The Sansevieria suffruticosa is a remarkable flowering plant with leaves that are slightly arching, thick, and channeled at the base, but cylindrical towards the apex.
It is a sought-after type of Sanservieria, along with the Sansevieria zeylanica, Sansevieria cylindrica, and Sansevieria laurentii. Read this article to know more about the Sansevieria suffruticosa.
- What Is Sansevieria Suffriticosa?
- Sansevieria suffruticosa Care
What Is Sansevieria Suffriticosa?
The Sansevieria suffruticosa is commonly called the bowstring hemp and is an evergreen succulent plant that is native to Eastern Africa, specifically from Ethiopia to Malawi.
The plant belongs to the Asparagaceae family and the genus Dracaena. The Sansevieria Sansevieria suffruticosa plant possesses a self-supporting growth form and broad leaves.
Sansevieria suffruticosa Care
Growing the Sansevieria suffruticosa snake plant is more interesting than you can imagine. The plant is tough but is suitable for nearly any environment which makes it easy to grow.
– Water Requirements
You should pay extra attention to the water requirements of your Sansevieria suffruticosa. You should maintain the dampness levels of the soil when watering the plant. This plant is drought tolerant and has low water needs. Your watering schedule can be once every one to two weeks in the growing season.
During winters, consider watering once a month or less frequently than that. You should avoid waterlogged conditions because they will lead to the development of fungal diseases. Before watering, make sure that the soil has dried out both on the surface and below. After that, consider checking the dampness of the soil using a chopstick or any other suitable instrument.
If you see the instrument coming out with no soil sticking to it, then you don’t need to water your plant. In the growing season, you can consider watering your plants once a week. In cold months, you can water your plants once a month or less frequently than that. Stick to how you often water your snake plants.
– Light Requirements
Like any other Sansevieria plant, the suffruticosa is easy to take care of. The plant does not need more light to thrive well. However, it will grow well in both light and shade but will thrive best indoors in bright but indirect sunlight. This succulent plant does not lose its greenery appearance in colder months.
You may notice that in winter, the plant will stop or slow down its growth because the sunlight levels become lower. Please note that placing your plants in direct sunlight for long periods can cause sunburn. Otherwise, the leaf edges of the plant in some varieties may become white-edged. The plant should be exposed to sunlight on a window sill when keeping them indoors.
– Soil Requirements
The Sansevieria suffruticosa will grow vigorously in well-drained sandy loamy soil. You can consider buying soil mixes that are advertised for cacti or succulents. It is also possible for you to create your own mixes if you are a keen gardener.
To make your potting mix, you can simply mix one part garden soil, two parts coarse sand, and one part perlite, that is, 1:2:1 respectively. The mixes that you buy in the store also contain perlite. This component assists the soil from becoming compacted, thereby increasing water infiltration and aeration.
There should never be a time when you leave your plants in waterlogged soil. This would probably cause more harm than leaving your plants without water for a couple of weeks.
– Temperature Requirements
The Sansevieria suffruticosa hates cold months. For this reason, (21 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius). If you expose your plant to a temperature that is below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), it will die.
In the event that you grow your suffruticosa as an indoor plant, you are less likely to encounter frost-related problems. Ensure that you do not leave your plants on a balcony, cold window, or terrace during winter. Always ensure that they are in warmer places.
– Humidity Requirements
This plant is not fussy when it comes to humidity. In fact, it simply like the same environment that we do. That is 30 – 50 percent humidity which is the average household’s humidity level.
– Fertilizing Requirements
You can consider applying a low-concentration compound fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen during the spring and autumn. This should be done once every two to three weeks. Nitrogen fertilizers will stimulate the growth of the leaves, giving them a vivid appearance.
Phosphate and potash fertilizers can facilitate flowering. You should take extra caution when applying fertilizers and avoid damaging the roots. Otherwise, if you apply fertilizer directly to the roots, they may suffer from root burn. Avoid applying fertilizers to your plant in winter.
The Sansevieria suffruticosa grows at a moderately fast rate. It’s important for you to prune off the dry old leaves or yellow leaves to create adequate space for new leaves. Pruning of the old leaves should be done to maintain the beautiful appearance of your plant.
You can also prune to remove damaged leaves from your plant using a sharp clean blade. Be sure to cut the unwanted stalks from the base of the plant, as close to the soil as possible.
Like any other houseplant, the Sansevieria suffruticosa can be propagated. Multiplying this plant can be done by division or leaf cuttings.
– Propagation by Division
If you want the new plants to be identical to the parent ones, use division. Propagating your plants by division involves separating the root and stalk clump. By doing that, it is guaranteed that the new plant will show the qualities of the original one.
Division propagation is an ideal method that you can consider using when your plants are beginning to outgrow their containers. Consider separating parts of the plants and instantly have another, while you free up space for the original ones. To begin with, remove your plants from their pots and shake off the attached soil.
Proceed by choosing the section of the root that is suitable for cutting and separating it from the main cluster. Make sure that section has its stalks or shoots. Continue by placing your plants in new potting soil. Water the plants and monitor them over the next few weeks as they adapt to their new position.
