Many households in the US have been growing the Sansevieria Cylindrical plant over the years due to its far-ranging capacity to have the same caring and foliage yield results as those of the popular Snake plant. And its ability to withstand flawed growing conditions has made this variety crowned as the African Spear. One grand feature about this houseplant is it has stout stems that grow right from the ground, which help the leaves grow in cylindrical spears.
A Quick Look at the Cylindrical African Spear Plant
Sansevieria Cylindrical, or best known as the African Spear plant, is a perennial succulent that belongs to the Sansevieria genus which is among the members of the Asparagaceae family. This houseplant goes by quite a handful of other names such as:
- Spear Orchid
- Skyline Spear Sansevieria
- Cylindrical Mothers-in-Laws Tongue
So how big does it grow? You could probably ask. Well, the height of most Sansevieria varieties typically ranges from 12- 24 inches as they approach their maturity stages.
Other Graceful Varieties
- Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twisted Sister’: The Twisted Sister has curly leaves that grow in a warped pattern and have a yellow lining on the edges. It’s more like the dwarf type among most other varieties since the leaves only range between 12” to 15’ inches tall.
- Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Golden Hanhii’: The Golden Hanhii is also popularly known as the Bird’s Nest. This variety is a petite succulent with light green stripes that run horizontally on the leaves which form a striking rosette pattern as they grow older.
- Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Cleopatra’: This cultivar is one of the best options for indoor spaces such as your office, room, or balcony. While it’s hard to find this variety in the market, it’s one kind of an unfussy houseplant that grows at a slow pace but forms a striking rosette pattern if grown under the right conditions.
- Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Black Gold’: The leaves of this popular perennial have golden-yellow stripes on the edges and grow sleekly tall to make the plant look winsome in any indoor setting.
- Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Futura Robusta’: This is a distinct type of mothers in law’s tongue with leaves that have sleek stripes with an irregular shape. It grows compactly inside a small container and makes a delightful indoor accent.
Sansevieria Cylindrical Caring Tips
Flowering & Fragrance
Snake plants bloom flowers on the base part of the leaves once they mature. During the early blooming stages, the flowers usually appear in the form of spikes that develop in clusters. The flowers of this particular species have a greenish-white color scale and are tube-shaped. At some point after blooming, the flowers will begin to die. When a shoot completes its blooming stage, new stems in the form of rhizomes emerge and burst out new roots out of their nodes and cascade downwards into the soil. Make sure to pluck off the flower stalks once they wither to maintain the plant’s appearance and verve to stay healthy. When grown outdoors, moths help out with the pollination cycle.
Soil & Transplanting
Use a quick-draining cactus mix while preparing the potting soil. Same as other succulents, Sansevierias are most often prone to root rot, so it would be best to add a portion of sandy soil to make water drain easily. Also, don’t miss to use a growing pot with enough drainage holes to let out excess water. Blend the growing media with perlite to encourage aeration. You also want to use lots of organic material on the topsoil. Household waste such as banana peels and eggshells provide your African Spear plant most of the needed nutrients.
Some pieces of pumice and tree barks also add a great ton of nutritional value to your plant’s potting soil. Using diatomaceous earth naturally helps get rid of pests that could potentially pose a threat to the well-being of your African Spear plant.
Light & Temperature
With an upscaled potential to grow indoors, the Sansevieria Cylindrical plant prefers bright, indirect light. If you’re looking to place the growing pot on a windowsill, it’s best to use sheer curtains so the sun rays can be filtered. Or better still, you can use a north-facing window. You might also want to consider placing the growing medium under a shaded patio where chances of filtering the natural light are a bit more up-scaled. It’s worth noting that areas with low light conditions will make your plant not to bloom as it should when the lighting is optimal. The leaves, on the other hand, won’t appear bright. Sansevierias prefers room temperatures of between 50° to 85° degrees Fahrenheit.
Watering & Feeding
It’s quite possible for this Sansevieria variety to survive through the dry months without being watered. When it’s summer, water it only once a week and reduce the number of watering to once every month when winter checks in. When the soil is excessively wet, the roots will begin to rot. Once your African Spear plant matures, you will need to stretch out the watering intervals even further. Although it’s not a must to fertilize this succulent, you might want to feed it during the growing seasons, so it can yield the best foliage and bloom in the most favorable way. A well-balanced fertilizer would help it reach its peak without struggles.
