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Snake Plant Benefits: Surprising Advantages of Having One in Your Bedroom

Ana Marie Schick Jul 05, 2022

Snake plant benefits

You want to upgrade your bedroom with a plant. You want to purify the air or simply fill up an empty corner, but you’re not sure what to get. You’ve looked at peace lilies, English ivies, Transvaal daisies, and the other hundred plants out there.

Before you get overwhelmed with your search, you should consider a few factors. Most houseplants are strategically placed throughout the home or bedroom and used as traditional and modern decoration. But did you know that some of them also contain health benefits?

Let’s introduce you to the snake plant or at least remind you of one. The snake plant is one of the most popular houseplants that looks great and provides health benefits, including indoor air quality.

What Is a Snake Plant?

Commonly – and eloquently – identified as mother-in-law’s tongue, the snake plant, or Sansevieria Trifasciata, is a carefree, resilient houseplant that grows anywhere between six inches to several feet.

Not only does the snake plant, provide unique and visually appealing, sword-like leaves, but there are plenty of health benefits to having one in your bedroom too. Varieties like 'Laurentii' and 'Futura Superba' offer unique leaf markings and sizes, enhancing its decorative appeal.

Snake Plant Safety: Considered relatively safe to humans, snake plants are toxic to household pets. If a pet ingests a leaf, it will irritate its mouth, causing digestive issues. Please make sure the plants are out of reach of pets and children.

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Snake Plant Benefits

Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria or “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue,” have gained popularity as indoor plants due to their unique appearance and numerous health benefits.

It’s a popular choice because it’s a low-maintenance plant. What are the benefits of snake plants Exploring the diversity of snake plant varieties, such as Sansevieria Trifasciata, Sansevieria Cylindrica, and Dracaena trifasciata, reveals a world of unique features and benefits for indoor environments, each variety offering distinct visual appeal, care tips, and the ability to enhance aesthetic value.

Below we’ll highlight some of the several benefits of snake plants.

The benefits of snake plants

1. Releases Nighttime Oxygen

Unlike some household plants, the snake plant produces oxygen throughout the night, while also taking in carbon dioxide (CO2), a natural byproduct of breathing. This characteristic makes the snake plant perfect for home or bedroom decoration due to its ability to improve air quality.

Did You Know: Snake plants produce large amounts of oxygen all night.

2. Toxin-Fighting Plant

Besides being an oxygen-producing plant, the snake plant also filters common air pollutants, mold, and household toxins [1, 2], including:

  • Trichloroethylene: found in varnish, adhesives, and paint removers.
  • Toluene: found in paint, nail polish, adhesives, synthetic fragrance, and cigarette smoke.
  • Xylene: found in paint, gasoline, and paint thinners.
  • Formaldehyde: used in the production of fertilizer, paper, plywood, and some resins.
  • Benzene: used in the production of plastics, resins, synthetic fibers, some types of rubbers, lubricants, dyes, detergents, drugs, and pesticides; cigarette smoke byproduct.

Famous for improving sleep, the snake plant has earned the nicknames “the bedroom plant” and “oxygen factory.” It is one of the most effective toxin-fighting plants you can purchase.

NASA Snake Plant Study: Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement. In a landmark study by NASA, researchers found several plants, including the snake plant, were the top reducers of indoor air pollutants. Additionally, the test discovered that they can survive in low-light levels. [3]

3. Allergy-Reducing Plant

Allergy-reducing plants enhance air quality through the effects of common allergens. Individuals who suffer from allergies can find relief with these plants. Whether at your home, bedroom, or office space, these air-purifying indoor plants help alleviate airborne allergies. [4]

  • Deliver moisture in the air and reduce airborne allergens
  • Absorb toxins
  • Releases oxygen

Please Note: Though rare, an allergic reaction to the snake plant has been reported [5]

If you suffer from allergies, including a stuffy nose or sore throat, a snake plant can help make breathing easier before falling asleep.

Read More: Sleep tips on how to sleep better.

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4. Mental Health Booster

A study in 2015 [6] suggested that caring for an indoor plant reduced physiological and psychological stress in the participants. Interacting with plants also helped suppress diastolic blood pressure and sympathetic nervous system activity.

  • Relieves headaches
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Helps improve the immune system
  • Supports standard blood pressure

In another study, researchers observed that the presence of some indoor plants was associated with a perception of better indoor air quality and increased subjective well-being or happiness. [7]

As discussed previously, snake plants produce oxygen in excessive amounts, which assists in improving the energy and mood of everyone in the room.

