Snake plants are robust plants that can easily be grown indoors or outdoors. These gorgeous succulents belong to the genus Sansevieria, which is now included in genus Dracaena. Sansevieria contains around 70 different species of flowering plants. Besides, these species come in wide varieties of sizes and forms. Some of the Sansevieria can grow taller than a person, up to 7 feet tall, while others grow only a foot at maximum. In this post I’ll introduce some shorter plant types. These small snake plant varieties are perfect for your home or office if you want a plant with easy-care benefits and capacity to fit in small spaces.
Miniature snake plants make great ornamental plants when grown indoors. Due to their small size, you can grow these plants in small pots, dish gardens as tabletop decors. They will also look great in window sills or on the wall shelves with other small sized succulents.
Sansevieria Trifasciata Hahnii
One of the most popular short snake plant cultivars is Sansevieria Hahnii. Other common nicknames for this beautiful plant are Bird’s nest snake plant or Dwarf mother in law’s tongue. It is a stemless cultivar of a well-known snake plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata). Being a short cultivar, the bird’s nest plant usually never grows over a foot (30 cm) tall. However, if you grow these plants outdoors, they tend to spread rapidly through their underground stems.
The plant forms tight rosettes with flat green leaves that have very distinct light green mottled horizontal bands. Depending on the type, this plant may have different leaf patterns. However, the spirally arranged leaves in a vase-like rosette shape is common in all Hahnii varieties. Some of the popular types are – Silver Hahnii which has a unique silvery green foliage, and Golden Hahnii which is a variegated type with beautiful yellow stripes. Although it is a flowering species, Sansevieria Hahnii rarely flowers. When it does, it can produce white tubular flowers that have sweet fragrance.
Sansevieria Cylindrica Var. Patula Boncel
A commonly known name for this particular variety of cylindrical snake plant (Sansevieria Cylindrica) is Sansevieria Starfish or Sansevieria Boncel. The specific shape of the foliage of this plant will remind you of starfish. With stubby, short and thick leaves, this plant makes an exceptional architectural decor. You can keep this plant as a great indoor ornamental plant.
Boncel cultivar is a miniature hybrid of Sansevieria Patula variety that has 6 to 7 feet long leaves. However, the starfish snake plant grows only up to a foot in height. Like its parent species Sansevieria Cylindrica, Boncel cultivar has stiff and fleshy tubular leaves. Each leaf has pale greenish grey horizontal zigzag pattern and dark green stripes that go along the length. The leaves grow from the base in alternate fashion. Although the plant looks more like a starfish with exactly 5 leaves, it can have more or less than that.
If you are looking for a plant that is compact and has a lovely smelling blossom, Sansevieria Parva is an excellent choice for you. Another name for the species is Sansevieria Dooneri. Commonly known as Kenya Hyacinth, this plant produces sweetly fragrant flowers that smell like hyacinth at night. The small, creamy white flowers grow on a vertical flower stalk that rises from the middle of the rosette. This species can bloom regularly, unlike most snake plants.
Sansevieria Parva can grow up to 1 to 1.5 feet tall. The plant has flat and narrow leaves that slightly bend to form a fountain-shape foliage. Even though younger leaves exhibit pale green horizontal bands, the pattern vanishes as the leaves become mature. You can grow these plants in individual pots or place them in a planter. Despite being small, this plant is as tough and hardy as a regular snake plant. Grow it in a bright indirect sunlight to maximize the chances of healthy growth and blooming.
Another snake plant type that is under a foot tall is Sansevieria Pinguicula. This short but tough plant naturally grows in the driest regions of Kenya. It’s famous for the stilt-like roots and the ability to thrive on anything from clay to bare rocks. The thick, succulent roots seem to hold the plant above the soil level. Unlike most snake plants, Pinguicula has uniform greenish-blue colored leaves with no typical snake plant leaf pattern. The thick, pointy and widely channeled leaves make it look like a small version of Agave plant.
An interesting feature of this plant is its capability to “walk”, from which it gets the name Walking Sansevieria. This unique ability is actually a distinct way to reproduce. Instead of growing underground stems (rhizomes), the plant produces aerial stolons. These stolons grow out from the rosette, land on the ground and create roots to make new plants. These new plants appear to be walking away from the parent, hence the name “walking Sansevieria”.
