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  • Writer's pictureNitika Mehra

Snake Plant: Capable of Purifying Air | Good For Healthy Lifestyle

Updated: Oct 24, 2022

Most commonly known as the Saint George's sword, mother-in-law's tongue, viper's bowstring hemp, devil's tongue, jinn's tongue, bow string hemp, snake tongue, among other names. There are two main varieties: wild type plant have stiff, erect, scattered, lance-shaped leaves while the bird's nest plant grow in rosettes. Growth is comparatively slow and the plant will last for many years.

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Snake Plant or Sansevieria is a historically recognized genus of flowering plants, native to Africa, notably Madagascar, and southern Asia, now included in the genus Dracaena on the basis of molecular phylogenetic studies. Several former Sansevieria species are popular houseplants in temperate regions, with Dracaena trifasciata the most widely sold.

Snake Plant: Capable of Purifying Air And Can Be Used For Feng Shui Purposes

It is now used predominantly as an ornamental plant, outdoors in warmer climates, and indoors as a houseplant in cooler climates. It is popular as a houseplant because it is tolerant of low light levels and irregular watering; during winter it needs only one watering every couple of months. They can rot from over-watering, so it is important that they are potted in well-drained soil, and not over-watered. They need to be re-potted or split at the root from time to time because they will sometimes grow so large that they break the pot they are growing in.

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In China, the plant is usually kept potted in a pot often ornamented with dragons and phoenixes. In Korea, potted sansevierias are commonly presented as a gift during opening ceremonies of businesses or other auspicious events. In Barbados, it is also popularly referred to as the "money plant", with the belief that the person having it will always have money. In Africa, the leaves of former Sansevieria species are used for fiber production; in some species, e.g. Dracaena hanningtonii, the plant's sap has antiseptic qualities, and the leaves are used for bandages in traditional first aid.

According to a NASA Clean Air Study, along with other plants such as golden pothos and corn plant, snake plant is capable of purifying air by removing some pollutants such as formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. Sansevierias use the crassulacean acid metabolism process, which absorbs carbon dioxide at night, although oxygen is released during daylight. Nighttime absorption of CO2 purportedly makes them especially suitable bedroom plants. However, since the leaves are potentially poisonous if ingested, they are not usually recommended for children's bedrooms.

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According to feng shui, because the leaves of sansevierias grow upwards, the plants can be used for feng shui purposes. Some believe that having sansevierias near children helps reduce coarseness, although care must be taken to ensure the child cannot reach the plant's poisonous leaves. Others recommend placing pots near the toilet tank to counter the drain-down vibrations.

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