Sansevieria Cylindrica is what some may consider the smaller, more minimalistic sibling to the ever-popular Snake Plant. It also goes by the common names African Spear Plant or Cylindrical Spear Plant.
As the names imply, Sansevieria Cylindrical has round skinny leaves that narrow at the end like a spear. Variations like Sansevieria Cylindrica Spaghetti have even skinnier leaves that grow about half the size. Some varieties are pure green, while others have subtle gray stripes.
As a slow-growing succulent with simple care requirements, Sansevieria Cylindrica is a perfect choice for first-time plant owners. Knowing its preferred growing conditions will ensure your plant thrives.
Sansevieria Cylindrica needs four to six hours of indirect sunlight per day, well-draining succulent soil mix, and a pot with excellent drainage. It also prefers infrequent watering and a low-humidity environment to replicate its native desert habitat.
If you’re new to owning Sansevieria Cylindrica, read on to find out everything you need to know about this unique-looking succulent!
Sansevieria Cylindrica Care
As we mentioned, the Sansevieria Cylindrica is a pretty hands-off plant as far as care requirements go. But the more you know, the healthier your plant will be.
Like many succulents, Sansevieria Cylindrica prefers bright indirect light. About four to six hours of sunlight a day is plenty to make this plant happy.
Try to avoid too much direct sunlight, as the harsh rays can burn the leaves. The best location for this plant in your home is a north- or east-facing window. A south-facing window is suitable only if it receives enough shade from trees to prevent burning.
Unlike tropical plants, succulents can tolerate soil with a low nutrient content. Sansevieria Cylindrica also prefers well-draining soil that doesn’t retain too much water. Their roots are very shallow and delicate, so oversaturated soil can lead to root rot.
Choose a cactus and succulent soil, which usually contains a mix of sand, perlite, and gravel. If you wish, you can make a 1:1 mix with regular potting soil for some added nutrients. Avoid soil mixes with peat, as peat absorbs moisture and won’t provide enough soil aeration.
Sansevieria Cylindrica can tolerate quite a bit of neglect with watering since they are designed to survive droughts. Succulents tend to live in environments where long droughts are followed by periods of intense rain. So you can let the Sansevieria Cylindrica soil dry out between waterings, then fully saturate it.
You mustn’t leave any standing water in the pot’s saucer if it has one. Standing water leads to poorly draining soil. This will eventually cause root rot.
In general, you can water Sansevieria Cylindrica every one to two weeks in the summer. In the winter, these plants can go up to one month between waterings.
As a desert plant, Sansevieria Cylindrica does not tolerate high humidity. This makes it a great plant for those that live in drier regions.
About 40% humidity will be fine for this succulent. This is low in comparison to tropical plants, which usually prefer 60% or higher humidity.
Can Sansevieria Cylindrica Survive in Low Light?
It’s a common misconception that succulents need 100% sunlight all the time. Even desert plants cannot tolerate that much sunshine, as their leaves will eventually burn.
As mentioned earlier, Sansevieria Cylindrica grows best with four to six hours of indirect sunlight a day. But, they can also tolerate low light conditions if necessary. So your plant will likely be fine if your home isn’t the brightest, or if you live somewhere with overcast winters.
However, although Sansevieria Cylindrica can tolerate low light, it won’t necessarily thrive in these conditions. Expect to see slower growth and dull leaf color due to the lack of sunlight.
If your Sansevieria Cylindrica is getting less light than usual, don’t forget to adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Plants in the shade use up less energy and water than plants in the sun. So, give your plant less water, and water it less frequently.
How Tall Do Sansevieria Cylindrica Grow?
Sansevieria Cylindrica is a slow growing plant, and only grows from early spring to early autumn.
In optimal conditions, Sansevieria Cylindrica can reach heights of 6 feet (1.8 m) and widths of 2 feet (0.6 m). It’s rare for these plants to reach such sizes indoors in the constraints of a pot. This is because it reproduces via rhizomes in the soil, which prefer to spread out rather than grow downward. If you’ve ever seen Sansevieria Cylindrica in outdoor gardens, you’ll know how big they can get!
