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How to Care for the White Snakeroot Plant

White snakeroot is a perennial which is part of the Aster family. It grows about 1½ to 3 feet tall, with clusters of flowers. each flowerhead has 10 to 30 florets of bright white blooms. The hairless stems are light green or tan in color with leaves that are 6 inches in length. White snakeroot blooms between late summer and fall, and is one of the last wildflowers to bloom. It can spread through self-seeding. Care for white snakeroot plant in order to keep it healthy and promote blooming.

Plant white snakeroot in a sunny spot, but make sure that it doesn't get too much sun. It's best to select a bright spot that gets some light shade during the day.

Feel the soil every couple of days to check the water content. White snakeroot prefers moist to slightly dry soil. If you feel the soil has gotten sandy and dry, especially as you feel 2 inches into the dirt, add water until the soil is moist.

Deadhead spent flower buds to limit self seeding. Pull off the flower blooms by hand once they begin to wilt. This will keep the spreading of the plant to a minimum.

Remove old foliage and wilted leaves after frost with pruning shears. You can also remove them before new buds sprout in the spring.

Fertilize white snakeroot after flowering with an all-purpose fertilizer. Add liquid fertilizer in with water when adding water to the plant or sprinkle granular food around the base of the plant. Follow the directions on the packaging.

Type Of Plant Is Snakeroot?

White snakeroot grows to be between 1 to 3 feet tall, producing 6-inch long, deeply serrated green leaves and fluffy rounded flowerheads that are up to 6-inches across and composed of tiny white florets. The fragrant flowers last for about two months in late summer and early fall. White snakeroot commonly occurs in disrupted areas such as degraded woodlands and overgrown vacant lots, though it may also occur in meadows near rivers. The plant attracts bees, moths and butterflies with its nectar. In the home garden, white snakeroot may be grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 4 to 8. In optimal conditions, white snakeroot self-sows freely. Spent flowers from the "Chocolate" cultivar should be deadheaded to prevent self-seeding, as they will not come true from seed. Snakeroot contains toxins such as tremetol and glycosides that cause a fatal disease in cows, sheep, horses and goats called "staggers." Symptoms of milk sickness include vomiting, nauseas, difficulty breathing and weakness.


Wear protective gloves when caring for white snakeroot.


Keep animals away from white snakeroot. It is poisonous year-round to certain animals including horses.

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