Snake plants can grow in any light level, including shadowy corners, and are one of the easiest indoor houseplants to take care of. Experts will tell you they are nearly indestructible and an excellent choice for beginners. Still, if you want your snake plant to grow and thrive, proper lighting is vital. Keep reading for our best tips on growing a robust plant.
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How Many Hours of Sun Does a Snake Plant Require?
Like most succulents, 8-10 hours of bright, indirect sunlight is best for your snake plant. Light filtered through a sheer curtain or blinds, or reflected off walls, are all examples of indirect light – preferably from a south or east-facing window.
- 8–10 hours of indirect light is ideal for snake plants.
- For best results, place snake plants in an area where light is filtered or reflected.
- If your snake plant is in direct light, limit exposure to 5–6 hours daily.
If necessary, your plant can tolerate 5–6 hours of direct sunlight (sunlight is direct when it produces a distinct shadow that you can easily identify). Just keep in mind that although they have sturdy foliage, too much bright sunlight can cause your snake plant to grow crooked, or even burn the leaves of your plant.
What Kind of Lighting do Snake Plants Need?
Snake plants are hardy and can tolerate a variety of conditions. As a result, shops often market them as low-light houseplants, suitable for any area of the home. But even though snake plants can grow in shady corners, they prefer bright, indirect light.
Here are some tips for adjusting the light around your plant:
- When moving your snake plant from any low-light areas into a place of brighter light, do so gradually.
- Move your snake plant slowly toward the lighter spot over a week—moving it into bright direct sunlight quickly may cause it to suffer from shock.
- Adjust water accordingly, as snake plants will need more moisture in brighter areas.
Ideally, you should keep your plant roughly 6–10 feet (2–3 meters) away from east, west, or south-facing windows. While they can tolerate direct sunlight, prolonged exposure in a sunny window can scorch snake plants, turning leaves crispy and brown. Likewise, light that is too dim will result in a plant that doesn’t grow and may droop.
Is an LED Light Enough for a Snake Plant?
LEDs grow lights are more than capable of producing healthy snake plants. They provide your plants with both the red and blue light necessary for healthy growth. If you can’t provide enough natural light, LED is an excellent alternative.
- This LED grow light is excellent for snake plants.
- LED light can supplement or replace natural light.
- 12–16 hours of LED light is ideal for your snake plant.
For ideal foliage development, use your LED grow light for 12 – 14 hours a day. If you want your snake plant to bloom, increase light exposure to 16 hours a day. But be warned: flowering is not guaranteed with an indoor snake plant. Conditions must be ideal, and it is much more likely to occur outdoors.
Can a Snake Plant Survive in Low Light?
Snake plants are one of the toughest plants on the planet and are often recommended for low-light conditions. For instance, if your snake plant is in a dark corner of your bedroom, it won’t die. However, its growth will slow to a crawl or stop altogether.
- Snake plants can often survive in low light or heavy shade.
- Without adequate light, your snake plant’s growth will slow or halt.
- Lack of light can cause snake plant leaves to droop.
- Consider an LED grow light to boost snake plant growth in low light conditions.
There can also be consequences for growing your snake plant in a dark area instead of a room with ample light. For example, low light can lead to slow growth and droopy leaves. If your plant is suffering from a lack of light, consider adding a grow light like those discussed above. LED grow lights are an excellent way to supplement natural sunlight, especially when sun exposure is minimal during short winter days.
Can a Snake Plant Live in a Room with No Windows?
Snake plants are ideal for low-light conditions with their large leaves and waxy outer layer. They can even survive in a totally windowless room if given enough artificial light. This makes snake plants ideal for locations like small, dark, guest bathrooms, for example.
- Snake plants can be grown in a room without windows.
- If you are keeping the snake plant in a windowless room for long periods, use a grow light to keep it healthy.
- Instead of using a grow light, occasionally bring your snake plant into a well-lit room to give it a chance to thrive.
Despite their tolerance for low light, snake plants do have some light requirements. All plants require photosynthesis to survive. If your plant is in a room with no light at all, it is critical that you find a way to supplement, either naturally or artificially. A grow light can help, and it doesn’t have to be large. If you don’t want to get a big set-up, a small light that clips directly onto your plant’s pot will suffice. Another option is to occasionally rotate your snake plant with other plants in more well-lit rooms – just remember to move it into the light over a period of time to avoid adverse side effects. Putting your plant immediately on a window sill will cause harm.
Signs Your Snake Plant is Not Receiving the Right Amount of Light
Not sure if your snake plant is getting too much or too little light? Don’t worry – it will tell you if it’s unhappy. Here are some signs that your plant is suffering:
Not enough light:
- Wet soil.
- Slow growth.
- Droopy or soggy leaves.
- Root rot.
Too much light:
- Leaves are turning strange colors, such as yellow or brown.
- Edges of leaves are crispy or brown.
- Brown spots on leaves.
- Leaves that are curling downward.
- New growth is thick and/or yellow.
Snake plants are versatile and durable houseplants, but too much and not enough light are both bad for your plant. Achieving the right balance is vital for healthy foliage. But once you find the perfect spot, your snake plant will thrive and require very little maintenance. Enjoy your resilient plant!