Sansevieria Moonshine – Moonshine Snake Plant: Care and Growing Guide

Sansevieria Moonshine (Moonshine Snake Plant)

Sansevieria moonshine is an eye-catching snake plant with pale, silvery-green, spear-shaped leaves. Also called the moonshine snake plant, its broad, pointed succulent leaves have an attractive dark green margin. This easy-care houseplant is ideal for beginners or plant experts alike. You can grow the stunning moonshine plant in most conditions and it survives in low-light with little water. In addition, its short upright sword-like leaves don’t take up much room.

Sansevieria moonshine is just one type of succulent with the common name “snake plant.” Other sansevieria snake plants include sansevieria starfish, mother-in-law’s tongue, and Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twisted Sister.’ All types of snake plant succulents are identified by their upright pointed leaves that look like swords or spearheads.

This article is a care guide for the moonshine sansevieria plant. At the end of the article, you will find out how to resolve common issues with growing the sturdy sansevieria moonshine indoors.

How to Care for Sansevieria Moonshine

To care for the sansevieria moonshine, grow the snake plant in indirect light and well-drained, aerated potting soil. Water the moonshine plant when the soil dries to prevent root rot. Snake plants thrive in temperature between 55°F and 85°F (13°C – 29°C) and average humidity. Fertilizing is rarely necessary.

What is Sansevieria Moonshine?

Sansevieria Moonshine

The new botanical name of Moonshine snake plant is Dracaena trifasciata, however its previous name – Sansevieria trifasciata – is better known

Sansevieria Moonshine has the botanical name Sansevieria trifasciata— commonly called snake plant. It’s an evergreen succulent with stiff leaves growing vertically in a rosette shape. As an ornamental plant, sansevieria moonshine also flowers in ideal growing conditions but rarely indoors.

Light silver-green pointed leaves and a narrow dark green margin identify the moonshine snake plant. The upright sansevieria broad leaves grow up to 2 ft. (60 cm) tall and 3” to 4” (7.5 – 10 cm) wide.

From 2017, the botanical name for the moonshine snake plant was changed to Dracaena trifasciata. However, most people still refer to this type of succulent as sansevieria. Therefore, throughout the article, we will refer to its previous—more well-known name—Sansevieria trifasciata.

Other common names for Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Moonshine’ include sansevieria silver queen, sansevieria moonglow, silver moonshine, and moonlight snake plant.

The Benefits of Sansevieria Moonshine Snake Plant

Sansevieria moonshine snake plant is a hardy houseplant, ideal for beginners. The succulent needs little care to thrive indoors and even seems to thrive on neglect. So, if you want a houseplant that is easy to care for, the moonshine snake plant is an excellent choice.

There are more benefits of the moonshine plant than low-maintenance. According to a NASA study, the snake plant is an air-purifier. Scientists found that sansevieria plants help filter harmful toxins from the air, such as trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene, xylene, and formaldehyde.

You will find the sansevieria snake plant on the list of top air-filtering houseplants.

Moonshine Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) Flowers

Sansevieria moonshine is a flowering succulent. The moonshine snake plant flowers are creamy-white spindly tubular blooms growing in small clusters on long erect stems. Some flowering snake plant stalks can grow as tall as 3 ft. (1 m) tall. Snake plant flowers look like honeysuckle flowers.

Sansevieria Moonshine Care Guide

Let’s look in detail at the best ways to care for a sansevieria moonshine houseplant.

Moonshine Snake Plant Light Conditions

Sansevieria moonshine grows best in indirect moderate to bright sunlight. The versatile snake plant can grow well in full sun if it’s not too harsh. However, this succulent plant survives in low-light conditions. But you may find that the leaves lose their color in the dark.

Ideally, the moonshine snake plant benefits from a few hours of light every day. Bright light encourages fast growth, and the plant will produce new leaves.

The best location for growing a moonshine houseplant is on an east-facing or west-facing windowsill. In rooms facing south, keep the succulent away from the window or protect behind a sheer curtain. But the moonshine snake plant also grows well in bedrooms or rooms with little sunlight.

Sansevieria Moonshine Potting Soil

Grow moonshine snake plants in light, sandy soil for succulents. To make a succulent potting mix, combine two parts of regular potting soil, one part perlite and one part of coarse sand. Standard potting soil is ideal for holding some moisture, and perlite helps to ensure fast drainage.

