Bird’s Nest Snake Plant Care 101: Complete Guide for Beginners

Ever heard of a plant that thrives on neglect? Meet the Bird’s Nest Snake Plant, a resilient houseplant as low-maintenance as they come. 

This guide is your comprehensive roadmap to understanding and caring for this hardy species, perfect for those who may not have been blessed with the greenest of thumbs. 

We’ve got everything covered, from its origins to its care requirements. So, if you’re looking for a plant that’s more survivor than diva, you’re in the right place.

Origins & Appearance

group of bird's nest snake plants

Green Hahnii, or Dracaena Trifasciata, is considered to be the original bird’s nest plant. The magnificent plant originates from central-western Africa from Nigeria to the Congo.

Typically, the plant has glossy, dark-green leaves. As the name suggests, they’re funnel-shaped and look like a bird’s nest.

The tropical plant belongs to the Asparaganceae family ¹ and is known by many unique names, including the following:

Bird’s Nest Snake Plant Care Guide

birds nest snake plant in white pot

Overall, the bird’s nest snake plant requires low maintenance. That makes it perfect for beginners. Let’s check out the plant’s requirements.

Light

The snake plant hahnii thrives under indirect moderate sunlight. 

Of course, the hardy snake plant can tolerate low light and partial shade. However, giving your green friend the ideal conditions to keep it healthy and beautiful would be best.

In addition, depriving your plant of sunlight can lead to stunted, or no growth and faded leaves. 

If you want the foliage to look lively and green, place your plant where it can receive moderate to high indirect sunlight.

It’s not hard to find a suitable location for this plant indoors. All in all, the plant is perfect for growing in any home or office.

Watering

Snake plants can tolerate drought, so they don’t require frequent watering to thrive. That makes them perfect for someone who’s busy or travels a lot. More importantly, too much water can be harmful to this plant. 

Overwatering your bird’s nest can lead to root rot, which might be life-threatening for your plant.

Generally, the watering frequency can depend on many conditions, like temperature, humidity, and season. So, to ensure you’re not overwatering your plant, it’s best to check the soil first.

If the first 2 inches of the soil are dry to the touch, it’s time to water your plant. Otherwise, your plant doesn’t need watering.

Keep in mind that soil can hold a significant amount of water. So, if the soil feels a little moist, your plant probably has all the water it needs.

When watering your plant, it’s best to pour the water slowly. Do so until excess water drains from the drainage holes.

On average, the bird’s nest requires watering once every 5-7 days in hot weather. On the other hand, in cold climates, it might need some water once or twice a month.

Soil

snake plant soil

Like most succulents, the snake plant prefers light, well-draining soil. Succulent/cactus potting mix is one of the best options you can go for.

You can also create your potting mix. However, make sure it’s well-draining and light. You can use gravel, perlite, or coarse sand in your mixture.

Regarding soil pH, the snake plant bird’s nest isn’t picky. It can tolerate slight changes in pH levels.

Humidity & Temperature

This plant prefers a temperature range of 60 to 85°F. Typically, this plant prefers hot weather over cold one. So, if you live in an icy climate, you should reconsider growing this plant. 

Humidity levels should be around 45% to keep your plant healthy. You should consider getting a humidifier if you plan to grow more than one bird’s nest snake plant.

Avoid misting your plant, as this can lead to fungal and bacteria problems.

Propagating Birds Nest Snake Plants

Propagating Bird’s nest snake plant is a simple process. Start by identifying the ‘pups’ or offshoots growing from the base of the parent plant.

Remove the plant from its pot and clear away excess soil to expose the roots. Using scissors, cut the pups as close to the main shoot as possible, ensuring each has some roots attached.

Plant each pup in a pot with well-draining soil, such as a cactus mix. Initially, plant them in dry soil and wait a few days before watering. This allows the cut to heal and reduces the risk of rot.

After a few days, water lightly around the roots.But, remember, as a succulent, this plant doesn’t require much water.

With these steps, you can easily propagate your snake plant and expand your indoor garden.

Common Pests & Diseases

holding a snake plant 'birds nest'

Here are some of the most common pests and diseases that can affect your houseplant:

Scale

Scale is one of the most common pests that affect bird’s nest snake plants. They’re tiny insects with gray or tan shells that settle down on the foliage and suck the moisture out of it.

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are small oval insects that settle along foliage veins. The insects suck plant juices and nutrients from the veins and foliage, which can lead to many problems.

In addition, mealybugs leave behind a powdery substance that can attract ants.

Mites

Mites love snake plants, as they prefer dry conditions. The problem with mites, especially spider mites, is that they’re tiny and hard to spot.

You’ll have to look closely at the underside of the leaves to see them. You can also spot the light specks they leave behind after feeding on your plant’s nutrients.

Aphids

Aphids are small pests that come in many colors, from green to brown. They can cause a lot of damage to your plants, including curled foliage and stunted growth.

Root Rot

Root rot is a disease that can affect your plant due to overwatering. Unfortunately, root rot is a severe disease that can lead to losing your plant.

So, if you notice that the soil is soggy and has a weird smell, you should check your plant’s roots. Typically, root rot can be identified by the brownish and soggy look of the roots.

Sadly, you’ll have to remove infected roots and repot your plant in fresh soil. It’s essential to act as quickly as possible to save your plant.

Sansevieria Hahnii Varieties

Let’s check out some variations of the Sansevieria bird’s nest plant.

Green Hahnii

green hahnii plant

Green Hahnii has unique zig-zag horizontal lines across the foliage. The green color of this plant is lively and natural.

Sansevieria Hahnii Jade

The Jade Hahnii is a dwarf snake plant that comes in a solid, dark-green color. It doesn’t have any lines or margins.

The solid color of the plant allows it to tolerate low and high lighting conditions better.

Golden Hahnii

Golden Hahnii  snake plant

Golden Hahnii is a dwarf snake plant with sword-shaped foliage. The leaves have yellow and green stripes that make them eye-catchy.

Sansevieria Black Star

Sanseviera black star

The Black Star is developed from Jade dwarf plants. The leaves have broad golden margins that contrast the other parts’ dark green color.

Sansevieria Philippine Gold

Philippine Gold is a one-of-a-kind dwarf snake plant. The leaves have a solid lemon-yellow color with a hint of white and a thin greenish margin.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are snake plants toxic to animals?

Unfortunately, all cultivars of snake plants produce a substance called Saponin, which can be toxic to dogs and cats. You should reconsider growing snake plants inside your house if you have any pets.

There are many non-toxic alternatives to snake plants you can go for. Here’s a list of some of them:

  • Ponytail Palm
  • Cast Iron Plant
  • Zebra Calathea
  • Spider Plant

Can I grow bird’s nest as my first plant?

Yes. Bird’s nest snake plants require low maintenance, which makes them perfect for beginners.

What Are You Waiting For?

Cultivating this plant is a breeze, making it an ideal choice for beginners and those who prefer low-maintenance greenery. It is quite adaptable, thriving in indirect sunlight and being relatively unfussy about its soil.

The secret to its care lies in its watering. Despite its resilience, the Sansevieria Hahnii has a low tolerance for overwatering. Too much hydration can lead to root rot, a potentially fatal condition for the plant. 

So, remember, less is more when it comes to watering. Please wait until the soil’s top layer is dry before drinking it. 

With these simple care tips, your Bird’s nest snake plant can thrive, bringing a touch of nature’s resilience and beauty into your home.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.