The moonshine snake plant is different than normal houseplants. You cannot grow most varieties of houseplants in outdoor garden. Sansevieria moonshine is the perfect plant to grow as outdoor decorative plant and like an indoor piece of decoration.
The plant is native to West Africa and is naturally found in wild areas.
In the USA you can grow it as an indoor plant at any time of the year. Because it prefers warm conditions so you cannot grow it outside in US winters.
Moonshine snake plants are more prone to root rot. Therefore, you need to let the upper few inches of soil dry before watering.
In this post, you will know how to grow and care for the moonshine snake plant.
Quick care guide
Moonshine snake plant, sansevieria moonshine, Sansevieria Trifasciata
Normal 11 inches, up to 22 inches in its natural place.
6 to 8 inches
Bright, indirect light
Succulent potting soil
Normal room humidity
1 to 2 times a year
Dogs and Cats
Pests & Diseases
Mealybugs, spider mites & Root rot, leaf rot, brown leaves.
About the plant
The plant is native to West Africa. It is famous all over the globe with many unique names. Mostly widely used names are Sansevieria moonshine, Moonshine Sansevieria, Moonshine Trifasciata, etc.
This plant has large leaves about 8 to 10 inches long facing an upward direction. It spreads nearly about 6 inches over the container. The leaves always stand erect in the pot.
Under ideal growing conditions, the plant leaves develop white-silver looks. White-silvery leaves look like as they are bathing in the direct moonshine. This is the reason people add moonshine before its name (snake plant).
If you put the plant pot in low light grow area. Then the leaves turn into dark green color. A shining moonshine look is only possible when it gets a good amount of bright light.
The interesting part is,
Moonshine is the best plant for bedrooms. Because it is known for its extraordinary air purifying properties.
It controls the level of carbon dioxide in its room, sucks harmful toxins from the air, and releases fresh oxygen.
A good balance of fresh oxygen enhances the quality of sleep. If you want to improve your good night’s sleep. Then start growing it in your bedroom.
But before growing it or directly buying it from the garden store. You need to know about its growing requirements.
Moonshine snake plant care (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
Growing moonshine snake plants in containers is a pretty easy job. Even if this is your first time you are going to grow a plant. You can grow it without any issues.
Just follow the below written growing guide. Your plants will grow tall, healthy, and strong.
If your plan is to grow moonshine snake outdoors. Then you need to find a place in your garden. Where the plant will get enough bright light. Remember that the noon sun rays are not good for this plant. Therefore, between 12 pm to 4 pm arrange some shade for outdoor growing moonshine plants.
You will be surprised to know that this plant can grow in all light conditions. But as I said it only produces silvery leaves in indirect bright light.
The indoor growing moonshine plants should be placed on the windowsill (only in the morning time). Then move it to a shady place to protect it from afternoon sunrays.
Noon light will not cause any serious problem. The extra bright light rays do not allow plants to develop shining leaves.
If your plants have dark green leaves this means they need more bright light. In this situation, you have to put your plant under direct light for long hours. Once the plant shows healthy signs, move it indoors. And put it again on the windowsill.
You can also put it in other parts of the hours the only condition is to give it bright light. The light source can be sun or artificial grow light.
Now it is up to you which light source you think is best for the plants. From a scientific perspective, both natural and artificial light rays are equally good for plants.
The sansevieria moonshine does not need high moisture in the soil to grow. This means you need soil with good draining properties. It should not hold much water for the plant. Such type of soil is called well-draining soil.
To grow sansevieria moonshine you can use regular succulent potting soil. This soil has loose binding particles. This increases the aeration and makes it easy for the plants to absorb water and nutrients.
On the other hand, you can also use the soilless potting mixture for growing sansevieria moonshine. This potting mix does not have soil in it. Instead of soil, it contains a good number of fertilizers and organic mixes.
Soilless potting mix is developed for the plants that like to thrive in little dry conditions. The plants that are native to the desert areas.
Watering moonshine snake plant
We all know that this moonshine plant is a succulent plant. And succulents do not need much water to grow like other indoor plants.
It does need a little bit of water to live. But before watering you need to wait until the soil gets completely dry. This way you can protect your plant roots from the fungus. Once the plant roots get fungus then it is hard to save this succulent plant.
So, water it carefully even an extra cup of water can cause a deadly situation for the healthy plant.
The combination of free-draining soil + drainage hole pot can save your plants from accidental excess water.
Generally, your sansevieria moonshine needs water once in 3 weeks. There is a 100% safe watering method that we called the fingertip method.
In this technique, you insert your index finger in the potting soil to check the moisture. If the upper few inches of the soil are dry, give some water.
Here you can use a soil moisture meter instead of your finger if you have one.
Watering moonshine sansevieria is not that easy. Just water it once and then leaves the plant. Remember that your snake plant can tolerate dry conditions but it cannot stand healthy in wet soil.
The temperature of the grow room is the main part that you need to control. As the plant is native to Africa it needs warm weather. Because African countries have hot weather. On normal days the temperature of its native place stays above 17 degrees C.
