There are many different species of Sansevieria, all of which are valued mainly for their benefits to the home environment, where they can purify the air. For this reason, it is very common to grow one of these plants in pots: Let’s see where to put them and how to care for them.

Sansevieria, also called Sanseveria, is a houseplant that belongs to the asparagus family and is highly valued for its ability to purify the air in the domestic environment in which it is found. However, the two names used more accurately indicate a genus of plants, as there are many different species and varieties of Sansevieria, which originate from Asia and Southwest Africa. You may already know Sansevieria trifasciata and Sansevieria cylindrica, which are among the most widespread, but despite the differences, you can still find similarities in the plants of this genus: in fact, they produce oxygen 24 hours a day and are medium in size, another reason why they are ideal for growing in an apartment. Below I will try to illustrate the main characteristics of these plants and give you an idea of how many species of Sanseveria there are, as well as some advice for their cultivation in pots and care.

Sansevieria properties:

Those that belong to the genus Sansevieria or Sanseveria are evergreen herbaceous plants that are classified in the genus Dracaena, which is part of the asparagus family. Externally, Sansevieria are characterized mainly by their fleshy leaves, colored in different shades of green, which can have an erect or flattened growth, depending on the species, as well as the important function of absorbing pollutants to purify the air, undoubtedly one of the main advantages of these plants. Some species then form small flowers that usually appear between autumn and winter. Sansevieria has also become popular because it requires little attention, but it is important to learn how to care for it properly, for example by not placing it in places with a temperature below 5 degrees.

Species and varieties

There are really many species of Sansevieria that you can buy in some nurseries or plant stores , although some are slightly more suitable than others for growing in apartments and pots because of their characteristics. It is important that you receive advice on the most suitable species or variety for the location where you want to place it, or that you are told how to care for the one you like best.

Very special is Sansevieria cylindrica, which has long, erect leaves and a characteristic tubular shape. It is a species native to Kenya that also produces small pink flowers in the summer and is understandably comfortable in warm environments, but even if it loves bright places, it especially does not like direct sunlight in the hottest hours. You can also find it in braided form , that is, with its fleshy leaves knotted together, which gives the plant a unique shape.

A Sansevieria Cylindrica (not braided ) grown in a pot

If you are short on space, you will probably be intrigued by Sansevieria hahnii or golden hahnii, two particular species of Trifasciata with leaves arranged in a rosette. Both come from southern Africa and Asia and need abundant light, especially to flower, and the second of the two is characterized by golden hues and leaves that reach a maximum of 8 inches, being a dwarf species.

There are also more special varieties of Trifasciata, such as Sansevieria Moonshine, characterized by long leaves that at birth are so bright green that they resemble the surface of the moon, or Sansevieria Masoniana, also called shark’s fin because of its shape and consists of a main leaf that sprouts directly from a rhizome, and is also particularly easy to care for.

However, the list does not end here and cannot be completed because it would become very long: I have described so far the most cited and particular, but you might also come across Sansevieria grandis , which comes from Somalia and has not very long oval leaves, but up to 6 inches wide, or in Sansevieria liberica, whose foliage has white bands with red edges. There is not even one species that is larger than the others, namely Sansevieria Zelanyca, which is able to grow even a meter high.

Cultivation and care

Having a Sansevieria at home has important benefits for the home environment, as these plants can produce oxygen and instead absorb pollutants present in the air. It is not surprising that the plants belonging to this genus have been included by NASA in the list of the best purifying plants.

In any case, the strong tendency to grow these plants in pots is also due to the fact that they are so easy to care for, requiring little attention: Once purchased, it is important to transfer the Sansevieria in a pot more suitable and, as I predicted to you, you must not forget that it needs a lot of light and that it has difficulty surviving below 26° F, as it withstands high temperatures quite well. After purchase, it is important to repot the Sansevieria in a pot suitable for its roots.

  • Soil

Sansevieria is a plant that can easily adapt. You just need to put a layer of clay or pieces of clay on the bottom of the pot and mix it with universal soil. This promotes drainage and avoids stagnation that can damage the plant. Also, you can add liquid fertilizer if you notice that the soil is particularly dry.

  • Repot

When the roots of your Sanseveria have taken up all the available space in the pot, usually in the spring, the plant must be repotted in a more suitable container to accommodate the entire root system. Of course, this procedure should not be done every year: If it is not necessary, you can simply remove a few inches of above-ground soil and replace it with new soil.

  • Where to store it

I told you right away how important it is to place this plant in the most appropriate place. In fact, Sansevieria likes a lot of light and moderate temperatures, but must not be directly illuminated . Therefore, in winter it is important to grow it indoors to avoid a too cold climate, while the problem does not arise in the other seasons when the plant can develop optimally at a temperature between 65° F and 80 °F , protecting it from drafts .

  • When to water it

Just like other succulents, Sansevieria should be watered only when you notice that its soil is dry , that is, at intervals of several weeks, up to a monthly watering in winter. Pay special attention to this aspect, because too much water could cause stagnation and rot the rhizome. Also remember that this plant does not like sprays on the leaves.

  • Flower

No matter how hard you try, remember that it is quite complicated to get a Sansevieria to bloom in an apartment. If you are successful, you may notice small flowers in late summer and even winter, characterized by a white-green color and in some cases a fragrance.

  • Pruning

From this point of view, you will be able to sleep peacefully, since Sansevieria should not be pruned. You just have to take care to remove the dry leaves or any diseased parts to avoid infecting the rest of the plant, a risk that is not so common due to its hardiness.

  • Reproduction by cuttings

In addition to dividing the plant, Sansevieria can also be propagated in a fairly simple way through leaf cuttings. Simply take a leaf in summer and cut it into different parts, leaving them in the air for a few days to allow the cut to heal. Note the direction of growth of the small pieces of leaves that you have obtained and bury them in a fertile soil , which must always be maintained at a good moisture level to promote rapid growth of the roots. It is recommended to keep the jars at a temperature of about 70°F until rooting.

  • Diseases and pests

Sansevierias are resistant plants and are not often attacked by parasites, but you may notice the presence of the cotton wool-like cochineal, which must be removed as soon as possible with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. If you have mealybug or brown mealybug, you may also be able to scrape it off with your fingernail. If you see brown spots at the base of the leaves as if they are rotting, you have probably watered the plant too much. To fix this, take it out of the pot and cut off the parts of the rhizome and leaves that are affected by rot. Let everything air dry for a few days before repotting.

If the leaves then tend to lose their color or the typical shades of some species turn completely green, this is probably because they do not receive enough light. Consequently, you can solve the problem by changing the exposure of Sansevieria and move it to a brighter place.