Mother in Laws Tongue, or Snake Plant

An old time favorite that long fell out of fashion, Sanseveria is back – big time! There are new and improved types of this plant that are better than ever.

This is one of those plants that doesn’t get any credit – they’re tough, resilient, textural and really hard to kill.


This makes them the perfect plant for challenging conditions in dorms, apartments and other dwellings where they might get neglected.

Luckily, Sanseveria trifasciata varieties are easy to grow, gorgeously structural and modern looking, and very striking when well grown.

Many named species are commonly sold in ‘succulent collections’ that are found in box stores and supermarkets.

They prefer to be slightly pot bound, so don’t be in too much of a hurry to transplant them.

They’ll only rarely bloom, and only if they’re really crowded. Blooming isn’t their main attraction anyway – their gorgeous stripy upright leaves are why they’re grown.

If yours does happen to bloom, get ready to see an amazing sight; nectar dripping from the opening flowers. Taste it – it’s sweet!

Sansevieria trifasciata, blooming

For watering, they prefer to be on the dry side. Any plant with the same type of fleshy roots has the ability to go long periods without much water.

When you do water, don’t tease – make it a good dousing. Clean the leaves periodically with a damp cloth to keep them glossy, as well as making sure they can breathe.

Don’t use any of the common types of leaf shine products – mix a small amount of milk with water to shine them up without stifling them in the process.

Sansevieria cylindrica is commonly known as Cylindrical Snake Plant, African Spear, Spear Sansevieria, Spear Orchid, Skyline Spear Sansevieria and also is known botanically as Sansevieria zeylanica

Cylindrical Snake Plant, African Spear, Spear Sansevieria, Spear Orchid, Skyline Spear Sansevieria – how many common names does one plant need?

This species grows in a fan shape from a basal rosette. If there’s enough light, it can be encouraged to send up a three foot long flower stalk covered with pink buds which open into white flowers.

Lillian shared these gorgeous pictures of her Sanseveria cylindrica, in full bloom.

Sanseveria cylindrica blooming

The full plant picture shows the flowers in all stages; in bud, then fully opening.

Sanseveria cylindrica buds

The buds form first, emerging all the way up the long flower stem.

Sanseveria cylindrica flowers opening

Then the flowers unfurl, with the petals rolling up along the anthers, leaving them exposed.

With luck, the flowers may get pollinated by an insect, giving you the opportunity to collect seeds from your plant.

Find out more about that old reliable, Sanseveria

Click on the links to find out more…


Painted Sansevieria

orange tipped fingers


tapering “fingers,” as much as 20 inches long.

No thorns. Variagated green/white coloration. Flurished and “pupped,” spending 4 rootbound years on its side in the shade.


thick green leaves like a pineapple

this plant has a pattern like tiger stripes (light green and dark green), with long, pointed oval leaves. can you please help me identify it?


What is this????

I bought these at a grocery store recently because I had never seen anything like them and after hours of searching online I think I’ve given up trying …


Succulents received from a Swap

Hello Jacki, I received a ton of succulents from a recent swap. Most of them came labeled but these 3 didn’t. I hope you can help me. The first …


leaf like a snake but short and stubby

This plant has similar leaves to a snake; stiff but short and lots of them…my problem with is that it is overgrown in the pot…but the bugger keeps …


Bought at Homedepot and was only called “succulent” HELP! 🙂

It’s about 4″ tall and has wide rich green flat leaves with no visible stem. Hi Jamie, this is my big objection to buying succulents at a big box store …


A Miniature Sansevieria with Shiny Pure Green Leaves

I just bought from Wal’mart Mature leaves are shiny dark green and no light gray-green cross-banding and usually range between 12–14 cm in length and 5–6 …


What is the name of this plant.

To whom it may concern, I found this picture on the internet but no description was available. I would love to know at least the name, so I could google …


bizarre plant from a botanist

I got this from a botanist I worked for some years ago. I have since fallen out of touch with him and would love to know more about this bizarre plant. …

More spiky, strappy succulents: