Snake plants are one of the most common and easy-to-care-for houseplants you can buy. Nearly everyone who has grown a houseplant is familiar with them, and it helps that they have a very striking appearance.
They are very tolerant of neglect, unlike other types of houseplants which need weekly or even daily care.
This makes them perfect for those with a busy lifestyle, or people who want to keep plants, but houseplant care is not a top priority.
But what you might not know is exactly how amazing snake plants can look, if you pick the right species.
You are unlikely to see the ones listed below in grocery stores. What they lack in general availability they make up for in their looks.
They are some of the most beautiful houseplants you can grow and are usually sold by specialist retailers or succulent nurseries.
Let’s take a look at nine of the most beautiful snake plants you can grow.
Sansevieria ehrenbergii ‘Blue Sansevieria’
One of the most unusual mother-in-law plants is ‘Blue Sansevieria’, thanks to its leaves which grow from a single point, and stack on top of each other. This forms a striking fan shape.
The stem can reach a maximum of 18cm, but the leaves themselves are capable of reaching 5 feet long!
It also helps that they come in an unusual color, featuring green leaves with a blueish, coppery tinge. These plants will also produce offsets, given enough time, so you won’t have to take leaf cuttings.
‘Blue Sansevieria’ also produces beautiful petite flowers (see also How To Get Snake Plants To Flower), in an off-white, usually tinged with purple.
In USDA zones 10b to 11b, you can grow this plant outside.
If you don’t want a sansevieria that will grow to several feet tall, and you’d prefer a more compact form, Sansevieria fischeri is the species for you (see also How To Grow Sansevieria In Water).
At maturity, this plant is not likely to get bigger than 16 inches tall, and like the one above, forms a stacked growth habit.
You can even grow this plant in full shade, as long as you substitute the light with an artificial one or a grow light that is strong enough.
It can also produce white flowers in summer if you give it the right conditions.
Another compact species is Sansevieria gracilis, which produces very narrow, pointed leaves, in shades of yellow, pale green, and even white. At the most, it will reach 45cm tall.
This particular species needs partial but bright light to thrive.
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twisted Sister’
As you might imagine from the common name, Sansevieria trifasciata forms beautiful twisted leaves.
It can reach a maximum of 15 inches tall, and the twisted green foliage is more pronounced as it’s highlighted with yellow edges. It almost looks like a bird’s nest.
This particular species needs a bright but filtered window, preferably North-facing where it can get morning sunlight without too much heat.
Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Bantel’s Sensation’
If you’d prefer a sansevieria that grows nearly poker-straight leaves, but you want something a little out of the ordinary (see also Whale Fin Sansevieria Care Guide), ‘Bantel’s Sensation’ is a good one to go for.
It features very narrow leaves in pale green, with white borders. It won’t grow any taller than 2.5 feet tall, making it the perfect size for a houseplant.
The leaves have a dense-growth habit, staying closely packed together. As the plant has some variegation, it’s worth growing it in bright and indirect sunlight, as it won’t tolerate a position that’s too dark.
Sansevieria ‘Black Gold’
For very deep green leaves in a mother-in-law’s tongue, ‘Black Gold’ adds drama to any indoor space with its wide, dark green leaves with yellow margins.
‘Black Gold’ will tolerate different light conditions, including very little light, but you will see it thrive somewhere bright and indirect.
It’s capable of reaching 5 feet tall, but this will happen over several years, so it remains low-maintenance.
A fairly new hybrid variety, ‘Cleopatra’ has wasted no time in making a statement. You would be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t a snake plant at all!
It’s a very slow-growing variety and features intricate leaf patterns. The foliage itself forms a perfect rosette, too.
Sansevieria ‘Futura Robusta’
A mid-sized sansevieria that’s perfect for a desk or shelf, this species produces very thick green leaves with zebra-like stripes.
It can reach a maximum of 2 feet tall, very slowly. It will also grow in artificial light if it is strong enough.
If very dark-leaved plants aren’t your thing, this particular variety will be. ‘Moonshine’ lives up to its name, with very pale green leaves with nearly no variegation or patterns at all, making it a striking variety worthy of any room.
It grows upright, and if you give it darker conditions than bright and indirect light, the foliage will become a darker green to adapt, but it will keep its silvery sheen.
Snake plants are much more varied than you might assume at first glance, with a range of sizes, colors, and shapes available.
It also helps that these plants are very easy to care for, no matter the species. They are forgiving when you forget to water them, and often do better when you leave them to their own devices.
These plants are also slow-growing, meaning that you won’t need to repot them very often, and they are unlikely to outgrow their position in your home for a long time.