How to Make Snake Plants Grow Tall: Expert Tips and Techniques!

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how to make snake plants grow tall

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Snake plants, scientifically known as Dracaena trifasciata, are popular indoor plants renowned for their striking appearance and low maintenance requirements. While they are known for their ability to tolerate neglect, many snake plant owners often wonder how to encourage their plants to grow taller. If you want your snake plants to reach new heights, you’re in the right place! 

From understanding the reasons behind stunted growth to implementing effective strategies, this comprehensive guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions and additional tips to ensure your snake plants flourish. Let’s explore the secrets to making your snake plants grow taller and greener!

Why is My Snake Plant Not Growing Tall?

Before diving into methods to promote tall growth, it’s essential to identify the potential reasons behind stunted growth in snake plants. Factors that can hinder snake plant growth include inadequate lighting, incorrect watering practices, poor soil conditions, and container size limitations.

Exploring each of these factors in detail will provide a solid foundation for implementing the right techniques to make your snake plants grow tall. Here are the factors:

1. Providing Adequate Lighting

Lighting is one of the key aspects of snake plant care that can make a huge difference in Snake plants’ growth and appearance. They are not low-light plants, as they are often marketed. They actually prefer medium to bright indirect light and can even tolerate some direct light. But too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves of your snake plant and cause them to turn brown or black, be aware of that too. 

To avoid this, you should place your snake plant near a window that receives bright but filtered light, such as through a sheer curtain or a blind. You can also use artificial lightings, such as LED or fluorescent grow lights, to supplement the natural light if needed.

Ideally, you should give your snake plant at least 5 hours of medium to bright indirect light daily. You can measure the light levels in your location with a foot-candle light meter or a smartphone app. For reference, medium to bright indirect light is 700 – 2000 foot candles. Snake plants do best in light that is as bright as possible without being in harsh sun rays.

Adequate lighting will help your snake plant produce more chlorophyll and grow faster and taller. It will also enhance the color and pattern of the leaves, making them more vibrant and attractive. If your snake plant is not getting enough light, it will show signs of stress, such as droopy, pale, or yellowing leaves.

2. Optimizing Watering Practices

Overwatering or underwatering can both hinder the growth of snake plants. These resilient plants prefer slightly dry conditions and can withstand periods of neglect. To promote vertical growth, water your snake plants only when the soil feels completely dry, at least one inch below the surface. 

Snake plants can store water in their thick leaves and roots, so they don’t need frequent watering. Overwatering can cause root rot, fungal infections, and leaf damage, which can stunt the growth of your snake plant or even kill it. To avoid overwatering, you should follow these tips:

  • Use a well-draining potting mix that contains perlite, sand, or gravel to improve drainage and prevent waterlogging.
  • Choose a pot with drainage holes, and avoid using saucers or trays that can collect excess water.
  • Water your snake plant only when the top 2-3 inches of the soil are dry. You can check the soil moisture by inserting your finger into the soil or using a moisture meter. 
  • Water your snake plant thoroughly until water runs out of the drainage holes, then let the excess water drain completely. Do not let your snake plant sit in water for too long.
  • Reduce watering frequency in winter when the snake plant is dormant and needs less water. You may only need to water your snake plant once a month or less during this season.

3. Enhancing Soil Conditions

The right kind of soil composition is vital for healthy growth and vertical development of snake plants. Well-draining soil with good aeration allows for proper root development and prevents waterlogged conditions that can stunt growth. 

Snake plants can tolerate a range of soil pH levels, from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline, but they do better in neutral to slightly acidic soil. You can test your soil pH with a kit or a meter and adjust it accordingly with lime or sulfur. 

These plants also benefit from some organic matter in their soil, such as compost, peat moss, or perlite. Organic matter improves the soil structure, aeration & nutrient availability for your plants.

Alternatively, you can use a ready-made cactus or succulent potting mix that has similar characteristics. The best soil for snake plants will help them grow healthy and strong and prevent root rot and other diseases.

4. Choosing the Right Container Size

Choosing the right container size is one of the most important factors for growing healthy and tall snake plants. Snake plants like to be crowded and generally won’t thrive in a pot that is too big for them. 

The pot should be 1/3 the size of the roots or 30 percent larger than the plant’s root ball. For new or small plants, 1-2 inches bigger than the plant is enough. For fast-growing or mature plants, 2-4 inches bigger pots are recommended.

Getting the right container size for your snake plant is important not only for its growth but also for its health. A pot that is too big can cause overwatering and root rot, which can kill your snake plant. A pot that is too small can limit root development and cause stunted growth. So, you should always check the roots of your snake plant before repotting and choose a pot that is slightly bigger than the root system.

The right container size for your snake plant also depends on your snake plant variant. Some varieties of snake plants, like Sansevieria fischeri, don’t require big pots and have a height of less than 16 inches. The maximum pot size for snake plants can be 8-10 inches if the plant has grown fully and the roots need more space.

5. Fertilizing Strategically

Snake plants are generally low feeders and can thrive without frequent fertilization, but providing occasional nutrient boosts can aid in their growth and overall health. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength and apply it once a month or every six weeks. 

