A starfish species Sansevieria is named for its bright green foliage, which is in the shape of a fan. These indoor plants have a fan-shaped base and thick, striped leaves that reach out to the sides. In comparison to other succulent snake plants you can find in the grocery or hardware store, this Sansevieria plant is a bit rarer. The snake plant of the starfish variety isn’t as tall as a standard snake plant. Starfish can also be recognized by their distinctive hand-shaped spread.
There are many common names for the starfish sansevieria, including:
- Boncel snake plant
- Spear Orchid
- Skyline spear
- African spear plant
You can learn more about how to take care of the starfish snake plant by following its light, water, and soil requirements.
What is a Starfish Sansevieria (Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Boncel’)?
A Sanseviera Starfish (Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Boncel’) is a cultivar of the species Sansevieria cylindrica (cylindrical snake plant). Compact, cylinder-shaped leaves fan out in a star pattern on the leaves of this succulent.
Sansevieria means ‘starfish’ in Spanish. This name is derived from the fact that the plant looks like a starfish that is partially buried. Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Boncel’ is the full botanical name of starfish sansevieria. This star-shaped cylinder succulent is typically referred to as starfish sansevieria for simplicity’s sake.
How Does it Look Like?
Originally from Angola, Sansevieria cylindrica is a succulent plant. House plants of this species are common in China, where they are said to resemble the Eight Gods’ virtues. It is a hardy plant with elongated, smooth, gray/green leaves with striped patterns. During their lifetime, they can grow up to 7 feet (2 meters) long, and reach 1 inch long (2.5 cm.).
It is rare to find plants of the Starfish Sansevieria ‘Boncel’ group, but they are worth looking for. Hybrids of the common snake plant, Sansevieria cylindrica, they’re a more compact form of these succulents. Fan-shaped light green leaves are covered in green concentric circles, which are darker green at the bottom than the top. Plants spread by means of young plants, called pups, which can be transplanted easily to propagate new plants.
Starfish Sansevieria Care
Your starfish sansevieria should thrive if you take good care of it. Below are some of the key points to keep in mind:
Size and Growth
As opposed to other sansevieria cylindrica varieties, this Sansevieria starfish has a fatter and shorter body. Plants typically grow to about eight inches tall, unless they are putting up a flower spike. During the plant’s growth process, thick, round leaves are produced. There is one central rosette that supports a pattern of leaves pointing upward. If you provide the right lighting conditions and occasionally fertilize the plant, you can encourage it to grow faster.
Flowering and Fragrance
The starfish snake plant will produce long racemes of flowers if the environmental conditions are right. Depending on the species, the spike can reach a height of three feet above the leaves of the plant. A pink bloom opens up to become a white bloom. In spite of its tiny blooms, the plant does not emit much fragrance. You should investigate for mold or pests if you smell a strong odor coming from your succulent.
Light and Temperature
It is well-known that succulent plants like bright light, and this is no exception for Sansevieria cylindrica starfish. Despite its preference for bright indirect light, the starfish plant will tolerate many types of lighting, from hot, full sun to low light.
It is not affected by fluctuating temperature, so starfish sansevieria can survive most indoor conditions. Climates with temperatures of 60° Fahrenheit are suitable for growing it. The plants do, however, suffer when the thermostat is set much lower.
During hot, humid weather, this tropical plant thrives. You can simulate their natural habitat by misting the leaves several times a week. Alternatively, you could rest the pot on a tray filled with water and pebbles to add moisture to the air.
Watering and Feeding
When it comes to starfish sansevieria care, overwatering is the most common mistake made. In addition to enjoying dry soil, this plant also enjoys being watered less between waterings. Plants generally need to be watered once every two to three weeks during the growing season. The plant should be watered once a month during the winter.
It is always advisable to let water drain through the bottom of the pot. The drain saucer then needs to be emptied. The root rot of a plant can be caused by letting it sit in water. The growth of houseplants can be boosted by applying diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer every three weeks during the growing season (spring and summer).
Soil and Transplanting
A well-draining, loose succulent potting mix is the best choice for drought-tolerant Sansevierias. Interestingly, it seems to even thrive when it becomes root confined in the pot. You should choose a container that is about two inches larger than the plant’s previous one if you’re repottering it. Additionally, it can be kept in the existing pot and soil can be changed every 1-2 years.
Grooming And Maintenance
In order to care for starfish sansevieria, it is beneficial to wipe leaves down with a damp cloth. Dead leaves should be removed by clipping them at the bases where they connect to the basal rosette. Plant the plant in the window in such a way that it will grow toward the light source while remaining symmetrical.
How To Propagate Starfish Sansevieria
As time goes on, Sansevieria Starfish plants will produce pups, or rhizomes, pushing out of the soil next to the plants. One of these offshoots can be cut from the mother plant and placed in another pot, which is an easy way to propagate. The plant can be propagated by cutting off the base of a leaf and letting it dry out if you don’t have a rhizome. If the plant are thick, it may take weeks before the cut edge becomes white and dry. It is best to mist the leaf once it has dried and plant it in soil. Another two to three weeks should be needed for roots to appear.
Starfish Snake Plant Pests or Diseases
These plants are often attacked by vine weevils, which are the most common pests. If you have an infestation of weevils, how do you know? When you notice leaf edges that are “eating away,” look for an adult vine weevil on the plant. When you catch the problem early enough, spraying neem oil on the plant and soil may have a chance of saving the plant.
The root rot of starfish sansevieria is a common problem. If exposed to water for a long time, the roots will become infected and the leaves will turn yellow.
- Cut off slimy and blackened roots
- Treat with fungicide
- Allow the soil to dry out between watering
If you’re wondering how to care for starfish snake plants, keep its reputation in mind. It flourishes on neglect. To help a plant fight pests and infections, follow these steps:
- Provide bright, indirect light
- Use a pot with plenty of drainage
Whether you prefer the ringed growth or its unique pattern, caring for starfish sansevieria plants is simple and rewarding.