How to Grow and Care for Sansevieria Cylindrica?

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Ideal for outdoors and indoors, the Sansevieria Cylindrica is one of those plants that require so little effort that you’ll forget you have one.

And that’s awesome.

It is a perfect alternative for beginner gardeners and people who don’t have much time to take care of plants. Even children can start growing one of these with little to no drawback.

But while growing it is relatively easy, you may want to know about EVERYTHING there’s to know about it before doing so. Here, we’ll show you precisely what. 

What is a Sansevieria Cylindrica (African Spear Plant)? 

Sansevieria Cylindrica

The name Sansevieria cylindrica is a synonym for Dracaena angolensis, which is the official scientific name. Yet, it’s still known as the African Spear plant, given the long, cylindrical leaves with the sharp tip. 

Alongside other Sansevieria genus plants, this one is native to Africa, even though it’s also found in Asia and Oceania. Either way, you can say it prefers tropical environments. 

It is not only a tropical plant, though.

The African Spear is a succulent plant. And one of those succulents that can grow REALLY big. Alongside the green-gray “spear” leaves that are unique in appearance, they can also extend to over 7 feet. In the right environment, one of these leaves can reach 1.5 inches in diameter. 

Something interesting about the plant is how invasive it is. Often compared to bamboo due to its ability to overgrow other plants, the Sansevieria Cylindrica grows pups from rhizomes that can cover a large area.

When it is not overgrowing other plants, the Dracaena angolensis is blooming. Yes, you read that right: this seemingly desert-loving plant that doesn’t offer than a fear spear-like leaves may produce flowers. And they’re gorgeous, with a cream-white tone. These flowers may sometimes grow up to 3 feet. 

To reach maximum growth and blooming season successfully, it needs to be in the right environment. Below, we explain what that is. 

What Does the Sansevieria Cylindrica Need to Grow?

What Does the Sansevieria Cylindrica Need to Grow

You’ll be happy to know this plant grows almost anywhere. But it indeed prefers dry areas, well-draining soil, and tons of sun. Here’s why:

Potting and Spacing

Like most other succulents, you can grow the Sansevieria Cylindrica either in pots or in gardens. But there’s a catch.

Growing in gardens is probably not the best idea. Given the plant can be surprisingly invasive for a succulent, it’s preferable to keep it in pots. 

However, growing in pots means the plant won’t grow as much, and it won’t produce as many pups. That’s not much of a problem if you aren’t much of a propagator. However, it may be a drawback if you intend to do the opposite.

Soil and Fertilizer

Few things are most important for this plant to thrive than dry soil.

Because it is succulent, it grows well with cactus soil mixes. Any succulent mix will also do the job. Otherwise, you can always go for sandy alternatives. 

The focus is to have well-draining soil that doesn’t hold any water. Too much humidity can cause root rot, one of the most common problems of this species.

Apart from that, remember to use fertilizer if possible. While not vital, it can help boost its growth a bit. Especially on soils with few nutrients, slow-release fertilizers work like a charm. 

Watering and Humidity

Once again, this plant doesn’t like too much humidity. 

If you want to grow it safely, make sure you’re not watering more than once or twice a week. In places where it rains a lot, you may want to avoid watering thoroughly.

That’s why you can also guess it prefers dry areas. Those places where it rarely rains and the soil is sandy, that’s where it thrives. If that sounds like your home, then you’ll have no problem growing it. 

Light and Air 

If there’s something this plant loves, that’s probably the sun. 

It prefers sunny environments where it can receive anywhere from 4 to 10 hours of sun rays. The reason? It is succulent with thick leaves that gain energy from UV rays. 

If your home doesn’t meet these standards, don’t worry. You can also grow it with partial shade, but this may stunt its growth slightly.

With that said, don’t give it too much sun either. In tropical areas with little moisture and scorching sun rays, it’s better to keep it at up to 6 hours of sun exposure a day. Otherwise, the leaves may start yellowing (a sign of too much heat). 

As for wind or air, it doesn’t matter. Like other succulents, it thrives in windy and non-windy areas. 

Temperature and Environment 

Considering the soil, humidity, and light needs, you can guess it also prefers high temperatures. Well, you wouldn’t be exactly right.

Sure, it prefers areas where temperatures don’t go too low (below 50 degrees Fahrenheit). But it does not appreciate temperatures over 85 degrees either.

