Flowering Snake Plants: What’s the Deal?


Snake plants can flower on rare occasions. What does it mean? What should you do?
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Do you notice a small stalk with flowers growing from your snake plant? Do not be alarmed—they can blossom. It’s rare and a sign of stress, but overall, there is no reason for alarm.

Sansevieria Flower Appearance

On the rare occasion, you might see your plant blossoming. You will first see a stalk growing.

This stalk can grow up to three feet tall, towering over your sansevieria’s leaf tips. There will typically be only one stalk.

These stalks are covered in dozens of small tubular florets with thin petals that grow in clusters. These tiny blooms will resemble honeysuckle or little lily flowers.

Some cultivars don’t produce stalks. Instead, they produce large clusters of florets at the plant’s base.

Snake plants come in a variety of colors, as do their blooms. These colors typically range from white and cream to greenish-white or even yellow in appearance. The petals stand out against the plant’s contrasting leaves.

While the blooms are uncommon, when they bloom, they are stunning in appearance and have a strong aroma.

A sansevieria snake plant flowers

How Long Do They Last?

If they develop flowers, Sansevieria plants will only bloom once a year, usually in the spring. The flowers last for a few weeks and can potentially develop berries as they slowly die.

Fortunately, the plants themselves do not die once they have flowered. So, enjoy the show. It may be several decades before you see it again.

Do They Have a Scent?

During the night, snake plant flowers produce a strong fragrance.

They also contain a sweet, sticky nectar that appears on the stems as dew droplets. These have a strong and pleasant fragrance.

The blossoms close during the day and open up at night. 

Why Do They Bloom?

A flower stalk will only grow when the plant is mildly and consistently stressed. Like many other plants, it does this because it believes it is about to die. The plant can reproduce by producing flowers and dispersing seeds.

The most common stressor for snake plants is when they become root-bound.

Why Do They Flower So Rarely?

It is unusual for a Sansevieria plant to bloom, but it can happen. Your plant may have been under some stress, which is why it produces the flowers. But don’t worry, it won’t harm the plant’s growth or the rest of it.

This bloom is unique, appearing on only one out of every hundred plants.

It should not be forced to bloom. Depending on the particular conditions in which your snake plant is growing, it may take more than ten years to see another bloom.

Blooming flowers of a sansevieria house snakeplant

Should You Do Anything About It?

The flowers have no effect on your plants. Having said that, they are frequently produced during times of stress. Often, it is because your plant is root-bound.

If you haven’t repotted your snake plant in a long time, you should consider doing so. On rare occasions, snake plants have become so root bound that they have broken the pot they are in.

You can tell if the plant needs to be repotted by looking for telltale signs such as roots growing out of the bottom of the pot or roots leaving no room for any soil in the pot. You may even notice the pot bulging or cracking.

Alaine Connolly
Alaine has been working way too hard in horticulture since 1992, beautifying golf courses, resorts, and hotels. She is a part time landscape designer who works full time caring for a 28,000 square foot public garden. At home, she maintains her own 400 square feet plot. Alaine lives in northern Illinois - zone 5b.
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