Snake Plant Vs Mother in Law Plant : A Comparative Guide

Snake plant and mother-in-law plant are two common names for the same plant, Sansevieria trifasciata.

Origin And Background

When it comes to the world of indoor plants, the Snake Plant and Mother in Law Plant are two popular choices that can add a touch of greenery and elegance to any living space. Both plants have their own unique qualities and origins that make them stand out.

Snake Plant

Native to West Africa, the Snake Plant, scientifically known as Sansevieria, is a resilient and low-maintenance plant that has been captivating plant enthusiasts for centuries. Its distinctive sword-like leaves with green and yellow stripes make it a visually striking addition to any home or office.

The Snake Plant has a rich history and is considered a symbol of good luck and prosperity in certain cultures. It was cultivated and used as a decorative plant in ancient Egypt, where it was believed to bring protection and positive energy to its surroundings.

Mother In Law Plant

The Mother in Law Plant, also known as Sansevieria Trifasciata, is another member of the Sansevieria family. This plant is native to tropical regions of West Africa and is renowned for its striking appearance and air-purifying properties.

While the Snake Plant and Mother in Law Plant belong to the same genus, they have distinct characteristics that set them apart. The Mother in Law Plant is known for its tall and rigid leaves that are usually dark green in color, with light green banding along the edges.

Snake Plant Vs Mother In Law Plant: A Brief Comparison

Aspect Snake Plant Mother in Law Plant
Origin West Africa Tropical regions of West Africa
Leaf appearance Sword-like with green and yellow stripes Tall, rigid with dark green color and light green banding
Air-purifying properties Effective in removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene Efficient in filtering pollutants and improving air quality
Care requirements Low maintenance, can withstand low light conditions Low maintenance, tolerates neglect and infrequent watering

When it comes down to choosing between the Snake Plant and Mother in Law Plant, it ultimately depends on personal preference and the specific requirements of your space. Both plants have their own unique charm and can thrive in various indoor environments.

Whether you opt for the elegant striped leaves of the Snake Plant or the bold features of the Mother in Law Plant, you can be sure to enjoy the benefits of having a beautiful and air-purifying addition to your home.

Physical Characteristics

The snake plant is characterized by its upright, sword-shaped leaves with yellow edges, while the mother-in-law’s tongue plant has shorter, wider leaves with green stripes. Both plants are easy to care for and are known for their air-purifying properties, making them popular choices for indoor spaces.

When it comes to the physical characteristics of houseplants, Snake Plant and Mother-in-Law Plant, also known as Sansevieria and Aloe Vera respectively, have some distinct differences. Let’s take a closer look at the unique features of each plant.

Snake Plant

The Snake Plant, scientifically known as Sansevieria trifasciata, is a popular indoor plant that boasts an elegant appearance and hardy nature. One of its standout features is its long, sword-like leaves that grow upright from the base. These leaves are generally variegated with shades of green and yellow and can reach impressive heights of up to three feet. The leaves are thick and succulent, making them able to withstand drought conditions for extended periods, making it an ideal choice for those who forget to water their plants frequently.

The Snake Plant’s foliage is remarked for its visually striking patterns, with many varieties displaying interesting designs such as striped or mottled textures. Its architectural shape and vibrant coloring make it a popular choice for both minimalist and contemporary interior decor styles. Along with its aesthetic appeal, the Snake Plant also offers air-purifying qualities, as it effectively filters out common indoor pollutants, making it a perfect addition to any space.

Mother-in-law Plant

The Mother-in-Law Plant, scientifically known as Aloe vera, is another well-known houseplant that has gained popularity for its unique physical features and various health benefits. Unlike the upright growth of Snake Plant, the Mother-in-Law Plant produces thick, succulent leaves in a rosette or spiral pattern, which gives it a distinct appearance.

These fleshy leaves are typically a vibrant green color and are often adorned with white spots or tiny spines along the edges. The leaves can grow quite large, reaching lengths of one to two feet, and are filled with a gel-like substance with various medicinal uses. This gel has natural healing properties and is commonly used in skincare products, as well as for soothing minor burns and skin irritations.

Another remarkable characteristic of the Mother-in-Law Plant is its ability to produce long, slender stalks with yellow flowers that bloom at the top. These flowers attract pollinators like bees and can add a touch of visual interest to the overall appearance of the plant.

In conclusion, both the Snake Plant and Mother-in-Law Plant offer unique physical characteristics that make them appealing choices for indoor cultivation. Whether you’re drawn to the elegant, upright leaves of the Snake Plant or the fleshy, rosette-shaped leaves of the Mother-in-Law Plant, both plants are sure to add beauty and charm to your indoor space.

Growth Habits

Growth habits of Snake Plant and Mother in Law Plant distinguish their appearances and care requirements. Understanding their unique characteristics and growth patterns is essential for providing proper care and maintenance.

