The type most commonly cultivated is Sansevieria trifasciata laurentii, the Bowstring Hemp, or, less kindly, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. This attractive foliage plant has distinctive, mottled, sword-shaped leaves, with two yellow bands running throughout their length close to the edges. It is popular as a house plant, and is useful for the conservatory, sun lounge or greenhouse. A minimum winter temperature of 7 to 10°C. (45 to 50°F.) is desirable although lower temperatures than this can be withstood if necessary.


Great care must be taken when watering sansevierias. Particularly in the winter, for many plants are lost through overwatering at this time. I like to let the soil become almost dust dry before watering again for if the soil is over wet. Rotting is likely to occur. Even in summer. Wait until the soil is almost dry before watering.


Sansevierias have a suckering habit and the best method of increase is by division in the spring. Rooted suckers can be detached with a sharp knife and placed in 3-in. pots. A suitable compost is the John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost. After potting, keep the plants in the warmest part of the greenhouse to encourage them to make new roots rapidly. Repot later into 5- or 6-in. pots using a similar compost.


Established sansevierias will remain healthy even when completely root-bound. However, it is best to repot the plants before the soil has become completely exhausted.

01. March 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Greenhouse Gardening, Plants & Trees | Tags: , | Comments Off on Sansevieria


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