– Propagation by Leaf Cutting and Soil
Propagation of the Sansevieria suffruticosa by leaf cutting is the most common method. Choose a healthy leaf and use a knife or cleaned pair of scissors to cut at the base. Make sure that the equipment that you use is well-sterilized using 70 percent alcohol. You should leave the plant for a few days till it produces a callous at the point of incision.
Continue by inserting the cutting into the potting mix. The potting mix should be well-drained and aerated. Apply little water to your cutting to aid its development. Consider monitoring your cutting over the next few weeks. It takes a few days for the cutting to develop its roots and a long period to form pups.
– Propagation by Leaf Cutting and Water
You can propagate your Sansevieria suffruticosa through leaf cuttings in water. This is especially a great idea when you are eager to know how your plants will perform in the new environment.
Water is transparent so you can easily monitor the development of your plant as time progresses. Preparing your leaf cutting is done the same way as you would when you are growing it in a soil medium.
Cut an upside-down V at the base of the leaf. This will provide space for the roots to develop and grow. After that, place the leaf in a jar of water. A few weeks later, you will notice roots forming at the base of the cutting. Over time, you will notice tiny pups forming.
You can transfer your cutting to a pot if you like. However, if you are satisfied with the way they look when placed in water, you can leave them a bit longer.
The Sansevieria suffruticosa is considered great for beginners because of its easy-care nature. Read some of the problems below to have a clear picture of the problems that affect your plant.
– Root Rot
Root rot is caused by a fungus that infects the root of the plant. The disease infects the plant when the soil is too compacted, a scenario that decreases the infiltration of water. In some situations, it occurs when you overwater your plants, creating damp conditions that promote fungal spores to multiply below the surface.
The fungus affects the root system first. The roots will become brown and mushy and this will ultimately affect the growth and appearance of your plant. Your plant may fail to absorb adequate amounts of water and nutrients. You may see a change in the color of leaves to yellow, in addition to stunted growth.
You should take immediate action when the fungus that causes root rot affects your plant. Inspect the roots of your plant to see the level of damage that would have been caused by the fungi.
If a few of the roots have been affected, you can spare the parts of the roots that remain healthy and white. Cut off the affected roots and repot healthy plants to new soil that is well drained, otherwise, you should discard the whole plant.
– Leaf Spot
When the plant is affected by leaf spots, it shows reddish-brown, dark, and round spots on the leaves. The spots will be slightly sunken with a pale yellow edge. The disease will continue forming a hole through the leaf blade. You should consider pruning the affected leaves and keep your plant well-ventilated.
You may consider spraying the plants with fungicides like fludioxinil and triazoles.
Symptoms of anthracnose may include dark green watery spots on the leaf tips or margins. When the disease becomes severe, the small spots will increase in size and turn into large dark brown, round spots.
The disease can be caused by applying too much nitrogen fertilizer or planting many plants in a small area. You should consider removing all affected leaves urgently and spray the plants with fungicides like Daconil which contains chlorothalonil.
– Yellowing Leaves
Many factors can contribute to the yellowing of the plant’s leaves. You should ensure that your plant is not being overwatered. You have to check if the soil is dry before you re-water your plants. Root rot can also contribute to the yellowing of leaves. Make sure that your soil is well drained.
– Scale Insects
Scale insects are the well-known pests that affect the Sansevieria species. The insects have a body that is protected by a shell and usually produce waxy secretions. Scale insects suck the sap of the plant and can damage the leaves, especially when the infestation is severe.
The scale insects can be removed from the plant by wiping it using a soft cloth. You can also spray your plant with pesticides like Acephate and Dinotefuran.
– Other Pests
Pests such as spider mites and mealybugs enjoy nestling in succulents. Mealybugs puncture the flesh and feast on the sap. The mealybugs will increase the susceptibility of the plant to infection, in addition to tarnishing its appearance.
You should consider inspecting your plants regularly to discover any signs of infection early. If you notice any signs, isolate the infected plants from others. If you see that the infestation is still small, consider hosing the pests off with a gentle stream of water. You can still stick to aggressive measures for larger infestations.
You can control pests by spraying with pesticides like Neem oil which destroys the pests at any stage of their life cycle. You can also use 70 percent isopropyl alcohol. If you struggle to control them, you can consider starting over with new plants, or propagating a well-washed healthy leaf and dispose of the mother.
Now you have all the information that you should keep at your fingertips to be successful in growing the Sansevieria suffruticosa.
Let’s quickly go through the main points that you should always keep in mind.
- The ideal temperature for the Sansevieria suffruticosa ranges between 70 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees and 32 degrees Celsius).
- The plant thrives well in both light and shade but performs very well indoors in bright but indirect sunlight.
- The plant favors well-drained soils and loamy soils.
- You should apply low concentrated compound fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen during summer and spring. You can also add phosphates-rich fertilizers to facilitate flowering.
- Problems associated with Sansevieria suffruticosa include root rot, mealybugs, and spider mites.
If you were looking for a plant that gives a tropical feel to your home all year round, the Sansevieria suffruticosa is excellent for you to begin with. Get started today and enjoy the luxury of this attractive beautiful plant!