16 Different Sansevieria (Snake Plant) Varieties To Identify What Types You Own

The Snake Plant or Sansevieria Trifasciata is a flowering plant that came from West Africa, which is a tropical place.

This evergreen perennial plant is usually seen both above and underground. This is also known as the mother-in-law’s tongue and Viper’s Bowstring Hemp.

Interestingly, the names that this plant has just really makes sense. It’s called the mother-in-law’s sharp tongue and as the snake plant because of its sharp and pointy leaves.

Meanwhile, the reason behind having the name as a bowstring’s hemp is how its plant fibers can actually be used to make bowstrings.

This plant is typically green in color and has distinct patterns on the leaves, depending on its variety. It has a rosette-forming base and usually grows up to 6 feet in height and almost 3 inches in width.

Growing concerns: Sansevieria varieties offer something for every situation. Let’s identify what type of snake plant you own.

Indeed, Sansevieria, commonly known as snake plant, comes in different varieties. In this post, I’ll let you know of the 16 known snake plant varieties and information about them like their common names and how to care for them.

Sansevieria varieties: 16 Different Types of Snake Plant To Identify What Types You Own

1. Sansevieria Ballyi 

Sansevieria trifasciata or Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
  • Other names: Dwarf Sansevieria
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: North Eastern Kenya

The Dwarf Sansevieria is a perennial succulent that could grow up to 6 inches tall. Its leaves are dark green in color with light green patches. Its flowers are greenish-white in color and could also grow up to 6 inches tall.

How To Care For Dwarf Sansevieria

Container: Choose a medium to a large container with a drainage hole.

Soil: This sansevieria specie can thrive on any soil, making it possible to grow both indoors and outdoors. Avoid mixing its soil with too much fertilizer as this plant is only a light feeder. It could easily die when overfertilized.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9b to 11b

Temperature/Light: Keep in an average room temperature, which is 65° to 75°F (18° to 24°C). The Dwarf Sansevieria is a light-loving type plant. However, if the sunlight is too intense, lessen the time of exposure as it could cause the edges of this plant’s leaves to be yellow.

Water: It’s best to only water this plant once every three weeks during the summer. Avoid letting this plant sit in water for a long time, and don’t let the soil it’s sitting on soggy when watering.

Problems/Issues: It quickly rots on excessive wet soil.

2. Sansevieria Ehrenbergii ‘Blue Sansevieria’ 

Sansevieria ehrenbergii
  • Other names: Blue Sansevieria, Sword Sansevieria, Seleb Sansevieria, East African Wild Sisal, Somaliland Bowstring Hemp
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: Northeastern Africa, from Libya south to Tanzania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia, and Yemen.

A Blue Sansevieria isn’t really blue but rather green and has a soft copper tone on the leaves’ edges. What’s also noticeable is how its leaves seem to grow opposite each other.

Its stem can grow up to 7.2 inches long, and it’s leaves for up to 5 feet tall. It could bear flowers that are grayish-white or grey-green in color.

How To Care for Sansevieria ehrenbergii

Container: You may use medium to large-sized containers for this plant. Make sure the container has drainage holes. Since you can also bring this plant indoors, it’s best to choose a container that you can easily move around.

Soil: This snake plant variety could thrive in any potting soil mix. It can also thrive on regular soil and rocky soil. You can have this fertilized once every three weeks during summer with an all-purpose fertilizer.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9b to 11b

Temperature/Light: Avoid placing it on a spot where it will be exposed to intense light for long hours as it could only handle moderate light exposure. Any temperature below 50° could damage this plant.

Water: Best to only have this watered if its soil is completely dry. Do not let it sit on the water and soggy soil for so long.

Problems/Issues: Very prone to root rot when overwatered.

3. Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Twisted Sister’ 

Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Twisted Sister’
  • Other names: Twisted Sister Snake Plant, Gold Twist Sansevieria
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: East to Congo

The Twisted Sister is a sister plant of the Dwarf Sansevieria. Its leaves are bright gold and green and color. It twists emerge from the base, and it could grow up to 15 inches tall.

How To Care for Twisted Sister Snake Plant 

Container: Plant on a medium to a large-sized container with drainage holes. You can place this indoors from time to time, so it’s best to use a light container that you can easily move.

Soil: You can use any soil potting mix for this. It could even thrive on regular soil. Only fertilize once every three weeks during the summer. You can use a general-purpose fertilizer. Note that when it’s over-fertilized, its leaves tend to fall.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9b to 11b

Temperature/Light: Keep in an average room temperature of 65° to 75°F (18° to 24°C). A temperature below 50° could damage this plant.