Therefore, to grow it in your home. You need to keep the temperature of the room where you put it in between 17 degrees Celsius to 30 degrees C.
In many parts of the USA, we have a freezing temperature in winters (below 0). In such weather, you should move the plant pot inside your home. It cannot survive the Winters of our country.
Growing it indoors is the only option through which you can grow it and have it green for 365 days.
Generally, we have an inside temperature above 17 degrees C. This makes conditions easy for the plants to grow and produce white-silvery leaves.
Never put the plant in front of the heating vents. Being regularly in the touch of hot air damage the plant tissues.
The good news is moonshine sansevieria plants do well in all humid conditions. Of course, they do not grow in very high humidity. Fortunately, the humidity that we have inside is perfect for the plant. In their natural habitat, these plants get water from rainfall. They face many hard days of dryness.
So, you don’t need to buy a humidifier or use any pebble method to increase humidity in the air. Just put it in the good lighting area.
Caution: Do not use a spray bottle for misting water on its leaves. This plant does not need much water. If you mist water on its leaves the plant leaves will start to rot. Fungi is the biggest enemy of the moonshine snake plant.
Keep the plant leaves dry and give them limited water to save them from root rot or leaf rot.
Generally, moonshine snake plants do not need fertilizers. Fertilizers do help plants to grow healthy and disease-free. They also develop the plant immune system. Healthy plants can fight plant diseases and pests.
For the general health of the plant. It is good to give some extra nutrients. Always use succulent food for moonshine plants. Choose any brand or any mixture. Because fertilizing it once per year is enough to encourage its growth.
Warm months are the best time to fertilize. Because moonshine sansevieria grow in warm weather.
The golden rule says always fertilize houseplants in their growing stage. They use these nutrients to develop leaves, stems, and flowers.
Whereas in winter fertilization is totally useless. This results in leaf burn or in some cases total loss of plants.
You cannot speed up the growth rate of a plant by supplying it with nutrients. Nutrients only help plants to grow without problems. Also, make them strong enough to fight back plant diseases and common pests.
You do not need to prune your moonshine snake plants. If the plant grows taller than you want. In this condition, you can trim their overgrowth. Just remove the tallest leaf from the base and keep it short. To remove the leaves, you need to use a sharp knife.
The knife can be a kitchen knife or any regular sharp knife.
As the plant gets old the older leaves start dying. The leaves first turn into yellow color and then die. You should remove brown color dead leaves.
Remember that pruning encourages the plants to produce more leaves. By removing old leaves, you save a good amount of plant energy. The plant put this energy to produce more healthy leaves, stems, and branches.
Moonshine snake plants are slow growers. This means no need to report them often. Repot the snake plants only when you see they feel tight in their pot.
The new pot should be only 2 inches wide and 2 inches deep than the current pot.
Planting in bigger pots will not increase its size. The size of the plant depends on its genes. It will not grow more than 1.5 feet under ideal conditions.
Repotting is necessary when you have aggressively grown plants.
You have two options one is root division and the other is leaf cutting.
In the root division method, you use a garden spade to separate the roots into two or more parts. Then you plant these root sections in individual pots. The planted plants grow continuously. This method has more success rate than the leaf cuttings.
Cut the healthy leaf then put it on the newspaper for two days for the leaf to callus. Then plant the cutting in the pot. Remember that you have to use the free-draining soil.
Put the pot in a warm location. Spring and summer months are the best time for the moonshine snake plant propagation.
Because plants like to thrive in warm weather.
Give it some water to keep the soil moist. Within 3 months you will see the new tiny leaves.
Moonshine snake plant is mildly toxic to dogs and cats. According to the American Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals. This plant has a protective coating on its leaves. This protective wax-like coating is called saponins.
When dogs and cats ingest plant leaves, this wax goes into their stomach and causes pain. Vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat are the common symptoms of plant leaf toxicity.
Whenever you see symptoms in your pets, call the Vet right away. Although the toxicity of the plant is not deadly for pets. But it can be deadly for young newly born pets.
Your vet doctor or poison control center can save your pet’s life.
Pests & Diseases
Mealybug and spider mites are two common houseplant insects that are found on growing moonshine plants. In most cases, the problem is due to the unhygienic pots and dusty growing areas. To fight these pests, use insecticidal soap and neem oil together.
First, wash the plant with insecticidal soap and then use need oil on the plants. The soap will kill them on the spot and neem oil prevent them from reattacking.
You should use neem oil before the infection. It protects the plants from many diseases.
Root rot is the main disease that you may face if you give excess water to the plant. This disease decomposes the roots and stops the absorption of nutrients. When plants do not get water and nutrients they start dying.
The only solution to root rot is or any other rot is removing the affected part right away. By cutting the rotted part you can save other parts of the plants.
Brown tips are also common in moonshine plants. Overfertilization and low Nutrients are the common issues that trigger brown leaves.
If you think extra nutrients are the cause then flush the soil with water. If the low light is the problem then move the moonshine plants in bright light. The problem will be solved in 4 to 5 days.
For any other help in growing and caring for moonshine sansevieria. Contact us, one of our team members will look into the problem and suggests appropriate solutions.