snake plant

Do Snake Plants Clean The Air? (Mother-in-Law Tongue Benefits)

Snake plant Aka mother-in-law tongue Aka viper’s bowstring hemp Aka Sansevieria Trifasciata Aka Saint George’s sword Aka Dracaena Trifasciata

Do Snake Plants Clean The Air?

NASA Plants

Snake plant or Mother n Law Tongue as its also called is one the plants that NASA found, as part of a clean air study in 1989, to have the capacity to purify air.
Out of the five gases tested, snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, remove four. Including benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and trichloroethylene.

NASA Clean Air Study Results for Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

Pollutant Removed Efficiency (%) Notes
Benzene High Snake Plants are effective in removing benzene from the air, improving indoor air quality.
Formaldehyde High Efficiently absorbs formaldehyde, commonly found in household products and building materials.
Toluene Moderate to High Effective in reducing toluene levels, which is often present in indoor environments.
Trichloroethylene Moderate Can remove trichloroethylene, though with slightly lower efficiency compared to other pollutants.
Xylene Not Tested Not part of the original NASA study, but other research suggests possible effectiveness.

Remarkable for a house plant that is known to be one of the easiest plants to take care of.

mother in law tongue benefitsMother-in-law tongue plant benefits:

1. Absorb CO2 and and releases oxygen at night
2. Natural air purification
3. Does not need direct sunlight
4. Little watering
5. Durable- very hard to kill
6. Propagates easy
7. Unique and beautiful in your house.

Snake plant benefits in bedroom

1. Release Oxygen at Night

Snake plants use a type of photosynthesis called Crassulacean acid metabolism1 which means they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen at night.
This makes the Sansevieria Trifasciata variety of plant very beneficial to your sleep health.
Keeping a snake plant or two in your bedroom to be the difference in you getting a good night’s sleep.

2.Natural Air Purifier
Snake plant or sometimes called viper’s bowstring hemp is a natural air purifier that can absorb dangerous gases like benzene and toluene out of your air.
It is a fact that people breathe deeper when they are sleeping. Snake plant in the bedroom can help you from breathing in dangerous toxins while you sleep.

3. Snake plant does not need direct sunlight.

In fact, placing it directly into the sun is a surefire way to kill it.
The bedroom is a room that rarely gets a lot of light. This makes for the perfect atmosphere for mother-in-law tongue to thrive.

4. Demands little water

Snake plant could be considered the camel of the plant universe. Different varieties of snake plant can go up to 6 weeks without needing a sip of water.

5. Hard to kill
It is said that you can’t kill Dracaena Sansevieria even if you tried. It is also often referred to as the ultimate beginners plant or starter package for someone who is just beginning to venture into the world of house plants.

6. Propagates easy
In my family, we share plants. Loading up the car with bits and pieces of plants, roots, leaves, and pits is as common is taking home leftovers from Thanksgiving.
Snake plant lends itself well to propagating and sharing with your friends and relatives.
Simply cut a healthy leaf off and put it in a container with just enough water to cover the bottom of the leaf. Once it starts rooting, plant it some pea Moss.

7. Unique and beautiful
What’s in the name? The many names given to Dracaena Trifasciata describe it’s outward allure.
Imagine snakes being charmed out of a basket or the strings on a bowed instrument for the wielding of St George’s sword. All names that describe the rich look of mother-in-law’s tongue reaching for the sky.

Snake Plant Disadvantages

Snake plant is such an easy to care for beautiful plant with such amazing health benefits like it’s capacity to purify air and oxygenate at night, that it’s hard to believe that there would be any such thing as a disadvantage to owning one. But like anything…

Snake plants have their problems

1. Poisonous
2. Bugs
3. Fungus
4. Easy to overwater

 Is Mother-in-law tongue plant poisonous?

Mother-in-law tongue plant or snake plant can be toxic if ingested.
For people and especially children the symptoms are pretty light. Nausea and numbness or a bit of mouth discomfort is what you can expect. A light dermatological reaction can occur too.