Plus, caring for a plant can provide benefits, a sense of purpose, and self-love. [8] Growing and maintaining your plant offers a temporary escape from your busy and stressful life.

5. Filters the Bedroom Air

Similar to many other common succulent household plants, snake plants are great at filtering indoor air. However, what sets this plant apart is its ability to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen at night, making it one of the few plants that can do so.

This unique quality makes snake plants an ideal choice for bedroom decor, as they can help promote healthy airflow and improve the air quality in your sleeping space.

6. Easy to Maintain

We’ve learned that snake plants remove airborne toxins and allergens and are also easy to maintain. Many professional horticulturists recommend beginning with a snake plant if you are looking to start gardening, as they are almost impossible to kill.

Some snake plant varieties, particularly those thriving in bright, indirect light, are especially easy to care for, enhancing their appeal for indoor gardeners.

Snake plants tolerate both direct sun and shade. Caring for them is effortless (as long you remember to water them!). We’ll discuss how to care for your snake plant further below properly.

Did You Know? The snake plant, while not edible, is from the same Asparagaceae family as asparagus, garlic, and onions! [5]

Types of Bedroom Snake Plants

You can purchase a number of relatively inexpensive plants such as the peace lily and English ivy, aloe vera, spider plant, and valerian to name a few. One that rises above them all is the snake plant. Whether calling them mother-in-law’s tongue, viper’s bowstring hemp, or Sansevieria trifasciata Hahnii, any type of the “bedroom plant” will suit any home decor.

The wide range of snake plant varieties available includes those with cylindrical leaves, variegated patterns, and unique shapes like the bird's nest and shark fin snake plant, catering to different aesthetic preferences and space requirements.

How to Get Your Snake Plant: These common houseplants can be purchased at your local nursery, garden center, home improvement retail store, or online.

Below are the most common snake plants.

Bird’s Nest Snake Plant

The Sansevieria, or Bird's Nest, is a trendy, low-maintenance, compact snake plant that is easy to maintain. The Bird’s Nest gets its name because the cluster of leaves is similar to a bird's nest.

The small size (6 to 9 inches) makes them a great addition to any bedroom or workplace if you lack the space for one of the taller varieties. It adapts well to different light levels but truly shines in bright filtered conditions.

Birds Nest Snake Plant

Laurentii Sansevieria Trifasciata (Mother in Law's Tongue)

Considered one of the most popular and recognizable kinds of snake plants, the low-maintenance Laurentii Sansevieria trifasciata is selected by numerous people for its low light and hardy nature.

This plant offers sword-like upward leaves with a vibrant, creamy yellow outline inside homes, offices, and bedrooms. Its height ranges from 24 to 33 inches tall.

Laurentii Sansevieria Trifasciata Snake Plant

Cylinder Snake Plant

Also known as the Sansevieria cylindrical snake plant (or African Spear), the cylinder snake plant is a relative to the mother-in-law's tongue and is easy to grow. This plant provides smooth, round, dark-green, spear-like leaves that can grow upwards to several feet tall. The leaves reach outward to resemble a crown, and if you're lucky, you may get a bloom.

These long creamy white flowers provide a beautiful fragrance that appears on well-established plants

Cylinder Snake Plant

Twisted Sister Snake Plant

Popular and hard to find, the Twisted Sister is a small, indoor plant with bright gold and green variegated leaves. The leaves twist as they emerge from the base, also providing the effect of a bird's nest. This dwarf Sansevieria can grow up to approximately 15 inches in height, making it taller than the “bird’s nest'' variety. Similar to the other plants, they tolerate shade but do well with warm, bright light.

Twisted Sister Snake Plant

Variegated Snake Pllant

The variegated snake plant, with its air-purifying qualities and striking contrast of dark green and golden-yellow edges, is another popular choice for enhancing indoor spaces. Additionally, certain varieties boast very dark green leaves that maintain their color even in lower light conditions, exemplifying the diverse visual appeal and practical benefits of snake plants.

Rhino Grass

The rhino grass is also known as a Sansevieria desert due to its pointed leaves, which provide a red tint. The plant leaves can grow upward to 12 inches on average and are considered medium-sized snake plants. The look is different from the other types.

