Snake Plants Have Unusual Names, but They're Excellent House Guests: Here's Why

Enhance your indoor space with snake plants. Let's explore their air-purifying properties and low-maintenance charm.


Feb. 16 2024, Published 4:40 p.m. ET

Three potted snake plants on a table next to a window with a third creeper plant alongside.
Source: iStock

In the world of indoor gardening, one plant stands out for its remarkable blend of resilience and versatility—the snake plant. Often referred to as mother-in-law's tongue, the species is well-known for its aesthetic appeal and its array of practical uses.

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From its air-purifying properties to its low-maintenance nature, we explore how this green marvel can enhance both the ambiance and functionality of any indoor space. Whether you're a seasoned plant enthusiast or a curious beginner, prepare to be enlightened as we uncover the snake plant's many benefits.

A snake plant in a beige pot with white trim placed next to a wooden smartphone holder on a bedside table .
Source: iStock
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The snake plant is nature's air purifier.

Snake plants can purify indoor air like nobody's business, but the thing that sets them apart from their leafy counterparts, says Nursery Live, is that they’re one of the few plants to work their magic on carbon dioxide at night.

Snake plants require very little maintenance.

Per Garden World, snake plants are incredibly resilient and don’t require much care. They're fine with low light conditions and not being watered on a regular basis, making them perfect for busy individuals or those without green thumbs.

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Closeup of a hand wearing a yellow glove and pointing a water spray bottle at a potted snake plant.
Source: iStock

Snake plants are lovely to look at.

With their striking, upright leaves that come in various shades of green and patterns, snake plants uplift any space they're in. Raffaele from Ohio Tropics introduces us to 13 of the many types available, and they’re all gorgeous in their own right.

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Propagating is a breeze.

According to Lively Root, expanding your collection of snake plants is as simple as cutting a fully grown leaf off your plant and putting it in water or straight into the soil. They explain the pros and cons of each in this article.

Snakes plants can be good for feng shui.

This one comes with a caveat because pointy plants and feng shui aren’t typically a good match. However, Anje Cho claims it’s more nuanced than that. She says in certain instances, a snake plant can be beneficial. It just depends on where you place it.

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Potted snake plants in a garden waiting to be planted.
Source: iStock

Snake plants could provide some allergy relief.

If you’re prone to allergies, dotting a few snake plants around your home may help. Per Bloomscape, the hardy houseplant helps to mitigate the effects of allergens by releasing large quantities of moisture and oxygen into the environment.

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Snake plant extract could provide pain relief.

A study published in 2009 by the National Library of Medicine tested the pain-relieving effects of the snake plant. Results showed that the plant’s extracts on mice might have a moderate pain-relieving effect depending upon the dosage and were also effective in reducing pain caused by inflammation.

These benefits make snake plants not only beautiful additions to indoor spaces but also practical and health-promoting companions. Whether you're a card-carrying gardener or just starting your green journey, a snake plant is a fantastic choice for enhancing your living or working environment.

It's important to note that the ASPCA lists the snake plant as toxic to dogs and cats. If you have the kind of furry companion who is prone to chewing on things, it’s best to choose a different houseplant.

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