There is nothing wrong with snake plants as they are timeless classics, even before the introduction of newer hybrids. Generally speaking, Bowstring Hemp can be found in all gardening stores and nurseries.
Another common name for this perennial succulent is Sansevieria zeylanica, but you can both call it Sansevieria zeylanica or Sansevieria zeylanica. You’ll find out what you need to know about caring for it and maintaining it.
More About the Bowstring Hemp
IN THIS ARTICLE:
The Sansevieria zeylanica flowering species has sword-shaped succulent leaves and develops from rhizomes. Snake plants, even when neglected, look elegant even when they grow slowly to moderately.
Under typical care conditions, it is expected that a Bowstring Hemp’s leaves will begin to grow instantly from the base and can grow up to 2′ tall. This perennial typically has thick, rigid, densely green and creamy white leaves with sharp tips that run horizontally.
Like its near cousin, Sansevieria clylindrica, it’s a good choice for growers seeking a succulent that purifies the air and is easy to maintain. Bowstring Hemp is native to southeast Asia, where it is grown for its medicinal value, and its leaves are harvested to make fiber. Besides textiles, paper and rugs, the fiber can be woven into baskets and rugs.
Almost all gardeners that are new to gardening can be confused with Sansevieria trifasciata, commonly called a mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant. Despite having striking similarities, they are not the same species of snake plants. Each one has its own distinct features.
How to Grow the Bowstring Hemp
If you want to grow this Sansevieria species, you have two viable options. An easy method would be to purchase one at a nursery or garden center. The Bowstring Hemp can also be propagated using seedlings or leaf cuttings. Here’s how you go about it in a few easy steps. Seeds take a bit longer to develop into a fully developed houseplant, so we will avoid this method.
- Leaves should be dissected with a sterilized knife to avoid transmitting diseases to the entire plant.
- A leaf should be 2 to 3 inches in length.
- You should leave them outside for a couple of hours so the wounds can heal fully.
- Leaves that have been cut in half should be dipped into rooting hormone.
- Under the soil and transplanting section below, use the tips we have shared to prepare the potting mix.
- A cactus mix can be used instead since the Bowstring Hemp has the same attributes as dominant cacti plants.
- The leaf cuttings should be planted in separate growing medium to prevent possible competition for nutrients.
- The container should be placed in a bright, yet filtered, sunlit area.
- Remember to water your newly propagated Bowstring Hemp only when the soil is completely dry to avoid root rot.
Sansevieria Zeylanica Caring Tips
Flowering & Fragrance
Contrary to popular belief, Sansevieria zeylanica seldom blooms in its native South Africa. Flowers should not be expected from your Bowstring Hemp, especially if it’s being grown indoors. For the slim chance that it will bloom, the flowers will appear a pale green or greenish-white. There will be a mild fragrance, and stems can be as long as 2 feet in length.
Light & Temperature
You need to look carefully at the lighting the snake plant needs if you’re looking to grow it indoors. This Sansevieria cultivar can look rugged when grown in moderate to bright light, regardless of its ability to adapt to lower light levels. Most gardening enthusiasts enjoy such kind of aesthetic. When left under low light conditions, the foliage will begin to take on a dark-green hue.
During summer, especially when light is good but heat is not, you want to keep it from being too warm. The leaves will turn yellow if exposed to too much sunlight. Snake plants aren’t hardy in frost, so you shouldn’t expect them to succeed in a cold climate. The room temperature should be kept between 15 and 23 degrees Celsius when the temperature is low.
Also, it should be noted that temperatures below 10°C highly likely will cause leaf damage. Sansevieria growing under USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11 will grow profusely. The best way to keep it in great condition is to keep it out of extreme cold and heat.
Watering & Feeding
Snake plants need not be watered frequently, as other succulents do , so you can have them in your container garden or indoors. You want to make sure your growing pots have enough drainage holes to let excess water out. This will speed up the absorption rate. Your houseplant should not stand in water that collects in the saucer underneath the growing pot.
Soil that remains wet for long periods of time will cause the roots to rot. The watering intervals will need to be significantly spaced during winter when the weather is cold. Even though some members of the Asparagaceae family are drought-tolerant when mature, the rule is to water generously in the spring and summer when their growth hormones are active.
Succulents don’t have the heaviest feeding needs, but it’s best to use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer with equal nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium concentrations. Once every three weeks during a growing season, mix one tablespoon of the fertilizer with a gallon of water and pour the solution directly into the topsoil.
Put a pebble tray with some water right beneath your Sansevieria zeylanica pot to maintain the humidity. That would allow it to grow in the natural semi-arid environment to one it is accustomed to. You may want to mulch topsoil around the garden beds, though, if you’re growing your Bowstring Hemp outdoors.
Although overwatering must be avoided at all costs, you will need to remove the mulch when it dries up, soak it in water, and then place it back around the topsoil. It is possible to determine whether or not the first few inches of soil have dried up completely using a soil moisture sensor.
Soil & Transplanting
With a mixture of sand and loamy soil, water drains much more quickly. It also keeps some moisture so that it stays moist through the grace periods between waterings. As with many other succulents, it can be grown in many different kinds of potting soils, provided there is a way for the water to drain through them without obstacles, but our recommendation would be to use a sand and loam succulent potting mix instead.
pH range should be between 6 and 7. Besides coarse sand, it is best to amend the potting soil with a portion of perlite or pumice. Several extra diggings on the Snake plant soil requirements will reveal that drainage is paramount. And that’s because it’s extremely vulnerable to root rot.
Although Snake plants can grow very tall, they hardly widen, so they won’t outgrow their original container anytime soon. Alternatively, the soil might be replaced with a more fertile one, and this would be accomplished by transplanting. Sansevieria Zeylanicas on a desk or windowsill should be transplanted when the roots become invasive and crack the pot. If it is a compact plant, we recommend repotting it every 12-18 months.
The snake plant usually grows well when placed in a pot whose diameter is twice its regular size. If it’s really big, I like to transplant it after 18-24 months. Summer and spring are ideal seasons for repotting, since growth hormones are at their strongest during those seasons. If you notice yellowed or dropping leaves on your Snake plant plant or when it becomes overcrowded in its pot, then you should transplant it.
Grooming & Maintenance
A hardy plant like this requires little maintenance. It can thrive even when neglected. Since the tree doesn’t need routine pruning, you will only need to get rid of leaves that are dead or appear to be damaged. If pruning is essential, use a sterilized knife to prevent the plant from getting infected with fungi or bacteria.
Common Pests & Diseases
You will be faced with mealybug infestations and spider mites the most with your Bowstring Hemp. Succulents are often taken for their juice that is stored in their leaves and stems. Though it is unlikely that these pests would cause disease, they can damage the shape and texture of the leaves.
By soaking a cotton swab with alcohol, it is easy to get rid of mealybugs from affected areas. You can buy insecticidal soap and mix it with pyrethrin to suppress the numbers if the infestation is massive. Use Neem oil to kill both mealybugs and scale insects. You can use it to control whiteflies, scale insects, leafhoppers, and thrips.
Most succulents get terribly infected with root rot. Therefore, you want potting soil that has good drainage qualities, so as to prevent overwatering. Sansevierias overcrowded in a growing medium are more likely to drop leaves, since they grow loosely and do not support their weight. They drop leaves when they use too much fertilizer.
Snake plants, as well as a few other Sansevieria species, like the Bowstring Hemp, have mild toxicity levels, so they’ll need to be kept well away from pets and kids.
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