Growing Sansevieria Cylindrica: The Stunning African Spear Care Guide! (2021)

I’m surprised that more people don’t grow Sansevieria cylindrica. African spear plants are amazing houseplants! There’s no denying its slick, cylinder leaves make it a real attention-grabber.

This plant is low-maintenance just like snake plants. However, it is much more versatile. Similarly to lucky bamboo, this plant can be braided to give it a unique appearance. The plant’s leaves layer similarly to those of a bowstring hemp plant.

Let’s take a look at some tips for growing this focal-point plant in your garden or home. You will love the “elephant’s toothpick”, as it is sometimes called. I’m sure I do!

All About Sansevieria Cylindrica

African spears come from Angola, and they are perennial succulent species. They are often found in dense stands in the wild, their roots suffusing the soil with rhizomes. Plants such as these can handle neglect and are adaptable.

A Sansevieria cylindrica can be identified by its cylindrical leaves. Cylindrical snake plant is one of its common names. They are dark green in color, with green-gray variegation on some leaves.

Sansevieria boncel is another gorgeous variety that comes with short, cylindrical leaves and is known to some as spear orchids or skyline spears. Be sure to keep an eye on this one!

Flowers are blooming on this plant! On mature plants, cream-white flower spikes may appear. Although they are not showy, they are still enjoyable despite their subtle fragrance.

Sansevieria Cylindrica Care

In spite of its tough nature, Sansevieria cylindrica is able to survive in extreme conditions. In order to grow a healthy and elegant looking plant at home, you will need to meet the following requirements. 

Temperature & Light

Despite its ability to grow in very low light conditions, it prefers bright sunlight. There won’t be much growth at night. You should place it near a north-facing window or sheer curtained windows. If growing outdoors, it should be placed in bright light with shade during the most intense sun of the day. This placement allows the plant to become accustomed to long growing seasons and has the benefit of helping it cope with hot weather.

Since the plant grows naturally in hot and dry conditions, it will not tolerate cold temperatures. The plant cannot handle temperatures below 50 °F (10 °C) and will suffer cold damage. The plant prefers room temperature and can tolerate mild fluctuations.

Humidity & Water

It doesn’t require frequent watering because it is drought-tolerant. During the summer growing season, watering once a week is adequate. When you water the next time, make sure the soil is free draining and dries out, as wet soil can cause root rot. You’ve overwatered your plant if the leaves turn yellow or mushy at their base.

You should water your plants once a month during winter or whenever the soil becomes completely dry.

Although you don’t need to place these plants in an exceptionally humid environment, humidity is not a major concern for them. As long as it doesn’t get too drafty, it prefers good aeration and dry air.


As cactus potting mix drains quickly, it is ideal for growing plants. An overly moist potting medium is fatal to the plant. You should grow it in a well-drained sandy soil nourished with peaty compost that does not retain water. 


You can feed the plant once a month from spring to fall with a fertilizer that is specially formulated for succulents, mixed at half the strength recommended. Plants such as Sansevieria cylindrica tend to be light feeders, so over feeding them can actually kill them. When the growth is slow in the winter, you shouldn’t feed your plants.

It is also possible to improve the soil with organic granular fertilizer.


Most Sansevieria cylindrica are slow growers, especially if they are placed in low light conditions. Repotting will not be necessary for quite a few years. In case your plant becomes overcrowded or outgrows its pot, you should consider repotting it. Repotting is best done in the springtime.

Plant the plant in a larger container than the previous one. Plants of this type grow top-heavy in a wider container. You should wait a few days before you begin regularly watering your new plant. The plant should be watered sparingly until it has adapted to the new pot.


Sansevieria cylindrica grows from rhizomes, so you need to understand how to propagate it. If you want to propagate a plant, you can untangle the runners and separate them with a sharp knife or blade. Before you separate the plants and pot them individually, you should wait until they are at least six inches tall.

Leaf cuttings can also be used to propagate the plant. Remove a cluster rosette of leaves from the roots using a sharp knife. Remove the old soil and plant the cutting in a new pot. For proper growth, make sure the cuttings are at least 2 to 4 inches long and are planted upright.


Pruning Sansevieria plants isn’t necessary unless you want to do it for cosmetic reasons. If, however, you notice one of the leaves turning yellow, you can prune it at the base.

The Sansevieria cylindrica is one of the most popular ornamental houseplants due to its easy cultivation. Therefore, they are preferred by busy home gardeners who don’t have the time to deal with them. You should be aware of a few things in this regard.

Growing Problems

Although the African spear thrives on neglect, their containers should be well-draining. Overwatering usually causes growing problems for this plant.If soil is soggy, temperatures remain cold for too long, and light levels are insufficient, growth problems can occur. Rotting roots with yellow leaves are usually caused by too much water. Rather than cutting off the green parts of the plant, repot it with the healthy parts.


Sansevieria cylindrica may be attacked by vine weevils that eat away the leaves’ edges, causing irreversible damage.Neem oil or a suitable pesticide needs to be applied to the potting mix immediately if you notice an adult weevil. Nevertheless, if the roots are severely damaged, it is unlikely the plant can be saved.  


The Sansevieria cylindrica plant is not susceptible to disease. Fungal infections are the most common cause of root rot. Fungicides can be used to treat these if the soil is not kept wet and free-draining.

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