Snake Plant

The Snake Plant is known for its hardy and resilient nature, making it an excellent choice for low-maintenance indoor greenery. Its growth habit showcases upright, sword-shaped leaves that grow in a clustered, rosette pattern. This plant’s slow and steady growth process allows it to thrive in various lighting conditions, including low light, making it a popular choice for beginners and busy individuals.

Mother In Law Plant

The Mother in Law Plant is characterized by its tall, narrow leaves that grow in an upright fashion, resembling a fountain. This plant’s growth habit is relatively fast compared to the Snake Plant, and it can reach significant heights when provided with ample space and proper care. The striking foliage and growth pattern make it an eye-catching addition to any indoor space.

Light And Water Requirements

For Snake Plant vs Mother-in-Law’s Tongue Plant, both thrive in low light environments, with minimal watering needs. Their adaptive nature makes them perfect for beginners looking for low-maintenance houseplants. These plants require infrequent watering and do well in indirect light conditions.

Light and water are vital for the growth of Snake Plant and Mother in Law Plant. Here’s how their requirements differ:

Snake Plant

Snake plants prefer indirect light and only need watering when the soil is completely dry.
  • Thrives in bright, indirect light.
  • Adaptable to low light conditions.

Mother In Law Plant

Mother in law plants can tolerate low light but thrive in bright, indirect light. They should be watered moderately.
  1. Prefer bright, indirect light.
  2. Adaptable to low light but thrives in moderate light.
  3. Requires moderate watering.

Air Purification Abilities

Snake Plant vs Mother in Law Plant: Air Purification Abilities

Snake Plant

A snake plant is a powerhouse when it comes to air purification, removing toxins like formaldehyde.

Mother In Law Plant

The mother in law plant, also known as the aglaonema, excels at purifying indoor air quality.

Toxicity And Pet Safety

When choosing indoor plants, it’s crucial to consider their toxicity and pet safety, especially for households with curious pets. Two popular options, the Snake Plant and the Mother in Law Plant, are often sought after for their low maintenance and air purifying properties. However, understanding their toxicity levels is essential to ensure the safety of pets.

Snake Plant

The Sansevieria Trifasciata, commonly known as the Snake Plant, is celebrated for its ability to filter indoor air pollutants and its resilience in various conditions. However, it’s important to note that the Snake Plant is mildly toxic to pets if ingested. The plant contains saponins, which can cause gastrointestinal issues such as drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea in cats and dogs. Hence, caution must be exercised when placing Snake Plants in homes with pets. It’s advisable to keep the plants out of reach of pets or opt for pet-friendly alternatives.

Mother In Law Plant

The Dieffenbachia, commonly referred to as the Mother in Law Plant, boasts attractive foliage and is also effective in purifying indoor air. However, it’s crucial to be aware of its potential toxicity to pets. The plant contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and swelling of the mouth and throat if ingested by cats, dogs, or even humans. As a precaution, pet owners should place the Mother in Law Plant in areas inaccessible to pets or choose non-toxic plants.

Popular Varieties

Snake Plant and Mother in Law Plant are two popular varieties known for their air-purifying properties. Snake Plant features upright, sword-shaped leaves, while Mother in Law Plant flaunts dense clusters of glossy, dark green foliage. Both plants are low-maintenance and ideal for beginners.

Popular Varieties Snake Plant and Mother in Law Plant are two popular houseplants known for their beauty and air-purifying abilities. Let’s explore the different varieties of these plants that you can choose from to enhance the aesthetics of your home or office. Snake Plant Snake Plant, also known as Sansevieria, is a versatile plant that comes in several attractive varieties. Each variety has its own unique features, making it a favorite among plant enthusiasts. Here are some popular Snake Plant varieties: 1. Sansevieria Trifasciata: This is the most common Snake Plant variety, known for its long, upright leaves with dark green color and yellow variegated edges. It can grow up to 3 feet tall and is a perfect choice for low-light areas. 2. Sansevieria Moonshine: As the name suggests, this Snake Plant variety has stunning silvery-green leaves that resemble moonlight. It is a compact plant, growing up to 1 to 2 feet tall, and thrives in bright indirect light. 3. Sansevieria Laurentii: If you’re looking for a Snake Plant with a touch of elegance, the Sansevieria Laurentii is an excellent choice. It has tall, sword-shaped leaves with yellow vertical stripes on the edges, adding a pop of color to any space. Mother in Law Plant Mother in Law Plant, scientifically known as Spathiphyllum, is appreciated for its lush green leaves and elegant white flowers. Let’s take a look at some popular varieties of the Mother in Law Plant: 1. Spathiphyllum Sensation: This variety is known for its larger-than-life presence, as it can grow up to 5 feet tall. It has broad, dark green leaves with striking white flowers that are sure to catch the eye. 2. Spathiphyllum Domino: The Spathiphyllum Domino is a petite variety, perfect for smaller spaces. It features glossy, dark green leaves with contrasting white veins, creating a beautiful visual pattern. 3. Spathiphyllum Picasso: If you’re a fan of variegated plants, the Spathiphyllum Picasso is a must-have. Its leaves are adorned with irregular creamy white and green patterns, adding a touch of artistic flair to your indoor garden. In conclusion, both Snake Plant and Mother in Law Plant offer a wide range of varieties, each with its own charm. Whether you prefer the vibrant variegation of the Snake Plant or the elegance of the Mother in Law Plant, there’s always a variety that will suit your personal style and space requirements.

