The Sansevieria Fernwood, also known as Sansevieria Mikado, is a type of tropical flowering plant commonly found in some parts of Africa.
It has multiple benefits, such as air-purifying capabilities and an ornamental look which makes it a great addition to your house plant collection.
Today we will discuss in detail everything you need to know to successfully cultivate this Fernwood plant at home.
What Is a Sansevieria Fernwood?
The Sansevieria Fernwood hails from the island of Madagascar. In colloquial terms, it is referred to as a Snake Plant or a Fernwood Snake Plant. Traditionally believed to possess healing properties, it was used to make bandages in ancient times.
Even today, some cultures consider the Fernwood Snake Plant as a good luck charm. Keeping this plant at home is seen as a way of ensuring peace and prosperity.
The Sansevieria Mikado is part of the Asparagaceae plant family. The foliage of this type of Snake Plant grows in an upright fashion. The Sansevieria Fernwood leaves have a distinctive appearance with pointed green leaves that have a pin-stripe pattern. The leaves of this Fernwood Plant can grow up to four feet in height from the base of the plant.
As mentioned earlier, the Snake Plant is a kind of flowering plant, although it is rare to see it bloom when grown as an indoor plant. When flowers do appear, they have a white or reddish color. However, even without their flowers, the snake plants have an elegant and modern look and they can be used to brighten up empty corners in the house. They are also extremely easy to care for and do not require too much effort.
Sansevieria Fernwood Care Guide
Growing Sansevieria Fernwood is a fairly straightforward undertaking. These plants are generally robust and resilient to a host of unfriendly growing conditions. Hence, they don’t require a lot of pampering to grow happily and healthily.
In this article, we will outline all the steps you need to take to ensure that your Sansevieria Fernwood thrives and grows beautiful elongated leaves.
– Water Requirements
These plants grow in hot and dry conditions in the wild, and they have adapted to survive without a large amount of water. For this reason, you don’t need to invest a lot of time watering your Fernwood Snake Plant. Once a week should be more than enough for these rough and tough mikados.
A good sign that the plant needs water is ‘dry’ soil. If you feel that the soil is even slightly moist, do not water the plant. In fact, overwatering can even be fatal to this plant. Hence, lay off the water supply, especially in winters when the plant needs no water to stay healthy.
When watering a Snake Plant, be careful not to douse the leaves. Aim the watering can at the soil instead to thoroughly moisten it after it has dried up considerably. If you pour a lot of water on the leaves instead you risk ruining their beautiful appearance because excess water can make the leaves rot.
– Light Requirements
The Sansevieria Fernwood is an extremely versatile plant that adjusts to a wide variety of growing conditions. It grows well in any amount of light, from bright sunlight to dim artificial light. However, we suggest that you allow your plant to soak up as much sunlight as possible to keep it happy.
Remember to be extra careful that it is not exposed to the harsh midday sun. There is such a thing as too much sunlight so ensure that the plant is not over-exposed. A good way of allowing your plant to get plenty of light but shelter it from the harsh rays of the sun is to grow it under a green shade.
If you plan to keep the snake plant indoors as a houseplant, we suggest that you place it near a window that receives lots of sunlight. You can also supplement the light levels using artificial lights if needed. Remember that more light means faster growth. In fact, light stimulates flower growth in fernwood plants.
– Soil Requirements
These resilient plants do well in a variety of soil types. However, we suggest that you use a well-draining soil mix. You could opt for a cactus mix because snake plants prefer drier environments. But if you can’t buy cactus mix, you can always tweak standard potting mix by adding sand and pebbles to make it drier and grittier. The pH of the soil should ideally be somewhere around 6.0 to 7.9.
Avoid growing these plants in extremely dense or waterlogged soils. If water accumulates at the roots, they can blacken and decay. If the roots are damaged, the chances that the Snake Plant will live are pretty much zero. So be careful and choose looser and sandier soils to help your Fernwood Snake Plants grow strong and healthy.
– Humidity Requirements
Honestly, you don’t need to worry about humidity when it comes to Sansevieria Fernwood plants. Indeed, these plants would rather you left them in a dry environment than a wet one. So don’t keep them in a windowless room that does not have proper ventilation.
Dry, airy environments work best for these plants, so keep them next to an open window as much as possible. Under no circumstances should you spray the leaves with water.
Spraying not only raises the humidity levels but can also cause fungal infections on the leaves.
– Temperature Requirements
Sansevieria Mikado plants prefer to be warm and toasty. The ideal temperature range for them is 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit so you might want to turn the heat up to keep these plants happy. Although they can survive in temperatures as low as 60 degrees Fahrenheit, this is not ideal for the plant’s growth.
Anything lower than 60 degrees, and the snake plant will struggle to survive as they can’t withstand cold winds and frosty conditions.
