plants can help to bring some extra personality to your home. But the issue with some is that they can be a little too colourful and flashy.
For some people, this ideal, but for others, a more subtle plant would be better.
The Moonshine Snake Plant is a small leafy plant that’s perfect for the home, because of how well it will fit into most spaces.
If you’re looking for something pretty but not too flashy, Moonshine Snake Plant could be the ideal plant for you.
What does your moonshine snake plant require?
The Moonshine Snake Plant is not the most challenging plant to look after. Most people will be able to look after well, even if they work more than 40 hours a week.
But as with all other plants, you will still need to make sure it’s kept in the right conditions, and it’s being fed as it should.
Here’s our guide on looking after the Moonshine Snake Plant, to give it the best chance of survival.
Much like many other plants on our website, the best kind of light to give the Moonshine Snake Plant is bright but indirect.
This will make sure it’s kept in a room with a lot of natural light. But try placing some other plants on your window sill, so the Moonshine Snake Plant won’t become burnt.
What’s great about this plant is that even though it thrives best in bright, indirect lighting, if there is not a lot of light one day, or if it experiences the full sun for one reason or another, it will still live. It’s a hardy little plant that can quickly adapt to its environment.
However, should you leave it in low light for too long, you may find that the leaves have gone darker.
The perfect temperature for the Moonshine Snake Plant is between 13 and 29C. This is what it will be used to in its natural environment.
What’s impressive about this plant is that it can survive so long as the temperature is above 0C. Amazing how it lives in the desert yet can survive freezing temperatures. However, leaving it at this temperature is far from what it likes.
Should the temperature be too low for too long, you may find the leaves develop scars.
One thing that separates Moonshine Snake Plant from most other house plants is how dry it likes the soil. They could make the perfect plant for people who work long hours, and don’t have time to water their plants too often.
Make sure the soil is well-draining. And you may need to give it a new pot of soil once every 2 to 5 years. This is significantly less work than the typical house plant.
Moonshine Snake Plant’s home is the desert. And in the desert, there is almost no humidity. You should make sure there is no humidity (or at least as little humidity as possible), in the room you’re keeping it in.
Therefore, the bathroom will not be the best room in your house to keep the Moonshine Snake Plant. Don’t panic too much if it spends some time in a humid room, just take it out, and put it into a drier room.
How to Water
Being a desert plant, the Moonshine Snake Plant does not like having too much water. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if the soil is dry, it doesn’t need, nor does it want water.
And when you do give it water, try and keep the leaves dry, as water on them can cause mould.
When it’s cold, you should not be watering the plant more than once a month. Too much watering can cause some of the water to stand around the Rhizome structure- this can easily lead to root rot.
How to Fertilize
Most people who own a Moonshine Snake Plant don’t fertilize it. There really is no need to.
But if you insist, the only time you should be doing it during the summer when the weather is sweltering, and the plant can better absorb the nutrients. As for what kind of fertilizer you should use, any cactus fertilizer will do the job just fine.
Extra tips for the moonshine snake plant
We’ve just shown you the basics of taking care of the Moonshine Snake Plant, but if you want to take your plant care to the next level, here’s how to do it.
This is the perfect plant for new plant parents as it’s always super easy to look after.
Pests & Diseases
The most common type of pests that you will find on the Moonshine Snake Plant are mealy bugs and spider mites.
Should you ever notice any of them, just use any pesticide spray, and spray the plant lightly. This will take about 5 seconds, and the end result will be a bunch of dead bugs.
If you notice the leaves turning yellow and/or drooping, this is a sign it’s suffering from root rot. In which case, you have probably given it too much water.
The best thing you can do is put it into the warmest and driest room in the house, and wait for all of the water to evaporate. When you notice the leaves becoming green again, and soil being dry, you can water it again, just not so much!
The Moonshine Snake Plant is not a plant that needs a lot of pruning. It could be wise to remove any leaves that have died or become yellow. Allowing dead leaves to stay can increase the chance of fungal infection, and can even attract pests.
But other than that, leave it alone, and let it grow naturally.
Propagation is when you clone a plant. You take one plant, cut a bit off, and turn it into another plant, genetically identical to the parent plant.
Firstly, take off an offset (usually a leaf) with a sharp knife. Wait for 24 hours for the cut to dry. Place the leaf into water and wait 3-4 weeks for some small roots to sprout at the bottom.
When this happens, move the plant into a larger container. As the plant gets bigger, the container ought to grow too.
How do you care for a moonshine snake plant?
One of the most important things to care for a Moonshine Snake Plant is not to overwater it. Ensure the soil it sits in is super dry, the only time you should be giving it water is when the soil has not a single spec of moisture in there.
When the leaves die, make sure they get cut off and put into the compost bin.
Is the Moonshine snake plant rare?
I’m afraid if you want to look after a rare plant, the Moonshine Snake Plant is probably not the plant for you. Millions of people keep them in their homes, and there are millions more in the wild.
These plants are more for people who are new to looking after plants than for people looking for a challenge.
How big do Moonshine snake plants get?
Moonshine Snake Plants can grow up to 2ft tall. So if you’re looking for a big pot plant, this is not the best plant for you. And 2ft is the biggest it will grow, most of the time, it’s much smaller than that!
How do you know when your moonshine snake plant needs water?
The Moonshine Snake Plant is unlikely to be desperate for water. It’s far more common for people to overwater it than underwater it.
However, when the leaves start to go brown, this is a sign, it’s not getting enough hydration. Should this happen, give it a bit of water, and wait for the leaves to turn green again.
However, compared to most other plants, the amount of water the Moonshine Snake Plant needs is almost nothing.
Does the moonshine snake plant like humidity?
No. The Moonshine Snake Plant does not like humidity. Because it lives in the desert, moist air is not something it’s used to. Should the room be too humid, you may find that the leaves can start to rot.
Rotting leaves can damage the whole plant as it attracts pests, and can even cause an infection that spreads to the rest of the plant.
Is the moonshine snake plant toxic?
The Moonshine Snake Plant is only toxic if you eat it, and even then only mildly. Should you consume a lot of it, you will find yourself vomiting a lot. So my advice is simply to look at it but don’t eat it.
The Moonshine Snake Plant is not food, it’s decoration. And it’s even more toxic to pets.
Is the moonshine snake plant an air purifier?
The Moonshine Snake Plant is an air purifier and a very good one at that! For every 100 square feet of indoor space, it will clean out 90% of harmful chemicals. This includes formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and benzene.
All of those are dangerous chemicals that can make you extremely sick. So having a plant that can clean the air of them will be beneficial to your health, and allow you to breathe better.
What are some fun facts about the moonshine snake plant?
Here are three fun facts for you!
The Moonshine Snake Plant has several nicknames, including, Ghost snake plant, mother in laws tongue, and viper’s bowstring.
The Moonshine Snake Plant is native to West Africa. It can be found all the way from Nigeria to the Congo.
Being a desert plant, the Moonshine Snake Plant is highly drought tolerant.
Peter A. Mansfeld, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons