Sansevieria Cylindrica Care (African Spear Plant)

Sansevieria cylindrica

Sansevieria cylindrica, also known as African spear plant, dragon fingers plant, cylindrical snake plant, braided sansevieria, or Dracaena angolensis, is one of the most beautiful houseplants that you can grow indoors in your home or office.

Sansevieria cylindrica has multiple names including snake grass, mother-in-law’s tongue, lucky bamboo, and Devil’s tongue. It also goes by the scientific name of Sansevieria trifasciata and the botanical family name of Asparagaceae.

This plant has been around since before dinosaurs roamed the earth and have survived in some of the most extreme conditions on the planet. It’s also extremely easy to grow indoors, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to start their own indoor garden but doesn’t have much experience with plants or gardening.

Sansevieria cylindrica, also known as mother in law’s tongue, is one of the most well-known members of the sansevieria family of houseplants, with large leaves that are often used in tabletop arrangements and groupings. If you have an area in your home that receives good light but little water, this type of sansevieria could be an excellent choice to add some visual interest to your decorating choices.

Origin and distribution

Sansevieria cylindrica

Sansevieria cylindrica is native to Angola. The plant is popularly known as Dracaena angolensis and African spear plant. Its other common names include dragon fingers, zebra plant, snake palm, and black mamba.

It was first described by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck in 1791. It is one of many species of sansevieria cultivated for decorative purposes. Other popular houseplants that belong to the same genus are: Sansevieria trifasciata (also known as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue), Sansevieria parva, Sansevieria zeylanica, and others. They are all succulent plants with stiff, erect leaves. Their foliage can be green or variegated with white stripes or yellowish streaks on a dark green background.

Common names

The sansevieria cylindrical bears many names, some of which are Dracaena angolensis, African spear plant, african snake plant, cylindrical snake plant, dragon fingers plant, braided sansevieria, or just dracena plant.

Sansevieria ballyi (Dwarf Sansevieria Varieties)

Sansevieria cylindrica propagation

Sansevieria cylindrica

This cylindrical snake plant is an easy-to-grow houseplant with a unique look. The thick, fleshy leaves of Sansevieria cylindrica can grow up to 24 inches in length, but they naturally coil around each other like pipe cleaners, so these plants are often called Dracaena angolensis or dragon fingers plants.

They’re native to Africa and tropical Asia, where they’re used for medicinal purposes. Propagation is usually done by taking cuttings from healthy plants and planting them in the soil; however, it’s also possible to propagate African spear plants from leaf cuttings alone. Leaf cuttings should be taken during spring or summer when temperatures are between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Plants grown from leaf cuttings will have shorter roots than those grown from stem cuttings, but you can compensate for that by placing pots directly into larger containers filled with potting mix once new growth appears on your cutting. Dragon fingers plants do best when planted in full sun locations, such as a south-facing window.

These plants prefer well-drained soil and average room temperatures. If you want to keep your African spear plant indoors year-round, choose a container that has at least one drain hole in its bottom. Water thoroughly until water drains out of holes, then allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry before watering again. Overwatering is one of the most common reasons why these plants die indoors.

Sansevieria cylindrica care information

Sansevieria cylindrica

Sansevieria are generally easy to care for, with both snake plants and bowstring hemp being a little fussier than most. The first thing you’ll want to do is find a good spot for your plant where it will get plenty of light but won’t be exposed to direct sunlight, as these guys don’t like that at all. You should also make sure your Sansevieria has enough water—but not too much!

Light requirement

The Sansevieria cylindrica will grow in a variety of lighting conditions. Place it in direct sunlight for about three hours per day or five to six hours if you’re growing it indoors. It will thrive when placed under fluorescent lights. However, remember that your plants may need an adjustment period if they are acclimated to natural sunlight and then placed under artificial lighting. Over time, they will adjust and grow with little attention from you.

Mother In Law's Tongue Plant (Dracaena trifasciata)

Soil/potting mix

In terms of growing medium, you will want to use either potting soil or African violet soil, which has higher amounts of sand and fir bark in it than regular potting soil. Keep your soil moist but not soggy, the leaves should be able to retain some moisture after watering.


Sansevieria does not need much water, and is, therefore, a very good plant for those who tend to overwater their plants. That being said, if you want your Sansevieria to grow, it will need some water. Try to keep its soil damp at all times, but do not let it sit in standing water! Watering should be done once every week or two.