Sansevieria Trifasciata Twisted Sister
One more staggeringly beautiful variegated cultivar of Sansevieria Trifasciata is Sansevieria Gold Twist or Twisted Sister. Unlike the upright sword shaped leaves of a common snake plant, this cultivar exhibits green and yellow foliage that twists and turns as it grows. Like the bird’s nest variety, it produces tightly arranged leaves in a rosette form. This plant can grow up to 15 inches (37 cm) tall.
Because of its uniquely shaped leaves, Gold twist plants will catch one’s eye among other snake plant types. The average room temperature and humidity suits well for an optimal growth of this plant. Keep the plant in a place where it can get filtered but bright sunlight.
Sansevieria Kirkii Silver Blue
A miniature cultivar of Sansevieria Kirkii is Silver Blue snake plant. Being a short cultivar, it grows only up to a foot (30 cm) high, even though its parent species has 6 feet long leaves. However, it is often named as just Sansevieria silver blue, because the relation to Sansevieria Kirkii is not yet scientifically proven. The cultivar is stunning and considered as a rare collector’s plant.
This plant presents a nice silvery blue foliage with dark broken longitudinal lines and mottled appearance. It has exceptionally thick and short leaves with wavy leaf borders. The red-brown and white narrow margins can break up into threadlike fibers. The leaves are slightly drooping, very rigid and channeled at the base. It makes a great container plant, is easy to propagate and needs very little care.
Sansevieria Ehrenbergii Samurai Dwarf
A compact cultivar of one of the tallest Sansevieria is this plant called Samurai dwarf snake plant. Although its parent plant can achieve a mature height of 5 feet, this cultivar is usually just 4 to 6 inches (10-15 cm) tall. It is a rare variety with short and thick green leaves. Due to the short stature, this plant makes a great tabletop decor and is easy to move around. It will go well in your dining area or on your worktable.
Like its mother plant, a samurai dwarf has pointy leaves that grow in two opposite directions. But they grow in a spiraling pattern, so if you look from the top, you’ll see a beautiful flower shape. The distinct edges and tips on each leaf are reddish brown and white in color. The leaves have a pronounced V-shape and they grow on a short stem. Be careful not to water on the leaves as it can lead to rot and fungal problems. Bright light and well draining soil is recommended for ideal plant health.
This small succulent herb is native to Kenya. This interesting stemless plant has patterned cylindrical leaves that are only 6 to 12 cm (up to 5 inches) long. Like the walking sansevieria plant, it produces spider-like stolons that grow to about 6 inches (15 cm). This already small variety of snake plant has an even smaller cultivar called “Minnie”. The Minnie cultivar has even shorter and stubby leaves and grows just 2 inches wide before it starts sending out stolons.
Sansevieria Ballyi is a flowering plant that can produce greenish white flowers. They tend to grow in small clusters on an upright flower stalk. The aerial rosettes have several stilt-like roots that seem to elevate the plant a few centimetres off the ground. This plant spreads relatively slowly. However, you can propagate it by directly removing the plantlets that grow at the end of each stolon and rooting them in soil.
Dracaena Francisii Chahin is a little known Sansevieria variety than a typical snake plant. This plant can grow up to 2 feet tall at a mature age. Although it’s a bit taller than other short species, it can still fit in any little space in your home or office.
Sansevieria Francisii can magnify the beauty of your place with its unique foliage. This plant produces a stem, unlike most snake plants. On the stem, leaves grow in 5 distinct rows forming a spiral arrangement. Each leaf is only about 6 inches (15 cm) long and has light green irregular horizontal bands. The pointy tips are naturally brownish red and white in color. Sansevieria Francisii can also flower on rare occasions. This can usually happen in the late winter to spring season.
Let’s end the list with another widely popular snake plant variety called Sansevieria Moonshine. Other common names for this plant are Silver Snake Plant, Moonlight Sansevieria and Sansevieria Future Silver Offset. This lovely species is easy to recognize by its broad silvery green leaves. This type is supposed to be a cultivar of Sansevieria Trifasciata, however the origin of the plant is unknown.
A mature height of the plant is around 2 feet. The leaves of Moonshine snake plant are tongue shaped and grow upright in separate divisions of 2-3 leaves per section. Each leaf can be as wide as 4 to 5 inches in the middle. Younger leaves of the plant are almost white in color. Sansevieria Moonshine makes a great accent plant due to its unique foliage color.
Hardy and easy-to-maintain, snake plants are surely an amazing pick for a beginner. You can easily grow these beautiful plants indoors without much effort and skills. For more information on how to feed, water, repot or propagate these plants, check out this indoor care guide for snake plants.