As you know, the snake plant is famous as a plant that can live in harsh conditions such as lack of light, lack of water, or lack of nutrition. Therefore, many people love to grow this plant indoors to decorate their homes.
The snake plant is a cactus-like plant, so it prefers dry environments and warm temperatures. If the weather is too cold, this plant cannot grow and develop normally.
So can snake plants live outside in winter? How to take care of this plant outside in winter when the temperature is low? To answer these questions, let’s find out more information in this article.
Can Snake Plants Live Outside In Winter?
Snake plants can live outside in all seasons, even winter. However, you need to take special care of this plant in winter as this is a harsh time for it.
The snake plant is native to West Africa, Nigeria, and Congo, so it prefers warm and dry temperatures for the best growth and development. They can be grown in pots or in the ground outdoors, but some locations will not be suitable in winter.
You need to know that whether indoors or outdoors, snake plants need light in all seasons to grow. If you live in an area where winter temperatures are frequently below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, snake plants will have a hard time surviving without protection from frost and snow.
If the winter where you live is not too cold and there is always soft light, this plant can still grow and develop normally. It is important that you have a detailed plan to care for it and create the ideal environment for the snake plant.
What Are The Factors That Affect Snake Plants When Outdoors In Winter?
There are three most important factors affecting the survival of snake plants outdoors in the winter such as temperature, watering, and lighting. Snake plant needs an ideal space to grow and develop like indoor conditions in winter so as not to freeze to death.
The Temperature Is Too Cold
As you know, the snake plant is native to tropical regions of Africa, so it prefers temperatures between 55 and 90 degrees F. If the temperature and climate where you live in all seasons are always above 55 degrees F, you can completely plant a snake plant directly in the ground and do not need to spend a lot of time caring for it in the winter.
However, if the temperature between winter and the rest of the year is too different where you live, you should grow the snake plant in a pot and place it outside during the warm seasons. When winter comes, you can move these bonsai pots indoors. Therefore, you don’t have to set up a canopy or heat the lights outside.
Watering And Soil Drainage
The snake plant is like a succulent, it does not like moisture and lots of water. Their succulent leaves act as a water storage plant and use in times of water shortage.
You can control the amount of water and drainage for the snake plant if it is grown in pots and indoors. However, if you grow this plant outdoors, rainfall, moisture, and soil drainage are factors you need to consider.
Excessive rain prevents excess water from draining as well as poor drainage that causes dampness that will destroy the snake plant’s root system. Waterlogging causes root rot, leaf rot, and destruction of the entire plant structure.
It’s important to control rainfall and drainage if you grow your snake plant outdoors in all seasons, even winter.
Snake plants have the ability to survive in low light, which is why they are a favorite for growing indoors. This plant prefers 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight per day.
However, in winter, the sun may not appear for many days. So, you need to light a heater to provide light for the snake plant. To do this, you need to choose a planting area as well as a cover in the winter to keep warm in the winter.
How To Care For Snake Plants In Winter?
You need to pay attention to some factors when caring for snake plants in winter such as proper watering, not fertilizing at this time, and maintaining the ideal temperature. They are vital to keeping your snake plant alive during the cold winter and reviving when the temperatures return.
Proper watering is important for a snake plant to stay alive throughout the winter. The moisture in the soil and air will increase in winter. So, the snake plant does not need much water during this time.
In particular, it is a succulent plant, so it does not need too much water all summer when evaporation is rapid. Lack of light will also slow the growth of snake plants during winter. This means it will also consume very little water to survive.
Therefore, you should only water this plant when the ground is 2-3 inches dry. Watering should not be done according to the schedule but should be based on the actual needs of the snake plant as well as the amount of rain and humidity in your area.
You should only water the base of the plant, not the leaves. Because the wet temperature of winter plus wet leaves will create favorable conditions for fungi and pests to develop. Always keeping the leaves dry will help the snake plant limit pests and fungal diseases.
In addition, the watering needs of snake plants and other plants are not the same. So, you should not plant this plant with other plants. Over-watering will cause waterlogging, root rot, and entire plant destruction over the winter.
Do Not Fertilize In Winter
In winter, plants almost hibernate and do not grow when the temperature is too cold. The snake plant is the same, it does not need too much water and nutrition to grow and develop.
If you continue to fertilize in the winter, iron minerals and nutrients will accumulate in the soil and cause root rot. The reason is that the snake plant will hibernate and it will not use these nutrients in the soil.
Liquid or quick-acting fertilizers are not suitable for winter applications. So you can apply a pellet or slow-release fertilizer in the soil in winter for the snake plant to use next spring.
Maintain Ideal Temperature And Humidity
The snake plant does not tolerate very low temperatures, use a canopy or a heating lamp on cold days to protect this plant. Dew and snow will also make the leaves and roots wet as they thaw. Since then, the increased humidity in the air causes leaf rot and root rot to increase in this plant.
In addition, sudden temperature changes will also cause the snake plant to die or grow slowly. Do not plant snake plants near places with sudden hot or cold temperatures. Because it will break the succulent cell structure and lead to serious damage to the snake plant.
Is There A Way To Save A Snake Plant From Freezing To Death?
It is very difficult for you to save a snake plant when it has frozen to death from the cold. Usually, it will suffer from leaf rot and root rot, so it is difficult to restore. It is important that you detect early and take winter tree protection measures like the factors above.
The cold shock will also cause the snake plant’s leaves to turn yellow or brown. After that, they will be completely mushy and rotten in a few short days due to excessive humidity.
To remedy this situation, you need to remove the rotten branches with clean and disinfected scissors. Clean the cuts on the leaves to avoid fungal and insect attacks. You need to check the root system of the snake plant because it can only revive if there are healthy root branches.
Dig them up gently, removing any rotten roots and keeping the branch healthy. Clean them with the solution and plant them in a pot or soil. Make sure the conditions are ideal so that the new roots quickly attach to the soil and continue to grow.
Alternatively, you can also propagate the snake plant by remaining healthy branches on the tree. Live multiplication shouldn’t be done in the winter when the weather is harsh, but it’s the only way you can revive the plant if it’s in danger of freezing to death.
Use a small pot with a soil mixture consisting of 50% buffalo foot rock, 25% coir, and 25% loose soil mix. Then, use sterilized scissors to cut and cut the cuttings about 2 inches into the ground.
After 3 days, you can water the snake plant’s branches, but you should only water a little. Do not mist the leaves during this time because dampness will cause fungal and insect attacks.
The Final Ending
Snake plants can be grown outside in the winter as long as you provide an ideal environment for this plant. Temperature is the most important factor determining the survival of snake plants in winter. Keeping the temperature above 55 degrees F will help prevent the snake plant from freezing in the winter.
In particular, the important factors you need to pay attention to when caring for this plant in winter are proper watering, not fertilizing, and maintaining the right temperature.
It’s best to grow the snake plant in a pot, so it can move indoors to avoid days of extreme cold and extreme temperatures. To learn more about how to care for this plant, you can refer to the snake plant section here.