Sansevieria Suffruticosa: Cactus King Secret Care Tips

If you have never heard the name Sansevieria suffruticosa, you could be forgiven for looking totally blank, and let’s not even talk about the pronunciation. Sansevieria suffruticosa is known colloquially as snake plant – much less of a mouthful. Although the name snake plant may not sound too encouraging if you have a snake phobia, be calm, the plant does not encourage snakes in any way. So what is a sansevieria suffruticosa?

Sansevieria suffruticosas have long stiff, tubular-type leaves which have an open channel at the base but are closed into a tube at the apex where they culminate in sharp spines.  The plant is classed as a succulent, and the leaves are thick and fleshy. It bears cream-colored tubular flowers.

Sansevieria suffruticosas are interesting house plants that are undoubtedly different from typical lush house plants. They could almost be regarded as minimalist house plants as there are no frills and fancy greenery.

Where Do Sansevieria Suffruticosa Come From?

Sansevieria suffruticosa  grow indigenously in Africa, Madagascar, and southern Asia. They are plants that adapted to hot, dry conditions by developing thick fleshy leaves, classifying them as succulents.

Sansevieria suffruticosas are also sometimes known as bowstring hemp, and they form a part of the group of snake plants. They belong to the plant family Asparagaceae. Sansevieria suffruticosa is related to the famous mother-in-law’s-tongue plant, which is also a sansevieria.

What Do Sansevieria Suffruticosa look Like?

These plants deserve the name snake plant as their leaves are long, cylindrical, and arched,  looking very much like a snake. The image is further perpetuated by the light and dark green horizontal banding that patterns the leaves.

Although the leaves are cylindrical, they are open towards the base. They have a channel that reaches from the bottom to approximately one-third of the length of the leaf.   

Are Sansevieria Suffruticosa Hardy Plants?

Sansevieria Suffruticosa plant

Sansevieria suffruticosas are hardy plants that withstand harsh conditions. They are not plants that need to be pampered and have daily watering or care. In fact, the fastest way to kill a sansevieria is with too much care and attention.

Sansevieria suffruticosas can withstand dry, hot conditions in the countries where they grow as indigenous plants.

How Often Should I Water My Sansevieria Suffruticosa?

Sansevieria suffruticosas are succulents and therefore do not daily watering. Watering advice cannot be given on a precise basis as much depends on the temperature and humidity of the environment.

The best way to determine if your suffruticosa needs watering is to use the toothpick method.  

  1. Insert a toothpick, chopstick, or other suitable stick into the soil where the sansevieria suffruticose is planted.
  2. If the toothpick comes out with dirt attached to it, there is sufficient moisture in the ground.
  3. If the toothpick comes out without any soil attached, you need to water your plant.

A general rule is to water once a week in spring and summer, but you must monitor the moisture content in the soil. In winter, the active growth stage of the plant becomes dormant, and the plant needs less water.

Users Also Read: Sansevieria Superba: “Futura Superba” Complete Care Tips

What Is The Best Temperature For A Sansevieria Suffruticosa?

As mentioned before, these plants are native to hot climates, so they do not like to be cold. The ideal temperature should never drop below 50° F (10° C). This temperature requirement makes them suitable as houseplants in cold climates. Even at this temperature, the plant may remain dormant and not grow.

For Suffruticosa to flourish and grow, the temperature must be ten to twenty degrees above the minimum. Frost and icy temperatures will kill these plants, so do not leave them near a draughty window or door if you live in a cold climate.

What Soil Type Is Best For Sansevieria Suffruticosa?

Soil for repotting

Suffruticosa is best planted in potting soil that allows good drainage. That would be potting soil formulated for succulents or cacti – usually sandy or loamy soil. Create your own potting soil by mixing two parts of sand to one part of perlite.

Soil drainage is crucial for sansevieria suffruticosa. If water collects in the pot, root rot and decay will set in, and you will lose your plant. Ensure your pot has drainage holes that stay open by placing some stones or gravel in the bottom of the pot.

What Light Does Sansevieria Suffruticosa Need?

Sansevieria suffruticosas tolerate shade and sunlight. Ideally, they should not be left in a dark corner as this is not good for any plant (unless it is a mushroom). The ideal situation is to place the pot where there is bright light but not direct sunlight.

The plant can tolerate direct sunlight, but watering needs must be closely monitored as there will be more water usage. A window that has direct sunlight for part of the day is an acceptable placement for your sansevieria suffruticosa.

How Do You Propagate Sansevieria Suffruticosa?

Sansevieria suffruticosas are easy plants to propagate, and there are several methods to choose from.

Propagating Sansevieria Suffruticosa By Division

You can easily propagate your sansevieria suffruticosa by division. The best way to do this is when you are repotting the suffruticosa. Examine the plant and identify a section containing roots and stalk and break or cut off the main plant. Repot both plants in appropriate containers.

Propagating Sansevieria Suffruticosa By Cuttings

Repotting a Sansevieria Suffruticosa

Suffruticosa can be easily propagated using leaf cuttings. Choose a leaf by looking for a healthy mature leaf. Cut the suffruticosa leaf close to the base and let it lie on a newspaper or kitchen towel for a few days.

The cut edge must harden and form a callous, which appears brownish grey. Once this has occurred, plant your leaf cutting in a plant pot with soil with good drainage properties.

After five or six weeks, your leaf cuttings should develop roots. This is commonly known as the soil method of leaf propagation.

You can also use a water method for the propagation of sansevieria suffruticosa. You need to snip a v into the cut end of the leaf you have chosen and suspend the leaf so that this end is hanging in a jar of water.

Using clear glass allows you to observe the progress in your cutting easily. The cutting will begin to develop roots after a few weeks in the water. Once roots have grown, you can plant your cutting in a suitable pot with succulent friendly potting soil.

It is important to remember that your plant is dormant during winter, and there is no new cell growth. Do not attempt to propagate Sansevieria suffruticosa by leaf cuttings during winter, as your cutting will not develop any roots.

The best time to propagate leaf cuttings is during early spring or summer. You can make a leaf cutting and propagate it in autumn, but you will probably only have some root development. The new growth will stall until the following spring.

Do Sansevieria Suffruticosa Have Any Uses?

Sansevieria suffruticosa has been used for centuries in traditional medicine in Africa. The leaves have been used for earache and poultices for open wounds. The rhizomes of suffruticosa have been used for treating gastric ulcers and snake bites.

Although suffruticosa has been used in traditional African medicine, the preparation of the plant for medicinal use is critical as it is considered mildly toxic and should not be ingested.

Small children and animals that have ingested sansevieria suffruticosa show gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea. It is best to keep suffruticosa out of reach of children and animals.

In some regions, fibers are harvested from sansevieria suffruticosa and used for weaving baskets.

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Sansevieria suffruticosas are succulent plants that grow natively in many hot, dry climatic regions of the world. They are usually grown as house plants in colder climates as they do not tolerate frost or cold weather.

Their attraction lies in the color, shape, and growth pattern of the leaves. They are easy to propagate and do not require a lot of care. Watering requirements are minimal, and the plant can grow in shade or sunlight.