While snake plants look amazing, at times, you want to set them outside for space issues. Keeping your plant out also gives it some fresh air. But is it a good idea to move the plant outdoors? Can snake plants live outside? In case they do, how should you set them and what factors should you consider?
We will learn all that and more in the following few sections.
Can a Snake Plant Grow Outside?
Yes! You can keep your snake plants outdoors, as long as you build the appropriate cultural environment that supports their growth. Additionally, you also need to make the transition extremely gradual. This way, the plant will get enough time to adjust to the changing conditions.
In case you are planning to pot your snake plant outdoors, and your location experiences poor winter weather, you might want to wait a couple of days for the frost to subside. Unless you do this, your plant can be potentially frosted, and recovering it would be a challenge.
You should also try to protect your plant from direct sunlight. That is because direct sunlight is often harsh, causing your snake plant to die.
Finally, you might want to follow our snake plant care and maintenance guidelines before moving your plant outdoors. This way, you will have a clear idea about the factors you need to consider before the move.
Remember, if you suddenly move the plant outdoors, it will create a shock and the plant may require more time to adjust. The same shock is more balanced when you gradually move the plant after considering the lighting conditions and the temperature.
How to Grow a Snake Plant Outside?
Now that you know that snake plants can thrive outdoors, you might be wondering how to proceed with the task. Depending on the species of the snake plant, you can pot it or grow it right from the ground up.
Because these plants thrive especially well in warm settings, you would like to check the outdoor temperature before finally moving it out. The plant does not do well in extremely chilly weather, so you might want to take that into account, before transferring it outdoors.
In case you are growing a snake plant outdoors for the first time, here are some guidelines that you should consider. These factors will also help you understand how a snake plant thrives better in outdoor environments.
1. Ideal Temperature
Snake plant originates from parts of West Africa. They are, therefore, tropical and require warmer temperatures to thrive. Typically, these plants thrive best between US hardiness zones 8 and 11. While the temperature can vary, the ideal range is between 55- and 90-degrees Fahrenheit.
Proper temperature is a mandatory requirement and if the temperature falls anywhere below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant will no longer thrive and will soon dry out.
That is why you first need to assess the outdoor temperature and move the plant only when the temperature is ideal. As previously stated, do not make the move sudden. Instead, make sure you are gradually introducing the changing temperature conditions to your plant.
2. Lighting Conditions
Snake plants remain unaffected by changes or shifts in the lighting. They seem to thrive remarkably well in semi-illuminated and shady areas as well as other spots with bright illumination.
However, even when you are setting them outdoors or on your patio, make sure the plant receives proper bright light because that is one of its biggest requirements.
The amount of light needs to be just perfect. Even though snake plants need bright light, you cannot keep them unchecked for hours under direct sunlight exposure. That is because it can potentially dry the plant. Similarly, you need to make sure the area is not too dim, because that can cause its leaves to wilt.
While positioning the plant, you would want to keep it south or on any other surface that faces the west. The idea is to establish the right blend of direct and indirect illumination that the plant should ideally receive during the day.
Once you consider this factor, growing and maintaining your outdoor snake plant, will be a tad easier!
3. Water Requirements
The next thing you need to consider is the water requirements of your snake plant. Usually, these plants have minimal water requirements. So, you won’t need to water the plant frequently even when outdoors.
The rule of thumb here is to water the snake plant only when the soil has completely dried out. The water retention capacity of the plant will vary according to its size and type. In most cases, an average snake plant can thrive between two and six weeks without any proper water source.
If you are planning to move the plant outdoors, make sure it is planted at a distance from your other plants that usually require consistent water flow. The best option: pot the plant and keep it away from others.
As your plant thrives in the outdoor environment, observe its leaves from time to time. In case, the leaves turn extremely dry or yellow, you would need to water the plant.
4. Soil Type
You can use any type of regular soil mix to get your snake plants growing. These plants do well in all types of soils. When it comes to pots, you can choose anything ranging from terracotta to ceramic. Depending on the type of snake plant, it might also do well in a porcelain pot.
However, regardless of the kind of pot or soil type you choose, make sure it drains well. The plant may not survive if the soil gets boggy. So, this is another factor you should certainly consider while potting or replanting your snake plant outdoors.
Things to Avoid When Growing Snake Plants Outdoors
While snake plants are relatively no-frill and do not require any specific maintenance guidelines, you would still want to avoid a couple of things to ensure the consistent growth of your plants. This way, the plant thrives better even when you keep it for extended hours, outside.
1. Overwatering/Spraying water on leaves
Contrary to popular notions, you do not need to mist snake plants. They are extremely powerful and will therefore comfortably survive regardless of the surrounding aridity.
For the uninitiated, snake plants have excellent water retention capabilities. This means the plants receive ample water from their leaves, even during the driest months.
If you mist the plant too frequently, it might end up creating fungal issues. The quality of the foliage is also likely to be hampered because of this.
Even when watering your snake plant, make sure their leaves are untouched and unwet. You might feel the urge to water the leaves especially when they dry up. However, the best practice in this situation would be to water the plant’s roots.
Do not overwater the plant and avoid misting it for its enhanced lifespan.
2. Extremely chilly weather
If you live in an area with extreme cold, you might not want to invest in snake plants. In case you still get the plant, only transfer it outdoors after building a proper heating system for it.
The plant doesn’t thrive anywhere under 50 degrees Fahrenheit. So, if you live in a region with this temperature, it is best to keep the plant in a greenhouse.
3. Overlooking pest attacks
Snake plants have the reputation of being extremely hardy and powerful. What’s more, they are also unsusceptible to pest attacks. However, the situation is likely to alter when you transfer it outdoors.
During this time, the plant may be infested by pests, because of the other surrounding plants. To avoid this scenario, try to address even the smallest types of infestations seriously. Address the root of the issue and try to resolve it at the earliest. This will improve the quality of the plant and will also keep it healthy and thriving.
Can Snake Plants be in Direct Sunlight?
While snake plants do not have any specifics about the type and quality of light, extreme forms of bright illumination (like direct sunlight) can be harsh for them. To ensure ideal conditions, you would want to create a blend of direct and indirect light.
This can be achieved by keeping your plants in a greenhouse. Alternatively, you can also keep your plant at a spot where it receives indirect sunlight amid moderate illumination. This will help protect the plant and support its growth.
What Temperature Can Snake Plants Tolerate?
Snake plants usually prefer a temperature between 55 degrees F to 90 degrees F. They are hardy plants and can tolerate months of dry weather.
However, these plants do not do well in winter. That is why, if you live in an area with a temperature of 50 degrees F or less, make sure you pot the plant in a greenhouse or at any other spot where it receives ample heat.
How Big do Snake Plants Get?
Snake plants or commonly known as Sansevieria are types of houseplants that can grow anywhere from 8 to 15 feet high. With appropriate lighting and temperature requirements, they can grow much higher. The width of snake plants can be from 6 inches to 3 feet.