Snake Plant Temperature Tolerance (7 Symptoms of Cold Damange)

A snake plant does best in temperatures between 65°F (18°C) and 90°F (32°C). It can tolerate temperatures as low as 60°F (15.5°C), but it should be kept away from temperatures that are too cold.

Snake plants, known for their robust nature, are a popular choice among indoor garden enthusiasts. However, like any plant, they have their temperature preferences and tolerances. This guide explores the most frequently asked questions regarding the cold tolerance of snake plants, aiming to provide a detailed insight into how these resilient plants respond to colder temperatures and how to care for them during the chilly months.

Symptom Description Causes
Leaf Curling Leaves curl or bend to reduce surface area exposure to cold temperatures. Exposure to cold temperatures.
Discoloration Leaves turn yellow or brown due to cell damage caused by cold. Exposure to cold temperatures.
Soft or Mushy Leaves Water inside plant cells may freeze and lead to soft or mushy leaves upon thawing. Exposure to cold temperatures.
Leaf Dropping Severe cold stress can cause the plant to drop leaves as an energy-saving measure. Prolonged exposure to very cold conditions.
Stunted Growth Growth may slow or stop as the plant conserves energy in response to cold temperatures. Prolonged exposure to very cold conditions.
Root Rot Cold, wet soil can lead to root rot, a fungal issue that can severely harm the plant’s roots. Cold and overly wet soil conditions.
Translucent Leaves Leaves may appear translucent or glassy, indicating cell damage due to cold temperatures. Exposure to cold temperatures.

What is the Ideal Temperature Range for Snake Plants?

Snake plants thrive in warmer temperatures, ideally between 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32°C). They are native to West Africa, which has a warm climate. However, they have adapted well to indoor environments where temperatures are usually regulated.

  1. Indoor Cultivation:
    • It’s essential to maintain a warm temperature, especially during winters.
    • Placing them in a well-heated room away from drafty windows or doors is advisable.
  2. Outdoor Cultivation:
    • During summer or warmer months, they can be placed outside and can tolerate full sun to partial shade.
    • They should be brought indoors before the temperatures drop to the lower tolerance limits to prevent cold damage.
  3. Temperature Fluctuations:
    • Snake plants can tolerate some temperature fluctuations but prefer a stable warm environment.
  4. Microclimates:
    • Creating microclimates indoors by grouping plants together or using humidifiers can help in maintaining a favorable temperature and humidity level.
  5. Heating Systems:
    • Ensure that the indoor heating system does not create an overly dry environment as it can affect the snake plant’s growth.
  6. Room Selection:
    • Placing them in a room that stays warm and receives good sunlight during winters is beneficial for their growth.
  7. Window Selection:
    • South-facing windows are ideal for providing the required warmth and light, but ensure that the windows are draft-free.
  8. Temperature Monitoring:
    • Utilizing indoor thermometers or smart home systems to monitor and regulate the temperature can be helpful in providing the ideal conditions.
  9. Supplementary Heating:
    • In extremely cold climates, using supplementary heating systems or heat mats can be beneficial to provide the required warmth.
  10. Insulation:
  • Proper insulation of the room where snake plants are kept can significantly help in maintaining the desired temperature levels.

The above practices can help in ensuring that the snake plants remain healthy and continue to grow even during the colder months.

What is the Lowest Temperature a Snake Plant Can Tolerate?

The lower temperature tolerance of snake plants is around 50°F (10°C), although some sources suggest they can endure slightly colder conditions, particularly if the soil is dry. However, exposure to such low temperatures should be for a short duration as prolonged cold exposure can cause damage.

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Snake Plant Temperature Tolerance

