Sansevieria cylindrica (cylindrical snake plant) care & info

Sansevieria cylindrica, also known as cylindrical snake plant or African spear plant, is a succulent naturally found in Southern Africa.

The genus Sansevieria (snake plants) are appreciated for their hardiness, low light requirements and easy care and this is no different for Sansevieria cylindrica. This, combined with its decorative spikey appearance, makes it a great choice for both beginners and more experienced houseplant keepers!

Keep reading for everything you need to know about Sansevieria cylindrica care and growing Sansevieria cylindrica at home.

Name(s) (common, scientific) Cylindrical snake plant, African spear plant, spear Sansevieria. Formerly Sansevieria cylindrica, now Dracaena angolensis.
Difficulty level Easy
Recommended lighting Tolerates low light
Water When dry
Soil type Gritty

Sansevieria cylindrica care

As mentioned above, Sansevieria cylindrica is a succulent naturally found in Southern Africa. This means it’s a plant fully adapted to a dry, sunny environment. To succesfully grow it at home, its natural habitat should be imitated as much as possible.

This means that well draining soil, not too much water and lots of sun are what this plant prefers.

Did you know? Because the genus Sansevieria has recently been added to the genus Dracaena, ‘Sansevieria cylindrica’ is actually not officially the correct scientific name for this plant anymore. It’s now Dracaena angolensis!

Sansevieria cylindrica planted in shiny silver pot | Full Sansevieria cylindrica care guide
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Sansevieria cylindrica location and temperature

Sansevieria cylindrica is not a fussy plant, though its adaptation to hot climates does mean it has some requirements in order to thrive.

Location

Although Sansevieria cylindrica can survive in very low light conditions (it’s on the list of super low light houseplants for a reason), it actually prefers bright lighting and plenty of sun.

When kept in darker areas Sanseviera cylindrica won’t show much growth, so choose its location wisely! A South facing window is best if you want this plant to thrive.

Humidity is not much of an issue for this plant and it doesn’t have to be placed in an extra humid location. In fact, it can tolerate dry air just fine as long as things don’t get too drafty. The most important factor in choosing a suitable location in your home is light.

Temperature

Because it naturally grows in hot, dry areas Sansevieria cylindrica will not appreciate low temperatures. Room temperature is fine.

The plant can be kept outside during Summer, but try not to expose it to temperatures below 55.5 °F/13 °C.

Planting Sansevieria cylindrica

Soil

Like all succulents, Sansevieria cylindrica has some special needs when it comes to planting.

Drainage is crucial to keeping any succulent happy and this is no different for Sansevierias. Normal potting soil retains too much water and is not suitable unless mixed with sand and/or perlite to improve drainage.

You can also buy a pre-mixed succulent soil that contains a mixture that works well for Sansevieria.

Planting

Planters should always have a drainage hole so any excess water drains quickly. For succulents like this one an unglazed clay pot is ideal, as the porous material allows water to evaporate.

Sansevieria can be a slow grower, especially in low light conditions. If yours has managed to outgrow its pot or if the roots are starting to become too cramped you can repot it during Springtime.

Try not to damage the roots too much and water a little more sparingly until the plant seems to have adjusted to its new pot.

Unpotted Sansevieria cylindrica houseplant with roots and pups.
This Sansevieria cylindrica was definitely due for a repot!

Watering Sansevieria cylindrica

Figuring out a proper watering schedule for any succulent can be difficult, but unfortunately Sansevieria cylindrica is even more challenging as it really, really doesn’t like being overwatered.

The key to watering this plant correctly is not doing so too often: they can go for a long time without any water and watering too little is always better than too much. Constantly wet or soggy soil will quickly prove fatal!

Watering once every other week during Summer and once a month or even less during Winter is a good idea. When watering, thoroughly soak the soil and then allow it properly drain and dry fully. For more information about watering succulents, have a look at this article.

Feeding Sansevieria cylindrica

During Spring- and Summertime when your Sansevieria cylindrica is (hopefully) growing, you can fertilize with a succulent fertilizer every other watering.

Buying Sansevieria cylindrica

Sansevieria cylindrica is often sold in a braided state, though some stores will also sell it ‘normally’. It can be a little more difficult to find than other Sansevieria varieties but is definitely not too rare.

If you don’t want to leave the comfort of your home, you can also buy Sansevieria cylindrica online on Amazon.

Are snake plants toxic to cats and dogs?

The ASPCA lists snake plants (Sansevieria) as toxic to both cats and dogs. So be careful with this species!

If you’re in search of plants that are non-toxic to cats, have a look at the article on 7 easy and cat-safe plants.


If you have any more questions about Sansevieria cylindrica care or if you want to share your experiences with this hardy succulent, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!


18 thoughts on “Sansevieria cylindrica (cylindrical snake plant) care & info”

    • Hey! That completely depends on what you want. If you want to leave it braided, then yes, and once it grows enough you can continue the braid. If you don’t want this, you can untie it. It will likely partially unbraid itself and you can loosen it to help it along. Just a matter of preference, enjoy your plant 🙂

      Reply
    • Hey! Do the leaves seem limp? If they’re drooping, that might be a sign of root rot due to overwatering. It might be necessary to uproot the plant and cut off affected parts if this is the case. If they just haven’t been rooted well or planted deep enough, you could use sticks to hold them up until they root well or just plant them deeper in a normal container.

      Reply
  1. Hello, I bought a braided cylindrical sanseveria the past October, its giving a few offsets, but the plant itself has barely grow, is almost the same size as when I bought it, also the tips are a bit brown and dry. Is it normal for my plant to be the same size? Or what can I do to help it grow?
    I water my pot when the soil feels dry.
    Thnk you!

    Reply
    • Hi!

      Sorry to hear your Sansevieria isn’t showing a lot of new growth. It’s quite normal for them to focus on offsets, though, multiplication kind of seems to be their main growth goal. As for the tips, that can have a very wide variety of reasons. Chlorinated water, cold damage, inconsistent watering, overfertilizing and more. All you can do is review the care guidelines for the plant and make sure you’re doing everything right – unfortunately the brown tips can’t be fixed unless you cut off the whole leaf.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  2. Hello! I’m a beginner houseplant keeper and this is maybe a silly question but: My sansevieria is exposed to temperature below 13°C at the moment, so I should place it somewhere warmer. Will this sudden and big change in temperature affect it negatively?

    Reply
    • Hey! Good call to be careful with temperature shifts. Try doing this gradually, and be sure to keep the soil dry until the plant has been in a higher temperature environment for a bit. That way it should be fine. 🙂

      Reply
  3. Hello. My pups are all healthy BUT cupped, not cylindrical like the parents. Will they eventually round out or is something else going on?

    Reply
  4. Hi there! I have a cylindrical sanseveria that seems to be pretty happy and making babies. But it has, from day one, had dry crispy looking tips. I water it rarely and have fertilized it once in 6 months. I also have not repotted it from its original container as a friend said they Thrive in small pots! Should i keep it in a small pot and what do you recommend for the crispy ends? They almost look singed!

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hey! Are the tips on the new babies crispy as well or not? If they’re not you’re in the clear, it’s just that the tips on the old leaves never recover.

      How often are you watering and what kind of light is it getting? If things are nice and sunny then you might need to water more than you think, up to once every other week during summer. That is if the pot has a drainage hole and well-draining soil, otherwise things might stay wet for too long. What you can conclude from this is just have a look at all the different care aspects and see if you’re matching them. Are your lighting, watering schedule, soil and pot right?

      Reply

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