Snake plants are a wonderful fit for any office environment. More companies are choosing to incorporate them into their spaces, and if you’re thinking about doing so for your business, it’s worth knowing as much about these special plants as possible. This guide will detail everything you need to know, right from the origins of the name, to how often they should be watered, all the way through to where to look to find the best ones. Let’s dive straight into them in a bid to fully understand what they can bring to the table in your work environment. 


What is a Snake Plant?

Snake plants, more formally known as Dracaena trifasciata, is a houseplant that is tremendously popular here in South Africa. Due to its highly robust nature, it is commonly found in homes and offices alike. These plants are capable of withstanding some of the toughest weather conditions, making them ideal for spaces in any of the major cities across the country. There are different varieties of snake plants to consider, each of which is worth exploring before you make a final decision of what to get. 


Busting Myths Around Where It Got Its Name

There is a common misconception that snake plants were first named as such because of the term “sand snake”, partly due to its cactus-like properties and for looking somewhat like a snake that is rising up from the ground. In reality, the plant actually got this name thanks to its official genus name, which was first given to it towards the end of the 1700’s. Dracaena trifasciata is a term that translates to and is often compared to things that are very sharp, mostly because of its shape and sharp margins. From being referred to as a sharp sword at one point, through to cheekily being dubbed “mother-in-law’s tongue”, the world has eventually settled on “snake plant”, a more universal option.


The Geographical Origins of the Dracaena Trifasciata Genus

First discovered in the most tropical areas of West Africa, snake plants have been around for over three centuries. They are originally native to the East of the Democratic of Congo, in the region spanning right through to mainland Nigeria. After being discovered, they were formally classified as flowering plants that are part of the Asparagaceae family. It wasn’t long before they were exported to and grown in other regions in Africa, where they were able to survive thanks to their hardy nature. Today, they are thriving in tropical locations all over the world. 


How Offices Benefit from These Plants

Any type of working space can benefit from snake plants, as these are able to filter indoor air both during the day and at night. In a busy office setting, where there isn’t necessarily a lot of time to look after greenery, these plants are low maintenance, and are relatively uncomplicated to keep alive. Snake plants are also effective against the rise of seasonal allergies, which helps to keep the team feeling their productive best all year round. Plants in general are great for boosting mental health too, especially now as people move beyond the isolation of lockdown, gaining confidence to immerse themselves in the natural world once again. 




Do Snake Plants Attract Bugs?

A common question that most business owners would like answered before they introduce snake plants into their offices is whether they are known for attracting bugs or not. The good news is that this is not generally the case, provided they are cared for in an appropriate manner. High levels of humidity coupled with poor ventilation can attract mealybugs and other small pests. These are also more likely to thrive when improper watering is involved. If you’re keeping an eye on the plant, as well as putting someone in charge of making sure of how it is looked after, pests shouldn’t be a problem. Consult with a specialist if you’re noticing a persistent problem popping up from time to time. 


Following The Correct Watering Schedule

Taking into account the fact that overwatering can help all kinds of insects and bugs thrive, it’s important to know how often to water your snake plants. The idea is for the soil to completely dry out between waterings to make sure that overwatering can never be a problem. This also takes care of potential root rot, which can lead to bigger problems and eventually kill off the plant altogether. A general rule is to water them once every two weeks. When the weather is a bit colder, it might be worth only doing so once every four weeks. Keep feeling the soil and play it by ear, depending on the weather conditions in the city your office is located in. 


Should Snake Plants Get Lots of Sunlight?

Versatile to a tee, snake plants are as easy to maintain as they are to look at. When it comes to their light needs, these plants display their durability in more ways than most office plants can. They are able to survive and do well at all light levels, including the darkest of offices right through to sunny corners. If we’re being picky, we’d say that they tend to really thrive in brighter light. Try to avoid direct sunlight if they are going to be placed outside, as this might result in burnt leaves during scorching South African temperatures. 


Finding and Taking Care of the Best Office Plants

At Bidvest ExecuFlora, we’re committed to offering our clients the best possible office plant solutions, as well as advice on how to keep them looking their absolute best. Our catalogue offers tried-and-tested office plants that have been known to do well in the South African climate. When it comes to exploring different types of snake plants, we’ve got you covered. When you’re out to find the first of these to add to the office, try the tall standing Laurentii, or the always professional Hahnii. If you need more advice, or would like to consider other options too, reach out to us and we’ll show you everything you need in no time at all.