Most indoor potted Sansevieria Cylindrica plants reach a maximum height of 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.2 m).
Do Sansevieria Cylindrica Like to Be Root Bound?
Typically our first instinct is to repot a plant as soon as we see roots growing out the drainage holes. Root bound plants often struggle to take in water due to insufficient soil, and become stunted as a result.
However, Sansevieria Cylindrica actually enjoys being root bound. This plant grows so slowly, and has such minimal watering and nutrient needs, that tightly bound roots are not an immediate concern. In fact, plant “babies” or offshoots tend to grow more frequently when the Sansevieria Cylindrica is root bound.
When Should I Repot My Sansevieria Cylindrica?
Since they prefer to be root bound, these plants do not need to be repotted very often.
In general, you can repot your Sansevieria Cylindrica every two years. Only repot up one size at a time (about 1 inch bigger than your current pot), since they grow so slowly. Terracotta pots are a great choice since the material is porous and will not retain water. Just make sure whatever pot you choose has a drainage hole, as drainage is key for any succulent!
If you want to keep your Sansevieria Cylindrica the same size, you can purposely stunt its growth by repotting it in the same pot. Simply trim away excess roots so it fits comfortably, and replace the old soil.
Why Are the Tips of My Sansevieria Cylindrica Turning Brown?
As tolerant of harsh conditions as this plant may be, it isn’t invincible! If you notice the tips of your Sansevieria Cylindrica have begun turning brown, your plant needs some attention.
The most common cause of brown leaf tips is dehydration. Even though this succulent likes dry soil, it does need water periodically. Letting the soil dry out will eventually cause the leaves to dry out too.
To remedy this, start by giving your plant small amounts of water more frequently than usual. Giving it one big drink may cause the plant to go into shock.
If your plant doesn’t appear to be underwatered, then the issue might be too much sunlight. Sansevierias are susceptible to burnt leaves from too much sun. Try relocating your Sansevieria Cylindrica to a new window, preferably a north- or east-facing window with an even balance of indirect sunlight and shade.
Sansevieria Cylindrica Propagation
If you like to gift plants, Sansevieria Cylindrica is a great plant to own. Propagating Sansevieria Cylindrica can be done in two ways, using division or cuttings.
Propagating Using Division
The best time to propagate this plant is in the spring, at the beginning of its growing season. Dividing the plant is easy, but a bit messy! You’ll need to first remove the plant from its pot. Rinse the soil from the roots until you can clearly see them.
Divide the plant by separating it into sections containing three to four leaves each. You can either untangle the roots to separate them or cut them carefully with sterilized scissors.
Let the roots of the divided sections dry out. Once dry, plant them in their own pots filled with cactus or succulent soil. Keep them watered and in a shady area, while gradually getting them used to more sunlight over time.
Propagating Using a Cutting
Using a sterilized box cutter or pair of scissors, cut a healthy stem from your existing plant. Make sure the cutting you take is at least 5 inches (12 cm) long.
Next, you need to let the end of the cutting dry out for three to five days. This will prevent the cutting from rotting. Leave it somewhere where it will receive indirect sunlight so it can dry.
Once the cut end is sufficiently dried out, fill a new pot with cactus and succulent soil. Plant the cutting about 1 inch (2 cm) deep in the soil and water thoroughly. Continue to water the plant about once a week. In about six months, your cutting should begin to sprout new leaves.
Sansevieria Cylindrica is a perfect example of a low-maintenance plant. You can leave for vacation and come back to find this succulent still happy and thriving!
However, although this plant doesn’t need much daily care, it will only thrive in the right environment.
Place your Sansevieria Cylindrica in an east- or north-facing window where it will receive four to six hours of indirect sunlight a day. Make sure your pot is well-draining, and use a cactus or succulent soil that won’t retain water. Most importantly, only water your Sansevieria Cylindrica once the soil is dry to avoid overwatering.