Can Snake Plants Live Outside

Snake plants, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, are popular houseplants due to their hardy nature and low maintenance requirements. It is possible to grow snake plants outdoors in some climates, but it is important to understand the ideal conditions for them and how to protect them from extremes.

This article will discuss the ideal conditions for growing snake plants outdoors and how to protect them from the elements. Snake plants are an evergreen perennial succulent that are native to tropical and subtropical regions of Africa, Asia, and Australasia. They are a popular houseplant due to their hardy nature and ease of care.

Snake plants are known for their dramatic, sword-like foliage and their ability to survive in low light conditions. When grown outdoors, snake plants thrive in warm, humid climates and can survive in full sun or partial shade. It is important to understand the ideal climate and conditions for snake plants when growing them outdoors.

This article will discuss the conditions for outdoor growth, as well as how to protect them from the elements.

Can Snake Plants Live Outside

Overview of Snake Plants

Succulents of the genus Dracaena have become increasingly popular for indoor use, due to their low maintenance requirements and attractive foliage. Snake plants, also known commonly as mother-in-law’s tongues, are evergreen perennial plants that are a part of this genus. They have stiff, upright, and pointed leaves that are arranged in a rosette pattern.

Snake plants are suitable for many cultivation techniques, including container growing. For optimal growth, they require well-draining potting media, such as potting soil amended with sand or other inorganic components. The potting medium should be kept slightly moist, and fertilization is not necessary unless the plant is severely stressed.

When considering whether to grow snake plants outdoors, it is important to consider the ideal outdoor conditions for this species. Snake plants prefer partial shade and humid, warm temperatures, and should be protected from strong winds. If the temperature drops below 50°F (10°C), the plant should be moved indoors. In addition, the soil should be kept consistently moist and receive adequate drainage. Snake plants should also be protected from direct sunlight, as this can cause leaf burn.

If the outdoor conditions can be maintained, snake plants can be successfully grown outdoors. However, if the environment is too extreme, it is recommended that they are grown indoors instead. It is important to note that snake plants are sensitive to temperature swings and can be easily damaged if moved outdoors in the summer and then brought back inside during the colder months.

Ideal Outdoor Conditions

Snake plants are able to survive in a variety of outdoor conditions, including a range of temperatures, and require a moderate amount of sunlight, well-draining soil, and low levels of humidity.

When planting outdoors, it is important to consider the local climate, as well as the specific needs of the species.

Temperatures should not drop below 10°C (50°F), and the soil should be kept slightly moist but not waterlogged.

Too much sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch, so they should be placed in a semi-shaded area.

Furthermore, snake plants are relatively tolerant of humidity, but moderate levels are optimal for growth.


When exposed to temperatures outside of its natural habitat, the Sansevieria trifasciata, commonly known as the snake plant, may suffer detrimental effects. Snake plants prefer warm temperatures and don’t tolerate temperature extremes:

  1. Temperature swings can cause a snake plant to become stressed, resulting in wilting or yellowing leaves.
  2. When planted outside, snake plants should be in a sheltered area away from strong winds which can further exacerbate temperature swings.
  3. If temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the snake plant is likely to suffer from cold damage.
  4. In hot areas, snake plants should be planted in partial shade to help protect them from high temperatures.

These considerations should all be taken into account when deciding whether to place a snake plant outdoors.

Sunlight is another important factor to consider when determining the ideal outdoor conditions for a snake plant.


Sansevieria trifasciata, commonly known as the snake plant, requires adequate amounts of sunlight in order to thrive when grown outdoors. It does not need direct sunlight, but it should be in a place where it can get at least 4 hours of diffused sunlight each day.

To reduce the amount of sunlight, gardeners can install shade cloths or use other methods to create microclimates. If the temperature in the snake plant’s environment is too extreme, it may not survive. Therefore, it is important to be mindful of the sun exposure and adjust it accordingly.

Additionally, the soil in which the snake plant is planted is also important for its survival.