White Snake Plant

This unusual and unique plant provides white vertical stripes on its thinner-than-usual dark green leaves. It tolerates a long period without water, making it easy to maintain. One of the taller Sansevieria, the white snake plant, can grow up to 36 inches tall.

Snake Plant Care and Helpful Tips

Snake Plant Care and Tips

If you're planning to add a snake plant to your home or office, below are a few things you should keep in mind when caring for them.

Lighting

When it comes to light, it's best to place snake plants in bright but indirect sunlight. Yet, if your room doesn't provide a lot of the sun, you can still place the plant in a dark corner; it will be just fine. Keep in mind that the less light, some plant leaves will become washed out, and the taller ones can become leggy or floppy. Having it under the right conditions will help them flourish!

Lighting Tip: If the leaves are losing color and becoming pale, this suggests a lack of light.

Watering

What makes snake plants so popular is that they are drought tolerant. But make sure you don't overwater the plant. It can happen easily. Allow the soil to dry between watering. Also, use well-drained potting soil or potting mix; they don't retain much water.

Root rot can occur if you end up over watering. Yellow leaves are a sign of potential root rot and too much water. When the top inch or more of the potting soil is completely dry, it’s time to water.

Watering Tip: If possible, try watering them from the bottom. Placing the plant in a bowl of water or in a dish to allow the water to soak up from the root is often called reverse water. This process can help develop a strong root system within the soil.

Temperature

It's best to keep it with temperatures above 50 degrees. The ideal temperature ranges between 70 and 90ºF. In the winter, protect them from the drafty windows and cold temperatures. Frost can kill the plant.

Feeding/Fertilizer

Gardeners recommend feeding the plants with a mild-cactus, all-purpose fertilizer during the summer months in the pot. Make sure you read the instructions to ensure you're not overfeeding. Do not fertilize in the winter.

Fertilizer Tip: Try to fertilize once a month during the spring and summer months.

Potting and Repotting

When potting, select a sturdy pot material as strong roots can easily break and crack the pots. Typically these plants are slow grower that seldom needs repotting, but if ample sunshine is provided, they might overgrow and require dividing or repotting. If you need to repot these plants, the best time is during spring. Always use fresh potting mix and potting soil (or both) when repotting.

Potting and Repotting Snake Plant

Cleaning

Snake plant leaves are susceptible to dust collection and often need cleaning. Take time to periodically wash the leaves with a damp cloth or tissue. Additionally, when cleaning, observe the plant. This is when you can cut leaves and determine if you need to repot or transfer them to another pot.

Final Thoughts

With all the above benefits, you'll never want to go back to sleeping in a room without a bedroom snake plant or something like it again. You'll notice a difference in the indoor air quality within a week or two. So, it's time to purchase a couple of these miracle plants as they will greatly enhance your sleep hygiene and overall sleep quality.

Whether you are searching for a plant to help purify the air, a plant to fill up an empty corner in the room, an easy maintenance plant, or possibly a pet-friendly plant, there are plenty of options.

Citations/Resources

[1] Garg, K.S., Pal, M., Jain, K., & Garg, A. (2021). Some indoor plants and their role in reducing indoor pollution. Journal of Global Biosciences, 10(2), 8430-8439. View Resource

[2] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. (2021). Toxic Substances Portal. View Resource

[3] Wolverton, B.,C., Johnson, A., & Bounds, K. for NASA. (1989). Interior Landscape Plants for Indoor Air Pollution Abatement View Resource

[4] Frothingham, S. (Updated on 2022, January 24). 7 Benefits of Keeping Snake Plants In Your Home. View Resource

[5] Nin-Valencia, A., Tomas-Perez, M., & Zavala, B. (2022). Allergic rhinitis due to the ornamental plant Sansevieria trifasciata. Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology, 32(1), 62-64. View Study

[6] Lee, M. S., Lee, J., Park, B. J., & Miyazaki, Y. (2015). Interaction with indoor plants may reduce psychological and physiological stress by suppressing autonomic nervous system activity in young adults: a randomized crossover study. Journal of physiological anthropology, 34(1), 21. View Study

[7]Berger, J., Essah, E., Blanusa, T., & Beaman, C.P. (2022). The appearance of indoor plants and their effect on people’s perceptions of indoor air quality and subjective well-being. Building and Environment, 219: 109151. View Study

[8] Kuo, F. (2010). Parks and Other Green Environments: Essential Components of a Healthy Human Habitat F R A N C E S E . ( M I N G ) K U O. View Resource

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