Water: Do not water this type of snake plant unless the soil it’s in is completely dry. When watering, the indicator to stop is when the water is already draining from the container’s drainage hole. During winter, do not water every day.

Problems/Issues: It quickly rots when it’s excessively watered.

4. Sansevieria kirkii ‘Star Sansevieria’

Sansevieria kirkii Star Sansevieria
  • Other names: Star Sansevieria, Bowstring Hemp, Bow-string Hemp, Pangane Sansevieria, Pangane Hemp
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: Tanzania and the surrounding region of East Africa

The Star Sansevieria is a rare sansevieria variety which has strong creeping underground stems. When placed indoors, this could serve as an air-purifying plant. Its leaves can grow up to 6 feet tall. It could bear a flower that is greenish-white in color.

How To Care for Sansevieria kirkii

Container: It’s best to plant Star Sansevieria in a medium to a large-sized container with drainage holes. Since its leaves could grow fairly tall, consider placing it in a place that can accommodate its length. It’s best to use a deep container. Regular repotting may not be necessary for this plant anymore.

Soil: It can thrive on any soil or potting mix.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 10a to 11b

Temperature/Light: The Star Sansevieria can thrive in a place with an average temperature that is 65° to 75°F (18° to 24°C). It can only handle low light, but when exposed to bright light, its leaves may appear to be glowing.

Light: When overexposed to intense light, it may cause its leaves to turn yellow.

Water: Avoid overwatering to plant to avoid rotting. Only water if its soil is already completely dry. Only water about three times a month during winter.

Problems/Issues: Sansevieria Kirkii quickly rots when exposed to water for so long.

5. Sansevieria patens

Sansevieria patens
  • Other names: Snake Plant
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: British East Africa or Kenya

This is a rosette-forming snake plant with branching rhizomes that could grow up to 1 inch in diameter. Its leaves could grow up to 3 feet tall. 

Its leaves are colored dark green with blackish green lines. It can bear flowers that grow in clusters and are grey-white in color.

How To Care for Sansevieria patens

Container: Sansevieria Patens thrives well in containers. You can have this moved indoors, so choose a container with drainage holes that is medium-sized.

Soil: Use a potting soil mix with pumice. Regular soil would also do. What’s important is that it is a well-draining soil that you use.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9b to 11b

Temperature/Light: This plant prefers the average temperature to grow. If the temperature goes below 50°, place this plant indoors to avoid any damage. It has excellent heat tolerance, but it’s best only to expose this to low light.

Water: Wait for its soil to dry completely before watering again. Never allow its soil to be soggy in texture. Any excess water should be disposed to not let the plant sit on water for a long time. Only water sparingly during winter.

Problems/Issues: It could easily die if it is placed at a temperature below 45°.Like most snake plants, this could also easily rot when overwatered.

6. Sansevieria Cleopatra

Sansevieria Cleopatra
  • Other names: Cleopatra
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: Garden Origin and Indonesia

Sansevieria Cleopatra is considered as one of the newest Sansevieria hybrids. It’s slow-growing and has intricate patterns on its leaves.

The edges of its leaves seem to form multiple curves. It forms as a rosette with leaves that could grow up to 11 inches tall.It’s also still not easy to find in the market.

How To Care for Sansevieria Cleopatra

Container: It’s best to use a medium-size plant for this. The depth should be about 10 inches. This can also be brought indoors, so use a container with drainage holes that you can easily move anywhere.

Soil: Sansevieria Cleopatra needs well-draining soil, but any potting mixes or even regular soil is fine to use for this plant. An all-purpose fertilizer is good to use for this too. It’s as long as you only feed this plant once every three weeks during summer.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9b to 11b

Temperature/Light: The Cleopatra can thrive from partial to the full sunshade. It’s best to place this in front of a window that gets light for at least 6 hours a day.

Water: This shouldn’t be watered all the time. You should only water this every time its soil is completely dry. During winter, the most you should have this watered is three to four times a month.

Problems/Issues: The main problem you can easily encounter with this plant is root rot because of overwatering.

7. Sansevieria parva ‘Kenya Hyacinth’

Kenya Hyacinth Snake Plant
  • Other names: Kenya Hyacinth Snake Plant
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: Eastern Africa or Burundi, Kenya

The Kenya Hyacinth is a rosette-forming plant with leaves that could grow up to 16 inches tall. Its rosettes typically have 6 to 12 green leaves with dark lines or patterns.

