A cylindrical snake plant, also known as African spear plant (Sansevieria cylindrica), is characterized by upright, gray-green leaves striped subtly as they turn horizontal. Despite their cylindrical shape, leaves have a pointy tip at the tip. African spear plants can produce a long spike of white flowers from their center when they’re grown in ideal conditions. It is best to plant them in the spring, as they are generally slow-growing succulents.
African Spear Plant Care
Generally, spear plants in Africa require very little maintenance. The plants will survive if you fail to water or feed them, and they can thrive being root-bound in a pot. Hardy plants that don’t typically suffer from diseases or pests, and they don’t require special growing conditions. The likelihood of overwatering or overfeeding them is higher than that of neglecting them.
They will appreciate semiregular watering and occasional fertilizing during the growing season (spring to fall). Prepare your garden for the winter by avoiding fertilization and watering minimally. Aside from these essential routines, there isn’t much more you need to do to maintain a healthy African spear plant.
For aesthetic reasons, you can remove any yellowed or discolored leaves from the plant. Use sterilized pruning shears to cut them at their base. Also, you can remove plant offshoots that grow from the soil to start new plants. Before cutting off the baby plants and planting them separately, wait until they are at least 6 inches tall.
Once you see your roots growing out of the pot when your plant is in a pot, you probably won’t need to repot it for many years if it’s in a container. Consider moving it just one container size up, as its roots still like to be a little cramped. Your plant will be more stable in a shallow, wide pot that is heavy; otherwise, it may easily tip over. Make sure the pot has plenty of drainage holes.
Although these plants can tolerate low light conditions, they prefer some full sunlight with bright filtered light. If they are outside, they will appreciate morning sun, but should be protected from direct afternoon sun. Their favorite window indoors is a bright north-facing one. Leaf growth can be compromised by too much or too little light. Too much light can cause the leaves to yellow around the edges.
As with most succulents, these plants require sandy soil that does not retain water and has good drainage. The best potting mix for succulents is one made especially for them.
Long droughts can be tolerated by spear plants on the African continent. Being left in soggy soil or standing water for too long can also cause the roots to rot. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and then water deeply.
A weekly to biweekly watering is generally sufficient. You should remove any excess water that comes out of the drainage holes from the saucer if you are growing your plant in one. Put a little more time between waterings during the winter months than you did during the growing season. You should water your plants roughly once a month.
Humidity and Temperature
Unlike most succulent plants, these grow naturally in warm, dry climates and can be damaged or even killed by cold temperatures. Make sure they are kept at a temperature of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This includes protecting them from cool drafts, such as those from air conditioners. A soil that isn’t saturated by moisture won’t experience humidity problems.
Plants from Africa can survive on lean soil, and they don’t need much fertilizer. In the spring and fall, give them a diluted succulent fertilizer monthly. It is not necessary to fertilize the plants during the winter.
Is African Spear Plant toxic?
Pets and people are poisoned by all parts of African spear plants, as they are toxic to other members of the Sansevieria genus. If ingested in large quantities, the plant can cause severe symptoms in small animals or children.
Symptoms of toxicity in pets and people generally include gastrointestinal issues, such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Consult a medical professional for treatment instructions if you suspect poisoning.