Sansevieria Moonshine is a unique silver-leaved cultivar of the familiar snake plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata). It has attractive light silvery green leaves with dark green leaf margins. As the leaves grow, they turn soft green with slight cross banding. This nursery produced cultivar is a relatively new hybrid. Nonetheless, it is as sturdy as most snake plant varieties. It makes an unusual addition to your home and a great pick for the busy gardener. This cultivar is also known by other common names like Sansevieria Moonglow, Sansevieria Moonlight, Silver snake plant etc. Let’s see how to care for the beautiful sansevieria moonshine plant.
Plant appearance and growth rate
The silvery green color of leaves is what gives this plant its common names such as silver sansevieria and Moonlight/Moonshine snake plant. There are faint green lines running along the length of an entire leaf. With age, the leaves may turn slightly darker but still retain their silvery sheen. You’ll notice the leaves grow in groups of 2-3. Each of these sections makes a stunning vase-shaped form.
Being one of the fastest and easiest of the Sansevierias to grow, these plants have a relatively rapid growth rate. Fully mature moonshine snake plants can grow up to 2 feet.
Moonshine snake plants are susceptible to root rot when water stands around the rhizome structure. So, drainage capacity is an important factor in the soil you choose. A sandy, coarse and fast-draining soil works great for these plants. Never let your Sansevieria sit in wet, drenched soil for long. It can surely cause root rot over the period of time.
The standard potting mix used for succulents and cacti is suitable for Sansevieria Moonshine. If you have some soil additives, you can also make your own potting mix. Mix some sand, perlite or gravel for increasing drainage. And include coir or peat to retain some moisture without making the soil mix too dense. Click here for more information on the best soil ingredients for snake plants. Make sure to replace the soil whenever necessary. For instance, when it becomes too old and soggy after years of use.
Sansevieria Moonshine makes a perfect pot plant. Nice containers for snake plants are available in the market in many different shapes and sizes. They come in popular materials such as terracotta, plastic, ceramic as well as wood, metal etc, to give your plant a special artistic touch. Personally I prefer light colored (white or cream) pots for Sansevieria moonshine, as they seem to accentuate the silvery green foliage.
More than the aesthetic, it’s important that the plant roots are comfortable in the pot. The most essential thing to look for is the drainage holes. Drill some holes if your pot doesn’t already have them. If that’s not possible, place your plant in a good container with drainage, and place it inside a bigger ornamental pot. This way, it will look good on the outside and also provide good drainage. Also, make sure the pot is proportional to your plant. If it’s too big, it can cause overwatering problem.
Being a succulent, Sansevieria Moonshine doesn’t require much water to stay healthy and thrive. It is a drought-tolerant species, meaning it can survive without frequent watering. Overwatering this plant can cause the plant to rot and die. Here’s how you can water the plant:
- Before you water, check the top layer (1-1.5 inches) of soil surface. The soil should be dry in between waterings.
- You can water once a week or every other week, depending on the climate and surrounding conditions of the plant. For example, plants kept in shade require less water than those in bright light. If you live in a tropical region, your plant may need more frequent watering.
- Be sure to keep the leaves dry when you water. Due to the shape of rosette, water can stay in between the leaves, which can eventually cause fungal infection or rot.
- Water slowly until it starts to drip from the drainage holes. Allow the excess water drain away freely. Discard the water in the drainage saucer after about 30-40 minutes. Don’t let the plant sit in collected water.
- Lower the frequency of watering to once a month when the temperatures start dipping low.
If you have more watering related questions, check this post for more tips.
Moderate to bright indirect sunlight is optimal for indoor Sansevieria moonshine. But despite that, this plant can withstand full sun if it’s not too harsh. The plant will do just fine in low light conditions as well. It seems to be happy with a little morning sun and bright filtered light throughout the day.
Moonshine plant can slightly change its foliage color depending on the lighting situation. New leaves of the plant possess a very light grey-green color that’s almost ice-white. However, plants growing in deep shade have darker leaves. Avoid areas that are too dark as it can stunt the plant growth.
Sansevieria Moonshine does best in warmer climates as it can tolerate heat very well. But it’s not as cold hardy as some other houseplants. Depending on your climate, it may need extra heat and dry air in the winters. During the summer season, keep the plant in areas with shade or semi-shade.
Temperatures ranging between 55-85 degrees Fahrenheit (13-29° C) are suitable for moonshine plants, and it can easily withstand higher temperatures. These plants are winter-hardy in regions where the temperature doesn’t drop below the freezing point. Chilly temperature below 32° F (0° C) can damage the leaves permanently.
