Sansevieria Night Owl (Night Owl Snake Plant)

Sansevieria Night Owl - Snake plant

If you’re thinking about getting a Sansevieria Night Owl plant, or are already the owner of one, then you probably know how gorgeous this houseplant can be, especially when it blooms.

But if your Night Owl is struggling, not thriving the way it used to when you first got it, there are some things you can do to help it get back to being happy and healthy again.

Also known as Night Owl snake plant, sansevieria night owl plants are one of the best houseplants you can own because they’re so low maintenance and easy to care for, but there are some important guidelines you should follow to keep them happy, healthy, and thriving in your home.

Caring for sansevieria at night can be easy once you know how to properly put your plant to bed. Like most plants, sansevieria does best when it’s getting plenty of light, so make sure you keep it near a sunny window during the day so that it can keep up with its energy needs and stay healthy.

At night, however, you’ll want to make sure your plant isn’t exposed to too much light or heat, so just follow these steps to care for your sansevieria when the sun goes down!

Origin and descriptions

These hardy plants, native to Africa and Asia, are known for their dramatic succulent leaves. Sansevierias are commonly referred to as snake plants or mother-in-law’s tongue because of their sharp, straight leaves.

They do well in low-light conditions and can go without water for months. The most common variety is Mother-In-Law’s Tongue (also called Saint George’s Sword), which has thick, pointed leaves that grow up to a foot long.

There are more than 200 varieties of sansevieria; one popular cultivar is Hahnii, with zigzagged leaves that look like lightning bolts.

You can find Sansevieria night owl at garden centers and home improvement stores. When choosing your plant, look for firm stalks with shiny, stiff leaves. Avoid plants that have limp or shriveled leaves.

Be sure to ask if you aren’t sure about a particular plant, your local gardening center should be able to help you pick out an appropriate variety.

For best results, place your sansevieria in bright indirect sunlight and keep it away from drafts and direct sunlight, this will prevent it from drying out too quickly.

Sansevieria night owl propagation

Sansevieria Night Owl - Snake plant

Sansevieria night owl is propagated by rhizome division. Division can be done any time of the year, though propagation in fall and winter is preferred.

Use a sharp knife or razor blade to divide plants at or near soil level; avoid cutting rhizomes with short internodes as these are generally not desirable for use in container culture.

Rhizomes should have multiple eyes spaced evenly along their length and free of blemishes or discoloration. Disinfect blades between cuts with rubbing alcohol. Allow cuttings to dry briefly before planting.

Plant divisions 1-2 deep and 6-8 apart in well-drained soils amended with organic matter such as peat moss or compost.

Water thoroughly after planting; do not allow soils to dry out. Plants will establish roots quickly and may even begin growing new leaves while still attached to the mother plant if conditions are right.

Once established, plants will tolerate drought but require consistently moist soils throughout the summer months when actively growing.

During dormancy in late summer/early fall, water only enough to keep plants from drying out completely. When watering, apply slowly so that water penetrates into the soil rather than running off the surface. Do not over-water! Roots rot easily if left wet for extended periods of time.

Sansevieria night owl care

Sansevieria Night Owl - Snake plant

Before you begin caring for your Sansevieria, it’s important to ensure that you’re prepared to care for it properly. While Sansevierias are some of the most resilient plants on earth, you’ll need to follow some simple tips in order to make sure yours is living up to its full potential!

With these considerations in mind, you should be ready to start caring for your new Sansevieria! Keep an eye out for pests or any damage caused by pests, you don’t want to wait until your plant has been affected by a pest infestation before beginning treatment.

Sansevieria night owl light requirements

If you own a Sansevieria night owl, chances are you bought it for its excellent ability to remove formaldehyde from your home. Without proper light, though, sansevierias can become spindly and weak, not at all what you want if you’re trying to keep the strong air quality in your home!

Make sure your Sansevie gets enough light during daytime hours (approximately 14-16 hours) by placing it near a window or opening a few blinds. In winter months when days are shorter, try using an artificial grow light placed about 12 inches above your plant.

Remember that too much sunlight will burn leaves, so don’t position a lamp directly over your plant, and make sure there is plenty of airflow around it.

Soil/potting mix

Sansevieria night owl grows best in a well-draining potting mix. If you’re using soil, ensure it has excellent drainage and is fertilized with compost to ensure your plant thrives. A typical potted plant can consume up to 1 to 2 gallons of water per week in the summer months, so be sure to check frequently for dryness and add water as needed.

Clay pots are not recommended for sansevierias as they will retain too much moisture and cause root rot. However, if you must use clay pots, be sure to drill holes in them for proper drainage. Plastic or terracotta containers are preferable.


As with any plant, you want to make sure to water Sansevieria night owl often enough to keep them from wilting. For sansevierias, a good rule of thumb is to soak them with two or three quarts of water every 10 days during warm weather and every 7 days during cooler months.

