With wide, short sword-shaped leaves that grow in the shape of a rosette and dark green color with yellow edges, Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is easily distinguishable from other beauties in the Sansevieria family.
Because of its growth habit, this Sansevieria is sometimes called “a bird’s nest Sansevieria.” Its scientific name is Sansevieria trifasciata, variety “Futura Superba”.
This hardy tropical West African native is popularly grown in gardens and indoors and is known as Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and Snake Plant. It is a perfect house plant for small apartments because it takes so little space.
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is known for its air-purifying ability and is highly recommended for bedrooms, living rooms, offices, and hospital rooms. In Feng Shui, Sansevierias are considered plants that bring good luck.
This Sansevieria requires so little care that it makes it a perfect plant for indoor gardening beginners. If you thought that you had two brown thumbs, try growing Sansevieria “Futura Superba”, it is almost indestructible.
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” care
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is an evergreen perennial that grows on average to the height of 12 to 18 inches, reaching a maximum height of about 24 inches. It grows happily in the same conditions humans live – in the temperature that ranges from 18 to 24°C (65-75°F). This Sansevieria is not sensitive to dry air, it can live without being watered for a month and tolerates very low light. It can even be grown under fluorescent lights.
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” requires well-draining soil and soil that retains too much water will cause its roots to rot. It is one of the very few problems this Sansevieria can suffer from, so make sure it is planted in a soil mix with plenty of coarse material such as pine bark, coarse sand, and/or perlite.
Ideally, mix the coarse material with organic compost and you will have a happy plant that will require no fertilizing, very little watering, and generally almost no care. The cactus and succulents potting mix work very well.
Sansevierias are fairly drought-tolerant and can live without water for a month or so. Let the soil dry out completely between watering and then water thoroughly until excess water comes out of the drainage hole in the pot. It is crucial that the roots do not sit in water.
In the summer, when it is hot, water your Sansevieria “Futura Superba” once every few weeks, but only if the soil is dry. It is better to underwater than overwater.
Sansevierias are very popular with people who travel a lot because they can survive weeks without being watered.
The best way to ensure that you do not overwater your Sansevieria is to plant it in the very well-draining soil. That way all extra water will leave the pot and allow roots proper aeration.
Like most indoor plants, Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is happiest in bright to moderate bright indirect light. But, it performs well with much less light and can easily be grown without natural light, under a fluorescent lamp.
While this Sansevieria will live happily with plenty of light, direct sun will burn its leaves, so keep it away from the south or west window.
You can bring your Sansevieria out to the balcony or porch in the summer. Let it adjust to the bright conditions by keeping it at first in the dappled shade and slowly move it to the location with more light.
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is often seen in offices, hospital rooms, hotel lobbies, and other places with low natural light.
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” will grow in a wide range of temperatures but is most commonly grown at a temperature that is comfortable for humans, from 18 to 24°C (65-75°F).
As a tropical plant, this Sansevieria tolerates higher temperatures but will need to be watered more often. If you place it outside on your porch or balcony, your Sansevieria will survive very low temperature but bring it inside before the first frost.
Keep your Sansevieria away from the drafty windows and direct heating or air conditioning elements.
You have probably figured out by now that your beautiful Sansevieria “Futura Superba” can tolerate just about any living conditions in our homes. It includes the humidity. You will not see it complaining about the air being too dry and it will happily live in your humid bathroom.
Use this wonderful tolerant nature of your Sansevieria and plant one in every room in your home, as long as there is some natural light or at least a fluorescent lamp. It will purify the air and provide a lovely bit of greenery.
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” needs very little fertilizer. If you do not fertilize it at all, you will not notice much difference, except maybe slower growth.
If your soil mix contains organic compost, the compost will provide your Sansevieria with all the nutrients it needs.
Since Sansevierias like to be pot-bound and are not repotted in years, add a layer of organic compost to the top layer of the soil in spring, before the active growth starts.
If your potting mix is peat-based or contains regular garden soil, you should fertilize your Sansevieria with a diluted general-purpose or cactus liquid fertilizer. Feed your plant once a month during the spring and summer and do not feed at all in the fall and winter.
You should not worry too much about repotting your Sansevieria “Futura Superba.” They are slow growers and like to be a bit pot-bound. It even might encourage them to bloom!
You will see when your Sansevieria fills the pot with roots and should be repotted. At times, roots even break the pot! Nature is powerful. Repot it into a one-size larger pot about every three to five years.
If your Sansevieria is growing in low light, it will grow even slower than normal and it will not need repotting for five to ten years.
To repot it, remove your Sansevieria from the old pot, shake the old soil off and remove all the babies that are growing from the mother rhizome. They are called ‘pups.’ They are the easiest way to propagate your Sansevieria – just pot them in individual pots.
Place the mother plant in a new pot and fill it with the same coarse soil mix as before. Water it well and let the excess water drain completely.
Sansevieria does not require pruning. Occasionally, you will see a damaged leaf. If it is burnt and crispy on the edges, it means you left it in full sun. Just cut the damaged leaves at the base.
This will allow for space for new growth. You also might notice that the leaves are rotting at the base.
It happens when your Sansevieria has been overwatered and was allowed to sit in too wet soil.
Remove the damaged leaf but also check the roots at that time. If the roots are rotting as well, you will have to cut all damaged roots and repot your Sansevieria in the fresh free-draining soil.
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is very beautiful and decorative and you will want more of the good thing. You can propagate it from leaf cuttings, but there is an easier way. Sansevierias grow “pups”, new plants growing straight from its rhizome.