In fact, the perfect environment would be something between 60 and 75 degrees. This should prevent common issues like yellowing leaves and root damage. 

This also means you can grow it indoors if needed. That could make it a lovely decoration to have.

How to Grow a Sansevieria Cylindrica

Take Care of a Sansevieria Cylindrica

Like every other succulent, the African Spear plant is not a species you’ll have to struggle with. Actually, the opposite. 

Here’s a simple set of steps to follow:

Choose a Healthy Pup

The pup is an offset or children. It grows in the bottom of the plant, directly from the rhizomes or roots. 

You need to pick a pup that looks healthy, obviously. It’s easy to get it off. Just discover part of the pup’s rhizome and cut it right off (with part of the root).

The rest of the process is below. 

Pick the Right Place

If you’re planting on a pot, make sure it is well-draining. At least one drain hole is essential. You can also opt for terra cotta pots as they dry the soil faster than plastic pots or bags.

In case you’re planting in a garden, make sure it’s a place that receives at least 6 hours of sunlight a day. Otherwise, the plant may struggle.

Prepare the Soil

As you already know, it requires well-draining soil too. For that, use a potting mix for cacti or succulents if possible.

If you’re planting in a garden, fertilize the area beforehand. More importantly, make sure it is not a overly humid garden soil, as it could make the plant struggle later on.

Plant the Pup(s)

Now that you have the pot/garden ready alongside the soil planting, the pup won’t be much of a problem.

Try to bury them as deep as they were when you first cut them off. The purpose is to resemble the same environment as before, so they have an easier time getting accustomed to the new place.

Let them Grow

If the pups are in the right place, then you shouldn’t do much more than just irrigating once a week. 

For pups in pots, get them out in the sun at least for 6 hours a day.

The rest is just waiting. About 6 months to get at least 1 foot of growth, given it is properly fertilized, watered, and in the right environment, 

How to Take Care of a Sansevieria Cylindrica 

You can pretty much let the plant grow by itself, and there shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you want to ensure the healthiest environment and sustained growth, we recommend following these tips:

Don’t Overwater

As said before, it is CRITICAL to avoid overwatering the African Spear plant. The reason? Its rhizomes are fragile and often suffer from root rot when there’s too much humidity. 

The best way to prevent this is to water once a week in regular not-too-hot and not-too-cold environments. In desertic areas, watering twice a week should suffice. But in moist areas, it may need no watering at all.

Only Use Safe Pesticides

One of the few enemies of this succulent is the vine weevil. This beetle-like pest tends to eat the leaves, specifically at the tips. This could cause other problems later on, like fungal infections

The best way to prevent this is to use safe pesticides, like neem oil. Try using homemade alternatives with few chemicals and stick to natural options. Believe it or not, this plant is slightly susceptible to harsh chemicals.

Prune to Control Overgrowth

This is unnecessary, but it could be beneficial if you don’t want to overcrowd your garden or kill other plants in the process.

The best way to do so is to cut the pups off as soon as they start growing.

Also, you may need to cut off brown or yellow leaves from time to time. These colored leaves are often a sign of disease (fungal), so cut them off with pruners or shears if possible. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

We may have left a thing or two out of the sections above. To make it up, we brought common questions people have with their respective answers. Check them up:

How to propagate Sansevieria cylindrica?

The best way to propagate is using division. That means cutting the pups or offsets directly from the rhizome and then replanting them somewhere else. 

It’s worth remembering that it grows better when pups are planted separately. When together, they struggle with space and may eventually battle for it. 

Is sansevieria cylindrica poisonous to dogs?

Not only dogs but all kinds of pets. Also, they’re poisonous to children. The reason? Its fleshy leaves contain a wide array of natural yet toxic chemicals. If you want to prevent any kind of poisoning at home, try to locate the plant away from central areas that pets or children can access. 

How long does a snake plant live?

It depends on many different factors, but a regular Sansevieria cylindrica lives anywhere from 5 to 25 years. In the right conditions, you can get it to two decades without problems. But in places with colder environments and humid soils, the plant will probably reach 5 or 10 years as a maximum. 


Growing the Sansevieria cylindrica won’t be much of a problem as long as you follow our advice and recommendations.

Don’t forget it’s a dryness-loving plant that thrives in warm environments. If you can ensure that kind of place, with tons of sunlight, then you should have a blast.

So, what are you waiting for? Follow our guide above and make it grow. You will certainly not regret it. 

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