Sansevieria Zeylanica Snake Plant


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Also known as Bowstring Hemp, the Snake Plant Zeylanica has the same never-give-up attitude and sword-shaped leaves as the Snake Plant, but with an impressive tiger stripe pattern. This plant is hardy, doesn’t need a lot of light or water, and looks great indoors and outdoors. Also, it can grow up to 3 feet tall — so it’s sure to make an impression.

Care :

Filtered, bright, indirect light

Allow the soil to dry out before watering, then water thoroughly and allow to drain freely. Do not allow the plant to sit in water as this will cause root rot.


Also Known As :
Starfish Snake Plant, Mother In-Law’s Tongue
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Sansevieria Zeylanica

No, you’re not looking at a regular old Snake Plant. The Sansevieria Zeylanica is a unique plant with many interesting traits that set it apart from any other species. Exotic and beautiful, this hardy plant can spice up any living space while also providing several impactful health benefits.


Is the Sansevieria Zeylanica right for you? Most likely! Check out more about this popular houseplant below.


What is a Sansevieria Zeylanica?

At first glance, the Sansevieria Zeylanica looks like a Snake Plant. But plant lovers will notice there’s something a bit different about this plant. It has narrow leaves standing tall with pale waves of variegation that contrast with its dark green color.


The Sansevieria Zeylanica is often called Bowstring Hemp. However, this nickname is also frequently applied to Dracaena trifasciata and Sansevieria hyacinthoides, so we’ll stick with Sansevieria Zeylanica. It’s native to Africa but can be found in households all over the world. This Snake Plant has become a popular indoor plant due to its versatility and hardiness. It’s sometimes called the “Bear Grylls of houseplants” because it can survive very rough conditions.


snake plant sticking straight up



Did you know the Sansevieria Zeylanica is a flowering plant? The Sansevieria Zeylanica rarely blooms. But when it does, it’s a pale green or greenish-white flower that has a strong scent and a stem over two feet long! These are some of the other specific care requirements for the Zeylanica.


Plant Size

The Sansevieria Zeylanica plant is characterized by its long, sword-shaped leaves. Growing upright and rigid, they reach up to 2.5 feet tall and up to one inch wide.


Light Requirements

Sansevieria Zeylanicas prefer bright indirect light. For proper growth, this plant needs at least a moderate amount of bright light. Partial shade is tolerable for this hardy plant, but the low lights will affect the leaf color.


Too much light will also harm your plant, turning the Sansevieria Zeylanica yellow around the edges. Place this plant in a north-facing window or one that receives bright, indirect light.


Water Requirements

When it comes to watering, the Sansevieria Zeylanica isn’t too picky. Once the soil dries out, give this plant a good splash of water. Make sure the soil and pot allow for proper drainage. The Sansevieria Zeylanica doesn’t like sitting in water, which can lead to damage and root rot.


Reduce watering of the Sansevieria Zeylanica in the winter. When the weather is cold, the plant won’t be growing as quickly. So water sparingly. You can water the plant more frequently during the spring and summer when it’s growing faster.


Temperature Requirements

The Sansevieria Zeylanica cannot tolerate extreme weather conditions. Protect this plant from very hot and very cold weather. If your home is below 50 degrees, the Sansevieria Zeylanica will get damaged. Your home should ideally be between 59 degrees Fahrenheit and 74 degrees Fahrenheit.


three snake plants in pots white


Why Choose a Sansevieria Zeylanica Plant for Your Home?

The first thing you’ll notice about the Sansevieria Zeylanica is how striking it is. Its leaves are tall and rigid, creating a striking, geometric feel. The ends are pointy, giving it a sense of danger and excitement. This plant will make any room vibrant, adding a touch of vibrancy and intensity.


But this plant is more than just a gorgeous addition to your decor. NASA recently conducted a study on plants improving air quality in homes and workspaces. And the Snake Plant came out on top. You’ll feel refreshed and healthy with this plant around you.


It’s one of the top plants for filtering the air of formaldehyde, xylene, benzene, toluene, and trichloroethylene. The Sansevieria Zeylanica can produce enough oxygen in an air-sealed room for people to breathe normally!