  1. Short-term Exposure:
    • Snake plants can handle short-term exposure to colder temperatures without significant harm. However, the severity of the impact largely depends on the duration of the exposure and the health of the plant.
  2. Long-term Exposure:
    • Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can lead to various problems such as leaf curling, discoloration, and even root rot.
  3. Frost:
    • Snake plants are not frost-tolerant. Frost can cause the leaves to become mushy and discolored.
  4. Cold Drafts:
    • Cold drafts, even in a generally warm room, can cause leaf curling and may lead to slower growth.
  5. Cold Soil:
    • Cold soil can cause the roots to rot. It’s essential to keep the plant and its soil warm.
  6. Watering in Cold Temperatures:
    • Watering should be reduced during colder temperatures, and cold water should be avoided as it can shock the plant.
  7. Insulation:
    • Providing insulation by placing the plant on a wooden or rubber mat can help keep the soil warm.
  8. Moving Plants Indoors:
    • If snake plants are kept outdoors during summer, it’s advisable to move them indoors before the onset of colder temperatures.
  9. Recovery from Cold Damage:
    • If a snake plant has suffered from cold damage, moving it to a warmer spot, reducing watering, and trimming away damaged leaves can help in recovery.
  10. Preventive Measures:
  • Keeping a check on weather forecasts and being prepared to move the plants or provide additional warmth can help prevent cold damage.

By understanding the lower temperature tolerance and the signs of cold stress, one can take timely actions to ensure the health and longevity of snake plants during the winter season.

Also Read :

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How to Tell if a Snake Plant is Suffering from Cold Stress?

Understanding the signs of cold stress in snake plants is crucial for taking timely action to mitigate any potential damage. Here are seven symptoms of temperature stress in snake plants:

  1. Leaf Curling:
    • The leaves may curl or bend as a reaction to cold temperatures, aiming to reduce their surface area exposure to the cold.
  2. Discoloration:
    • The normally vibrant green color may fade to a yellow or brown. This is a sign that the plant cells are being damaged by the cold.
  3. Soft or Mushy Leaves:
    • Cold temperatures can cause the water inside the plant cells to freeze, leading to soft or mushy leaves once they thaw.
  4. Leaf Dropping:
    • In severe cases of cold stress, snake plants may drop leaves as an effort to conserve energy.
  5. Stunted Growth:
    • Growth may slow down or come to a complete halt in cold temperatures as the plant conserves energy.
  6. Root Rot:
    • Cold soil temperatures, especially when wet, can lead to root rot, a common issue that can severely affect the health of the plant.
  7. Translucent Leaves:
    • If leaves appear translucent or glassy, this is a sign of cell damage due to cold temperatures.

How to Protect Snake Plants from Cold Damage?

Protecting your snake plant from cold damage involves a combination of preventive measures and timely responses to cold weather forecasts. Here’s how you can protect your snake plant from cold damage:

  1. Indoor Placement:
    • Ensure your snake plant is placed indoors in a warm room away from drafty windows and doors during colder months.
  2. Avoid Watering with Cold Water:
    • Use room temperature water to avoid shocking the plant, and reduce watering frequency during colder months.
  3. Insulate the Pot:
    • Place a rubber or wooden mat under the pot to insulate the soil from cold surfaces.
  4. Use of Heating Mats:
    • Heating mats can provide gentle warmth to the soil, helping to maintain a conducive temperature for root health.
  5. Covering the Plant:
    • If left outside, cover the plant with frost cloths or move them indoors during a cold spell.
  6. Grouping Plants Together:
    • Grouping plants together can create a microclimate with higher humidity and warmth.
  7. Seal Drafts:
    • Ensure that all windows and doors are sealed to prevent cold drafts from affecting indoor plants.
  8. Utilize a Greenhouse or Indoor Garden Room:
    • If available, utilize a greenhouse or a designated indoor garden room with controlled temperatures.
  9. Regular Monitoring:
    • Keep a check on the local weather forecast and be prepared to move your snake plant to a warmer spot if cold temperatures are predicted.
  10. Promptly Address Cold Damage:
    • If you notice signs of cold damage, move your plant to a warmer location, trim away damaged leaves, and allow the soil to dry before watering again.

Can Snake Plants Recover from Cold Damage?

snake plant cold tolerance

Recovery from cold damage is possible for snake plants, given their resilient nature. Here’s a guide on how your snake plant can recover from cold damage:

  1. Identify and Remove Damaged Parts:
    • Trim away mushy, discolored, or dead leaves and stems to prevent further decay and to encourage new growth.
  2. Adjust Watering:
    • Reduce watering and ensure the soil is well-draining to prevent root rot.
  3. Move to a Warmer Location:
    • Relocate the snake plant to a warmer, well-lit area away from cold drafts.
  4. Inspect the Roots:
    • If the cold damage is severe, gently remove the plant from the pot and inspect the roots. Trim away any soft, mushy, or rotten roots.
  5. Repot if Necessary:
    • If root damage is extensive, repot the snake plant into fresh, well-draining soil.
  6. Maintain Warm Temperatures:
    • Ensure that the room temperature is within the snake plant’s preferred range.
  7. Provide Adequate Light:
    • Ensure the plant receives bright, indirect light to promote healthy growth.
  8. Avoid Fertilizing Immediately:
    • Wait until the snake plant shows signs of recovery and new growth before introducing any fertilizer.
  9. Be Patient:
    • Recovery can take some time, and it’s important to be patient while the snake plant recuperates.
  10. Seek Professional Advice:
    • If the plant continues to deteriorate, consider seeking advice from a local nursery or a horticulture extension service.

Snake plants are known for their hardiness and with proper care, they can recover from cold damage and continue to thrive.

How Does Cold Temperature Affect the Growth of Snake Plants?

Cold temperatures can significantly affect the growth of snake plants. Here’s a breakdown of how they impact your plant:

  1. Growth Stagnation:
    • During cold periods, snake plants may halt their growth to conserve energy. This is a survival mechanism that enables them to endure unfavorable conditions.
  2. Leaf Discoloration and Damage:
    • The leaves may turn yellow or brown, and become soft or mushy due to cold damage.
  3. Root Rot:
    • Cold, wet soil is a conducive environment for root rot, which can further slow down growth or kill the plant.
  4. Reduced Water Uptake:
    • The plant’s water uptake is reduced in cold temperatures, which is why over-watering during winter can lead to problems like root rot.
  5. Nutrient Uptake Inhibition:
    • Cold temperatures can inhibit the uptake of nutrients from the soil, leading to nutrient deficiencies.
  6. Cell Damage:
    • The water in the cells can freeze and cause cell damage, affecting the overall health and growth of the plant.
  7. Delayed Flowering:
    • If the snake plant is exposed to cold temperatures, flowering may be delayed or may not occur at all.
  8. Increased Susceptibility to Pests and Diseases:
    • A cold-stressed plant is more susceptible to pests and diseases, which can further inhibit growth.
  9. Energy Conservation:
    • The plant conserves energy by halting growth, and this energy is utilized to keep the plant alive.
  10. Long-term Growth Impact:
    • Even after returning to favorable conditions, it might take some time for the plant to resume normal growth.

Understanding the adverse effects of cold temperatures on snake plants is crucial for providing the necessary care to ensure their health and growth.

Is There a Difference in Cold Tolerance Among Different Varieties of Snake Plants?

Snake plants come in various varieties, and while they all generally share a good level of cold tolerance, some differences exist. Here are some factors to consider:

  1. Varietal Differences:
    • Some snake plant varieties may have evolved with slightly different cold tolerances due to their native habitats.
  2. Leaf Thickness:
    • Varieties with thicker leaves may have better cold tolerance as they can retain more water and nutrients.
  3. Coloration:
    • Varieties with darker leaves may absorb and retain heat better, providing some protection against cold.
  4. Size and Maturity:
    • Mature and larger plants might withstand cold temperatures better than young or small plants.
  5. Hybrid Varieties:
    • Hybrid varieties may possess enhanced cold tolerance inherited from their parent plants.
  6. Growth Habits:
    • The growth habits such as clumping or spreading may also impact how a variety copes with cold temperatures.
  7. Local Adaptation:
    • Snake plants that have been grown locally for several generations might have better cold tolerance compared to newly introduced varieties.
  8. Acclimatization:
    • Plants acclimatized to cooler temperatures over time may develop better cold tolerance.
  9. Root System:
    • A robust root system can also contribute to better cold tolerance.
  10. Research and Consultation:
    • Conducting research or consulting with local nurseries can provide insights into the cold tolerance of different snake plant varieties.

How to Prepare Snake Plants for the Cold Season?

