Sansevieria Cylindrica Snake Plant: African Spear Plant

Sansevieria Cylindrica, popularly known as the African Spear Plant or the Cylindrical Snake Plant, is an easy-going succulent that can add beauty to your indoor and outdoor gardens.

The cylindrical snake plant is a houseplant for beginners because you don’t need to do much to care for this plant.

In this article, we will look at some of the essentials to ensure the proper growth of a Spear Sansevieria plant.

You will learn about the suitable conditions for plant growth, what type of soil to use, the potting mix, ambient conditions, watering, and ways to grow more of these plants by propagating.

What is a Sansevieria Cylindrica?

The Sansevieria cylindrica plant is a succulent plant that is commonly known as the Cylindrical Snake Plant, African Spear Plant, or Spear Sansevieria, or in some parts of South America, the Saint Barbara sword plant.

The plant belongs to the Sansevieria species-genus and hence is called the Snake Plant. The Sansevieria genus belongs to the Asparagaceae family of plants.

However, in recent times, due to scientific research and study, it is now classified under the Dracaena genus of plants. Its Dracaena name is Dracaena angolensis.

Other scientific (or botanical) names include Cordyline Cylindrica, Sansevieria Angolensis, and Cynthia Cylindrica.

Sansevieria Cylindrica plants have a unique leaf structure; they have cylindrical leaves that narrow to a point at the leaf tip.

The stiff and spear-like leaves grow straight up from a basal rosette.


This is the reason why the cylindrical snake plant gets called the ‘spear’ within its moniker.

Sansevieria cylindrical can also bloom a flower that grows out of a long spike that originates from the center of the plant.

The leaves look like spears, hence the reason why the cylindrical snake plant is called the ‘spear’ plant.

Sansevieria cylindrical can also bloom a flower that grows out of a long spike that originates from the center of the plant.

These greenish-white tubular flowers complement the color of the leaves really well.

How To Care For Sansevieria Cylindrica Plants

The succulent plant, Sansevieria cylindrica, is native to Africa.

It requires little maintenance and may grow in a broad range of environmental conditions.

Follow these simple care instructions to keep your Sansevieria cylindrica plant healthy and looking its best all year long.


Sansevieria Cylindrica plants like bright light, so you can expose them to direct sunlight for long durations of time.

Typically, morning sunlight is best for growing Sansevieria. However, intense light, especially during the afternoon, can be damaging.

Also, too much sunlight will fade the dark green tinge from the leaves, leaving them yellowish and dry.

Partial shading is the best source of light as it maximizes the growth of these plants.

Placing the plant near a shaded window is a great idea. Placing it near a north-facing window is another good option to promote growth.

Furthermore, it also ensures that the leaves grow upright, which is the desired look for the plant.

On the other hand, if the light is poor, it can slow down plant growth altogether.

However, because these are succulent plants, they have a hereditary characteristic of surviving under unfavorable conditions.

So they may not grow further, but they won’t die easily.

Alternatively, if your plant is not exposed to enough light, you can also use a light feeder or filtered bright light to provide the optimum growth conditions.

Temperature and Climate

Sansevieria Cylindrica grows in hot and dry regions—its native habitat is in Africa.

Africa can be a tough place to survive and grow because of the environmental conditions, the deserts, and the lack of water.

So, you can expect Sansevieria Cylindrica to live through bad weather, lack of water, and harsh growing conditions.

The optimum temperature ranges from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 26 degrees Celsius).

Moreover, these plants are excellent at tolerating temperature fluctuations. Hence, it doesn’t affect their growth too much.

If you’re growing them indoors, it’s ideal to maintain a warm temperature. Room temperature is perfect for growth.

These plants are also resistant to dry and warm air. But that doesn’t mean you can keep it near dry air vents or exhaust systems.


But at the same time, too much humidity is not good either, so if you had to choose, a drier environment is best.

