How and when to prune snake plant


The snake plant or also known as sansevieria is one of the first plants that come to mind when we think of a houseplant. Its low need for water and easy care make it possible for even the most inexperienced gardener to have one at home. They are excellent to brighten up any corner, as well as helping to purify the air. In this post we will analyze what should be taken into account when pruning a snake plant, how and when to prune it and with what tools.

Pruning or trimming snake plant

Perhaps you have already noticed before that I mentioned that snake plants help to purify the air, I mentioned it because according to studies carried out by NASA they assure that they are very good at removing harmful products from the air, increasing oxygen levels at night. I know this is not important information to know when pruning, but if you don’t already have a snake plant at home, it is information that can help you lean towards having one.

1. How to care your sansevieria


Keeping a sansevieria plant healthy and beautiful is not a chore that requires extensive work, it is an easy thing to do. However, it is good to keep the following tips in mind.

  • Light: when you are looking for a place for this plant inside the house, it is good that you place it where it will have several hours of sun. That is to say that it is preferably good to look for places near a window or balcony.
  • Temperature: if it is a question of looking for an ideal range, we must say that it is between 15 ° C and 20 ° C. Although it perfectly resists temperatures of 30 ° C. What you should avoid is that it suffers from drafts that can produce sudden changes in temperature. temperature.
  • Fertilization: fertilization should be carried out during the months of greatest development of the snake plant, this is spring and summer. For more information on this point you can consult the following post on fertilization of sansevieria.
  • Irrigation: when we talk about irrigation we generally say something like: “you have to water every X days”. In the case of this plant I will make it easier for you, just apply water when the soil in the pot begins to dry out. Never water until a puddle forms, too much water can cause root rot.
  • Soil: they are not demanding with the soil, but it must be verified that it is a substrate with good drainage capacity.

With these 5 cares that I just mentioned, you have to be able to have this super beautiful and healthy succulent. So we can get fully into the main topic of the post, trimming snake plant. 😉

2. Tools needed for pruning snake plant


In general, whenever I write a post about pruning any plant, I make a more or less extensive list of tools. At least with four or five items. But the case of the snake plant will be the exception.

It is enough to have a sharp knife to prune this succulent. Alternatively, scissors may also be useful. They are two tools that anyone has at home, so you will have no problem getting it.

Always remember before starting the pruning task to disinfect the blade of your knife or scissor. This will prevent the possible transmission of diseases to the plant.

Since you are interested in knowing how to prune a laurel, I have no doubt that it will be useful to know about the pruning of any of these shrubs:

2.1 How to disinfect pruning tools

We saw that getting the tools is very simple, but now let’s see how to disinfect them. You will see that it is not a complex task at all, and it will not take you long. So you don’t always have to do it before you start pruning.

One of the methods by which you can sanitize the cutting blades of your tools is with alcohol (ethanol). Soak a cloth in isopropyl alcohol, and then gently rub the cutting blades. Then let it sit for a few minutes for more effective disinfection and then start pruning your snake plant.

Another way to disinfect is by using bleach. To do this, soak your tools in a mixture of water and bleach for half an hour. This mixture should have a concentration of 1 part chlorine for every 9 parts water. After that time you can start working.

Tip No. 1: Remember that one way to propagate snake plants is through leaf cuttings. Therefore, tasks such as pruning provide an excellent opportunity to create new plants of this beautiful succulent. Think about it before you throw away the pruning debris.

3. Snake Plant Pruning: Why Prune?


You could say that pruning a sansevieria is not a vital task. Your plant will be able to live if you don’t cut its leaves, but there are a few reasons why doing so is good.

  • Without a doubt the most important element of these plants are their leaves. If they look bad, the plant looks bad. Therefore, one of the main reasons you may need to prune is to remove damaged, diseased, or old foliage. Cutting these types of leaves will make your plant look much better.
  • Although it is a slow-growing succulent, there may come a time when its size is excessive. With the help of pruning, you can control the size in both height and width. If you don’t want to prune, what you can do is transplant the plant into a larger pot.
  • The last reason you may need to prune is to improve the shape of the plant. This is because many times the leaves begin to grow curved or sloped in directions that we do not want them to follow. These poorly growing leaves can be trimmed to improve aesthetics.

4. How to prune snake plant


We already know the reasons why pruning is necessary. Now let’s see how we must cut the leaves to meet the objectives we seek.

4.1 Pruning to reduce size

If what we are looking for is to reduce the size of the plant we must start by cutting the leaves that are on the edge. Since the snake plant grows from the center, the leaves on the edge will always be the oldest, so it should start here with the task.

You must remove the leaves from their base, so make the cut as close to the ground as possible. Once you have made a cut in the base, you can force with your hands from the top of the blade upward and the blade will come off.

Removing the leaves from the edges will make the plant narrower, but may also need to decrease the height. If so, you will have to cut the leaves that have developed more in height. These are generally in the center of the plant. Being in the center you will not be able to reach the base of the leave with the cut, but if there is a stump in the center, no one will see it.

4.2 Cleaning pruning

This pruning generally won’t take long. It is rare for a sansevieria to have many bad leaves. For the rest I do not have much to tell you, you just have to look for the leaves that are sick, dry or very old and cut them.

In the case of leaves with symptoms of disease, try not to leave the pruning debris near other plants, otherwise you may be spreading the disease.

4.3 Pruning to improve shape

With pruning that seeks to improve the shape of succulents, the same thing happens with cleaning. You just have to find the faulty blades and cut them. Always keep in mind that you need to remove each sheet as close to the base as possible.

Tip No. 2: To control the size or improve the shape, you may need to cut a lot of sheets. Try not to cut more than 1/3 of the total foliage so as not to impact too much on the health of the plant. Remember that it is a slow growing plant so it can be difficult to recover from too large a pruning.

5. When to prune sansevieria


Depending on the type and severity of pruning, a moment may or may not be the right time to prune.

For example cutting a leaf in poor condition, or cutting one or two badly oriented leaves is something that can be done at any time of the year. But if what you need is to significantly reduce the size, cutting off much of the foliage, it is better to wait for the spring or summer months to arrive. Being more active at that time, the plant will be able to recover better from pruning cuts.

Once the pruning is finished it can be accompanied by an irrigation, and in case you have not paid during the season, it is a good time to do it.

6. Trimming snake plant video


To conclude this article we have selected a video from the JoyUsGarden channel, in which you can review in a more graphic way some of the concepts seen here. I hope you find it useful. 😉

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