– Fertilizer Requirements
The Fernwood Snake Plant has adapted to survive in poor soils with very little nutrients. Hence, you don’t need to invest a lot in fertilizing this plant as it grows well, even without extra feeding.
If you want to cultivate the snake plant in ideal conditions, you can give it some cactus fertilizer during the growing season, which starts from spring and lasts throughout the summer. You do not need to apply any fertilizer during winter when the plant is dormant.
Let’s discuss propagation strategies that will help you grow your own mini Snake Plant. There are various ways you can go about this, including leaf cutting and rooting in water.
You can even transplant baby snake plants from the rhizomes of a mature Fernwood snake plant.
– Leaf Cutting
- Use sanitized garden shears to cut a mature Snake Plant leaf into two parts
- Place the leaf cuttings in some moist sphagnum moss
- The moss should cover at least a quarter of the leaf-cutting
- Place the cutting in a shaded area that receives plenty of indirect light
- Once roots start to appear, you can shift the plant to a bigger pot with some cactus soil
– Rooting in Water
- Use sanitized shears to make a leaf cutting
- Place the leaf cutting in fresh mineral water
- Change and replenish the water regularly especially if it becomes cloudy
- When proper roots start to appear, transplant the baby snake plant into a proper pot
– Rhizome Method
- A mature Sansevieria Fernwood will produce tiny plantlets through rhizomes
- Use alcohol swabs to sanitize a sharp knife
- Use this knife to cut away the plantlets from the parent plant
- Place the mini snake plants in their separate pots and let them have plenty of indirect sunlight
Contrary to popular belief, the Sansevieria Mikado is actually quite a fast grower, especially under the right conditions. If your plant is growing too slowly, chances are its growth is stunted due to lack of sunlight.
A high level of sunlight not only induces faster leaf growth but also stimulates the production of flowers in summer. In the right environment, a Snake Plant can easily grow to about four feet tall.
Repotting and Pruning
Most plants require repotting every few years, and the Fernwood Snake Plant is no exception. If you notice any roots sticking out of the bottom of the pot or if cracks start to appear in the pot, then it is time to repot the plant.
The best kind of pot for a Sansevieria Fernwood is a terracotta pot that allows for good water drainage. Choose a big-sized terracotta pot when repotting your snake plant. You would also want to replace the old soil with a fresh new one at this point. Opt for a dry cactus mix if possible and supplement it with a little organic compost.
We also recommend that you lightly prune the plant during the growing season in spring or summer. Pruning can help you maintain the shape and appearance of your plant. If it grows a little too tall, you can prune the top leaves with some clean shears. Pruning is also a good way to cut off dead or infected parts before the infection spreads to the whole plant.
The Fernwood Snake Plant is one tough customer, and it does not easily fall prey to disease or less than ideal growing conditions. However, even the hardest to kill plants can face certain issues.
Let’s have a quick look at some of them and discuss how to tackle the issue before it becomes a big problem.
The most lethal thing for any Snake Plant is overwatering. If extra water starts to stagnate at the bottom of the pot, then you can very well kiss your Snake Plant goodbye. Excess water not only makes the soil waterlogged but also prevents good air circulation around the roots. Such roots often face issues like root rot which can often damage a plant beyond repair.
Other issues that plague the Sansevieria Mikado are attacks by spider mites and mealybugs. If you notice a strange white substance on the leaves, chances are mealybugs have settled onto the leaves of the Snake Plant. A good way of preventing bug attacks before they even happen is to regularly clean the leaves with a damp cloth to keep them bug-free.
However, if a bug infestation does occur, you can use an oil and water mixture to kill the bugs. If that doesn’t work, then you can use some gentle insecticide as a last resort.
Finally, a small note of caution when growing these plants. Do not let small children or pets consume the leaves because they are toxic and not edible.
Let’s look back at all that we have discussed regarding the resilient Sansevieria Fernwood:
- Sansevieria Fernwood, also known as Sansevieria Mikado, is a kind of snake plant
- They can grow up to four feet tall and have elegant variegated leaves
- They require minimal watering and giving them water once a week is more than enough for these plants
- It is recommended to keep these plants in bright, indirect light
- They need a dry and loose soil mixture similar to a cactus mix
- They prefer low levels of humidity and higher temperatures
- You may fertilize them during the growing season in summer
- The Fernwood Snake Plant can be propagated through leaf cuttings, rooting in water, and by separating new plants that grow from rhizomes
- Repotting is recommended every 2-3 years, and you should choose a big terracotta pot
- Pruning lightly to remove dead and diseased parts can keep the plant healthy in the long run
- Common issues faced by Snake Plants are overwatering and bug infestation by mealybugs and spider mites
Now you know all there is to know about the beautiful Sansevieria Mikado. We hope that this comprehensive care guide will help you easily cultivate your own Snake Plant at home.
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