Having plants around can also improve your mental state. Studies have shown that plants, including the Sansevieria Zeylanica, can increase your positivity, creativity, and focus. That’s why people love having them in their office or wherever they like to get things done. You’ll feel clear-minded and happier with the Sansevieria Zeylanica around.


In return, the Sansevieria Zeylanica doesn’t ask for much. It’s great for all levels of gardeners, including beginners! This plant is extremely easy to care for, allowing everyone to easily enjoy its presence.


Are Sansevieria Zeylanica Plants Good Indoors & Outdoors?

The Sansevieria Zeylanica can be successfully grown outdoors! I’ve seen many around Downtown Los Angeles. But for this plant to thrive, they require temperatures to never fall below 55 (and they prefer 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher).


The Sansevieria Zeylanica is best grown outdoors if you live in Plant Hardiness Zones 9-11. Zone 9 is a year-round planting zone. It covers California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and even along the Gulf of Mexico coast. These areas have warm winters that never get below 20 degrees. The winters are hot.


Zone 10 includes southern inland California, southern Florida, and Hawaii. It’s a pretty small area. The minimum winter temperatures in these areas are around 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. With no freezing temperatures, it’s easy to garden in the winter. But extreme heat in the summer does limit some planting possibilities.


Zone 11 is mostly Hawaii, the Florida Keys, and Puerto Rico. These areas have extremely warm summers and mellow winters. The winters never get below 40 degrees. Plants don’t have to have cold hardiness to grow outdoors here, but the heat during hotter months can impact gardening.


Are Sansevieria Zeylanica Plants Pet and Children Friendly?

The Sansevieria Zeylanica might be good for all gardeners, but it’s not as widely accepted for pets and children. The Sansevieria Zeylanica is considered mildly toxic to pets. If they consume this plant, cats and dogs might become sick. You’ll notice vomiting and stomach pains.


Try keeping this plant outside the reach of pets and younger children. This might be high shelves or a closed off room. Always keep an eye on your pets when they’re around the Sansevieria Zeylanica. If they consume any leaves, contact your veterinarian immediately.


several snake plants in pots


Sansevieria Zeylanica Plant Family Relatives

Often, the term “Snake Plant” is used for a variety of different plants. But there are different variations of Snake Plants that have some major differences. People often call the Sansevieria Zeylanica and the Sansevieria Laurentii by the same common name, but they are quite different!


Sometimes these two plants can look the same, but you can tell the difference by looking at their foliage. The Laurentii has bright yellow bands around the border of the leaves. The Zeylanica doesn’t have this same banding, with its stripes running from edge to edge of each leaf. The Laurentii has broader and shorter leaves than the Zeylanica, which has narrow leaves.


Both plants are a bit “clumpy.” But the Laurentii has tighter clusters of growth compared to the Zeylanica. The latter plant is more prone to spreading outward. Neither of these plants bloom too often. But when they do, the Zeylanica blooms in the spring while the Laurentii blooms in the winter.


Plant Types That Are Similar to the Sansevieria Zeylanica

Looking for a plant that’s just as striking and decor-friendly as this one? Here are some other plants with similar leaf shapes and colors, improving the variety and beauty of your home.


  • Mauritius Hemp: This evergreen plant has sword-shaped light green leaves with light yellow stripes. Give it filtered light to ensure it thrives.


  • Silver Vase Plant: With silver and sea-green leaves, this plant has a pattern similar to the Snake Plant. But unlike the Snake Plant, the Silver Vase Plant has pink and blue flowers.


  • Zebra Plant: This plant has stiff leaves that are dark green and white, creating high contrast like the Snake Plant.


  • Flaming Sword: This beautiful plant has glossy green leaves with white bands. Their colorful blooms are a great contrast, making this an exciting alternative.


  • Cornstalk Dracaena: This tropical plant is sturdy and vibrant. It has green leaves similar to a Snake Plant. But the leaves are a bit more floppy.


  • Century Plant: This light-loving plant has rigid green leaves with sharp spikes around the edges. It’s a dramatic addition to any decor.


Final Thoughts – Sansevieria Zeylanica

This plant is one of a kind. From its striking, rigid leaves to its unmatched air purification abilities, this is one plant you’ll want in your home no matter what. Able to match any decor and brighten any mood, the Sansevieria Zeylanica is a versatile plant that doesn’t take much work but gives you happiness and health.


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