The soil in which Sansevieria trifasciata is planted is critical for its survival, as it should be well-draining and contain plenty of organic matter. Sandy or loam soils are best for these plants, as they are fast-draining and retain enough moisture while providing the necessary nutrients.

Furthermore, the soil should be supplemented with peat moss, which will help increase drainage and provide additional nutrients. Additionally, the soil should be tested for pH, as Sansevieria trifasciata prefer a soil pH of 6.0-7.5. Lastly, the soil should be checked for adequate drainage, as standing water can cause root rot.

Taking these steps will help ensure that the snake plant receives the best possible soil for optimal growth. With the right soil in place, the plant can enjoy a healthy, long-lasting life.

As such, transitioning to the next factor, humidity, is the next important step in providing the ideal environment for the snake plant to thrive.


Humidity is an important consideration in providing an optimal growing environment for Sansevieria trifasciata, as it can greatly influence the plant’s longevity. The ideal humidity levels for a snake plant are between 40-50%.

High humidity levels can create an environment where pests can thrive and can also lead to an increased risk of disease. To ensure the snake plant stays healthy, it is important to provide adequate air circulation in the area and keep humidity levels in check. Additionally, it is important to regularly inspect the plant for signs of pests and take appropriate control measures if necessary.

Overall, humidity is an important factor when caring for a snake plant, both indoors and outdoors. Proper air circulation and regular inspections are key to keeping the humidity at the ideal levels and preventing any pests or diseases from affecting its health. With the right humidity levels, Sansevieria trifasciata can thrive and live for many years.

To ensure the long-term health of the snake plant, it is important to consider the next factor in its care, watering and fertilizing.

Watering and Fertilizing

Providing adequate hydration and fertilization is essential for the successful growth of Sansevieria. Watering should be done when the soil is dry and requires a thorough soaking, allowing for the water to drain out. It is important to avoid constantly soggy soil as this can lead to root rot.

Fertilizing should be done once every two months during the spring and summer months with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength. Different types of fertilizers like organic, slow-release, and liquid fertilizers can be used depending on the preference of the owner. When potting, a well-draining potting mix should be used to avoid waterlogged soil.

Light and temperature also play a role in the growth and health of Sansevieria. It is best to provide the plant with bright but indirect sunlight and temperatures that are between 65-85°F (18-29°C). Temperatures that dip below 50°F (10°C) can cause damage to the plant.

Additionally, Sansevieria is not frost tolerant and should not be left outside in cold weather. To protect the plant from the extremes of temperature and direct sunlight, it is best to move it indoors during the winter months or provide it with some shade in the summer.

Protecting From Extremes

Sansevieria is susceptible to temperature and light extremes, making it important to protect the plant in order to ensure its optimal growth and health.

Pruning needs should be considered as a part of the protection process, as this helps prevent the plant from becoming too large and unbalanced. Pruning can also help the plant to remain aesthetically pleasing.

Moreover, pest control is also important in order to protect the plant from harm. Insects and other pests can cause damage to the plant’s leaves, making it important to keep an eye out for any signs of infestation. Chemical and natural pest control methods can be used in order to help minimize the risk of any damage to the plant.

Finally, it is important to be aware of the native climate of the snake plant when placing it outside. Although the plant is hardy and can thrive in a wide range of climates, it is still important to be aware of the particular needs of the plant. It is also important to consider the local weather patterns in order to protect the plant from any extreme conditions that may arise.

With the right care and attention, the snake plant can be successfully grown outside and will remain healthy and vibrant. Moving forward, the conclusion of this topic should be discussed.


The Sansevieria is a hardy plant that can thrive in a variety of climates, making it a versatile choice for outdoor cultivation. When considering whether snake plants can live outside, there are many factors to take into account, such as pest prevention, container planting, and exposure to extreme temperatures.

The snake plant is a succulent and can easily tolerate periods of drought, allowing it to survive in direct sunlight. To protect the plant from pests, it is recommended to use a container planting method, enabling gardeners to move the plant to a shadier spot during the heat of the day. This will also reduce the risk of the plant becoming waterlogged and succumbing to root rot.