Its little flowers are pinkish-white and fragrant. Its flowers tend to bloom in late winter or early spring.

How To Care for Kenya Hyacinth Snake Plant

Container: It’s best to have this placed in a medium to a large-sized container with drainage. You can choose to put it in a one to a three-gallon container. The Kenya Hyacinth prefers to be under-potted.

Soil: Any potting mix would do for this plant. You can choose a potting mix with small rocks and some moss.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 10a to 11b

Temperature/Light: Like most Sansevieria, this prefers low light exposure. At least 4 hours of light exposure is already enough for this plant. Avoid placing it under intense heat. This can thrive well in average temperature, and that’s 65° to 75°F (18° to 24°C).

Water: Never let it stand in water for a long time. Allow its soil to completely dry before you water this plant again. When watering, don’t let the soil become soggy.

Problems/Issues: When overwatered, this plant rots easily.

8: Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Golden Hahnii’

Golden Bird’s Nest Sansevieria
  • Other names: Golden Bird’s Nest Sansevieria, Golden Hahnii
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: Garden Origin and Native to Tropical West Africa from Nigeria to the east of Congo

The Kenya Hyacinth is a rosette-forming plant with leaves that could grow up to 16 inches tall. Its rosettes typically have 6 to 12 green leaves with dark lines or patterns.

Its little flowers are pinkish-white and fragrant. Its flowers tend to bloom in late winter or early spring.

How To Care for Golden Bird’s Nest Sansevieria

Container: This type of snake plant requires excellent drainage, so make sure the container of your choice has drainage holes. You can choose a medium-sized container for this that measures from one to three gallons.

Soil: This sansevieria variety can thrive on any soil that is slightly acidic or slightly alkaline. You can use potting soil mixes that you can purchase in the market or that you created yourself.

Even the use of regular soil is fine for this plant. An all-purpose fertilizer will also work fine with this. Just make sure that you only have this fertilized once every three weeks during the summer.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9a to 11b

Temperature/Light: This can thrive well with just partial to the full sunshade. Avoid overexposure of more than 16 hours. Overexposure to heat and sun can cause its leaves to become yellow. Place this in an area with an average temperature.

Water: This is a highly drought-tolerant snake plant type, so this means that you don’t have to water this all the time. Allow its soil to dry in between watering. During winter, the most you can water this is twice a month.

Problems/Issues: This can easily rot when overwatered. This is also susceptible to mealy bugs and spider mites.

9. Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’

Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’
  • Other names: Bird’s Nest Sansevieria, Hahn’s Sansevieria, Green Sansevieria
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: Tropical West African Region

This plant looks similar to a Golden Hahnii. The difference is that the leaves of this plant are just green in color with light-green stripes. It’s a short-growing plant that only remains less than 30 feet. During summer and autumn, its fragrant greenish-white flowers bloom.

How To Care for Bird’s Nest Sansevieria

Container: You may use a medium-sized container for this, which is one to three gallons in measurement. Since you can also place this indoors, it’s best to place it in an easy to carry container.

Soil: Regular soil and potting soil mixes work great with this plant. When fertilizing, you can use an all-purpose fertilizer just once a month during its growing season. It doesn’t require a lot of supplementary feeding.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9a to 11b

Temperature/Light: This plant thrives well with moderate light exposure of at least 6 hours a day.

Water: Don’t water if its soil is still moist. Wait for the soil to become completely dry before watering again. Never let this plant sit in water for a long time.

Problems/Issues: Mildly toxic if eaten.It’s prone to root rot when it is overwatered.

10. Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’

Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’
  • Other names: Striped Snake Plant, Variegated Snake Plant
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: West Africa

Sansevieria Trifasciata is the well-known variety of a snake plant. It has hemp-like fiber on the leaves. Speaking of its leaves, these could grow up to 4 feet tall. 

This variegated Snake Plant is colored green with dark green repetitive horizontal lines. It’s rare for this plant to spring flowers, but if it does, its colors are greenish-white.

How To Care for Striped Mother-in-law’s tongue

Container: It’s important that you place this plant in a container with drainage holes. Since it’s also ideal to place this plant indoors, it’s best to choose a container that’s easy to move around.

Soil: Regular soil and any potting mix soil will work well with this plant. Any type of fertilizer would also do. Just make sure you only have this fertilized once every three months during its growing season to avoid overfeeding.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9a to 11b

Temperature/Light: This plant is tolerant of any kind of light, from low to the full sunshade. However, it’s ideal to expose it to sunlight at least 6 hours a day. When it comes to temperature, this plant is not cold hardy. A temperature below 50° can already be harmful to this plant.