Best Uses In Interior Design

When it comes to adding a touch of greenery to your interior design, both the Snake Plant and the Mother in Law Plant are excellent choices. These plants not only add beauty and elegance to any space, but they also come with a host of benefits that make them stand out among other houseplants. Let’s explore the best uses of these two plants in interior design.

Snake Plant

The Snake Plant, also known as Sansevieria or the “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue” plant, is a popular choice for indoor spaces due to its unique appearance and low maintenance requirements. Here are some of the best uses of Snake Plants in interior design:

  1. Air Purification: Snake Plants are known for their ability to remove toxins from the air, making them a great choice for bedrooms, living rooms, and offices.
  2. Vertical Accents: With their tall, upright leaves, Snake Plants create a striking vertical accent that adds height and drama to any room. They are particularly well-suited for entryways or corners that need a touch of elegance.
  3. Modern Minimalism: The sleek, architectural look of Snake Plants complements modern and minimalist interior design styles perfectly. Their clean lines and bold texture add a touch of sophistication to any space.
  4. Natural Privacy Screens: Due to their dense foliage, Snake Plants make excellent natural privacy screens, ideal for separating different areas of a room or creating a private space within an open-concept layout.
  5. Low Light Environments: Snake Plants thrive in low light conditions, making them an ideal choice for rooms with limited natural sunlight. They are perfect for offices, bathrooms, or basements.
  6. Easy Care: Perhaps one of the key reasons Snake Plants are so popular is their ability to thrive with minimal care. They can withstand neglect, making them great for those who struggle with keeping plants alive.

Mother In Law Plant (sansevieria Trifasciata)

Mother in Law Plant, also a variety of Snake Plant, is another fantastic plant that brings both beauty and benefits to interior spaces. Here are some of the best uses of the Mother in Law Plant in interior design:

  1. Texture and Contrast: The distinct mottled pattern on the leaves of the Mother in Law Plant adds texture and contrast to any room. Their unique markings make them a beautiful focal point in areas with a more eclectic or vibrant design aesthetic.
  2. Statement Piece: Thanks to their bold leaves and architectural form, Mother in Law Plants make excellent statement pieces. They can be featured on their own, showcasing their unique beauty, or combined with other plants to create eye-catching displays.
  3. Natural Room Dividers: The height and density of the Mother in Law Plant make it a fantastic natural room divider. It adds privacy and creates distinct areas within larger rooms or open-concept spaces.
  4. Improved Air Quality: Like the Snake Plant, Mother in Law Plants are renowned for their air-purifying qualities. They remove toxins such as formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene, making them perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, and offices.
  5. Low Maintenance: The low maintenance requirements of Mother in Law Plants make them a popular choice for busy individuals or those new to plant care. They can tolerate different light conditions and do not require frequent watering.
  6. Positive Energy: According to Feng Shui principles, the Mother in Law Plant is believed to bring good luck and positive energy into the home. Placing one near the entrance or in the wealth area of your space is said to attract prosperity.

Frequently Asked Questions Of Snake Plant Vs Mother In Law Plant

What Are The Key Differences Between Snake Plant And Mother In Law Plant?

Snake plants have sword-like leaves while Mother in Law plants have wider, spoon-shaped leaves. Additionally, Snake plants are more versatile for indoor conditions, while Mother in Law plants prefer bright, indirect light.

How Do I Care For A Snake Plant Vs A Mother In Law Plant?

Snake plants require less water and can survive in low light, making them low maintenance. In contrast, Mother in Law plants need consistent watering and bright, indirect light for optimal growth.

Can Snake Plant And Mother In Law Plant Be Toxic To Pets?

Both plants are toxic to pets if ingested. Snake plants contain saponins that can cause gastrointestinal upset in pets. Mother in Law plants contain calcium oxalate crystals that can irritate the mouth and throat when chewed by pets.


Both the snake plant and mother-in-law’s tongue are great options for low-maintenance indoor plants. The snake plant is known for its air-purifying properties, while the mother-in-law’s tongue has striking foliage. Ultimately, the choice between the two plants comes down to personal preference and the specific needs of your space.

Consider their care requirements and aesthetic value to make the best decision for your home or office.