If your Sansevieria grew outdoors, it would grow roots underground and the new plants would pop up in the garden.
In the pot, the ‘pups’ grow on the side of the pot. They can be easily separated from the mother plant during repotting. Just cut each new plant and place it in its own pot.
Nothing can be easier! Choose a fairly small pot, they are slow growers and it will be a long time before your new babies fill up and start looking like their mother.
Sansevierias are full of surprises! Your “Futura Superba” can live for years on your window sill or on your desk and you will get used to its glossy elegant leaves and bright yellow edges.
And then one day you will notice a long, thin stalk growing straight from the soil, covered in fluffy white buds. The buds open after a few days into lovely lily-like creamy flowers that will fill your room with a delicious, delicate aroma.
It is almost impossible to predict when will your Sansevieria bloom, if ever. But, experienced gardeners suggest that the way to encourage your plant to bloom is to keep it always slightly root-bound.
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is a slow grower that has a very long life span. The less light it has, the slower it will grow. It grows in almost any condition, from an office with no natural light to the humid bathroom.
This Sansevieria can grow in the garden and at home, it requires just enough light to perform photosynthesis and can survive without water for a month. It usually grows to a foot to foot-and half, but never taller than two feet. It can be kept in the same pot for five to ten years!
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is often grown for its air purification ability. The research shows that it increases the oxygen in the room and removes benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene. It is recommended to keep Sansevierias in bedrooms, hospital rooms, and baby rooms.
View this post on Instagram
Common Problems with Sansevieria “Futura Superba”
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is very resilient and resistant to most plant diseases and pets. But, if its living conditions are not right, it might succumb to root rot or get infested by mealybugs and spider mites.
Sansevierias can tolerate just about anything, except its roots sitting in water. If the soil you plant your Sansevieria in retains too much water, the roots will not be able to get oxygen and will become prone to fungal diseases and root rot. Make sure that your soil is free-draining and do not water your plant unless the soil is dry. It is always better to underwater than overwater.
Mealybugs are soft, wingless tiny insects that look like white cotton on the leaves of your Sansevieria. They suck the sap from the plant tissue. The damage will show as yellowing and curling of the leaves. The mealybugs form a sticky honeydew when they feed, which encourages sooty mold.
Hosing down your Sansevieria with water might eliminate all the mealybugs, but if not, remove them with a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. You can also spray the plant with neem oil or horticultural soap.
Mealybugs like humid, hot environment, so if they show up on your Sansevieria, it means you are overwatering it or the soil retains too much water.
Spider mites are tiny spiders that form colonies on the underside of leaves, making holes in leaves and sucking up sap. You will notice them as tiny dots on the leaves of your Sansevieria or dense, fine webbing. Affected leaves will turn yellow and drop off.
Spider mites reproduce very fast and can infest not only your Sansevieria but other plants nearby.
Wash your Sansevieria with a strong blast of water, spray it with the neem oil or just remove infected leaves.
Introducing beneficial insects like ladybugs and lacewing will quickly put an end to spider mites, if you do not mind having insects in your house. They are more commonly used in the garden.
The best way to fight any plant disease or insect infestation is to prevent them from happening to begin with. It starts with providing your Sansevieria ”Futura Superba” with ideal growing conditions.
Since Sansevierias are so resilient and can thrive in just about any conditions, the only problem you have to think about it is overwatering.
Having its roots sitting in water is the only way to kill your Sansevieria “Futura Superba.” Make sure that it is planted in the free-draining soil and do not overwater it.
Frequently check the leaves of your Sansevieria for bugs or their telltale signs such as white cotton or fine spider webs. Treat the plant as soon as possible, before the infestation becomes a problem
Tips for growing Sansevieria “Futura Superba”
- Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is easy to grow and requires very little care, as long as you do not overwater it;
- Your Sansevieria can tolerate low light, but not no light. If you do not have natural light in your room, use a fluorescent lamp.
- Any temperature that is comfortable for you is comfortable for your Sansevieria. If you take it outside, bring it in before the first frost
- Check your Sansevieria for pests often and treat it as soon as you spot any signs of them.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Sansevieria “Futura Superba” care
Is Sansevieria “Futura Superba” toxic to humans or pets?
Chewing on the leaves of the Sansevieria might cause a sick stomach to pets or humans. Pets will not be tempted to chew on tough Sansevieria leaves but keep them out of thenreach of kids.
Can I grow my Sansevieria under fluorescent light?
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” tolerates very low light but needs some light for photosynthesis. If the room in which you want to keep it has no natural light, place your plant near the fluorescent lamp. It will do just fine.
Is Sansevieria “Futura Superba” good for purifying the air?
Yes, the research shows that all Sansevierias have great ability to purify the air and improving air quality. They create additional oxygen and remove benzene, trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene.
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is an ideal plant for gardening novices. If you convinced yourself that you cannot keep any plant alive, even you have a pretty good chance with this lovely plant.
This Sansevieria is practically indestructible. You can forget to water it for a month, you can keep it in a room with just a fluorescent lamp, you do not have to repot it for five to ten years and it will still stand beautiful, elegant and verdant on your desk, table or a window sill.
Sansevieria “Futura Superba” is perfect for people who travel a lot and can be the first plant for people who do not have experience with gardening but would love to learn. As a bonus, it will purify your air and will also bring you luck, if you believe in Feng Shui.