Water: The Striped Mother-in-Law’s tongue is drought tolerant, so this means that it’s not necessary to have this watered all the time. At most, only water this plant if its soil is already completely dry.

Problems/Issues: When overwatered, its roots can easily rot. This is also prone to mealy bugs and spider mites infestation.

11. Sansevieria eillensis Chahin

Sansevieria Eillensis Chahin
  • Other names: Sansevieria eillensis
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: Found in a small region near Eyl in Somalia

Sansevieria Eillensis Chahin is a variety of the snake plant has long and cylindrical leaves that could grow up to 5 inches long and 1 inch thick. Its leaves are bluish-green with white horizontal patterns.

The tips of the leaves are papery brown in appearance, and its flowers are spike-like that could grow up to 12 inches long.

How To Care for Striped Mother-in-law’s tongue

Container: Choose a container with drainage. You can get a container with a size of 1 to 3 gallons.

Soil: Sansevieria Eillensis Chahin thrives well from mildly acidic to mildly alkaline soil. You may use a regular potting mix or even regular soil.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 10b to 11a

Temperature/Light: This plant thrives well on a partial shade of sunlight.

Water: It has average water needs, but it is also drought tolerant. Only water when the soil it sits in is already completely dry.

Problems/Issues: Its roots easily rot when overwatered and prone to mealybug infestation.

12. Sansevieria masoniana f. variegata

Sansevieria masoniana f. variegata
  • Other names: Mason’s Congo
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: Found in a small region near Eyl in Somalia

The Sansevieria masoniana is a semi-succulent variety that is dark green in color with a bit yellow vertical line.

Its leaves could grow up to 5 feet tall and 10 inches wide. When its flowers bloom, it appears as a stalk of white flower clusters placed on the plant’s center.

How To Care for Sansevieria masoniana f. variegata

Container: You may choose a medium-sized container for this that you can easily move around. Choose a container that will allow drainage.

Soil: This plant would thrive well on regular soil and potting mixes with pumice and moss.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 11a

Temperature/Light: This could take partial to full sunshade but avoid intense sunlight exposure. It will need at least 6 hours under the light. Place this where the temperature is considered as average. If the temperature has dropped to 50° F, place it indoors.

Water: This plant doesn’t require to get watered all the time. You can just wait for its soil to completely dry out before watering again.

Problems/Issues: Overwatering can easily cause root rot for this plant.

13. Sansevieria cylindrica var. patula ‘Boncel’

Sansevieria cylindrica var. patula ‘Boncel’
  • Other names: Spear Orchid, Skyline Spear
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: West Africa

Sansevieria Cylindrica is also considered a dwarf variety of the snake plant as it does not grow as tall as the Sansevieria cylindrica. Its leaves spread out like a fan.

When its flowers bloom, it could grow up to three feet tall.Its flowers are pink-budded and white in color.

How To Care for Spear Orchid

Container: Since you can have Sansevieria Cylindrica placed indoors from time to time, you should put it in a container that easy to move around.

A medium-sized container of 1 to 3 gallons would work fine with this. Just make sure you use a container with drainage holes.

Soil: You may use any potting soil or just the regular soil for this plant.What’s important is that it’s well-draining.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9a to 11b

Temperature/Light: This type of snake plant won’t take any temperature below 50 °F very well. This can only take moderate lighting, so avoid overexposure to intense light.

Water: Water this sparingly during winter. Most should be twice a month. Anything other than that, only water if its soil is already rough dry.

Problems/Issues: This can easily suffer from root rot when overwatered.It’s also susceptible to pest infestation like spider mites and mealybugs.

14. Sansevieria cyldindrica

Sansevieria Cylindrica
  • Other names: Cylindrical Snake Plant, African Spear, Spear Sansevieria, Spear Orchid, Skyline Spear Sansevieria
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: Angola

The Sansevieria Cylindrica has dark green leaves in the form of cylindrical spears. Its leaves are striped and could grow to 7 feet tall and 1.2 inches wide. It has pink-budded white flowers that can grow up to 3 feet tall.

How To Care for Cylindrical Snake Plant

Container: You can have this placed on medium to large-sized containers. What’s important is that the container is well-draining.

Soil: It’s best to use a fast-draining soil like a potting mix with sand and perlites.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 11a

Temperature/Light: This plant loves the bright light, which makes it light-tolerant. When placed outside, it could grow with partial to the full sunshade.