Nitrogen helps your African Spear have a high-spirited growth rate, while potassium makes it bloom much faster. You also want to pick a fertilizer with phosphorus elements since they help your succulent fight commons diseases that commonly affect houseplants. During winter months, feeding this variety isn’t necessary since the hormones that accelerate growth are usually numb when the temperatures are freezing.
Common Pests & Diseases
The two predominant pests you’ll commonly grapple with are spider mites and mealybugs. What attracts these pests the most is the sticky sap tucked inside the leaves of the habitually grown Sansevieria varieties such as the African Spear houseplant. Once they suck the sap, the leaves begin to wilts and dry up entirely if the infestation is beyond human or chemical control. If getting rid of mealybugs seems hard to do by manually handpicking, wipe off your plant using a piece of cloth and alcohol. You can also raise the room humidity levels to make the plant unhabitable for spider mites.
The African Spear plant will mostly suffer from fungal diseases. One of the major causes for this condition is the presence of moisture on the leaves of the plant. If you overwater your plant, the leaves might begin to develop some red spots. Some whitish growth might also form on the underside of the leaves, and later turn brown—making the affected areas to stiffen. Fungal infections will ultimately cause your plant to die once the plant begins to exhibit significant signs of rotting. To protect this houseplant from catching such dreadful diseases, always keep the leaves dry and makes sure the topsoil is entirely before watering your plant next.
And for quick drainage, use permeable soil and keep the growing medium somewhere with normal body temperature. If you’re growing it outdoors, it’s worth noting that waterlogging your garden could cause the plant cells to burst. Too much water not only causes the roots to rot—it makes the leaves bloat and produce an unpleasant odor. You want to avoid using chemicals to suppress diseases hurting the well-being of your Snake plant. These diseases are usually caused by inconsistent watering patterns, so using pesticides would result in other dismaying adverse effects.
Snake Plant Propagation
Few years after your Snake plant is fully grown, you might find a couple of reasons to propagate it. This houseplant shows signs of physical deterioration once the leaves begin to show some sunburn marks, grow loosely tall, and bend downwards. In such instances, you might want to grow a whole new breed of Snake plants. If your Sansevieria is experiencing symptoms of root rot due to overwatering, you can still propagate it using the leaf cuttings which look healthy and have fewer blemishes. You would also probably want to propagate your Snake plant since you fancy how it looks, so you wish to have more of them in your garden or balcony.
How to Propagate Your Sansevieria Snake Plant
You just need a few easy tips on how to propagate snake plants. While this plant prefers a growing medium that’s not waterlogged, developing its rooting system using water is one of the most facile methods known for yielding the best results during the whole propagation phase. For a tenable yield, you can use leaf cuttings to propagate the snake plant. Don’t use leaves that look too old or have signs of rotting. Before dissecting the leaves from the mother plant, make sure they’re at least 6” inches long.
You also want to keep taps with these other handy propagation tips:
- Use a sterilized pair of scissors to dissect a few healthy leaves from the mother plant.
- The open wounds need to heal and form a callus which protects the newly propagated cuttings from catching diseases, so it’s essential to place them out in the sun for a couple of days.
- Place the base part of the cuttings in a jar full of water and wait for the baby roots to develop.
- You can also propagate the cuttings using soil. Just remember to follow the tips right under the soil and transplanting section while preparing the potting mix.
- If you’re looking to propagate them using water, transfer the cuttings in a growing medium once the pups begin to emerge.
Benefits & Uses of the Snake Plant
The African Spear, like other Snake plants, is quite an illustrious houseplant due to its capacity to purify the air. You probably know better how harmful toxins or gases such as benzene, xylene, and formaldehyde could cause respiratory problems when inhaled. Usually, plants release carbon dioxide at night as they take in oxygen. So, placing most of them where you sleep could lead to suffocation. But that’s practically not the case with the Snake plant. Instead, it adopts the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism carbon fixation during photosynthesis to convert carbon dioxide into oxygen at night.
And that literary means there’s a constant supply of fresh air. It’s no wonder why this biological property has over the years been used to treat Sick Building Syndrome. Clean air also helps get rid of foul odor in your house. While grooming your African Spear plant, you’ll need to get rid of the dry and wilted leaves. Many adept gardeners, however, don’t throw them away. Instead, they use the dry leaves as a source of fiber which is used to make ropes and craft jewelry.