When it comes to fertilizer, sansevieria plants prefer soil-based products. Fertilizers are designed for plants to absorb nutrients via their roots, but since snake plants don’t have a large root system you don’t need anything stronger than fish emulsion. Start with a weak solution and work your way up if you notice that your plant isn’t growing as much as you would like.


Sansevieria prefers medium lighting, with a temperature range of 65-75 degrees. If you’re concerned about your plant drying out during winter, place it in an area that’s warm, but draft-free. Make sure that your African spear plant is away from sunlight and never let it sit in cold drafts or temperatures below 50 degrees. While humidity isn’t a big concern for the plant, it does prefer moist soil with good drainage.


Sansevieria cylindrica thrives in moist soil but avoids overwatering it. Since it’s a snake plant, take care not to get water directly on its leaves, and remember that there are actually two types of Sansevieria. This variety is also known as Sansevieria trifasciata, snake plant, or mother-in-law’s tongue due to its popularity in household settings.

Sansevieria Eilensis Care Tips

The ideal humidity range is 40-60% with an average temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The Sansevieria cylindrica can handle temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but keep in mind that it’s not a cold-tolerant plant.

A relative of the popular snake plant, Sansevieria trifasciata Laurentii also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant, is a great addition to any home or office space.


Sansevieria cylindrica doesn’t need much pruning. Older leaves that have yellowed or withered can be cut back to stay healthy and improve airflow around your plant. If you notice brown tips on your leaves, trim those off as well. On rare occasions, a leaf may fall off unexpectedly, this is likely because of insufficient light. Just leave it alone; new leaves will grow in their place.

When to repot

Sansevieria cylindrica is a succulent plant and doesn’t need to be repotted very often. As long as it has good drainage, light, warmth, and water (without excess), you can keep your snake plant in its same pot for many years, repotting it only when it seems to have filled up most of its space.


Like many succulents, the African spear plant goes dormant in the winter, which means it sheds most of its leaves. But unlike many other succulents, it does not need a long dormancy period. Sansevieria cylindrica can be kept active year-round by providing bright indirect light and a comfortable room temperature between 65 degrees F and 70 degrees F. Water sparingly during dormancy; do not allow the soil to dry out completely. Once new growth appears, resume normal watering habits.

Sansevieria cylindrica flower & fragrance

Sansevieria cylindrica

Commonly known as an African spear plant, Sansevieria cylindrica is easy to grow and a great addition to any room in your home. The leaves and flowers of the cylindrica snake plant contain a chemical that absorbs unpleasant odors from the air and replaces them with a fresh, minty fragrance.

Growth rate

This is a fairly slow-growing plant, and it may take up to a year or more for your Sansevieria to reach maturity. African Violet should be watered when the soil feels dry about an inch below its surface. To test if your plant needs water, remove the pot from the stand and hold it upside down over the sink with the drain hole facing toward you; fill the pot with water until water drains out through the hole in the bottom of the pot.

Sansevieria gracilis (Variegated Sansevieria)


Sansevieria is toxic to pets, especially cats and dogs. Even a small amount of ingested Sansevieria can cause gastrointestinal irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea in animals that ingest it. Left untreated, Sansevieria ingestion may result in a serious disruption of electrolyte balance, specifically affecting sodium levels and causing hypernatremic dehydration; therefore it’s important to seek immediate veterinary care if your pet has ingested any part of a Sansevieria plant.

USDA hardiness zones

Sansevieria cylindrica thrives best in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11. The plant is not cold-hardy, so if you live in a colder climate, it’s best to grow Sansevieria cylindrica as a houseplant.

Pests and diseases

Spider mites, red spider, mealybugs, aphids, and whitefly are some of the few diseases that affect this plant. Look for signs of damage or frass on lower leaves. Treat for these regularly if you see any pests or signs of pests.

Treat only when necessary, though; over-treating can stress your plant to its death and be toxic to pets who may come in contact with it. Be careful not to breathe in powdery mildew spores while dusting your plant! You’ll want to treat for a pest infestation at least twice: once when you first notice symptoms, and again about a week later.


Sansevieria cylindrica, also known as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, has many benefits, including providing good lighting and air circulation to a room and removing toxins from a room’s air. In addition to these qualities, it is easy to grow, requiring little attention or care. The only downside of having a sansevieria in your home is that you will be stuck with an awesome pet!