Fertilizing your snake plant is important for its growth and health, but it should be done with care and moderation. Snake plants are not heavy feeders and can survive in low-nutrient soils, so over-fertilizing them can cause more harm than good.

The best time to fertilize your snake plant is during the growing season, which is spring and summer for most varieties. Avoid fertilizing in winter when the plant is dormant.

Fertilizing by following these tips can help your snake plant grow taller and stronger and produce more leaves and flowers while also boosting the plant’s resistance to pests and diseases, which can stunt its growth or damage its appearance.

6. Propagation for Vertical Growth

Propagating snake plants through division can stimulate new growth and encourage vertical development. Select a healthy, mature plant and carefully divide it into smaller sections, ensuring each division has an adequate number of leaves and root system. 

Re-pot the divided sections in individual containers using well-draining soil. Creating multiple plants from one increases the chances of vertical growth as each new plant establishes its own root system and foliage.

How Do You Make Snake Plant Grow Faster? Tips and Tricks

You might wonder what else you can do besides the care tips provided above. Here are some additional suggestions that can help you achieve faster and healthier growth for your plants:

  • Rotate your snake plant occasionally. This will help it grow evenly and prevent it from leaning toward one direction. You can rotate your snake plant every few weeks or whenever you notice it bending toward the light source.
  • Protect your snake plant from drafts and from sudden temperature fluctuations. Snake plants are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures, but they don’t like sudden changes. Avoid placing your snake plant near windows, doors, air vents, or heaters that can expose it to cold or hot air. This can stress your snake plant and cause leaf damage or stunted growth.
  • You should wipe the leaves regularly to remove dust. Yes, dust can accumulate on the leaves of your snake plant and reduce its ability to photosynthesize. To keep your snake plant clean and healthy, gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or a soft brush once a month or as needed. This will also make your snake plant look more shiny and attractive.
  • Avoid overcrowding your snake plants, which can restrict airflow and hinder growth. If you notice that your snake plant is root-bound or has too many pups, you may want to divide it and repot it in a larger container. This will give your snake plant more room to grow and prevent root rot or nutrient deficiency.
  • Not all snake plants grow equally tall. Some varieties, like the Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’ and Sansevieria zeylanica, can reach up to 4 feet in height, while others, like the Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’ & Sansevieria cylindrica, stay much shorter. If you want a tall snake plant, make sure you pick a variety that has the potential to grow tall.
  • Pruning is not essential for snake plants but can help them look neater and healthier. You can remove any dead, damaged, or diseased leaves by cutting them off at the base with a sharp knife or scissors. You can also trim any leaves that are too long or floppy for your liking. Pruning also encourages new growth from the base of the plant.

FAQs

Do all snake plants grow tall?

No! Not all snake plants grow tall. There are different varieties of snake plants available, some of which have a bit shorter and broader leaves than others in comparison. For instance, Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’ has only about 15 cm tall rosettes of leaves.

What temperature is ideal for snake plants?

Snake plants usually thrive in your average room temperatures ranging from 60-85°F (15-29°C). They are tolerant of temperature variations to some degree but prefer to avoid extreme cold or hot environments. Keep your snake plant in a comfortable temperature range if you want to ensure healthy growth.

Is it normal for a snake plant to be tall and skinny?

It is not uncommon for snake plants to exhibit tall and skinny growth under certain conditions. This growth pattern often occurs when the plant is not receiving enough light or is overcrowded. Adjusting the lighting and providing adequate spacing can help promote a fuller, more robust growth habit.

What soil is best for snake plants?

Snake plants thrive in well-draining soil that replicates their natural habitat. A mix of succulent or cactus potting soil combined with perlite or sand creates an ideal medium. This type of soil allows excess water to drain effectively, preventing the roots from becoming overly saturated.

How do you know if it is time to repot your snake plant?

Several signs indicate that it may be time to repot your snake plant. If you notice roots growing through the drainage holes, the plant becomes top-heavy, or the soil dries out quickly, it’s a good indication that the current pot is becoming too small. Additionally, repotting every 1-2 years can help refresh the soil and provide the plant with the necessary nutrients and space to grow.

Ending Thoughts

With the knowledge gained from this comprehensive guide, you’re now equipped with the knowledge on how to make snake plants grow tall. By addressing factors such as lighting, watering practices, soil conditions, container size, fertilization, and strategic propagation, you can create an ideal environment for your snake plants to thrive. 

Observe and adapt your care routine based on the specific needs of your plants; it ensures a successful journey toward taller, healthier, and more vibrant snake plants. Enjoy the rewards of witnessing your snake plants reach new heights!

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Jack Daniel

I am Jack Daniel, and I have been gardening for more than 20 years now. I believe that with my years of experience, I can help you with backyard ideas and backyard product reviews. So, with the motto to help anyone facing gardening issues or wanting tips on enhancing the beauty of their backyards, I have created Backyard Muse. So, before anything else, I want to welcome you warmly to my site.

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