Sansevieria Laurentii: Tough Indoor House Plant

Over the past few weeks the e-mail bag has been getting quite a few responses for a good starter plant or a plant that can handle a lot of abuse.

Those of you that have been readers for a while know that I have been torturing the – ZZ plant or Zamioculcas Zamiifolia.

(I watered it 3 times in about 8 months.)

Now I want to hit on another really tough plant the Sansevieria or the "Snake plant".

Plants as with fashion seem to come and go and come back again. Over the last few years the Sansevieria has started somewhat of a comeback. The Snake plant has been grown in the US foliage trade since the 1920′s.

There are about 60 varieties but only about 15 varieties are grown commercially. Of these the two most popular are laurentii and zeylanica.

They are also known by another name that isn’t very "politically correct" the mother-in-law’s tongue.

Stock plants are grown in beds out in the full sun.

One very unusual thing about the production of these plants is that stock growers actually mow the tops of the plants to force them to produce new growth. Snake’s can be grown from leaf cuttings, clumps or rhizome cuttings.

These plants are very versatile in both size and in growing conditions.

You can find Sansevieria used in small dish gardens all the way up into 14" containers about 42" inches in height. They can handle full sun and look great on a patio during the spring and summer, but also can go inside into very low light.

This plant can hang with the best of all low light plants.

The one climatic condition which it will not tolerate is temperatures below 45 degrees for extended periods. When the plants are damaged it can show up slowly sometimes over a 1- 4 week period.

Sansevieria Moonshine Silver leaf snake plant

One Sansevieria Downside

Everything seems to have a downside. Sansevieria are no different. Their downside is weight.

Because of their relationship to the succulent family they hold a lot of water.

As plants reach 10" and larger in pot size the weight goes up dramatically. I’ve seen 10" plants that weight 25 pounds or more.

If you’re looking for a indoor house plant that:

  • Is tough indoors
  • Can be placed just about anywhere
  • Takes up little space
  • Goes a long time between watering
  • Is a good plant to start with in the house
  • Can start outside this spring and move inside

Take a look at the Sansevieria.


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