Pests and Diseases
Fortunately, this hardy plant is typically free from serious disease and pest problems. Because of their hardy nature and strong succulent leaves, snake plants don’t easily get sick. If any pest would bother your Sansevieria moonshine, it will most probably be either mealybugs or spider mites. But these pests are not very difficult to deal with. There are easy ways to get rid of them and make your plant healthy again. Check this post to know how you can save your plant from insects and fungal problems.
Overwatering and low temperature seems to be the most common enemies of the moonshine plant. It may be susceptible to scarring on the leaves if placed in freezing temperatures for too long. Too much moisture in the soil can cause fungus infection and root rot. Water staying on the leaves also results in mushy leaves that are more susceptible to other diseases. Look for signs such as soft, drooping or yellowing leaves.
Feeding your moonshine plants 2-3 times a year is sufficient and works very well. A general-purpose fertilizer made for houseplants is a good choice. Go for a balanced mix, means 10-10-10 or 5-5-5 ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (N-P-K). You can also use organic or natural fertilizers, but use them sparingly.
A good time to feed your plant is during spring and summer seasons. A half-strength liquid fertilizer can be applied every month during the summer. If you are using a slow release fertilizer, add it once a year at the beginning of summer or end of the spring. Don’t overfeed the plants.
Here’s a fertilizer guide for more information.
Repotting your Sansevieria Moonshine is necessary to avoid plant overgrowth, as it grows faster than most Sansevieria. Repotting also makes the plant look neat and tidy in it’s new bigger container. Usually this needs to be done every 2-3 years. Repotting makes the plant stronger by encouraging a healthy root growth.
Even though you can transplant your plant any time of the year, spring and early summer are good seasons to do that. Here are the basic steps for repotting your moonshine snake plant:
- Make sure to get a pot with an appropriate size. Usually it should be 1-1.5 inches wider in diameter than the old container.
- Add a thin layer of pebbles at the bottom to cover drainage holes. Then put a layer of soil over that.
- Carefully remove your plant from its old pot and shake off sticky soil from the roots. Place the root ball in a new pot. Then fill the rest of the container with the soil mix.
- Plant it at the same height as before. Don’t bury the leaves. Let the soil level be at least 1 inch below the rim of the pot.
- At the end, water the plant thoroughly and wait for the soil to get dry before watering again.
Click here for an in-depth guide on repotting your snake plant.
Grooming and Maintenance
Like most snake plants, Sansevieria Moonshine is known to be pretty low-maintenance. This plant thrives when left on its own but this doesn’t mean you should completely ignore it. Signs of root rot are revealed through the appearance of leaves. So, you might need to remove yellowing or damaged leaves. Some leaves will naturally die over the period of time, and those need to be trimmed as well.
Apart from pruning the leaves once in a while, there is nothing much to do. But if your plant has overgrown its container, you can divide it from the roots and create new plants.
In general snake plants are best propagated by division as they have a strong and rapidly growing rhizome and root structure. For this, you’ll need a sizable plant that has well established roots and multiple leaf sections. Sansevieria moonshine forms rosettes with 2-4 leaves in a section. An easy way is to separate each section while making sure it has a sufficient amount of roots at the base. Then place them in their own pots and you have new plants in no time. For more information on the propagation process, check out this guide.
Another popular method for propagation is to use leaf cuttings. Here’s how you can do this:
- Cut off a mature healthy leaf from its base. Make at least 2-3 inches long sections from it.
- It’s better to keep the areas of the cuts dry and let it callous before transplanting it.
- Take a shallow container and plant the sections bottom side down in a well-drained potting mix. The leaf cuttings should be buried 1 inch deep.
- Place the container in low light or indirect sunlight. After a couple of months, the cuttings will develop 1-2 inches long roots and can be transplanted to grow new plants.
Pets and kids safety
Moonshine snake plants are toxic if chewed or eaten. They may be mildly toxic to humans and animals. So it’s better to keep them away from your curious children and pets.
Upon ingestion, it can cause oral and throat irritation. Nausea, diarrhea, stomach pain and vomiting may be possible issues if consumed in large quantities.
Uses and Benefits
Sansevieria moonshine plants make great indoor pot plants. The upright foliage of this plant is easy to fit in small parts of your house. These plants look good in any corner or window sills. You can also plant them directly in the ground, but make sure to keep them in semi shade. It does well as an outdoor plant in warmer climates and as an indoor plant in cooler areas.
Like other snake plant species, this plant offers some amazing benefits. It has the ability to remove air pollutants from indoor environments. It releases oxygen at night and makes a great bedroom plant.