When caring for snake plants, drainage is the most critical factor. The succulent mix should retain some moisture. But soggy, damp soil will cause the roots to decay and rot—the main reason sansevierias die. So always ensure that that water drains freely through the soil and out the pot’s drainage holes.

Additional soil amendments to create a light, airy potting mix include coconut fiber (coir), crushed gravel, poultry grit, or charcoal pieces.

Related reading: The best potting mix for cactus plants.

How to Water Moonshine Snake Plants

Water a sansevieria moonshine as often as the potting soil dries out. Only water the snake plant when the top 2” (5 cm) of soil is dry. Then, drench the soil until it drains from the bottom. The next time you need to water the succulent is when the soil is partially dry.

In warm weather, you may have to water the succulent every week or so. But in winter, it may only be necessary to water a moonshine plant every few weeks. Before you water, always check the top layer of potting soil for moisture. If you detect any dampness, hold off watering until it’s dry.

Here are some handy watering tips for caring for a sansevieria moonshine:

  • Use water at room temperature to water snake plants to avoid shocking the roots.
  • The “drench and dry” method is best for succulents to prevent root rot.
  • Sansevieria plants growing in terracotta pots need watering more frequently than those in plastic pots.
  • Avoid getting water on the leaves, ensuring that water doesn’t collect in the area between the leaves.
  • Use soil moisture for a guide on how often to water a moonshine snake plant.

Related reading: Complete guide to watering houseplants.

Temperature Requirements for Growing Sansevieria Moonshine Indoors

Moonshine snake plants grow exceptionally well in average room temperatures. As long as the temperature is between 55°F and 85°F (13°C – 29°C), the sansevieria will thrive. The snake plant will grow in colder or hotter temperatures, but its growth will be affected.

When caring for a moonshine snake plant indoors, it’s good to keep it away from cold or hot drafts. In summer, make sure the potted succulent is not in a cold breeze from an open window or the air conditioning. Also, in winter, don’t place the pot next to a hot radiator or furnace.

You can grow sansevieria moonshine plants outdoors in USDA zones 10 and 11. They look spectacular in succulent gardens or growing in containers on patios. Remember that a sansevieria growing in the ground needs watering less than in a pot. It’s also good to remember that temperatures below 32°F (0°C) will permanently damage the pale green leaves.

In growing zones 9 and below, you can take a potted sansevieria outdoors. Place in a sunny spot in your garden to encourage healthy foliage and fast growth. Take the potted snake plant back indoors when the temperature drops below 55°F (13°C).

Moonshine Snake Plant Humidity Needs

Sansevieria moonshine is an easy-care houseplant with minimal humidity requirements. Average room humidity is ideal for moonshine snake plants. So, you don’t have to do anything special to increase the humidity unless the air is extremely dry.

It’s not necessary to mist moonshine snake plant leaves. Instead, you can take a damp cloth to wipe down the fleshy green leaves once a week. This sansevieria care will help keep the sword-like leaves looking great and provide some moisture.

How to Fertilize Moonshine Sansevieria

Moonshine snake plant is a light feeder and doesn’t require much fertilizer. If you decide to fertilize the sansevieria, use a diluted fertilizer for cactus and succulents. Apply the succulent fertilizer once in late spring and once in mid-summer. A good choice is a balanced fertilizer with an NPK rating of 5-5-5.

At the end of summer, flush the soil to remove any excess mineral or salt buildup. It’s also good to remember that too much fertilizer can damage the plant’s growth.

In most cases, if the moonshine snake plant grows in healthy houseplant soil and you water it properly, you rarely have to provide extra nutrients.

Sansevieria Trifasciata Moonshine Growth Rate

Sansevieria moonshine has a moderate growth rate. Under ideal conditions, you can expect the lance-shaped pale silvery-green leaves to grow a few inches per year. But in low-light conditions the succulent’s growth will be slower.

How to Propagate Sansevieria Moonshine Plants

Sansevieria moonshine is easy to propagate. The snake plant propagation method is done best by root division, rooting leaves in water, or planting directly in the soil. It’s best to avoid propagating sansevieria by seed as seeds are challenging to find and even harder to germinate.

Here are the best tips on propagating a moonshine plant:

How to propagate sansevieria moonshine leaves in water. Cut a healthy leaf near the base and place the cutting on a paper towel for a few days to callous over. Then place the cutting in clean water. In three to five weeks, roots should appear. Two weeks after that, small pups will grow at the base. You can now transplant the cuttings to succulent potting soil.

