The Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Boncel’ (Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Starfish’) is a succulent plant with fat, short, fleshy leaves with a pointy end. Leaf bands of darker green surround the pale green leaves of this snake plant variety.
A number of species of Sansevieria have the common name ‘snake plant’-this cultivar is also known as cylindrical snake plant. Plants of the Sansevieria genus are low-maintenance succulents that require only indirect sunlight and little water.
This article describes how to grow starfish snake plants at home and how to care for them.
How to Care for Sansevieria Starfish
Sansevieria starfish succulents flourish indoors with indirect sunlight and well-draining sand. Cylindrical snake plants require only water when their fertilizer is dry. Sansevieria starfish plants do not require extra indoor humidity, as do most succulents. During the growing season, grow in average room temperatures and fertilize monthly.
What is a Starfish Sansevieria (Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Boncel’)?
The starfish sansevieria cylindrica ‘Boncellensis’ is a miniature version of the starfish sansevieria. A dwarf starfish sansevieria doesn’t grow higher than 3″ (7.5 cm). Small, compact sansevierias have lime-green cylindrical leaves with dark green markings.
‘Boncellensis’ sansevieria succulents require the same care as starfish sansevieria succulents.
Below is a general explanation of cylindrical snake plants (Sansevieria cylindrica) and their differences.
Cylindrical Snake Plant Facts
Cylindrical snake plants are succulent plants with tubular, fleshy leaves. With darker stripes wrapping around the cylinder leaves, the rod-like succulent leaves are a greenish-gray color. Sansevieria cylindrica produces tube-like leaves up to 7 feet (2 meters) tall.
Cylindrical snake plant, cactus snake plant, or spear sansevieria are other names for Sansevieria cylindrica. Dracaena angolensis is also the scientific name given to the plant in modern botanical classifications.
Snake plants and spear sansevierias are native to Angola.
Cylindrical Snake Plant Vs. Starfish Sansevieria
Sansevieria snake plants and starfish sansevieria differ mainly in size and growth habits. Fan-like leaves and fat cylinder leaves are the distinguishing characteristics of starfish sansevieria plants.
An especially compact cultivar of sansevieria is the starfish sansevieria. A star-shaped rosette of stiff, fat cylindrical leaves grows from a basal rosette. The plump, fleshy, cylindrical leaves only grow up to 20″ (50 cm). The leaf markings of the starfish sansevieria plant are similar to those of the cylindrical snake plant.
Snake plants, including the starfish sansevieria, are all varieties of flowering succulents. The flowers of this succulent grow vertically to the stem and can reach lengths of 3 ft. (one meter). The flowers are a pinkish-white tubular.
How to Care for Sansevieria Starfish
In general, starfish sansevieria is easy to care for indoors. All you need to do is grow it in a small pot with sandy soil, water it occasionally, and avoid placing it in direct sunlight.
You can find here detailed instructions for caring for starfish sansevieria plants.
A sunny windowsill is the ideal location for a spear sansevieria plant. Use a sheer curtain if you plan on growing this succulent near a south-facing window.
The starfish sansevieria cultivars can also grow in partial shade or complete shade, but don’t let them be blinded by the black of the shade for too long. They aren’t fast-growing plants, but in complete darkness their growth slows even more.
You will have better success growing the snake plant if you give it bright, indirect light.
The Best Soil
Adding humus and perlite to a loamy potting mix produces a great drainage system. Potting mixes for succulent plants are ideal because they can be aerated, allowing water to drain quickly.
In succulent soil mix, there is some organic matter, such as peat moss. Peat moss has moisture-retaining properties, but you need to add soil amendments, such as coarse sand, poultry grit, aquarium gravel, or perlite to ensure adequate drainage.
As with all succulent plants, starfish sansevierias are unable to grow in soggy, damp soil. The shallow root system readily rots and decays if the potting medium is constantly wet. Root rot causes fungal diseases that eventually kill the plant.
How to Water Sansevieria Starfish
In summer, water your starfish sansevieria plants every week or two. In winter, water infrequently-just every month or less. Waiting for the potting mix to dry before hydrating the soil ensures you don’t water the plant too much.
The first step to watering a sansevieria starfish is to poke your finger into the soil to check for dryness. If the medium is extremely dry, soak it thoroughly with room-temperature water. Allow the excess water to drain before returning the succulent to the sun.
Starfish succulents benefit most from “drench and dry” watering, which ensures that roots receive enough moisture. By allowing the soil to become dry, you mimic the succulent’s natural growing conditions in hot, arid climates.
The leaves on starfish sansevieria plants are thick and cylindrical to store moisture, so the plants can go many weeks without water. Less watering is preferable to excessive watering for starfish sansevieria plants.
An arid climate is the best climate for growing starsnasevierias. Growing spear sansevierias indoors is easy due to average room temperatures that are perfect for spear sansevierias. As long as you protect the star-shaped succulent from extreme temperatures, 60°F to 80°F (15°C – 26°C) is an ideal temperature range. Starfish sansevierias require a minimum temperature of 50°F (10°C).