The soil should be kept moist but not soggy. Overwatering can cause root rot, so be careful not to overwater your night owl!


Sansevieria night owl is a forgiving plant that can thrive without much care. The only time you should fertilize your plant is when it’s actively growing. In warmer months, feed every two weeks; in cooler months, wait until after your plant has gone dormant to give it a dose of fertilizer.

Use an all-purpose houseplant fertilizer and follow package instructions for dosing. Never use chemical pesticides or herbicides on your plant. These will kill it quickly!


Sansevieria night owl are known to be among one of the most tolerable types of houseplants in terms of temperature, but even so, keep them away from drafts and heaters.

As a general rule, they will tolerate temperatures that get down to around 50 degrees Fahrenheit without experiencing any ill effects, but as with all houseplants, providing warmer temperatures will benefit their growth and flowering.

If you’re going to place your plant near a window during the winter months, make sure it is not exposed to direct sunlight or cold drafts; rather, place it somewhere where it can receive indirect light.

In the summer months, however, sansevierias can handle full sun exposure and higher temperatures; if possible, give them access to filtered sunlight during these times.


During night-time hours, when your Sansevieria night owl is resting and does not require as much water as during daylight hours, use a pebble tray or tray with a moistened paper towel to keep humidity high enough for your plant.

If a pebble tray is not available, put enough water in its pot to just cover drainage holes and replace it daily (or every other day) so that roots stay moist but don’t sit in standing water.

The ideal humidity range is 40-50%. If you are unsure of your home’s humidity level, use a hygrometer to check.

What to do if it gets too dry

In cases where you notice your Sansevieria night owl leaves have begun to shrivel and curl, it may be because of low humidity levels in your home. A simple way to increase humidity is by using a humidifier; these are readily available at most hardware stores.

If you’re not able to purchase one, try placing a tray with pebbles or stones into your plant’s pot (ensure that water does not pool on top) and place a bowl filled with water nearby so that evaporation can raise moisture levels in the air around your plant.


Your Sansevieria night owl is an easy-to-grow houseplant, but that doesn’t mean it’s maintenance-free. If you want your plant to thrive, you need to maintain it by removing dead leaves, changing its soil once a year and pruning back its leaves twice a year.

When to repot

Sansevieria Night Owl - Snake plant

When your Sansevieria plants are root bound is when they need to be repotted. It’s pretty easy to tell if they’re rootbound, too. Look at their containers and you’ll see that there are multiple layers of roots at or near the surface of the soil. Don’t wait until there is no space left in the container because that means your plant will likely rot or suffocate.

The best time to repot them is during the spring and summer months. That way, they have enough time to recover before winter comes around again.


Sansevieria night owl are generally most active in full sunlight but will tolerate low-light conditions. The plants need a dry resting period during winter, so cut watering to once every few weeks (or even just once a month) and make sure it doesn’t get too cold.

The leaves will curl up, droop, and turn brown—this is perfectly normal! Once temperatures start to rise again in spring, resume regular watering and your plant should perk right back up. During dormancy, sansevierias can benefit from being kept near a window that gets indirect light for at least 8 hours per day.

Flowers & Fragrance

There’s a reason why Sansevieria night owl is often referred to as mother-in-law’s tongue. (No, not because they have sharp edges).

They smell like rotting corpses and attract flies with their scent. In other words, night owl plants are unique in that they emit aromas that either repel or attract certain insects, depending on which kind of insect you want to keep away from your house.

Growth rate

Sansevieria night owl is a popular plant in today’s world, primarily because of its relatively slow growth. They are perfect for beginners and experienced gardeners alike, as they rarely need repotting.


Sansevieria night owl is toxic to both humans and pets. If ingested, it can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If you come into contact with your eyes, it can cause irritation or blurry vision. As a precautionary measure, wash your hands thoroughly after handling any part of the plant – even just when you water it!

USDA Hardiness Zones

Sansevieria night owl thrive in USDA hardiness zones 12-15, depending on the variety. The Sansevieria is commonly called a mother-in-law’s tongue or night owl snake plant and is a perennial grown primarily for its thick, dark green leaves.

Pests and diseases

While Sansevieria night owl is generally disease and pest-resistant, there are a few threats you should watch out for. Inspect your plants on a regular basis to be sure they’re free of aphids, spider mites, thrips, or mealybugs. You can use neem oil as a pesticide to get rid of the most common pests.

If an infestation is severe, consider bringing in an expert to tackle it. For example, if you have a problem with ants, contact your local nursery—they may offer ant-removal services.

Also, keep an eye out for powdery mildew (it appears as white powdery patches on leaves) and yellowing leaves (which indicates overwatering).


Sansevieria night owl is a type of houseplant that is quite durable, easy to grow, and very tolerant of most growing conditions. It’s an excellent choice for beginning gardeners who are just learning how to care for plants. If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to caring for your new plant, the guide we provided here will help you to get started.

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