The snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue belongs to the Dracaena plant genus of which there are about 70 different species. Previously called Sansevieria, the genus was reclassified in 2018 because its genetic structure is so similar to the Dracaena family. But the reclassification doesn’t change anything other than the name of these plant varieties.
Whether you call a snake plants Sansevieria or Dracaena, they will grow as tall as three to 10 feet, depending on the species and growing conditions. Some cultivars, like the birds-nest Dracaena, grow no more than four to eight inches in height. But elephant tusk plants, Dracaena Stuckyi, will often grow taller than eight or nine feet.
What is the average height of a snake plant?
Native to tropical parts of Africa, snake plants are typically long and tall. But their height is incredibly varied and, because they are slow growers, it often takes several years for them to reach their full height.
The most common snake plant varieties will usually grow to about 3-4 feet. But dwarf plants will only grow a few inches in height – even less than a foot.
The most common snake plant is probably Dracaena Trifasciata, which has long, sword-like leaves that are flat. The North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox confirms that the leaves grow up to four feet long and two to four inches wide.
Other species, like Dracaena Angolensis, are completely different in form. D. Angolensis snake plants have dramatically cylindrical leaves that the NC Extension says will grow up to about seven inches. They are only about an inch wide.
Interestingly, Dracaena Angolensis used to be known as the snake plant Sansevieria Cylindrica. Sometimes it still is!
What is the tallest snake plant?
Snake plants are called mother-in-law’s tongues because they have tall, sword-like leaves that symbolize the sharp tongue of a not-so-nice mother-in-law! But however long the leaf (or tongue), all snake plants are equally easy to care for.
So, which is the tallest snake plant? Dracaena Stuckyi, is, without a doubt the tallest snake plant you will find.
Also known as the elephant tusk plant, it grows slowly but will sometimes reach a height of nine to 10 feet. But, be aware, that this height will only be achieved by snake plants after many years of growth.
Factors that affect snake plant height
Snake plants are evergreen perennials that you can grow in the garden or in pots indoors or outdoors. But, wherever you grow them, soil plays an important role in the growth rate of snake plants and how fast they grow.
The most important factors that affect how tall a snake plant will grow are our soil, light conditions, and temperature. This is very important to know for maximum snake plant growth and plant care.
They require minimal care and can thrive in low-light conditions. But, ultimately, a snake plant needs to be healthy and happy to achieve a good height. For this reason, you need to be sure you have your snake plant growing in the best possible environment.
Generally, they prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. Snake plants can also be planted in pots with a good-quality commercial potting mix or a mix of peat moss, perlite, and sand.
Light conditions are another important factor in the growth of snake plants. They can tolerate low-light conditions but will grow best in bright, indirect light.
Snake plants can also be grown in full sun. But it’s important to protect the plant from the direct sun that can scorch the leaves.
Snake plants are very hardy and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures. However, they prefer temperatures between 60 and 85°F. In extreme temperatures below 50°F or above 90°F, snake plants may become stressed and stop growing.
Water is also an important fact. But, if you overwater any snake plant varieties, this can lead to root rot.
So, it’s important to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. This is especially important if you are growing snake plants in low-light conditions.
Snake plants don’t need much maintenance because they are relatively disease- and pest-resistant. However, they can be susceptible to spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects, which can cause damage to the leaves and stunted growth.
A good, protective measure is to keep the leaves dry. You should also routinely inspect the plant for signs of infestation.
Nutrition is another element of maintenance that you mustn’t ignore. A little liquid fertilizer fed during the growing season is a good idea.
If you’re growing snake plants in pots, another maintenance task is to re-pot them every few years. It’s also a good idea to top up the soil now and then, but remember that they need soil that will drain quickly.
How to help your snake plant grow taller
Snake plants grow slowly, even in the growing season. As discussed above, their growth rate can be influenced by several factors, including soil, light conditions, and temperature.
They are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of conditions. But they are susceptible to pests and diseases.
So, it stands to reason that if you decide to grow snake plants, the best way to help your plants grow taller is to focus on good snake plant care.
How long does it take snake plants to grow?
We’ve talked about the factors or conditions that affect the growth rate of the snake plant Sansevieria or Dracaena. All of these factors contribute to the length of time it will take for them to grow.
While it’s important to recognize that different snake plants grow at different rates, generally they are slow growers.
Snake plants, officially Dracaena but previously Sansevieria, are a popular and low-maintenance garden or houseplant. They can grow anywhere from a few inches to as much as 10 feet tall, depending on the species.
Snake plants grow slowly, but their growth rate is influenced by many factors including soil, light conditions, water, and temperature. But there is nothing to be afraid of because snake plant care is surprisingly simple.
If you don’t already have a snake plant, why not get one?