Are Snake Plants Low Light? (Answered)

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Snake plants also known as sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue is a common houseplant found in many homes.

If you plan to cultivate this plant, then you should know a few things which will be instrumental to its growth.

Snake plants are low light plants although they can also thrive in medium and bright light conditions.

When your snake plant is exposed to direct sunlight, ensure it doesn’t overstay as the leaves will get burnt.

Today we will discuss how much light snake plants need, whether they need natural light, what it means for a plant to be low light to mention a few.

Are Snake Plants Low Light?

Are Snake Plants Low Light

Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria species, are among the best houseplants for growing in dimly lit rooms or low light.

They have a remarkable appearance while also requiring very little upkeep on the owner’s part.

The snake plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is a plant that has a very long lifespan. 

It can continue to flourish for decades. It grows best in settings of low light and partial shade, although it may also survive in conditions that are fairly dark.

It is essential to ensure that it does not receive an excessive amount of water, particularly if it is not exposed to direct sunshine. 

The ground becomes parched when exposed directly to sunshine. The root rot that results from overwatering might be fatal to the plant.

Snake plants, with their regal appearance, provide for a fantastic architectural accent that can be utilized in any space.

What Does It Mean For A Plant To Be Low Light?

Plants require light because light is their food. They use it in a critical process called photosynthesis, which causes metabolic reactions.

One of these metabolic events is the formation of sugars, which serve as plant food. 

Sugars fuel plant development, therefore the more light a plant receives, the more energy it produces and the faster it grows.

The presence of bright light indicates that nothing is preventing the sun’s path to the plants. Curtains, shades, trees, and tall buildings are examples. 

When there is a slight obstruction, use medium light. A sheer veil between the light source and the plant is an example of this.

Low light occurs when the plant receives no direct sunlight. It is most likely located several feet distant from the light source in this situation.

Low light does not imply total darkness for the plant. It also does not imply that a room must contain a window in order for a low-light plant to thrive.

It should be alright as long as you provide some ambient artificial light to the plant.

This could be through a number of means including, incandescent bulbs, fluorescent lights, or LED lights. 

Providing your low-light indoor plants with about 15- 18 hours of LED lights will help them thrive.

It will also provide them with the energy required for them to successfully produce energy and grow.

How Much Light Do Snake Plants Need?

In terms of light requirements, snake plants are difficult to surpass in terms of their adaptability. These hardy plants flourish in any amount of light, from low to high.

Typically, plants grow faster in greater light, but intense direct sunlight can burn leaves. This is more prone when they are outdoors. 

The optimal indoor location is around 10 feet from a west or south window. When purchasing snake plants, take note of the pot tags.

Some cultivars, particularly those with variegated leaves, require a specific amount of light in order to maintain their brightest leaf color.

If your snake plant is not receiving enough sunlight, its leaves will become drooping and unhappy.

However, you shouldn’t abruptly relocate your snake plant from a dark corner to a high-light situation.

Train your plant to thrive close to a window that receives greater light. 

To do this, we suggest progressively pushing it closer to your light source while maintaining high humidity levels.

Once the sun is closer to your window, simply be on guard for sunburn. A leaf that is beginning to darken or blacken is a common indicator of sunburn in plants.

It will appear flimsy and the tips will become sharp.

Can You Keep A Snake Plant In A Dark Room?

While most sansevieria thrive in bright light or even direct sunlight, they can also survive in moderate to low light.

Snake plants can flourish in nearly dark or extremely bright areas of the home. They often grow slowly when kept indoors.

However, increasing their light exposure will promote development more effectively if they experience a few hours of direct sunlight. 

The optimal location for a house snake plant is a south-facing window or in front of a sunny window with a sheer curtain.

Snake plants can flourish in dimly lit and gloomy areas. They are adaptable plants that can survive in low-light conditions. 

However, their growth rate will be slowed if you supply insufficient light.

Therefore, if you desire optimal growth from your snake plant, avoid placing it in rooms without windows or natural light.

Medium lighting is optimal for the growth of snake plants. They prefer natural light, thus indirect sunlight is good for their cultivation.

The optimum location would be beside a west- or south-facing window, through which morning sunshine will penetrate in abundance.

Snake plants can also be grown in the middle or corner of a room that receives no direct sunlight.

Snake plants are naturally hardy plants.

They are most often recommended for busy homeowners as they can survive neglect and underwatering.

Place your sansevieria in an optimum location, with the best lighting possible and watch it grow to your satisfaction.

Do Snake Plants Need Natural Light?

Yes, snake plants need natural light to grow and thrive.

No plant can develop in the absence of light because photosynthesis requires light. To thrive, snake plants require more than five hours of indirect sunshine.

At five or more hours of natural light, plants can produce sufficient energy for new development.

Snake plants are extremely resilient and may thrive in low-light environments. However, without sufficient light, their growth will be stunted.

However, if you do not get enough natural light I’m your region, here are a few sources of artificial light that you can try out for your snake plants:

  • LED Lights 

LED or light-emitting diode lights are another source of low-heat illumination. LED lights are both energy-efficient and durable.

The sole disadvantage is that they are typically more expensive than other types of grow lights.

  • Incandescent  Light

These lights emit the red wavelengths necessary for root growth stimulation. You can supplement fluorescent lighting with incandescent lighting.

Note that incandescent lighting generates more heat than fluorescent lighting. Consequently, you should position them slightly distant from the snake plant.

  • Fluorescent Light

These forms of light emit a greater proportion of blue light wavelengths. These blue wavelengths promote regular leaf development.

Fluorescent lighting is sufficiently cool to be placed close to your snake plant. The optimal results can be obtained by positioning the light several feet away from the plants.


Snake plants are hardy, tough and beautiful to have around the house.

There are many benefits to having snake plants. It is important that you know how to care for your plants however so they can be at their optimum.

Snake plants often prefer low light conditions even though they will also thrive in bright light.

Make sure your snake plants are not exposed to direct sunlight for long periods as it can cause burning of the leaves.

Aside from natural light, you can also provide artificial lighting to help your plants grow. These include LED, fluorescent, incandescent and halogen lights to mention a few.

Snake plants are one of the best and easiest houseplants to grow.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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