Is snake plant toxic to cats and dogs?

But for your pets, the symptoms can be much harsher if the plant is ingested.
Snake plant is poisonous to pets and can cause vomiting and diarrhea along with excessive salivation and pain.

Snake plant bugs

Though snake plant is one of the easiest plants to take care of and is said to even thrive on neglect, they do get their share of bugs. And once the Mother and Law Tongue plant has bugs, if they are neglected can become badly infested.

Mealybugs and spider mites are the main pest to keep an eye out for. When caught early they can be washed off or picked off fairly easy.

Snake plant fungus

Root rot can produce bacteria that can destroy a plant from the inside out.
Snake plant fungus usually occurs because the plan has been overwatered and allowed to sit in the water till the roots have become mush.
The symptoms of snake rot fungus usually occur as brown or red leaf spots.

It is easy to over water snake plant

Snake plant or vipers bowstring hemp is extremely easy to over water.
Overwatered snake plant

Care Guide for Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

Care Aspect Guideline
Light Prefers indirect, moderate to low light. Direct sunlight can damage the leaves.
Water Water sparingly; allow the soil to dry completely between waterings. Typically every 2-6 weeks.
Soil Well-draining soil mix. Cactus or succulent mix works well.
Temperature Thrives in temperatures between 55°F (13°C) and 85°F (29°C).
Humidity Tolerates a wide range of humidity levels. No special requirements.
Fertilization Feed with a mild cactus fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer).

Overwatered snake plant

One of the dynamic things about a snake plant is the way it seems to be reaching for the sky all the time but when the Sansevieria is overwatered, those leaves will begin to droop.

When you overwater a snake plant, The Roots can become soggy and produce root rot which will cause the leaves to look less than vibrant.

How often to water snake plant?

The amount of time between waterings when it comes to the mother-in-law’s tongue can be varied.
The main point is to only water the snake plant when the top two to three inches of soil is dry. Completely dry.
Depending on where the plant sits that time period can be anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. Once a month is a pretty good indicator or watching for the leaves to become slightly wilted.

How big do snake plants get?

Depending on the variety of mother-in-law tongue, the snake plant at its mature height can be anywhere from 6 in” up to 12 ft’ tall.

The shortest variety of snake plant is the “Futura Robusta” well the largest type of Sansevieria Trifasciata is the S. syuckyi.

Propagation Instructions for Snake Plant

  1. Select a Healthy Leaf: Choose a healthy, mature leaf from the mother plant.
  2. Cut the Leaf: Usea clean, sharp knife or scissors to cut the leaf near the base.
  3. Prepare Cuttings: Cut the leaf into sections, each about 2-3 inches long. Ensure each section has a bottom and top end.
  4. Let Cuttings Callous: Allow the cut sections to dry and callous over for a day or two to prevent rot.
  5. Rooting Medium: Plant the bottom end of each cutting in moist, well-draining soil or place in water. Ensure the top end stays upright.
  6. Location: Place the cuttings in indirect light and maintain a warm, stable environment.
  7. Rooting: In soil, keep lightly moist but not wet. In water, change the water every few days to keep it fresh.
  8. Transplanting: Once roots have developed and new growth appears (usually after a few weeks to months), the new plants can be transplanted into individual pots


The snake plant known by a different names including mother-in-law’s tongue and vipers bowstring hemp is a very interesting and awesome house plant to keep in your home and your bedroom.

The plant is known for its durability and ease of care. In fact the easiest way to kill it is to care for it too much.

The look of the snake plant is enough to want to place it in your home for the décor but it’s the other qualities that make this plant so appealing.

The qualities I’m referring to are it’s air purification capacities.

Snake plant is a NASA researched plant that is been shown to be a natural air purifier reducing harmful gases like formaldehyde, toluene, and benzene.

Snake plant is also has what is called Crassulacean acid metabolism. (CAM).
A big name for the fact that it absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen at night.
Which means a more restful and healing night sleep.

Published by

Dennis Reed

Dennis Reed Owner and Author @