In contrast, cold temperatures can be lethal for these plants.

Sansevieria Cylindrica can find it tough to survive in cold temperatures of 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) or lower.


Sansevieria Cylindrica plants have an incredible ability to retain water. A good rule of thumb is to water just once a week and to check the soil’s dampness by putting the tip of your finger in the top portion of the soil.

In other words, only water the plant when the soil is dry.

It’s an innate survival instinct that makes them drought-resistant when the soil dries out.

This is especially important during the spring, as it is the snake plant’s active growing season.

Do not overwater your plants. How can you tell if you have excessively wet soil? Or if you start seeing mold or other pests start to appear.

Overwatering the plant may lead to root rot. You do not want root rot, or the leaves may start to topple over until they join the rootstock.

Bottom line, water only when you feel the soil is dry, and plant your Sansevieria cylindrica in a pot that has soil drainage holes.

The drainage holes will help the excess water drain out of the potting soil.


Cactus or succulent potting mix is ideal for Cylidrical snake plants because it drains water well.

This helps prevent the soil from retaining water, which leads to overwatering and possibly root rot or other diseases.

A solution to well-draining soil is to use sandy soil so that any excess water can drain to the bottom of the pot.

The one succulent soil that we always rely on is this succulent soil. We like it because our succulents and plants seem to thrive in it.


Fertilize an African Spear plant once a month throughout the spring; it is especially good for younger plants.

For adult or mature plants, you can reduce the feeding frequency by half.

Generally, there are special fertilizers for succulents. These are specifically made for succulents to prevent overfeeding the plants.

When winter comes, do not feed your Sansevieria cylindrica as it is their dormant period of the year.

In terms of fertilizers to use, we suggest organic granular fertilizers, particularly these fertilizer pellets.

We have used it ourselves, and it is super easy to use because you just stick it in and forget about it. It also prevents overfertilizing as it is a slow-release fertilizer.

Osmocote PotShots: Premeasured House Plant Food, Feed for up to 6 Months, 25 Nuggets
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Repotting A Sansevieria Cylindrica

Repot a Sansevieria cylindrica plant approximately every 2-3 years.

African spear plants are slow-growing succulents, especially when you place them in low light. The growth speed can be substantially reduced when you place it in low light.

However, if you notice that the plant is outgrowing the pot, you should definitely repot the plant.

It’s best if you repot your Sansevieria cylindrica during the spring, as that is when it is in its growing period of the year.

When repotting the African spear, make sure to use a wide pot because the plant is top-heavy as it grows straight up.

It can take some time for the plant to settle into the new container, so don’t water the plant regularly in the initial days after repotting.

For more information on repotting, check out our post on when and how to repot a snake plant.

If you’re looking for a new pot or planter, we suggest you take a look at this self-watering pot. We like them a lot because they look good and we don’t ever have to worry about watering our snake plants.

Unique 10" Self-Watering, Aerating, High Drainage Plant Pot with Deep Saucer (10 Inch,...
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Propagating Sansevieria Cylindrica 

Propagate Sansevieria cylindrica plants by cutting the rhizomes or leaf cuttings.



Sansevieria cylindrica grows through creeping rhizomes.

The rhizomes send offshoots that you can cut after untangling. Use a sharp knife or a blade to separate and then propagate the plants.

However, only propagate when the plant has at least a 6-inch stalk.

Pot each cutting individually because these plants spread easily in wider spaces.

Leaf Cuttings

Leaf cuttings are an effective way to propagate the Sansevieria cylindrica plant.

Just remove the cluster rosette from the roots and place it in a new pot or new soil.

While propagating, make sure to place the plant upright to maximize its growth.


Sansevieria Cylindrica doesn’t need pruning unless it’s for cosmetic purposes.

However, if the leaves turn yellow, you can simply cut them from the base with pruning shears.

If you’re looking for some new shears, take a look at these particular pruning shears. We have several of these lying around and let me tell you they are super sharp and easy on the hands.