In general, if your room is at a comfortable temperature, your sansevieria starfish will thrive.
It is important to protect cylindrical snake plants from temperature fluctuations. Fans snake plants may suffer if they sit in drafts caused by open windows or air conditioning. Sansevieria starfish near a hot radiator may wilt during winter.
The Sansevieria cylindrical starfish plant grows in USDA zones 10 and 11. Make sure the temperature does not drop below 50°F (10°C) if you are growing outdoors. If so, bring the containers inside until the weather warms up the following spring.
Low humidity is necessary for starfish succulents to thrive. Sansevieria species grow best in dry air and with good aeration. Household air is typically dry, so you don’t have to worry about indoor humidity. If you water it properly, the fleshy fan-shaped succulent will get enough moisture.
How to Fertilize Sansevieria Starfish
Snake plants are not heavy feeders. Sandy soil without many nutrients is best for plants. Sansevieria spears benefit from monthly fertilization with a succulent fertilizer diluted to half strength. Fertilize starfish sansevieria succulents only during the growing season, and do not feed them during the winter.
Starfish spear plants grow slowly, as do most succulents. As a result, over-fertilizing the plants can result in mineral salts accumulating-akin to overwatering. If you decide to provide extra nutrients, choose an organic houseplant fertilizer.
You may find that your starfish snake plant grows well without additional fertilizer if you take care of it properly.
Repotting Sansevieria Starfish
Repotting is only needed every other year or so for starfish sansevierias. Sansevieria species are slow-growing succulents that thrive when rootbound. Repot a cylindrical snake plant in a pot that is one or two sizes larger than the current one.
Growing sansevieria starfish plants is best done in Terracotta pots. These succulents can become top-heavy because of their large, fat leaves. Clay pots are more stable, so that is beneficial. Clay pots also work well for succulents since the soil dries faster.
Repot a starfish succulent by removing the fleshy plant from its existing container. Trim the roots if necessary if they show signs of decay. Then plant the starfish sansevieria in a new, larger pot half-filled with a moist potting mix. Stabilize the plant by filling the remaining space with soil and pressing down.
Before watering a sansevieria starfish after repotting, allow the soil to dry out. As a result, the newly-potted starfish snake plant has time to adjust. After that, you can continue caring for the sansevieria starfish as usual.
How to Propagate Starfish Sansevieria
Sansevieria starfish are propagated by dividing rhizomes, the roots. Starfish snake plants produce smaller ‘baby’ plants called pups at the plant’s base as they grow. You simply need to separate the pups from the mother plant and plant them in a new pot.
Sansevieria cylindrica can also be propagated by rooting a cut leaf. A leaf near the base of the plant should be cut off. Put the cylindrical leaf on a paper towel for a few days to allow the wound to heal or develop a callus. After cutting the leaves, you just need to plant them about 2″ to 3″ (5 – 7.5 cm) deep in a moist cactus soil mix. Until the cutting develops roots, keep the soil moist for a few weeks.
Pruning African Spear Plant
Cylindrical snake plants do not need to be pruned. They produce attractive ornamental houseplants with fan-shaped, fleshy leaves and easy care. The only requirement for pruning a starfish sansevieria is to remove yellow leaves or propagate the plant.
Pests Affecting Starfish Sansevieria Growth
Unlike most houseplants, sansevieria starfish succulents don’t suffer from a lot of pest problems. Vine weevils are small beetles that feed on the roots and leaves of indoor and outdoor plants. Mealybugs on starfish snake plants look like tiny white bugs that leave behind a fuzzy white substance similar to cotton wool.
For starfish succulents to thrive, it is crucial to get rid of houseplant bugs. If you want to get rid of bugs from your plants, you do not need chemicals or potentially dangerous pesticides. Organic insecticides are effective against plants pests even though they don’t contain harmful chemicals.
Neem oil can be used to get rid of vine weevils and mealybugs. Mix 2 teaspoons. One teaspoon of organic neem oil. Mix 1 quart (1 liter) of lukewarm water with liquid dish soap. Shake the anti-bug solution well and spray your sansevieria liberally with it to kill weevils or mealybugs. You can keep houseplant pests away for good by spraying neem oil on them once a week.
You can use neem oil as a natural pesticide if you suspect vine weevils are present in the soil. Weevil grubs can be managed by using neem oil solution as a substitute for watering.
Diseases Affecting Sansevieria Starfish Growth
The starfish sansevieria succulent is not susceptible to disease. Sansevieria diseases are usually caused by fungal infections caused by root rot. Root decay is usually caused by overwatering sansevierias. Snake plant disease can be prevented by only watering the plant when the soil is completely dry.
Is Starfish Sansevieria Poisonous?
Sansevieria starfish plants are toxic to cats and dogs. According to the ASPCA, plants in the Agavaceae family contain saponins. Sansevieria plant parts can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs and cats.