Guide to Sansevieria Cylindrica: How to Grow & Care for “African Spear”

Sansevieria Cylindrica, the African Spear, Spear Sansevieria, Saint Barbara, or cylindrical snake plant, is low maintenance yet attractive houseplant that those of any skill level can enjoy. The African Spear plant is native to Angola and is most known for its long, smooth cylindrical leaves that can get braided into unique patterns. This slow-growing succulent variant produces dark green leaves with green-grey variegations and is indigenous to Angola, Africa.

Sansevieria Cylindrica is particularly beneficial to beginners due to the plant's hardiness and ability to withstand periods without care. If you take great care of your Sansevieria Cylindrica upon full maturity, the mature plants will produce small, delicately scented cream-colored flower spikes. 

The gorgeous Sansevieria Cylindrica is easy to maintain and will thrive with some love and care. These succulents, with their beautiful dark green leaves, will liven up any room. To ensure your African Spear Sansevieria Cylindrica can thrive and fully mature, you will need to understand the growing requirements outlined in this care guide. 

Botanical Name: 

Common Name: 

Type:

Mature Size:

Sun Requirement:

Planting Zone:

Toxicity:

Sansevieria Cylindrica

African spear, cylindrical snake plant, spear sansevieria, Cylindrical Mother-in-Laws tongue

Succulent

4–6 ft. tall, 1–2 ft. wide

Full, partial shade or sun 

10-11 USDA

Toxic to pets and human

Botanical Name: 

Sansevieria Cylindrica

Common Name: 

African spear, cylindrical snake plant, spear sansevieria, Cylindrical Mother-in-Laws tongue

Type:

Succulent

Mature Size:

4–6 ft. tall, 1–2 ft. wide

Sun Requirement:

Full, partial shade or sun 

Planting Zone:

10-11 USDA

Toxicity:

Toxic to pets and human

African Spear Or Cylindrical Snake Plant Grow And Care Guide

Light Conditions and Temperature Requirements

The nature of a succulent snake plant requires a hot, bright light, and dry climate for successful growth. You should place your Sansevieria Cylindrica plant in an area of your home near a North facing window or a window with a sheer curtain with a lot of bright light. 

The proper location will ensure the African Spear plant receives direct sunlight and bright light for growth but will not suffer heat damage. If you are placing your African Spear plant outside, you need to find an area shaded during the hottest part of the day.

  • Sansevieria Cylindrica should not be exposed to cold temperatures below 50 °F (10 °C), as this will cause the plant to suffer cold damage.
  • The ideal temperature range for Sansevieria Cylindrica is 65 °F (18 °C) – 80 °F (26°C). 
  • Placing the Sansevieria Cylindrica plant in a low-light area will not kill it; however, it will stunt its growth. 
  • Your Sansevieria Cylindrica plant will thrive in dry air at room temperature but will not experience a negative impact from mild fluctuations in temperature or humidity. 

Watering

Sansevieria Cylindrica needs to be watered based on its growing season. The plant's growing season begins in Spring and can continue through Fall. You can determine exactly when your succulent plant needs watered by checking to see if the soil has dried out entirely from the last time you watered the plant. 

During the growing season, you should water your plant once every week or every other week. You will need to water your Sansevieria plant once every month during the winter season. 

It is vital to make sure the soil is dry because Sansevieria Cylindrica holds water within its leaves, and an overwatered plant can lead to root rot. The following signs indicate that you have overwatered your African Spear plant:

  • the leaves will turn yellow, and
  • the stem will be mushy at the base. 

Potting Soil

Succulents, in general, require a sandy soil or well-drained potting mixture that allows for water to effectively drain out of the material to prevent the plant from being water-logged. 

When potting your Sansevieria Cylindrica, choose a pot with good drainage along with sandy, neutral pH soil or potting mixture. Typically, most cactus potting mixes will suffice. Due to the potting mixture allowing high drainage, there will likely be water that drains out of the pot; you should always make sure to empty any water that pools at the bottom of your planter. 

Fertilization

This cylindrical snake plant African Spear is a light feeder, so you can gently fertilize it. 

  • During its growing period, you can fertilize the Sansevieria plant once a month. 
  • You need to dilute your fertilizer to half strength before applying it to the plant. 
  • Over-fertilizing Sansevieria Cylindrica can lead to bent stalks or the potential death of the plant. 
  • Fertilization during the winter months is not necessary. 

Repotting

A fully matured Sansevieria Cylindrica can reach heights of 4-6 feet tall and 1-2 feet wide. During the time you are taking care of your plant, it is likely that you will need to repot the plant after several years of slow growth. 

You will repot your plant once it has become overcrowded or outgrown its current home. Be sure to move one size up when choosing the next home for your plant. Ideally, a wide container would be best to support the leaves and minimize the chance of tipping over. The ideal time to repot your plant is during early Spring. You should delay the next watering until it has adjusted to the new pot. 

Propagation

It is necessary to understand Sansevieria Cylindrica grows rhizomes to understand the process of propagating your plant. A rhizome is an underground stem that forms offshoots that can be separated to create new plants. You can propagate your plant once it has developed several stems that are at least 6 inches tall. The rhizome can then be untangled and separated from the stem's base and transplanted into a different pot. 

You have the option to propagate your plant by taking leaf cuttings. Start by cutting a rosette cluster of leaves from the root system and re-plant the cluster upright in the soil. Make sure the cuttings you take are 2-4 inches tall. There may be a prolonged period before the plant roots into the soil. 

Pruning

Pruning is not a necessary part of care when dealing with a Sansevieria Cylindrica. If you notice that any of the leaves on your plant are turning yellow, you can use cleaned pruning shears to remove the leaf at the base. 

Common Pests and Diseases

Vine Weevils are the most common pest that you can face when taking care of a Sansevieria Cylindrica. They can cause irreversible damage by eating away the edges of the leaves.

If your plant becomes infested with these pests, you can solve the problem by applying horticultural oil. If they have reached the root system and caused damage, you may not be able to save the plant. 

Diseases are unlikely to affect this easy-to-care-for plant. There is a chance that a fungal infection could develop if the plant is overwatered and experiences root rot. The condition can be treated with a fungicide, alongside proper watering care to make sure the plant can dry out.

Toxicity

All parts of African Spear plants are toxic to both pets and people when ingested. Common symptoms include gastrointestinal issues, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. While the most reaction is usually mild, but it can be severe in small animals or children.

African Spear Plant Varieties

There are just a few varieties of African spear plants available, including:

Sansevieria cylindrica 'Spaghetti’

A hybrid snake plant. This cultivar features hand-shaped, thin leaves. It features dark green leaves with striking light green tiger-print striping.

Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Skyline’

Grows fan-shaped, this cultivar sports large, vertical erect round banded green leaves in clusters. 

Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Patula’

This lime green succulent plant grows outward and bends down more than most other varieties.

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