Sansevieria species & cultivars
Sansevieria, commonly known as Snake Plant or Mother-in-Law's Tongue, is a popular houseplant that is loved for its unique, upright leaves and low-maintenance nature. Originating from Africa, this hardy plant is easy to care for and can add a touch of greenery to any space.
Origin and Habitat:
Sansevieria is native to Africa, from Nigeria to Congo, and has been cultivated for centuries for its medicinal properties. The plant was used to treat various ailments, such as snake bites, headaches, and even syphilis. In the wild, Sansevieria can be found in a variety of habitats, from arid deserts to rainforests. It has adapted to survive in harsh conditions, which is why it is such a popular houseplant.
There are many different cultivars of Sansevieria, each with its own unique characteristics. Some of the most popular include:
-Sansevieria trifasciata: This is the most common cultivar of Sansevieria, with long, pointed leaves that are green with yellow stripes. It is a great air purifier and can remove toxins from the air.
-Sansevieria cylindrica: This cultivar has cylindrical leaves that are arranged in a rosette. The leaves are a grey-green color and have horizontal bands of light green.
-Sansevieria 'Moonshine': This cultivar has silvery-green leaves that are more upright than other cultivars. It is a great choice for modern and minimalist decor.
Habit: Upright ti low growing evergreen succulents growing from rhizomes and producing cylindrical, flat or thick, U-shaped leaves variously decorated with various shades of green, yellow, white and cream markings.
Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 30ᐤ C and temperatures below 4ᐤ C may result in the death of the plant.
Light Exposure: Sansevieria can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, from low to bright, indirect light. However, they do best in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can burn the leaves, while low light can cause the leaves to become floppy and weak. If your Sansevieria is not getting enough light, it will not grow as quickly and may become susceptible to pests and diseases.
Watering:Sansevieria is drought-tolerant and does not require frequent watering. In fact, in the ground they can survive for months without water. In pots, Snake plants need to dry out between waterings regardless of light exposure and it’s always best to err on the side of caution if in doubt. As a rule of thumb, watering once every two weeks during the rainy season, once a month in the cold dry season and once a week in the hot dry season.
Fertilising: Snake Plants can be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength only once per month. Plants can be damaged by over fertilizing so one must be careful.
Pruning/Repotting: Pruning is not usually required but occasionally needed when leaves die or are damaged. Sansevieria prefers to be slightly root-bound, so it is best to plant it in a pot that is only slightly larger than the root ball. Repotting is necessary when roots start coming out the bottom of the pot or when the rhizomes start to deform the pot and is best carried out just before starting into active growth at the end of the cold dry season.
Pests/Diseases: Sansevieria is relatively pest-resistant, but it can still be susceptible to spider mites and mealybugs. To prevent these pests, inspect your plant regularly and isolate any infected plants. Use an insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat infestations.
In conclusion, Sansevieria is a great choice for anyone looking for a low-maintenance houseplant that is easy to care for. With its unique appearance and air-purifying abilities, it can add a touch of greenery to any space.