There is only one species of Sansevieria, the “Ceylon bowstring hemp.” It is a perennial species from the Asparagaceae family, widely known as “bowstring hemp.”
In south-east Asia, especially in Sri Lanka and India, the plant is often confused with Sansevieria Trifasciata, sometimes referred to as mother in law’s tongue, the snake plant, or the devil’s tongue.
Both types are closely related to one another, they are both snake plants, though they are different species.
Growing naturally in Sri Lanka, the plant is mostly found growing in drier areas, among rocks.
Care Guide For Sansevieria Zeylanica
Size & Growth
It is long, sword-shaped succulent leaves that elongate from a rhizomatous rootstock that make Sansevieria zeylanica a stemless perennial flowering species.
A snake plant’s leaves will reach a maximum height if 2.5′ feet and a maximum diameter of 1″ in a single growing season.
Bowstring hemp features creamy-white stripes horizontally across its dark-green leaves.
Additionally, they have pointed tips.
It possesses a slow to moderate growth rate and is easy to cultivate.
Snake Plant Flowering and Fragrance
Despite being a flowering plant, sansevieria zeylanica seldom blooms.
When it blooms, the sansevieria snake plant produces pale green to greenish-white blooms, which are fragrant, and the flower stems can grow as long as 2 feet.
Light Conditions & Temperature Of Snake Plants
For proper growth, snake plants must have moderately bright light.
While its leaves can tolerate some shade, very little light will cause them to turn a dull green.
To grow it at its best, place it in a location that receives bright indirect light.
The plant may sometimes turn yellow at the edges if exposed to intense sunlight or full sun.
An indoor plant that receives bright light can easily be grown next to a north-facing window.
Neither Sansevieria zeylanica nor Sansevieria caerulea can withstand extreme temperatures.
The best results are achieved when the plant is kept away from very hot or cold weather.
Experiencing temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees C) will likely harm snake plants.
The USDA hardiness zones that are appropriate for bowstring plants in the United States are 9 to 11.
Watering and Feeding
The Ceylon bowstring hemp requires less watering than other types of succulent plants.
When watering a potted plant, water deeply once, until the water drips from the drainage holes in the pot, and then wait briefly until the soil is completely dry before watering again.
Keep the plant from getting too wet by removing the water in the saucer beneath the pot and do not allow the soil or pot to become soggy.
Over-watering is also not a good idea for the plant.
Throughout the cold weather, snake plants shouldn’t receive much water and must be watered sparingly.
In the active growing season, during the spring and summer, sansevieria zeylanica plants become fairly drought tolerant; however, it is recommended to provide an adequate amount of water when they are established.
You can feed the plant once every three weeks throughout the summer with a half-strength liquid fertilizer.
It is a light feeder, and if overfed, Ceylon bowstring hemp might become damaged.
Soil Mix & Transplanting
As long as the potting soil is well-draining, hemp can be planted in various potting soils.
A succulent potting mix with a pH between 6 and 7 is the best for it, but it prefers sandy loam potting mix.
In excessively wet soils, Sansevieria zeylanica develops rotting, and it is unable to grow.
You should therefore ensure the soil is properly drained and the grow pot has holes that allow for drainage.
As with all snake plants, the plant prefers to grow root-bound much of the time.
Sansevieria zeylanica transplants should be done when the plant’s yellow leaves or leaf drop indicate overcrowding or congestion.
Grooming and Maintenance
Hardy and easy to maintain, Sansevieria zeylanica grows well with minimum care.
There’s no need to prune it regularly – just snip off damaged leaves.
How To Propagate Zeylanica Snake Plant
From seeds or by division of plants and leaf cuttings, bowstring hemp will grow.
Seedlings don’t always work out, so it isn’t recommended to start them from seeds.
Sansevieria zeylanica propagation is the easiest and the most common method to propagate the plant.
Plant leaf cuttings of Ceylon bowstring hemp:
- Take thick and healthy leaves and cut them into pieces 2” to 3” long.
- For a few hours, let the cuttings air dry.
- Rooting hormone is added into water after the cut ends of the leaf pieces are placed into it.
- Make potting mix out of two parts peat and one part sand and plant them in the damp potting mix.
- Or use a cactus or cacti mix.
- You should place freshly planted leaf cuttings in an indirect, but bright-sunny location.
- Soil should be nearly dry before watering the new plants.
To propagate by cutting from a mature plant, divide it carefully during repotting when the plant is large enough.
Don’t break the snake plant roots when you divide them – be gentle.
Zeylanica Snake Plant Pest or Diseases
The Ceylon bowstring hemp plant isn’t particularly susceptible to pests and diseases, but it is vulnerable to mealybugs and spider mites.
Root rot can also be caused by too much water or an ineffective drainage system.
A sansevieria zeylanica is edible, but mildly toxic, as is the snake plant and other sansevieria varieties.
Children and pets should not be able to reach your bowstring hemp.
Sansevieria Zeylanica Uses
The bowstring hemp plant is primarily used for its fiber or, more commercially, either outdoor as a hardy, easy-to-care for floor plant, or as an indoor floor plant.
In tropical countries, fiber obtained from the leaves of Sansevieria zeylanica and Sansevieria trifasciata is most commonly used to produce mats, coarse cloth, cordage, rope, sails, and paper pulp.
It is also used in some parts of the world for medicinal purposes as well as its dried rhizomes and roots.
The sansevieria zeylanica plant looks great as an indoor plant just like Epipremnum aureum, Dracaena fragrans, and Sansevieria cylindrica.
Tropical plants are a popular plant for growing indoors because of its hardiness.
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