Have you ever seen a Sansevieria flower? Reclassified as the genus Dracaena, Snake Plants or Mother-in-Law’s tongues actually flower! Although it is much less common indoors, I have had the opportunity to witness it and capture it in photographs. I’ll walk you through my experience and explain why Sansevieria flowers occur and when they bloom.
The only snake plant that has flowered for me is my Dracaena trifasciata (formerly known as Sansevieria trifasciata).
HOW TO GET SANSEVIERIA FLOWERS
It is impossible to guarantee that yours will bloom as well. However, I will share my experiences with you and maybe with a little luck, yours can too!
Generally speaking, the only thing a plant needs in order to thrive is enough light. Some of these plants are abused and placed in dark corners, which is probably the reason why they do not bloom. This is #1!
In addition, you can neglect your plants a little bit (provided they have enough light, which includes direct sunlight in the house).
Many plants will bloom when they are mildly stressed, such as when you allow your potting mix to dry out completely between watering, and keep your plant somewhat pot bound.
Let me show you a few photos of my own plants and discuss some timing issues.
It was at this point that I first noticed a stalk of a flower beginning to grow.
The plant produced a flower stalk about 11 days later. It seemed to grow quite rapidly and produced two flower stalks in the end.
After about a week, the mushrooms continued to grow. I took the photo below toward the end of June (early summer). You can see the plant has some direct sunlight in this large, eastern-exposed window.
The first flowers appeared at the base of the flower stalk about a month after I first noticed a small flower spike forming.
Throughout the following week or so, the flowers continued to open.
I also made the following observations:
- At night the flowers have a fragrant scent. Some people told me that they loved the fragrance, but I found it to have a grassy smell which didn’t quite appeal to me. While I didn’t find it offensive, I would not write home about it.
- You will also notice that the flowers produce sticky nectar, so if yours bloom, keep an eye on your surroundings.
- Dracaena plants (now Sansevieria) have been argued to be monocarpic or not. A monocarpic plant is one that dies after blooming, but a former chairman and editor of the International Sansevieria Society (ISS) believes that they are not monocarpic in the traditional sense. Plants that flower don’t grow any new leaves after their flowering period.
- According to the ISS, the flowers will drop after some time, but not immediately. This plant will keep on growing since it will continue to produce offsets. I’ve placed the plant into a bigger pot and 3 years later, no leaves have died so that seems in line with what the ISS stated.). I’m interested to see if that rosette eventually dies off.
- My plant occasionally received fertilizer, but most of the time I watered it thoroughly with plain tap water and placed it back near the window. The only way to make a plant bloom is to expose it to enough light. Mildly stressing a plant is one way to do that. With fertiliser, your floral show will only be enhanced.
It’s funny how some people will say things like “oh your plant’s probably stressed” as if they wish ill-will on my plant. Although sometimes this can be true, “stressed out” plants do not necessarily mean “dead.”
There are a number of reasons causing stress-induced flowering. Plants which are stressed are able to produce flowers so that they can proceed to produce seeds and continue reproducing. The species is basically on the brink of extinction.
Although my plant was (and is) healthy, there were a couple of stress factors. Namely, being pot bound and being kept pretty dry (even though neither of these stresses was life threatening).
Three factors account for blooming, according to me:
- A window that faces east is bright enough.
- A shallow pot contained the plant quite tightly.
- Occasionally, 1-3 weeks would pass between waterings and the potting mix would dry out without soil being watered. Fertilizer applied sparingly.
Is it true that snake plants or mother-in-law’s tongue plants bloomed for you? What did you observe that was different from me? Did you enjoy the fragrance?
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