Over the years, many homes have grown the Sansevieria Cylindrica because of its wide-ranging suitability as a succulent and its similar care requirements as the Snake plant. This variety has gained its reputation as the African Spear because of its ability to grow in challenging environments. In addition to stout stems that grow directly from the ground, this houseplant has leaves twisted into cylindrical spears.
An overview of African Spear Plant Cylindrica
A perennial succulent and a member of the Asparagaceae family, Sansevieria Cylindrica is commonly known as the African Spear plant. Many other names are given to this plant, including:
- Spear Orchid
- Skyline Spear Sansevieria
- Cylindrica Mothers-in-Laws Tongue
What size does it grow to? You could probably ask. It’s usually between 12 and 24 inches tall when most Sansevierias reach their maturity stages.
Other Graceful Varieties
- Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twisted Sister’: Twisted Sister is known for its branches with curly leaves and yellow lining on the edges. Since its leaves are only between 12’ – 15’ inches tall, it’s more like the dwarf type among other varieties.
- Anthurium trifasciata ‘Golden Hanhii’: Another name for the Bird’s Nest is the Golden Hanhii. As this variety grows older, it develops is striking rosette pattern with light green stripes running horizontally on the leaves.
- ‘Cleopatra’ Sansevieria trifasciata: A high-quality option for indoor spaces including your office, room, or balcony. It is a plant that is hard to find in the market, but it is a non-fussy houseplant that grows at a slow pace but has a striking rosette pattern if grown in the right conditions.
- Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Black Gold’: The glossy green leaves of this tropical plant have golden-yellow stripes on their edges, so they stand sleekly tall in any indoor setting.
- Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Futura Robusta’: Its leaves are elegantly crisp and irregularly shaped. It can be grown inside a small pot and is an ideal indoor accent.
Sansevieria Cylindrica Caring Tips
Flowering & Fragrance
As they mature, snake plant leaves become covered in a teddy bear like pattern. During the early stages of blooming, the flowers generally appear as spikes, which develop in clusters. A flower of this species has a greenish-white color scale and a tube-like shape. The flowers begin to die at some point after blooming. New stems in the form of rhizomes emerge from each node of a shoot in the blooming stage, and they grow upwards to the soil. Once the flower stalks have withered, it is important to pluck off them to maintain the plant’s appearance and verve. Moths help facilitate pollination when grown outside.
Soil & Transplanting
Use a quick-draining cactus mix while making the potting soil. As with other succulents, Sansevierias are usually susceptible to root rot, so it is best to add a bit of sandy soil to make water drain easily. Don’t forget to use a growing pot with enough drainage holes to allow for water to escape. Blend the growing media with perlite to encourage aeration. The topsoil should also be fertilized with banana peels and egg shells. These foods are ideal for supplying African Spear plants with nutrients they need.
Some pieces of pumice and tree bark can also add a lot of nutrients to your plants’ potting soil. African Spear plant health can be improved by using diatomaceous earth for pest control, which reduces the risk of harmful pests attacking the plant.
Light & Temperature
An excellent choice for growing indoors, Sansevieria Cylindrica enjoys bright, indirect light. Using sheer curtains will help filter the sun rays if you are placing the pot on a windowsill, or better yet, north-facing windows. If you choose the shaded patio option, you should have a better chance of capturing natural light. A plant will not be fully able to bloom when it is exposed to low light when it needs optimal light conditions. Sansevierias prefer a room temperature between 50° and 85° degrees Fahrenheit for their leaves to appear bright.
Watering & Feeding
This Sansevieria variety is quite capable of surviving throughout the dry season without being watered. When it’s summer, you should water it only once a week, and then reduce the number of waterings to once a month once winter checks in. Excessively wet soil can cause roots to rot. The intervals between waterings will have to be stretched out even further when the African Spear plant matures. It’s not imperative to fertilize this succulent, but you can feed it during the growing season so it can produce the best foliage and blooms in the most favorable manner. A well-balanced fertilizer would enable it to reach its full potential without much struggle.
