An important factor in determining the suitability of a plant to your home and envisioning the care it will need, is to know the origin of the plant. Plants that are native to desert regions will require substantial amount of sunlight and loose, fast-draining soil. Plants from the floor of a rainforest will need some protection from strong sunlight and generous humidity.
The Dracaena species known as snake plants or mother-in-law's tongue were until recently considered a separate genus, Sansevieria, but have been reclassified following molecular examination. They are native to rocky, dry habitats in tropical Africa. The plants most in household cultivation are Dracaena trifasciata (previously Sansevieria trifasciata) and its cultivars and Dracaena angolensis (previously Sansevieria cylindrica), both of which are stiff, erect plants. Each of the leaves have a pointed tip that you should treat gently; if the tip is broken, the leaf-blade stops growing. Snake plant has a well deserved reputation as a very durable plant in varied conditions.
Snake plants prefer plentiful sunlight, but will put up with some light shade and continue to grow. They should be protected from the hottest, southern sun in summer. Though they can survive poor light conditions, they will not grow without moderate sunlight and will not flower without more generous sun exposure.
Too much water is the most frequent cause of failure. Water moderately, making the potting mixture moist and checking back after 15 minutes to remove any water sitting in the plant's run-off dish.
When the plant is in active growth, allow the soil to just dry between waterings. While the plant is tolerant of extended dryness, succulents do have shallow roots and they will rot easily if over-watered, causing the plant to fall over. In the low-light conditions of winter (October through February), water only as often as is necessary to prevent the leaves from puckering, no more than every two weeks.
Average household humidity is adequate.
These are tropical plants and a warm household, between 65 and 80°F., is ideal. Do not keep below 55°F.
Snake plants like to be root-bound and can stay in the same pot for several years, while replacing some surface soil annually. Repot once the plant is close to bursting its pot. The proper, quick-draining, soil, however, is essential. Potting soil with one third sand or perlite and up to one third peat added works well.
A liquid fertilizer, fed at half strength, once per month, during the growing period only, is generally advised.
Do not move a snake plant from a shady position into the bright sunlight or it will scorch. Over-watering is the most frequent problem, especially during the winter, and results in rot, capsizing foliage and plant death. Cold winter drafts will also cause rot and sudden plant death. Each of the leaves have a pointed tip that you should treat gently; if the tip is broken, the leaf-blade stops growing.