Sansevieria zeylanica is an evergreen perennial plant and is also well known as bowstring hemp. If you want to grow a snake plant. Then this is for you because it looks so beautiful and does not need much maintenance. As Sansevieria zeylanica is native to India and Sri Lanka it needs warm weather to grow.
It is a perfect houseplant for beginners. Because it can tolerate all weather conditions. It will thrive in low light and low water conditions. The plant will not mind if you place the container in a low humid location. It will not complain even if you don’t give enough water.
Whatever the conditions will be it will surely grow and purify your indoor air.
Like other snake plants, this plant is best to grow in pots or in an outdoor garden. If you like to grow this beautiful plant. Then read this post till the end because today you will know how to grow it.
Useful products for caring Sansevieria zeylanica
Garden Safe neem oil
Insecticidal soap and organic spray
|Common Name||Bowstring hemp, Sansevieria zeylanica|
|Light||Full sun or moderate light|
|Height||2 feet tall and 12 inches wide|
|Pest||Mealybugs, Spider mites|
|Best Zones||9 to 11|
The Sansevieria zeylanica plant
The plant has straight upward leaves that have a sword like a shape with horizontal stripes. The light cream color horizontal waves on leaves improve its beauty. At the top leaves have sharp pointed tips.
Botanically it is a flowering plant but in reality, it does not bloom easily. It only blooms few times a year in its native place. Its green and white flowers are rare to see.
This plant also has industrial benefits. Because its leaves are used to make mats, cloths, paper, etc. Sansevieria zeylanica is also used in Ayurveda due to its medicinal properties.
Despite all the qualities, it is mildly toxic, can cause vomiting or nausea. So, keep your children and pets away from it.
Pets are clever animals once they know this plant is not suitable for their stomach. They will not come close to it again.
Nature gives them strong senses that help them to smell what is good and bad for them.
Caring Sansevieria zeylanica
This plant is simple to grow and easy to maintain. Like other plants, it needs light, water, and fertilizer to grow healthy. Below is the universal caring guide for this plant.
Sunlight & Temperature
For indoor growing snake plants, you have to give them a good amount of light. Place it on a sunny window where it can get a minimum of 8 hours of direct or indirect sunlight. If you do not have a sunny window then use grow lights.
It will not grow best only in indirect Sunlight. Use 100 watts LED grow light to full fill its light requirements. Your plant will develop dark green color leaves if it will not get bright light.
If grown outdoor the plant will develop light green color leaves. This is because of the direct sunlight. That falls on the plant for long hours. If you grow it in a shady place still it will develop bright green color leaves.
Because it is native to warm-weather countries. It cannot handle the cold temperature. The plant will die if the temperature drops below the 10 Degree C. The ideal temperature range is 60 to 75 degrees F.
It is not hard enough to tolerate frost. Your outdoor growing Sansevieria plant will die when the frost hits. If you want to have it in winters. Then you have to grow it in containers. You can move the container inside just before the winter starts.
Water & Humidity
The plant does not need high humid conditions like other plants. low to moderate humidity level is good to grow and care for Snake plants. If you feel it needs extra humidity in the grow room. Then just put the pot on the humid tray filled with water and pebbles.
This will increase the humidity around the plant without disturbing the humidity of the entire room.
You will not need to increase the humidity if you are living in Zone 9 to 11. The indoor humidity is sufficient for the plants in these zones. In high humidity, it will get root rot disease.
For outdoor growing Snake plants uses mulch to protect their moisture. Because mulch does not allow sun rays to fall directly on the root area and damage the plant. Moreover, mulching is required to keep the soil moist for a long time on hard summer days.
You need to stop watering the plant in winters. If needed only water it when the soil gets dry. Frequent watering in cold months results in plant fungus diseases.
The plant always needs more water, sunlight, and nutrients when they are in their active state. In warm months plants start growing and in winter they stop their growth.
Sandy loam soil is best for the plant. The Sansevieria plant will be happy in sandy soil. It gives the plant enough room to grow its roots. Tightly packed or normal garden soil reduce the fresh air supply. Sand in the soil prevents root rot because it drains out the excess water.
If you want to use your garden soil you can do so. But the condition is you have to add sand to the soil to make it suitable for the plant. 50 % garden soil and 50% sand are best for growing Sansevieria zeylanica.
It does not need heavy fertilization for good growth. Use any general-purpose plant fertilizer. Most of the time experienced growers use half-strength granular fertilizer. Fertilize the plant once in spring and it will don’t need more fertilization.
The outdoor growing plants do not need fertilizers. Because they get everything from the soil. If you still want to give them a little healthy boost. Then use slow releasing fertilizer once a year in spring only.
Repotting the plant
Only repot your plant once it shows the signs of overgrowth. Yellow leaves and leaf loss are the signs that your plant needs a bigger pot.
For repotting only choose 2 inches wider pot than the existing one. Also, fill it with fresh sandy loam soil. Do not use old soil because at the time of repotting your plants needs fresh soil.
Plant it at the same depth in the new pot.
After planting it give some water.
For propagation use cuttings. The plant will grow the same as its mother plant. All snake plants have the same propagation method. Growing a plant from seeds take time. It is not guaranteed that all planted seeds will germinate.
in case of growing from cuttings. There is a 97% surety that the planted cutting will grow. Only 3 % cutting does not grow due to improper care.
Pruning is required only when the plant leaves grow too long in size. If they fall over the pot then cut them to keep the plant in good shape.
Use these leaves to grow more bowstring plants. For cuttings use sharp shears or sharp sterile knives.
Also, remove the dead leaves and save your plant from the diseases. Frequent trimming is required if you like to keep the plant short and sweet. For pruning always wear garden gloves and safety glasses.
Mealybugs and spider mites are only two pests that attack bowstring hemp. Both these stick themselves to the plant leaves and suck the nutrients. Your plants become nutrient deficient and die within a month.
To kill these pests, use insecticidal soap or neem spray. Insecticidal soap is good to use after a pest attack. But you should use neem spray once a month to prevent all the possible pests.
If you have rubbing alcohol at home. Then pour it on a cotton cloth and wipe the leaves. Do not use rubbing alcohol to treat other plants. Soft stem plant will not tolerate it.
Root rot is a common disease in bowstring hemp. It is only caused by the overwatering. The plant prefers to grow in little dry conditions. Therefore, do not give it excess water. It needs less water than other snake plants.
Let the soil dry before watering. Do the finger test to check the soil condition.
For best growth please give it proper care. Trust me it will look amazing in your garden. In fact, some people like to have it inside their homes. It will be a good piece of decoration when grown in containers.
If you have any questions or find it difficult to grow and care Sansevieria zeylanica. Contact us we will help to grow this plant.