Can snake plants live outside?

can snake plant live outside

Can snake plants live outside?

The snake plant is the go-to plant for newbie gardeners. It is super easy to care for and improves air quality. The beautiful leaves of this plant can add to the beauty of your interiors and can make a great addition to your garden as well. Since snake plant, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue, is more popular as an indoor plant, you may be wondering – Can snake plant live outside?

The short answer to your question is yes, the snake plant can live outside if provided the right conditions.

In this post, we will discuss if the snake plant can live outside and what conditions it needs to thrive outdoors.

Are snake plants indoor or outdoor plants?

The snake plant is a versatile plant that can grow well both indoors and outdoors, provided it has the right conditions to thrive.

These plants can tolerate poor light and prolonged shade, but they prefer filtered solid sunlight. Ideally, if kept indoors, you should keep them near a window that gets natural sunlight.

If you plan to grow your snake plant outdoors, place them in a spot with direct sunlight. These plants need a warmer temperature, so keep an eye on the outside weather. You may need to shift it back inside when the weather turns too cold, and the frost sets in


How do you take care of a snake plant outside?

While snake plants (Sansevieria) are versatile and easy to take care of, you may face a few more issues if you plan to grow them outside. It is tougher to control the conditions outside than if you were growing this beautiful plant inside.

Here are some of the things that you must take care of when growing the snake plant outside –


Snake plants grow well in indirect but bright light. They can survive in direct sunlight, but it is best not to leave them exposed to bright sunlight for too long. Prolonged exposure to bright sunlight can scorch the leaves of snake plants and turn their tips brown. Four to five hours of filtered sunlight is ideal for snake plants. So, place your plant in a spot that gets direct sunlight for a few hours every day.


Snake plants are native to the tropical regions of South Africa and are used to high temperatures. The ideal temperature for a snake plant is 55 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in a warm area that experiences this temperature all year round, you will have no trouble growing snake plants outside. However, if you live in a city or town that experiences temperatures lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, you should not grow snake plants outside.

If the temperature goes below 55 degrees during winter, you should shift this plant indoors.


Snake plants are succulents that can survive a long time without water. The key to keeping this plant healthy is proper watering. The frequency of correct watering of snake plants outside depends on the weather and the humidity. You can check to see if the soil is damp or has dried out. Water the plant only if you feel the soil has dried out.

If you see the plant’s leaves becoming brown, you may be underwatering the plant.

If you plan to plant snake plants in the soil outside, it is best to grow them separately. Planting them in a flower bed with plants that require frequent watering may not work for snake plants.

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Snake plants are hardy and are usually resistant to pests. However, they are more exposed to different pests and insects when growing outside. If any plant growing around your plant is infested, your snake plant can also become vulnerable.

Check your snake plant for pests regularly and treat accordingly if you are growing it outdoors.


If you are growing the snake plant outside in the soil, you may face the problem of weeds. Since weeds compete with plants for the nutrients in the ground, make sure you weed them out regularly.

How do you take care of a snake plant outside?

What temperature can snake plants tolerate?

Though we have discussed the effect of extreme temperature on snake plants earlier in this post, let us learn more about what temperature snake plants can tolerate.

The ideal temperature for a snake plant to thrive is between 55 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

During winter, the snake plant can survive in temperatures up to 45 degrees Fahrenheit for a few days. Some snake plant varieties can tolerate heat up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit in summers. But because of their sensitivity to extreme heat and cold, these plants can only survive for a few days under these extreme temperatures.

If you keep your snake plant outdoors, here are a few tips to protect your plant from extreme temperatures –

  1. Keep the plant in a shady patio during extreme summers or cover it with a sunshade to protect it from strong direct sunlight.
  2. During extreme winters, avoid overwatering or fertilizing the plant.
  3. During cold nights, bring the planter inside.
  4. If the snake plant is planted in the ground outside, protect it from frost by covering it with a sheet.

How do I know if the sun is too harsh for my snake plant?

Most snake plants don’t do well in direct sunlight and extreme heat. If the plant has been kept indoors, shifting it outside can stress it out.

The leaves of the plant may scar and turn yellow. The first sign that the sun is too harsh for your snake plant may be browning the leaves tips.

Can snake plants survive winter outside?

Snake plants are tropical and can easily be affected by freezing winter temperatures. Ideally, you should shift them indoors during the winter season. However, they can survive outside in winter with proper care.

Here are some steps to look after your snake plant in winter –

  1. Water the snake plant sparingly and only when the soil is dry.
  2. Make sure the water does not touch the leaves of the plant.
  3. Ensure that the soil is well-drained.
  4. Space out the plants when planting them outside. Maintain a distance of 6 inches between the plants.

How do I know if the weather is too cold for my snake plant?

Check the leaves of your snake plant carefully. Severe cold may lead to mushy white spots on the leaves. You may notice these spots one to four weeks after the exposure to cold.

The frost can also cause the plant to grow limp. The leaves can also develop brown spots that are soft to touch.

Sansevieria plants are succulents that store water in their fleshy leaves. When this plant is exposed to cold temperatures or frost, the water in the plant cells freezes, which damages the cell walls. This leads to a reduction in the flow of water and nutrients in the plant, which causes dehydration.

If the plant is not appropriately treated, frost can damage the plant’s roots. The affected roots turn soft, and root rot sets in.

How to shift snake plants from indoors to outdoors?

If you plan to shift your snake plant outdoor, you must do so gradually so that the plant can adapt to the change and remain healthy.

Move the plant outside when it gets a little warmer. Move the plant closer to a window so that it gets used to the additional light. You can also increase the watering a bit. If the weather is warm and dry, the water will evaporate quickly, and your plant may require more water.

Since the warmer season is considered the growth period for snake plants, they will require more water and fertilization.

When to consider moving the plant inside?

If you have placed your snake plants outside, they will do well most of the year. They will thrive through spring, summer, and early fall. However, it would be best to shift them inside before the first frost. Frost can damage the leaves of your snake plant, which can lead to wilting. So, make sure your move your snake plant inside by late fall.

Final thoughts – Can snake plants live outside?

Snake plants make excellent house plants. They can also do well outside, provided we take good care of them. Provide them adequate sunlight, water them appropriately, check them for pests and remove weeds regularly. Exposure to strong, direct sunlight and temperatures below 55-degree Fahrenheit can damage snake plants. It is best to shift snake plants indoors during extreme winters as they rarely survive cold weather.

So, do take care of your snake plant and happy gardening!

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Can snake plants live outside?