Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)


The hemp is also known as Sansevieria and belongs to the family of dragon trees (Dracaenaceae). Most of the species are at home in the warm dry climate of tropical Africa, a few also in the tropical parts of Asia. Some varieties of hemp are cultivated as crops thanks to their hemp-like fibres. They are used as raw material for ropework or for bowstrings – hence the German name “Bogenhanf” (bow hemp).

In 1794 the Swedish naturalist Carl Peter Thunberg brought the plant to Europe and gave it the botanical name Sansevieria. The namesake: Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of San Severo, a famous Italian scientist and inventor from the 18th century. In the meantime, the desert plant has adapted excellently to life indoors and has been thriving on sunny windows for generations. As indoor and office plants, the many cultivated forms of the wild species Sansevieria trifasciata are of the greatest importance.


The Sansevierie is a herbaceous succulent and does not form an upright shoot axis. The basal leaves all originate from short, thick rhizomes and end in a green, spiny tip.


The 70 or so varieties of hemp grown in the arch, which are mainly used as house plants, have more or less long, fleshy, belt-like leaves. Depending on the variety, they grow rigidly upright or in a rosette-like arrangement. The leaves of the various species and cultivars are flat or roundish, marked on both sides with light or dark green transverse bands and up to 1.50 metres long.


With good care older Sansevieries sometimes show small, greenish-white, fragrant flowers. They open at night and are arranged like panicles on a slender stem, which reaches at most two thirds of the leaf length.

Location and substrate

Thanks to its robust nature, hemp also thrives under less than optimal site conditions. The ideal temperature is 21 to 24 degrees, but the plant can tolerate room temperatures of up to 30 degrees. However, Sansevieries should be placed in a somewhat shaded area if they are to be grown for long periods of time with high temperatures and plenty of sun. In winter the room temperature should be a little lower, but not below 15 degrees. Give the plant a location that is as bright as possible compared to summer and avoid draughts. Like all steppe and desert plants, Sansevia prefers a not too humid, permeable and mainly mineral substrate. Ideal is a mixture that consists of equal parts of indoor plant soil and clay granules or coarse sand. Bow hemp is also very well suited for hydroponics.


The bow hemp prefers it too dry rather than too moist. Therefore, water the plant sparingly and let the soil dry before the next watering. If Sansevieries stand too wet for a long time, there is a risk of rotting. Do not pour the water directly into the leaf rosettes, but rather on the side of the soil or in a trivet. In winter you should only water every four weeks. At temperatures below ten degrees Celsius, watering should be stopped completely, as the plants then take a break from growth.


Supply the Sansevierie every three to four weeks from March to October with cactus fertilizer or commercial green plant fertilizer, which is best given as liquid fertilizer together with the watering water. Fertilization is not used in winter.

Repot bow hemp

Flat pots with a large diameter are best suited for Sansevieries, as they develop thick rhizomes that spread horizontally just below the surface of the earth. Repot the plants in March or April if necessary. This is only necessary when the plants are fully rooted, when the rhizomes push each other out of the soil at the top or grow beyond the edge of the pot. In tall Sansevieries, individual leaves may occasionally tip to the side because the rhizome is not sufficiently anchored in the soil – this is another way of telling when it is time to repot. Before repotting, place clay fragments on the holes and fill in a thin layer of granulated clay as drainage. In the case of large vessels, only the top layer of soil is replaced each year. As the tall, slim growing species can become top-heavy, you should place them in heavy pots or cachepots.

Species and varieties

Besides the green basic forms there are also beautiful, colourful patterned variants of hemp bows Within the species Sansevieria trifasciata the varieties differ in colour (green, silver or gold coloured) or leaf length. The probably most famous variety is called ‘Laurentii’, its leaves are bordered by golden yellow longitudinal stripes. Silver Cloud’ has silver patterned leaves, ‘Hahnii’ forms grow low and rosette-shaped. The species Sansevieria cylindrica is characterised by round and very long, upright growing leaves. They are available in many sizes. Their green or grey leaves are also braided. Sansevieria kirkii has much smaller, thinner leaves. There are also several ornamental forms of this plant.

