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How to Get Your Snake Plant to Bloom Indoors

Updated: 5 days ago

Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria or mother-in-law's tongue, are renowned for their hardiness and low-maintenance needs. These striking, architectural plants are a favorite among indoor gardeners for their ability to thrive with minimal care. But did you know that, with the right conditions, snake plants can also produce beautiful, fragrant blooms? If you're eager to see your snake plant flower, follow these tips to encourage blooming indoors.


snake plant bloom indoors

1. Provide Adequate Light

While snake plants can tolerate low light conditions, they need bright, indirect light to bloom. Place your plant near a window where it can receive several hours of filtered sunlight each day. East-facing windows are ideal as they provide gentle morning light. Avoid direct, harsh sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.


2. Ensure Proper Watering

Overwatering is a common mistake with snake plants. To encourage blooming, water your plant sparingly. Allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. Typically, watering once every two to six weeks is sufficient, depending on the humidity and temperature of your home. During the winter months, reduce watering even further.


3. Use Well-Draining Soil

Snake plants prefer well-draining soil to prevent root rot. Use a cactus or succulent mix, or create your own blend by mixing regular potting soil with sand or perlite. Good drainage ensures that the roots remain healthy and strong, which is crucial for blooming.


4. Maintain Optimal Temperature

Snake plants thrive in a wide range of temperatures but prefer a warm environment to bloom. Aim to keep your indoor temperature between 60-85°F (15-29°C). Avoid placing your plant in drafty areas or near heating vents, as sudden temperature changes can stress the plant.


snake plant bloom indoors

5. Fertilize Sparingly

Feed your snake plant with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer). A light feeding every 2-3 months is sufficient. Over-fertilizing can lead to salt build-up in the soil, which can harm the plant and inhibit blooming.


6. Provide Stress to Encourage Blooming

Interestingly, mild stress can sometimes trigger blooming in snake plants. Restricting water slightly or keeping the plant slightly root-bound can encourage it to produce flowers as a survival mechanism. However, be careful not to stress the plant too much, as this can cause damage.


7. Be Patient

Snake plants are known for their slow growth and can take several years to mature and bloom. Patience is key. Keep providing optimal care, and eventually, your plant will reward you with its unique, sweet-smelling flowers.


Identifying Snake Plant Blooms indoor

Snake plant flowers are quite distinctive. They grow on long stalks and are usually white or cream-colored, with a tubular shape. The flowers often have a pleasant, jasmine-like fragrance, especially in the evening. Blooming typically occurs in late winter to early spring.


Troubleshooting Tips

  • Yellowing Leaves: If your snake plant's leaves turn yellow, you may be overwatering. Ensure the soil is dry before watering again.

  • Brown Tips: Brown tips can be a sign of underwatering or too much direct sunlight. Adjust your watering schedule and move the plant to a spot with indirect light.

  • No Blooms: If your snake plant isn’t blooming despite following these tips, don’t worry. Some snake plants may never bloom indoors, depending on the specific conditions and the plant’s genetics.


Types of Snake Plants That Bloom indoor

Snake plants, scientifically known as Sansevieria, encompass around 70 different varieties, but not all of them are known for their flowers. If you're specifically looking for a blooming variety, here are some of the more reliable ones to consider:

  • Sansevieria trifasciata

  • Sansevieria gracilis

  • Sansevieria longiflora

  • Sansevieria patens

  • Sansevieria cylindrica


How to Make a Snake Plant Bloom indoor

Flowers are a rare sight on indoor snake plants. Coaxing one to bloom requires experimenting with growing conditions. Despite their reputation for being low-maintenance, snake plants can surprise growers with flowers when neglected.

If you want to intentionally get your snake plant to bloom, you'll need to provide inadequate care to stress the plant. This stress will prompt the plant to produce flowers and seeds as a survival mechanism.


Maturity

A young snake plant is unlikely to bloom and may even die if stressed. Wait until your plant is at least 2 years old before attempting to force it to flower.

Space

A root-bound plant is more likely to bloom than one with plenty of room to grow. When the pot is filled with roots, wait a growing season or two before repotting to encourage flowering. Some crowding is beneficial, but watch for signs of distress such as stunted or dying leaves.

Light

Adequate light is crucial for forcing a snake plant to bloom. While they can survive in low light, they grow too slowly to flower. Provide up to 6 hours of indirect light and a couple of hours of bright sunlight daily. Placing the plant near a southeast-facing window at the start of the growing season can improve its chances of flowering. If natural light is lacking, consider using a grow light for supplemental lighting.

Water

Snake plants are drought-tolerant and prefer to be underwatered rather than overwatered. Allowing the soil to dry completely before watering can add stress and encourage blooming. Experiment to find the right balance. When water runs straight through the soil and out the drainage holes, the plant may be deprived of the nutrients it needs to flower.

Fertilization

Feed your snake plant in early spring and mid-summer with a balanced houseplant fertilizer (NPK 10-10-10). Alternatively, dilute the fertilizer to half strength and feed once a month or every six weeks during the growing season. Avoid fertilizing during autumn and winter, and steer clear of bloom booster fertilizers, which can cause salt buildup in the soil.


FAQ

Why is my snake plant blooming?

An indoor snake plant that blooms is likely stressed due to neglect. Plants bloom to ensure their survival. Blooms, when pollinated, produce fruits and seeds, which can lead to potential new plants. However, when grown indoors, it's unlikely that the plant will produce berries to complete the life cycle.


Should you repot a snake plant after it blooms?

Avoid repotting a snake plant immediately after it blooms. Since a flowering snake plant is already stressed, repotting it will only further stress the plant. Instead, remove spent flower spikes at the base and resume normal care for the current growing season.


How long does a snake plant bloom last?

Snake plant flowers typically last for two to three weeks, depending on the variety. They open at night and emit a fragrance reminiscent of vanilla or jasmine.

snake plant bloom indoors

What does it mean if my snake plant is flowering?

For snake plants, it’s typically the older plants, rather than the younger ones, that produce flowers. Why does this happen? Mature plants are more likely to become pot or root bound, which adds stress to the plant. This limited space causes the older plants to shift their energy from generating leaves to creating flowers.


Is it lucky for snake plants to bloom?

Snake plant flowers are indeed rare, especially when grown indoors, making them a symbol of prosperity and good fortune. In some West African countries, the snake plant is used in rituals to remove evil spirits, believed to protect the owner from harm.


Does a snake plant require sunlight?

Snake plants do best in bright, indirect sunlight but can tolerate some light shade and continue to grow. They should be shielded from direct, intense sunlight, especially from the hot southern sun in summer. While snake plants can survive in low light conditions, they won't thrive without moderate sunlight and are unlikely to flower without more generous sun exposure.


Final Thoughts

Getting your snake plant to bloom indoors is a rewarding experience that showcases the plant’s full potential. By providing the right light, watering correctly, using well-draining soil, maintaining proper temperatures, and fertilizing sparingly, you can encourage your snake plant to produce its lovely, fragrant flowers. With a bit of patience and care, you'll enjoy the rare beauty of a blooming snake plant in your home. Happy gardening!


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