VIVOSUN 6.5 Inch Gardening Scissors Hand Pruner Pruning Shear with Straight Stainless...
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Problems With Sansevieria Cylindrica Plants


Relatively speaking, these plants are quite low maintenance. However, there are common problems with these plants that generally stem from overwatering.

Overwatering your Sansevieria cylindrica can cause root rot, disease, and, in some cases, fungal infections.

The best way to prevent these problems is to let the soil dry out before watering. If you’re in doubt, stay on the dry side.


Root rot is a common problem that happens because of overwatering. The leaves turn yellow and tend to dry out. If the base of the plant turns yellow, it’s a sign of rotting.

If you find rotting in the plant, immediately take the plant out of the pot and cut off the affected roots.

Then, repot the remaining healthy plant into a clean pot with a new potting mix.

Curling Leaves

Sansevieria Cylindrica leaves are meant to grow upright. If they are curling, it’s a sign of underwatering.

This happens more often than not during the summer because the plants need more water.

Vine Weevils And Other Pests

Vine weevils tend to eat the leaf edges, which damages the leaves. To prevent vine weevil attacks, you will need to use a pesticide capable of killing these pests.

Alternatively, if you have a severe infestation, we suggest using an insecticide.

I usually prefer a more natural approach to ridding pests, but sometimes you just need a suitable pesticide.

We recommend using this insecticide on your plants. It’s non-toxic, but more importantly, it just works.

There are other natural methods, like using nematodes or even diatomaceous earth.

However, if you want results fast and efficiently, this particular Neem oil pesticide is the solution for you. We’ve used it on our own plants, and to be honest, it works.

BioAdvanced Organics Brand Neem Oil, Ready-to-Use, 24 oz
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How Do You Take Care Of A Sansevieria Cylindrica?

Taking care of Sansevieria plants isn’t difficult because they are low-maintenance plants. Some of the essentials for plant care include optimum watering, avoiding cold temperatures, ensuring bright light, and every so often, repotting with fresh potting mixture.

How Tall Does Sansevieria Cylindrica Grow?

Generally, the Sansevieria Cylindrica leaves can be five to seven feet tall. The leaves are up to a couple of inches wide.

Is Sansevieria Cylindrica A Succulent?

Yes, Sansevieria Cylindrica is a succulent plant. Since they are succulents, the water retention of these plants is excellent, which helps them survive in dry conditions.

Is Sansevieria Cylinderica Poisonous?

Yes! They are mildly toxic to pets and children. However, its effects are somewhat mild and only cause sickness if ingested.

Why Do The African Spear Plant Leaves Curl?

Underwatering leaves are a sign of underwatering. In the summer, the African spear plants may need more water than normal. However, you must be careful not to overwater the succulents. Soggy soil can also damage the plant. To avoid curling leaves, make sure to water the plants on a timely basis.

Is It Okay To Cut Off The Brown Tips?

Snake plant leaves, when damaged, turn brownish from the tips.
So, if the damage isn’t too extensive, you can cut down the brown tips. However, since the tips don’t grow back, make sure to cut them so the plant shape doesn’t look bad. If the damage is too bad, it is better to cut off the entire leaf from the soil line.
The underground rhizomes can provide new shoots pretty quickly.

What Causes The Plant To Become Leggy?

Insufficient sunlight causes leggy snake plants to grow. These plants like bright sunlight, so if you constantly place them in a dark place, they will tend to ‘stretch and become leggy to reach the light. When they get enough light, they stay upright, which is a sign of healthy growth.

Other Sanseviera (Snake Plants) to Consider


Sansevieria Cylindrica plants are an excellent option for indoor or outdoor ornamental plants.

These plants are low-maintenance and stunning with their thick and long leaves.

If you take proper care of these plants, they will bloom a spear flower in no time.

So, it’s important to provide the right conditions.


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