Other care

Individual disturbing leaves can be cut off at any time with a sharp knife directly at the rhizome.


In spring or summer, green-leaved hemp is very easy to propagate by means of cuttings from leaf segments about five centimetres long of younger plants. But remember which cutting edge belongs up and which belongs down! After cutting, the cut surfaces should be left to air dry for about a week, only then the leaf pieces are placed in a moist substrate. In semi-shade at 21 degrees Celsius they soon form small, rooted rhizomes from which new leaves sprout. They can then be potted individually. Please note, however, that cuttings of yellow striped varieties lose their typical colouring and only produce green leaves.

Varieties of yellow striped hemp are best propagated by division. In slender, upright-growing varieties, it is best to separate rooted rhizome pieces with a few leaves from the mother plant as soon as they are repotted and to pot them. For long-leaved varieties, shorten the leaves by about half so that the plants are stable in the pot. In the case of rosette-like Sansevieries, carefully separate the individual rosettes so that each has a few roots. The sections are placed individually in flower pots.

Diseases and pests

The hemp is a very robust plant that also forgives serious care mistakes. Pests and plant diseases also occur rather rarely. Brownish discoloured or limp leaves are mostly due to root rot caused by stagnant moisture or too low temperatures. The most common pests include mealy bugs, and the plants are occasionally attacked by spider mites in dry heating air XXXXXXX The Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) is one of those plants that when seen, seems very simple, very common. However, when you approach and see it better, you realize how decorative it is. Whether you have green, silver or variegated leaves, with or without lines, it is a kind of plant with which anyone can decorate your home, even if you do not have much experience in the world of gardening. Their care is very simple, since you can also live without problems in pots throughout their lives. And since it does not need much sun to grow, it is ideal to have rooms that do not get much light .

How is the Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)

This is a plant native to tropical Africa known by the scientific name Sansevieria trifasciata , and by the commons of snake plant, Sansevieria , mother tongue, tiger’s tongue. Sword of St. George is used in Southern Europe and Latin America. It is characterized by having flat-concave leaves, thick and quite hard, measuring between 30cm and 1m in length . They arise from a rhizome that is underground. The adult specimens produce greenish-white flowers that spring from a terminal stem (that is, when the flowers dry up and the fruit ripens, it withers). They give off a very pleasant aroma.
Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) WITH FLOWERS

Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) Care

If you want to have a Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata) and you do not know how to take care of her, do not worry. We explain it to you right now:
  • Location : can be outside in semi-shade, or indoors.
  • Irrigation : infrequent. It should be watered once or twice a week in summer and every 10-15 days the rest of the year.
  • Soil or substrate : it is not demanding, but it must have good drainage. If you want to have it on the ground and it is very compact, I suggest making a hole large enough to fit a block (of the rectangular ones), introduce this block and plant the plant in the hole with universal culture substrate mixed with pearlite. In case you want to have a pot, you can use this same substrate.
  • Fertilizer : in spring and summer must be paid with fertilizers for cactus and succulents, following the indications specified on the package.
  • Planting or transplanting time : in spring.
  • Propagation : by division of bushes in spring.
  • Resilience and Resistance : can resist weak frosts of up to -2ºC whenever they are isolated.
snake plant sansevieria trifasciata
What did you think of the Sanseviera?


Growth type
  • Rhizome
  • Succulent
Growth height
from 20.00cm to 150.00cm
Growth width
from 20.00cm to 50.00cm
Growth characteristics
  • upright
Flowering time (month)
  • May to June
Flower shape
  • terminal
  • multiflorous
  • Panicles
Sheet shape
  • whole-edged
  • acuminate
  • sword-shaped
Sheet properties
  • evergreen
  • sunny to semi-shady
Soil Moisture
  • moderately dry
Lime tolerance
  • lime-tolerant
Nutrient requirements
  • low in nutrients
Decorative or utility value
  • Leaf decoration
  • weakly poisonous
Winter Hardness
  • frost-sensitive
  • Single position
  • Interior greening
  • Planters
  • Winter garden

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

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