Sansevieria Cylindrica (African spear)

I don’t understand why people do not grow Sansevieria cylindrica. This plant has unique long cylindrical leaves. They grow in a star formation. It is also called the African spear plant.

Growing and caring for this plant is just similar to its close friend snake plant. Some people call it the elephant toothpick plant due to its long leaves.

Today we will talk about Sansevieria cylindrica care, watering, fertilizing, propagation, and common pests and diseases.

About the African Spear plant

The African spear plant is native to Angola. It is a small country in central Africa famous for its natural resources. There the plant is mainly found in jungles. It grows on the jungle floor with minimal light and care. Therefore, Sansevieria cylindrica is the best plant for beginner gardeners. When I started gardening in 2010 African spear was the second plant in my indoor plant collection.

The plant has long tubular-shaped leaves with a smooth surface. Because it is a family member of Asparagaceae plants it stays green for an entire year. This succulent plant has dark green tubular spikes with grey variegation.

The very beautiful and popular variety is called Sansevieria boncel.

Once it gets matured it produces white-creamy flowers. They are small in size but very beautiful.

Quick Care Guide

Common Names Cylindrical snake plant, African spear or spear sansevieria
Light Bright, filtered
Water Moderate
Humidity Normal range
Family Asparagaceae
Soil Well-draining
Pests Mealybugs
Diseases Vine Weevils

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Sansevieria Cylindrica Care

Sansevieria Cylindrica grows easily with minimal care. It can handle a little bit of negligence of the grower. If you like to add it to your houseplant collection then you need to follow the below guide. Read all sections and make notes for quick action.

Light and Temperature for Sansevieria Cylindrica Care

To grow it indoors you have to give it plenty of sunlight but not direct light. This plant needs a high amount of light to make its leaves tall and tubular. In low light conditions, the leaves do not grow large in size. If you want it to stay short then put the plant in low light.

For best care north facing a sunny window is the perfect place for placing the plant pot. Or you can use grow lights to grow it in any part of the house. Any brand 200 watts grow light is enough for it. Do not use HPS grow light for Sansevieria Cylindrica Care.

They release a high amount of heat that is not good for houseplants. High heat makes the plants dry quickly. Also, burning the plant tissues this resulting in weak growth and a dull appearance. Plant leaves also lose their beautiful color.

When growing outdoors, plant it in a bright shady place. Where it can receive plenty of filtered bright light.

As long as the temperature is concerned this plant-like to grow in warm weather. In fact, in the warm season, it grows on its own. You do not have to give it much care.

A temperature below 10 degrees C is not favorable for the plant. The tissues of the plant start dying and you lose your entire plant within a few days. Therefore, once the winter starts bring the plant pot inside.

We all have house temperatures above 10 degrees C. Indoors is the best place to grow Sansevieria Cylindrica plants.


It needs fast-draining soil and the perfect soil will be the cactus potting soil. Succulents always need fast draining and lightweight soil. The soil should have the tendency to absorb a high amount of water without being soggy and heavy. Cactus potting soil is the only best option we have for Sansevieria Cylindrica Care.

It has sand in it and we all know sand is not heavy material and it also drains well than the garden soil and clay soil. You will lose the plant if you only use garden soil. To use it add some coarse sand to it and make it suitable for the plant.

Do not forget to add perlite for making it fluffy. Only garden soil and organic compost together will not work for Sansevieria Cylindrica.

Water and Humidity

You will be happy to know that you do not need to water it frequently even in the summer season. Because this plant can handle the little dry conditions. In fact, you should keep the soil on a little dry side to encourage growth.

In summer water your growing Sansevieria Cylindrica plants only one time per week. Use the deepwater method for watering. Once the soil becomes dry then again water the plant. Do not water it until the potting soil becomes completely dry.

In winters only water the plant once a month. Do not water when you think the soil is dry. You have to check it by soil moisture meter or by poking your finger in the soil. Then decide it needs water or not.

An extra cup can cause serious problems. Overwatering can kill your plant.

Humidity is a big concern if you live in desert areas. Otherwise, the normal range of home humidity is sufficient for growing Sansevieria Cylindrica plants.

Brown leaf tips are the first sign of low humidity. In this case, you can mist water on plant leaves or put it close to other plants. The last thing is to use a humidifier or for an immediate increase in humidity put the plant in the bathroom.

But make sure the bathroom is airy and has plenty of light in it.


We use fertilizers for good growth and bright leaves. This plant does not need heavy fertilization because it is a small size plant. Give it a nutrient boost only once a month and spring is its growing season.

Use succulent nutrients only. Take out the liquid from the bottle and dilute it to half strength. Then pour it on the base of the plant.

Stop it in the winter or this will result in over-fertilization. Remember that overdosage of nutrients can burn the plant leaves. Once the leaves get burned the plant becomes unable to absorb sufficient light energy.


African spear does not need repotting for the first few years. This is a slow-growing plant and slow growers need repotting once in 3 to 4 years. When your plant has outgrown the pot then you need to repot it.

For repotting use one size bigger pot.

Water the plant 48 hours before repotting. This will lose the soil and you can easily pull it from its pot. Take the plant out of its pot and gently put it in the new pot.

Then fill the pot with the new potting soil of the same type that you use before. Then water the plant and put it back in its place. Your plant will get established in the pot in few days.


It is not required in the case of an African spear plant. If the leaves turn yellow then you need to cut them and remove them. Otherwise, give good care to the plant.


To propagate it separate the offsets or runners. Use a sharp knife to cut them from the plant. Use rubbing alcohol to sterilize the knife before use. These stalks should be 6 inches long before their separation.

You can also propagate it from leaf cutting. Cut the leaf and plant it in the soil upright. The leaf will grow like a big plant.

Common problems

This plant is resistant to many common houseplant problems. But there are some plant issues that are linked to overwatering. Extra water in the plant pot results in root rot diseases.

If the container does not have a draining hole, then the chances of overwatering increased to 75 %. Yellow leaves are triggered by extra water. We explained the watering technique above in this article.


Vine weevils are the common enemy of the African spear plant. These pests eat the top edges of the plant leaves. Once they eat them then you cannot make the leaves healthy again. They eat such part of the leaf that does not grow again once it has gone.

Drench the potting mix with neem oil to get rid of these deadly pests. For worst cases use pesticide spray.

Take the plant out of your house and then use spray on it.


As I already said overwatering results in root fungus. If your plant is infected by it then use a fungicide to get rid of fungus on plant leaves. Cut the infected part of the plant roots and then again plant it back in the same pot. If you see fungi in the soil then change the soil and wash the plant pot with normal soap.

This is all about growing and caring for Sansevieria cylindrica plants.

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