The high-spirited growth rate Nitrogen contributes to your African Spear, while potassium speed up blooming. Choose a fertilizer that contains phosphorus elements since they encourage your succulent to fight common diseases that affect houseplants. Since the growth hormones usually do not accelerate during the freezing months, feeding this variety isn’t necessary.
Common Pests & Diseases
Spider mites and mealybugs are two of the most common pests to deal with. The sticky sap on many houseplants, including the African spear, is what attracts pests most. The leaves will wilt, and in extreme cases, if infested in a way where they cannot be controlled by humans or chemicals, they will dry up completely. If getting rid of mealybugs manually by handpicking seems difficult, use a piece of cloth and alcohol to wipe off your plant. To prevent spider mites from inhabiting the plant, you should also raise its humidity levels.
One of the major causes of this condition is the presence of moisture on the leaves of the African Spear plant. The leaves of your plant can begin to develop some red spots when you overwater it. Some whitish growth can also form on the underside of the leaves, and then turn brown, making the affected areas stiffen. When you see significant signs of rotting in your plants, you’ll know you have a fungal infection, that’s when you’ll lose your plant. Always make sure the leaves are dry and the topsoil is completely dry before watering your plant again, to protect this houseplant from such dreadful diseases.
And you can drain quickly by using permeable soil and storing the growing medium somewhere where the body temperature is normal. It is good to note that if you grow it outside, waterlogging your garden could result in the plant cells bursting. Having too much water will not only cause the roots to rot—it will also bloat the leaves, causing them to smell unpleasant. In the event your Snake plant is affected by a disease, do not use chemicals to combat it. Pesticide use results in other detrimental effects as inconsistent watering patterns often cause these diseases.
Snake Plant Propagation
You may want to propagate your Snake Plant a few years after it is fully grown. The Snake plant’s leaves become sunburnt, grow loosely tall, and bend downwards during periods of physical decline. In such instances, you might want to grow a new breed of Snake plant. You can propagate Sansevieria cuttings that show symptoms of root rot due to overwatering even if they are healthier and with fewer visible blemishes. Keeping more Snake plants on your balcony or garden would also be a blissful experience if you are a fan of how it looks.
How to Propagate Your Sansevieria Snake Plant
A few simple tips will help you propagate snake plants. While this plant prefers a growing media that doesn’t get waterlogged. Watering the plant in the propagation phase is one of the easiest methods known for yielding the best results. Leaf cuttings can be used to propagate the snake plant for a reasonable yield. Leaves that look too old or that have signs of decay should not be used. Make sure the leaves are at least 6 inches long before dissecting them from the mother plant.
Here are some other handy propagation tips you should remember:
- Remove a few healthy leaves of the mother plant using a pair of sterilized scissors.
- It is important for the open wounds to heal and form a callus that protects newly propagated cuttings from catching diseases, so they need to be in the sun for a couple of days.
- Wait for the baby roots to develop in a jar full of water with the base part of the cutting in the water.
- Propagating the cuttings in soil is also possible. Just remember to follow the tips right under the soil and transplanting section when preparing the potting mix.
- Once the pups emerge, transfer the cuttings to a growing medium if you are looking to propagate them using water.
Benefits & Uses of the Snake Plant
Snake plants such as the African Spear make excellent houseplants because of how well they purify the air. Typically, plants release carbon dioxide in the evening as they take in oxygen. Though toxic gases such as benzene, xylene, and formaldehyde are harmful when inhaled, they are usually harmless. So, sleeping with most of them could lead to suffocation, but that’s not true with the Snake plant. Instead, it uses Crassulacean Acid Metabolism carbon fixation during photosynthesis to break down carbon dioxide into oxygen at night.
As a result, fresh air is constantly available. It’s no wonder why this physical property has been used over the years to treat Sick Building Syndrome. Keeping your African Spear plant healthy while grooming will also help get rid of the odor in your house. Although many gardeners throw the leaves away, they use them as a source of fiber for making ropes and craft jewelry.
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