When planting snake plants outdoors, it is important to ensure that they are protected from any extreme temperatures that may arise. In cold climates, it is best to bring the plant indoors, or cover it with a frost cloth during cold snaps. In hot climates, the plant should be placed in a shaded area to prevent sunburn, or use a container planting method that can be moved indoors during periods of excessive heat.

Overall, the Sansevieria is a hardy plant that can easily thrive outdoors, provided it is given the right care and attention. Gardeners should take a proactive approach to pest prevention, container planting, and protection from extreme temperatures in order to ensure that their snake plants thrive in an outdoor environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to propagate a snake plant?

Propagating a snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is an easy and rewarding process. It can be accomplished through division of the rhizomes or by cuttings.

When dividing the rhizome, it is important to use a sharp knife and water the area afterwards to reduce stress on the plant.

When taking cuttings, choose healthy leaves with at least two growing points. Allow the cuttings to dry for a few days before planting them in soil and watering lightly.

Snake plants are tolerant of a wide range of light conditions, but they will do best with bright, indirect light. When it comes to watering, it is important to allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Over-watering can cause root rot, so it is best to err on the side of caution.

How long do snake plants typically live?

Snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata) are relatively long-lived and can survive for many years with proper care. Generally, these plants can live for up to 10 years, but some specimens have been known to live as long as 25 years.

The key to keeping a snake plant healthy for a long time is to provide it with adequate light and water. These plants prefer bright, indirect light and only need to be watered every two weeks, when the soil is completely dry. Overwatering is a common mistake that can shorten the plant’s lifespan, as too much water can cause root rot.

It is important to note that snake plants should not be kept outdoors, as they are not cold-hardy and can suffer from frost damage.

Is it safe to keep a snake plant around pets?

When considering the safety of keeping a snake plant around pets, it is important to pet proof the area and ensure that the soil is mulched.

Pet proofing involves taking steps to make sure that pet’s do not have access to the plant or its soil, such as setting up a physical barrier or using a safe, pet-friendly spray to deter them from chewing.

Furthermore, soil mulching is necessary to keep the plant moist and to reduce the chance of pets ingesting soil that may contain harmful chemicals.

Taking these precautions can ensure that a snake plant is safe to keep around pets.

Are there any diseases or pests that can harm a snake plant?

Snake plants are generally fairly resilient to pests and diseases, however, there are some potential concerns that should be addressed. In order to prevent pests and diseases, it is important to keep the plant in a relatively clean environment and to ensure adequate water and nutrition. Proper care and maintenance are key to keeping the plant healthy and thriving.

Regularly checking for signs of pests, such as bugs or mites, and watching for discoloration or wilting of the leaves can help identify and address any issues early on. Additionally, using natural repellents and insecticides can help keep pests away, but it is important to ensure these are safe for the species of snake plant.

Taking preventative measures can help to reduce the risk of pests and diseases, however, it is impossible to completely eliminate the chance of an infestation or infection.

Can I move an established snake plant from indoors to outdoors?

When considering the relocation of an established snake plant from indoors to outdoors, one must consider the watering methods and light requirements that the plant will require.

The snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) is a succulent and therefore requires minimal watering. It can be placed in a sunny location outdoors, such as a south or west facing garden, as long as it is protected from strong winds and extreme temperatures. The plant can tolerate shade, but the leaves will become paler and less robust.

Additionally, as a tropical plant, the snake plant cannot tolerate temperatures below 40°F or above 85°F. It is important to keep in mind that when transitioning the snake plant from indoors to outdoors, it may take some time for the plant to adjust and become accustomed to the new environment.


Snake plants are an attractive and easy-to-care-for indoor plant, but they can also survive outdoors in the right conditions. Growing outdoors requires the right balance of sunlight, water, and protection from extreme temperatures and winds.

If these conditions can be provided, snake plants can thrive in outdoor environments. When considering whether to move a snake plant outdoors, it is important to remember that too much sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch, while overwatering can lead to root rot.

The plant must be protected from extreme temperatures and winds in order to survive. With the right care and attention, snake plants can be a beautiful addition to any outdoor space.