Sansevieria – Care Guide
Sanseviera goes by many names, including Snake Plant and Monther-in-law’s Tongue, and is a very trendy plant for restaurants, shops, and office spaces! It doesn’t take up much room and has a vibrant colour, as well as interesting twisting leaves that add movement to a space. Sanseviera is a desert succulent, and is a good counterpoint to the many tropical varieties of indoor plants. They are drought-resistant and very easy to look after. Originally, they were cultivated to make bow strings!
Origin: Africa, Madagascar, South Asia
Life Cycle: Evergreen Perennial
Difficulty: Very Easy
Light: Direct sunlight for a few hours a day, or a position next to a window, will yield the best results for Sanseviera. Partial shade will slow growth, but not kill the plant; however, deep shade is not recommended.
Water: Sanseviera does not need much water, and it’s better to err on the side of dryness for this plant. Make sure the soil is dry before watering, as Sanseviera will not do well in waterlogged soil!
Fertiliser: Some fertiliser during Summer is fine, but Sanseviera does not require much at all.
Fruit/ Flowers: Sanseviera has white flowers that grow on a stalk, but is unlikely to flower if kept indoors.
Pests & Problems: Sanseviera is generally pest-resistant, and the main issues will come from over-watering or not enough light.
Growth: Sanseviera leaves grow upwards around a particular point, and have a very streamlined appearance. They do not tend to change with maturation, and are very sustainable in size and shape. If leaves do start to wilt or die as they age, the plant can be pruned.
Repotting/ Propagation: Sanseviera can be propagated by splitting the plants, preferably in the Spring. Dividing the plant is quite easy, and can be done with a knife or secateurs. Leaf cuttings can also be successful, once dried, but be sure to plant them in the direction of original growth, so that the cuttings grow upwards.
Written by Margaret Dunleavy