Sansevieria moonshine propagation in soil. Cut one or two sansevieria leaves near the base. Then place the cuttings on a paper towel for a few days for the wound to heal. After that, plant the snake plant leaves directly in a suitable potting mix. Water thoroughly and then care for the moonshine plant as usual.

Propagating moonshine snake plant by division. Remove the plant from the pot and shake off excess dirt from the rhizome roots. Divide the roots, making sure there is at least one healthy leaf or small pups attached. Plant in a suitable pot and follow the usual sansevieria moonshine care instructions.

Repotting Moonshine Snake Plants

A sansevieria moonshine plant needs repotting every two to three years. Transferring the succulent to a bigger pot allows the plant to grow larger. You can also refresh the soil to replenish nutrients for healthy growth. Additionally, the root system can expand, making the sansevieria stronger.

The best time to repot a sansevieria moonshine is in spring. At this time, the plant’s growth is most vigorous.

How to repot a sansevieria moonshine: In spring, remove the succulent from its pot and shake excess dirt from the roots. Check the roots for damage and remove any dead or decaying ones. Place the plant in a new, larger pot and fill it with appropriate potting soil so the plant grows at the same level as before. Water thoroughly and place in a bright spot.

Pruning Sansevieria Moonshine Plants

Silver moonshine snake plants don’t require any pruning. However, if the sansevieria grows taller than you want, cut off the tallest leaf. You can also cut leaves from the base if you’re going to propagate a new plant.

Pests Affecting Sansevieria Trifasciata Moonshine Growth

Sansevieria moonshine is a robust, hardy houseplant that is rarely affected by pests. The most likely pests the plant attracts are spider mites or mealybugs. The best way to get rid of sansevieria pests is by using a natural neem oil spray. Spray the leaves once a week to eradicate the bugs.

To make a DIY neem oil spray, combine 2 tsp. neem oil and 1 tsp. liquid dish soap with 1 quart (1 l) of water. Mix thoroughly. Then use the natural pesticide on your houseplants to get rid of aphids, mites, thrips, and other pests.

The typical sign of spider mites on sansevieria is thin strands of web dangling from the thick succulent leaves. You will usually spot the webs before you notice the tiny spider-like pests on your plant.

Mealybugs look like small, white fuzzy growths on the green pointed leaves. Mealybugs also leave behind a white cotton wool-like substance. To get rid of individual mealybugs, apply rubbing alcohol directly to them with a cotton bud.

Diseases Affecting Sansevieria Trifasciata Moonshine Growth

Root rot is the most common disease affecting moonshine snake plants. But this is easily avoided by proper watering techniques. Signs of fungal or bacterial infections are mushy leaves, brown spots, or wilting. It’s best to remove infected leaves to prevent any disease from spreading.

Suppose you spot mushy leaves on the sansevieria. In that case, it’s crucial to take the plant from its pot and remove all diseased roots. If root rot is extensive, cut off healthy leaves to propagate new plants and discard any bad plant parts.

Is Sansevieria Moonshine Toxic?

Moonshine snake plant is toxic to dogs and cats. The ASPCA states that Sansevieria trifasciata contains saponins. Signs of poisoning if your pet cat or dog ingests parts of moonshine snake plants are nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

FAQs — Moonshine Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) Care

Why are sansevieria moonshine leaves drooping or wrinkling?

The thick fleshy moonshine snake plant leaves become wrinkled due to a lack of water or cold drafts. However, in some cases, drooping sansevieria leaves occur because of too much water, low humidity, or root rot.

To resolve the drooping leaves, check the moisture level of the potting soil and take appropriate action. Either water the plant if the soil is dry or hold off watering if the soil is damp.

How do you revive a shriveled snake plant?

If your moonshine snake plant looks shriveled, it’s a sign of too little water. Although the succulents are drought-tolerant, a prolonged lack of water causes the leaves to wither. To fix the wilted leaves, drench the potting soil with room temperature water and allow the excess to drain.

Why are moonshine snake plant leaves turning brown?

Brown tips on sansevieria moonshine leaves are usually caused by under watering or inconsistent watering. However, if the potting mix feels damp, the brown leaf tips could be due to root rot from overwatering.

To remedy the brown tips, give the succulent a thorough watering if the soil is dry. In the case of overwatering, you’ll need to repot the plant to have any chance of fixing the brown snake plant leaves.

Is sansevieria trifasciata moonshine rare?

Moonshine snake plants are not rare, but the stunning succulent is relatively uncommon. Sansevieria moonshine is a relatively new type of cultivar that is becoming more popular with plant lovers.

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