Preparation is key to ensuring your snake plant remains healthy during the cold season. Here’s a guideline on how to prepare your snake plants:

  1. Move Indoors:
    • If your snake plants are outdoors, move them indoors before the temperatures drop.
  2. Choose a Suitable Location:
    • Place them in a warm area of your home that receives bright, indirect light.
  3. Check for Pests:
    • Inspect your snake plants for pests and treat any infestations before moving them indoors.
  4. Adjust Watering Schedule:
    • Reduce watering frequency as the plant’s water requirements will decrease in cooler temperatures.
  5. Avoid Repotting:
    • Avoid repotting snake plants close to or during the cold season as this can cause additional stress.
  6. Insulate the Pots:
    • Provide insulation to keep the soil warm, especially if placed on cold floors.
  7. Increase Humidity:
    • Use humidifiers or place a tray of water near the plants to increase humidity.
  8. Maintain a Steady Temperature:
    • Avoid temperature fluctuations by keeping the room temperature steady.
  9. Avoid Fertilizing:
    • Hold off on fertilizing until the warmer months as the plant’s nutrient uptake decreases in cold temperatures.
  10. Monitor Health:
    • Regularly monitor the health of your snake plants and look for signs of cold stress.

By following the above steps, you can ensure that your snake plants are well-prepared to face the cold season.

What Measures Can Be Taken to Help Snake Plants Acclimate to Cold Temperatures?

Helping your snake plants acclimate to colder temperatures can go a long way in ensuring their survival and health during the chilly months. Here are some steps to help acclimate your snake plants:

  1. Gradual Exposure:
    • Gradually expose your snake plants to cooler temperatures before the onset of the cold season to help them acclimate.
  2. Choose the Right Location:
    • Position your snake plants in a spot in your home where they can receive adequate light while being shielded from cold drafts.
  3. Maintain Humidity Levels:
    • Although snake plants are tolerant of low humidity, maintaining a consistent humidity level can help them acclimate to cooler temperatures.
  4. Reduce Watering:
    • Over-watering is a common issue, especially during colder months when the rate of evaporation is lower. Reduce watering to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
  5. Use of Humidity Trays:
    • Placing a humidity tray filled with water and pebbles near your snake plants can help maintain humidity levels.
  6. Avoid Transplanting or Repotting:
    • It’s advisable to avoid transplanting or repotting snake plants during colder months as it can cause additional stress.
  7. Proper Insulation:
    • Insulate the pots and the surrounding area to maintain a warmer microclimate around your snake plants.
  8. Covering Plants:
    • If a frost is expected, cover your snake plants with a cloth or move them to a warmer spot.
  9. Use of Heat Mats:
    • Heat mats can provide additional warmth to the soil, aiding in temperature regulation.
  10. Regular Monitoring:
    • Keep an eye on the health of your snake plants, and act promptly if you notice any signs of cold stress or other problems.

How to Revive a Cold-Stressed Snake Plant?

Reviving a cold-stressed snake plant requires a careful and patient approach. Here are the steps to help revive a cold-stressed snake plant:

  1. Identification:
    • Identify the signs of cold stress such as discoloration, soft or mushy leaves, and stunted growth.
  2. Move to a Warmer Location:
    • Relocate the cold-stressed snake plant to a warmer location with adequate light.
  3. Trim Damaged Parts:
    • Trim away any damaged or dead leaves and stems to encourage new growth.
  4. Adjust Watering:
    • Reduce watering to prevent waterlogging, and make sure the soil is well-draining.
  5. Check the Roots:
    • Gently remove the snake plant from its pot and inspect the roots for rot. Trim away any damaged or rotten roots.
  6. Repot if Necessary:
    • If there’s extensive root damage, repot the snake plant into fresh, well-draining soil.
  7. Maintain a Steady Temperature:
    • Ensure the temperature remains within a comfortable range for the snake plant.
  8. Provide Adequate Light:
    • Make sure the snake plant receives enough light to promote healthy growth.
  9. Be Patient:
    • Recovery can take some time, so it’s essential to be patient as your snake plant recuperates.
  10. Consult a Professional:
    • If the condition of your snake plant continues to deteriorate, consider consulting a horticulture professional for advice.

Should Snake Plants be Watered Differently in Cold Temperatures?