Water: It’s drought-tolerant, so you can only have this watered if its soil is already rough dry. The most you can water this during winter is twice a month.

Problems/Issues: This is susceptible to spider mites and mealybugs. It can easily rot when overwatered.

15. Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Snake Plant’

Sansevieria Trifasciata
  • Other names: Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Mother-in-Law’s Nose, Saint George’s Sword, African Bowstring Hemp
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: West Africa, Nigeria, Congo

The Sansevieria Trifasciata is the most popular sansevieria variety, commonly called as Snake Plant. This is an evergreen and perennial plant with dense and elongated leaves.

The leaves are colored dark green with light gray-green cross-bands and can grow up to 3 feet tall and 2.4 inches wide. It bears small pale green flowers that bloom during the summer or autumn.

How To Care for Snake Plant

Container: You can choose a container that is 1 to 3-gallons in size. Just make sure that the container has drainage holes.

Soil: This typically thrives on any soil, so this means that you can use regular soil or any potting mix that you can purchase in stores. You can also feed this plant with an all-purpose fertilizer. Only fertilize the Snake Plant once every three months during summer.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 10a to 11b

Temperature/Light: This plant won’t thrive in cold places, so if the temperature has dropped below 50° F, you can just place the plant indoors or in a place where you can control the temperature. This can only tolerate moderate light or partial to the full sunshade. Expose to lights for at least 6 hours a day.

Water: This plant is very drought-tolerant, so you don’t need to water this every day. You can wait for its soil to completely dry before watering. During winter, you can only water this once every three weeks.

Problems/Issues: The Snake Plant is prone to root rot when it is overwatered. This can also be infested by pests like spider mites and mealybugs.

16. Sansevieria zeylanica ‘Ceylon Bowstring Hemp’

Sansevieria Zeylanica
  • Other names: Devil’s Tongue, Snake Plant, Zeylanica Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
  • Family: Asparagaceae Subfamily: Crassuloideae Genus: Sansevieria
  • Native: Dry areas of Sri Lanka

The Sansevieria zeylanica is a stemless evergreen perennial succulent with long sword-shaped leaves that could grow up to 2.5 feet long and 1 inch wide. Its leaves are dark green with large white spots. Its flowers are pale green color and can grow up to 2 feet tall.

How To Care for Snake Plant

Container: You can have this placed in a medium to large-sized containers that will allow proper drainage.

Soil: Potting soil like cactus mixes and even regular soil would work well this plant.

USDA Hardiness Zone: 9a to 10b

Temperature/Light: This plant can only take moderate light. Don’t overexpose to extreme sunlight to avoid having its leaves turn yellow. This could thrive well with the average growing temperature, which shouldn’t be less than 50° F.

Water: Do not water is the soil is still wet. Only water if the soil is already rough dry. During winter, only water at least once or twice a month.

Problems/Issues: The Sansevieria zeylanica can easily rot when overwatered. Pests like mealybugs can also infest this plant.

23 thoughts on “16 Different Sansevieria (Snake Plant) Varieties To Identify What Types You Own”

  1. Love this article! Great explanation of all the different types of Sansevierias which was exactly what I was searching for. Just recently started to collect them all.

    Thx for sharing! 🙂

    Reply
  2. I’m glad that I came across this site. Very well put together, and photo’s are always a plus. I have four of which there are two that are different variety’s and have wondered how to take care of them, after seeing that one of them does like a good shot of sun.

    Reply
  3. Very helpful! Which are the best for air purification? The yellow and green and dark green snake / mother in laws tongue are usually suggested but you suggest a different one here? I’m in the U.K. and it’s hard to find specific varieties.

    Reply
  4. I have over 7 different varieties of Sansevieria….love them all the oldest is the most common mother in law tongue over 5 ft tall and minimum of 20 years old! The goIden Hahini if I spelled that correctly is the only variety I have managed to kill …actually several….do they require much less water than all the rest!!!
    Any advice would be helpful!

    Reply
    • Hi TJ! Basic care for snake plants is pretty much the same. However, you always need to check that (a) you are not overwatering – have drainage holes in your pot; and (b) that your snake plants don’t get too much sunlight. They need (and can handle) direct sun, but optimal light is indirect sunlight. Hope you are keeping safe and good luck!

      Reply
  5. So informative. Do S. cleopatra and silver blue have the same needs and care? These two look so similar and the are my favorites of the sansevierias. Thank you.

    Reply

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