The Bold and Versatile Snake Plant

The Cylindrical Snake Plant, scientifically known as Sansevieria cylindrica, is an eye-catching house plant that adds a touch of elegance to any space. With its upright, tubular leaves and unique appearance, this African native is not only visually appealing but also incredibly easy to care for. In this article, we will explore how to grow, water, fertilize, and propagate this remarkable succulent.

Getting Acquainted with the Snake Plant as a Houseplant

The Cylindrical Snake Plant gets its name from its round leaves, which feature a captivating dark-green striped pattern. Another common name for this succulent is African Spear, owing to its pointed leaf tips that can be quite sharp. The tubular leaves, varying in cultivars, grow straight up or gracefully arch outward, reaching a thickness of about an inch. Although the upright leaves tend to collect dust, a gentle wipe with a damp cloth will keep them looking fresh and pristine.

You might be wondering if the Snake Plant produces flowers. Well, the answer is maybe. Mature plants have the potential to develop creamy white, tubular blooms along a tall flower stalk. And if you’re fortunate enough to witness these blooms, their beautiful fragrance will captivate your senses. Remember to remove the flower stalks once they have finished blooming.

This Snake Plant, a close relative of the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, possesses a bold style unique to itself. It effortlessly enhances any indoor plant collection, adding a striking accent to your living or working space. Furthermore, its easy-going nature and ability to tolerate dry air and soil make it an excellent choice for offices and other places where busy individuals need a reliable plant companion.

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Overcoming Snake Plant Challenges

Most challenges associated with growing Sansevieria are related to watering. It is crucial to allow the soil to dry out completely between waterings. When in doubt, it is always better to err on the dry side. Overwatering and soggy soil, as well as prolonged exposure to cold temperatures, are the only things that can truly harm the Cylindrical Snake Plant.

If you notice limp leaves, this is usually an indication of either insufficient sunlight or overwatering. Ensure that your Snake Plant receives adequate light and adjust your watering accordingly. Repotting is typically necessary only in the spring when the plant becomes overcrowded and starts to require division. When repotting, keep the leaves at the same soil level as before, avoiding burial, which can cause them to rot. Additionally, choose a wide and heavy container to prevent the top-heavy plant from toppling over.

Insects can occasionally bug your houseplant. Keep an eye out for spider mites, which create webbing between the leaves. You may also encounter white, fuzzy mealybugs that often hide at the base of the plant. To prevent pests from spreading to other indoor plants, isolate the infested Snake Plant and promptly treat it as needed.

One important aspect to note is the toxicity of the Cylindrical Snake Plant. According to the ASPCA, this succulent contains saponins, which are toxic to cats and dogs. Therefore, exercise caution if you have pets at home.

Essential Care Tips for Sansevieria Cylindrica Snake Plant

To provide optimal care for your Sansevieria Cylindrica Snake Plant, keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Origin: South Africa
  • Height: Can reach up to 2 ft (60 cm)
  • Light: Thrives in bright light to full sun. Should you decide to move your Snake Plant outdoors during the summer, be cautious when introducing it to direct sunlight to prevent leaf scorching. Scorch marks appear as gray or brown patches.
  • Water: Water thoroughly and allow the potting mix to completely dry out before watering again. When watering, be careful not to wet the leaves, as this may lead to rotting. Overwatering is indicated by yellowing leaves or softening and mushiness at their base.
  • Humidity: Tolerates average room humidity (around 40% relative humidity) or even drier conditions. However, avoid placing it near air vents or drafts.
  • Temperature: Prefers average to warm room temperatures between 65-75°F/18-24°C. Although it can tolerate fluctuating temperatures, it is best not to expose it to temperatures below 55°F/13°C.
  • Soil: Opt for a cactus potting mix that ensures proper drainage. Soggy potting medium is not well-tolerated by this succulent.
  • Fertilizer: Feed monthly during spring through fall, using a fertilizer specially formulated for succulent plants. Use half the recommended strength. During winter, when growth slows down, refrain from fertilizing.
  • Propagation: The easiest way to propagate the Snake Plant is through division. Look for the “pups” (offsets) that grow at the base of the parent plant and separate them by gently turning the pot on its side. Use a serrated knife to cut off the offsets and pot them individually for successful propagation.
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With these care tips in mind, your Sansevieria Cylindrica Snake Plant will thrive and flourish, becoming a bold and versatile addition to your indoor plant collection.

Cylindrical Snake Plant

For more information and to explore an extensive range of indoor plants, visit the Ames Farm Center.


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