Watering is a crucial aspect of snake plant care, especially during cold temperatures. Here’s how to water snake plants in colder temperatures:

  1. Reduce Frequency:
    • Reduce the frequency of watering as the evaporation rate is lower, and the plant’s water requirements are decreased.
  2. Check the Soil:
    • Before watering, check the soil to ensure it has dried out sufficiently from the previous watering.
  3. Use Room Temperature Water:
    • Use water at room temperature to avoid shocking the plant with cold water.
  4. Water in the Morning:
    • Watering in the morning allows the soil to dry out during the day, reducing the risk of root rot.
  5. Avoid Over-Watering:
    • Over-watering is one of the most common issues, especially during cold months. Be cautious not to waterlog the soil.
  6. Ensure Good Drainage:
    • Make sure the pot has adequate drainage holes to prevent water accumulation at the bottom.
  7. Use a Moisture Meter:
    • A moisture meter can help determine when it’s time to water, reducing the guesswork.
  8. Water from the Bottom:
    • If possible, water from the bottom to encourage roots to grow downward and improve stability.
  9. Allow Soil to Dry:
    • Allow the soil to dry out completely before the next watering to prevent root rot.
  10. Consider the Pot Material:
    • Pots made from porous materials like terracotta can help evaporate excess moisture, making them a good choice for snake plants, especially during colder months.

By understanding and adapting your watering routine to the cold temperatures, you can significantly improve the health and resilience of your snake plants during the chilly season.

Can Snake Plants Survive Outside During Winter?

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Whether or not a snake plant can survive outdoors during winter largely depends on the climate of the area you live in. Here are some considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Hardiness Zone:
    • Snake plants are typically hardy in USDA zones 10 and above. If you live in a colder zone, it’s advisable to bring your snake plants indoors during winter.
  2. Microclimates:
    • Microclimates, small areas with differing weather conditions from the surrounding areas, can exist in your yard. A sheltered spot might be warmer and more suitable for snake plants.
  3. Frost and Freeze:
    • Snake plants are not frost or freeze tolerant. Even a light frost can cause significant damage.
  4. Duration of Cold:
    • The duration of cold temperatures can also impact a snake plant’s ability to survive outdoors. A brief cold spell might be tolerable if followed by warmer temperatures.
  5. Soil Drainage:
    • Well-draining soil can help prevent root rot, a common issue that can be exacerbated by cold temperatures.
  6. Mulching:
    • Applying mulch around the base of your snake plant can help retain soil warmth and moisture.
  7. Cold Frames and Greenhouses:
    • Utilizing cold frames or greenhouses can provide the necessary warmth and protection for snake plants to survive outdoors.
  8. Covering Plants:
    • Covering plants with frost cloth or old blankets can provide temporary protection from frost.
  9. Heat Lamps:
    • Using outdoor heat lamps can help provide warmth to snake plants during colder nights.
  10. Regular Monitoring:
    • Regularly monitor the weather and your plants’ condition to take necessary action when cold weather is forecasted.

How to Transition Snake Plants Indoors for Winter?

Transitioning snake plants indoors for winter requires a systematic approach to prevent shock and ensure a smooth adjustment. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Gradual Transition:
    • Gradually transition your snake plants indoors to allow them to acclimate to the indoor environment.
  2. Choose the Right Spot:
    • Select a suitable location indoors that receives bright, indirect light and is free from cold drafts.
  3. Inspect for Pests:
    • Thoroughly inspect your snake plants for pests and diseases before bringing them indoors.
  4. Prune if Necessary:
    • Prune away any damaged or dead foliage to encourage healthy growth.
  5. Adjust Watering:
    • Adjust your watering routine to accommodate the lower light and temperature conditions indoors.
  6. Maintain Humidity:
    • Maintain adequate humidity levels to prevent leaf tip browning.
  7. Avoid Fertilizing:
    • Avoid fertilizing your snake plants during winter as they enter a dormant growth period.
  8. Clean the Leaves:
    • Clean the leaves to remove dust and allow for better photosynthesis.
  9. Rotate the Pots:
    • Rotate your snake plants occasionally to ensure even growth.
  10. Monitor Health:
    • Continuously monitor the health of your snake plants, and address any issues promptly.


Understanding the temperature tolerance and the requirements of snake plants can significantly help in providing the right care during colder months. By being observant and taking preventive measures, one can ensure that these hardy plants continue to thrive and beautify the space they occupy.

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Amelia Clark

I'm Amelia Clark, a seasoned florist and gardening specialist with more than 15 years of practical expertise. Following the completion of my formal education, I dedicated myself to a flourishing career in floristry, acquiring extensive understanding of diverse flower species and their ideal cultivation requirements. Additionally, I possess exceptional skills as a writer and public speaker, having successfully published numerous works and delivered engaging presentations at various local garden clubs and conferences.

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