Sanseviera Robusta is an ornamental plant known to be perfect for keeping indoors!
With a striking upright appearance, this gorgeous succulent is ideal for containers in the home and requires very little by way of maintenance.
If you want to bring such a beautiful plant home, better find out more about its care in this guide.
Sansevieria Robusta care
A very easy plant to look after, the Sansevieria Robusta will give years of enjoyment as long as the basic care requirements are met. Watering should be undertaken only when the soil is dry, and temperatures shouldn’t fall below 50°F (10°C). Thriving in bright indirect sunlight, you also do not have to worry about light levels indoors too much.
This upright plant is particularly adaptable. Neither sensitive to the sun nor affected by shade, you will find it hard to go wrong.
The ultimate position however for the Sansevieria Robusta is one of bright and indirect sunlight. This makes it perfect for those even in ground-floor apartments that get less direct light.
The Sansevieria Robusta is also an amazing year-round decorative piece, as it does not lose its leaves or striking appearance when light levels drop in the winter.
It is therefore great for those who crave a year-round tropical feeling in the home!
Native to Africa, the Sansevieria Robusta doesn’t require too much watering. That’s a bonus if you are not blessed with a green thumb or are just a little bit neglectful of plants!
In fact, too much water will likely be an issue. This succulent, like many others, can be sensitive to root rot if you expose it to too much water.
In particular, you should never let it sit in a plate of water if you are going on a vacation. Make sure that when you do water it that liquid does not pool in the soil.
If it does, you may need to change the mix of your soil.
Water only when dry, easing off during the winter when it needs less attention, and pick up the rhythm in the spring. Once a week should be enough in the growing season.
Even if the soil looks dry on the surface, you should make sure it isn’t soggy below.
A good tip for checking if you need to water would be to use a chopstick or end of a spoon to check just how damp things are below the surface.
If you stick the item carefully into the soil and withdraw it, there should be no soil stuck to it. If there is, leave it another couple of days before watering
Soil should be well-draining and sandy, and a neutral pH level is preferred. You can buy soil specially designed for cacti and succulents, which is usually more resistant to retaining water.
The key here is to get a mix of soil that is going to let the root system access enough water without saturation.
It is important that the air pockets within the soil do not become water-logged, restricting the plants access to oxygen.
If you prefer to make your own well-draining potting mix, it is pretty easy. Standard gardening soil can be used as a base, to which you can add two parts sand to two parts soil, then one part perlite.
The perlite in particular will make the soil hard to compact, therefore keeping it loose and well-draining.
Make sure you make the effort to get the soil right. Poorly draining soil is one of the few things that can kill this easy-to-care-for plant.
As the Sansevieria Robusta is perfect for the indoors, you won’t need to worry too much about temperatures.
In the winter make sure it remains in an environment above 50°F (10°C) – that could be as simple as moving it away from a draughty window during the cooler months.
The plant will thrive best in a range between 55°F-85°F (13-30°C). Towards the lower ends of this range growth will slow, and below 50°F can cause some real damage.
So if you do keep it on your balcony or terrace, be sure to bring it inside during the risk periods.
Flowers are, whilst rare, possible. A long stalk may appear with a white or cream-colored flower that resembles a lily. It smells pretty good!
This is however not a common occurrence, so don’t buy your Sansevieria Robusta for flowers!
It seems to be that flowering may occur when the plant has become mildly stressed for a long period of time, such as perhaps becoming restricted or root-bound.
But the flower itself will cause the plant little harm, so just enjoy the rare display while it lasts.
The benefits of this plant just keep on coming (and we haven’t even talked about the health benefits yet – more on that later).
Like the care requirements, propagation is really easy too! There are three common methods to propagating your Sansevieria Robusta. Let’s go through them in detail.
Propagating by division
Suited for larger plants, propagation by division is a good option if the mother plant requires more space. Lifting a new plant straight from the roots also guarantees that the new plant will retain the same features as the mother.
To do this, remove the plant from the pot and gently shake the soil off it. Using clean scissors or a sharp knife, cut off the section of root you wish to remove, ensuring it also has its own leaf.
You can repot your new root system in the same soil mixture as the mother. Water lightly and keep an eye on the soil.
Propagation by leaf-cutting + soil
Repotting by using a leaf cutting is a really easy method, and if the new cutting takes to its new environment, you will have instant greenery!
So simple it nearly seems impossible. Just cut a leaf off at the base and let it sit for a couple of days until it dries out. Then, simply insert the cutting into potting mix (well-draining of course).
Water the cutting but ensure it drains well, then monitor the soil for the next couple of weeks. It can take a little while to get going but is well worth it.
Interestingly, using this method means that the new plant may vary slightly from the mother!
Propagation by lead cutting + water
This is a really cool method and one that allows you to see what is going on below the surface!
Start like you did in the soil cutting method. Once you have your leaf removed, cut an upside-down V shape into the bottom of the leaf so it looks like a chevron.
Stick it in a jar of water! You may think nothing is happening here, but after a few weeks if you look closely you will see little roots coming out of the cut area.
A few weeks later you will see little offshoots or pups beginning to grow too.
If you want to watch them develop further there is no harm in leaving them for a while longer in the water. In fact, the plant can actually survive pretty well in water, and can become a really cool decorative feature!
If you keep your Sansevieria Robusta in optimal growing conditions, ensuring that the light levels are constant, you can expect the plant to grow to around 39 inches (100 centimeters) in both height and width.
The plant tends to grow in an upright fashion, with leaves sometimes being describes as “swords”.
The growth patterns of this cool plant mean it is a favorite in modern spaces and offices, as its sharp appearances go well with sleek design and architecture.
Whilst the plant is evergreen and thankfully does not lose its leaves, it does rest during the winter. During this time, do not panic if you notice little or zero growth – this is perfectly normal.
Just ease back on the watering and resume in spring. Given the optimal temperature and light conditions, you will soon see it resuming normal growth patterns as the warmer months approach.
One downside of this robust and easy to maintain plant is that it is toxic to animals and children if ingested.
That’s a bit of an inconvenience, considering the easy-care nature of the plant lends itself to offices and homes.
Canines and felines in particular should be kept well away. If ingested, the toxins cause swelling of the airways and tongue. It will also likely cause nausea, vomiting, and other gastro symptoms.
If you think your pet has ingested any part of the plant then you will need to seek medical attention immediately. Best to also keep kids away from the Sansevieria Robusta too.
Benefits of the Sansevieria Robusta
This striking plant however also carries a number of health benefits. Historically used in herbal remedies, nowadays it is better known for its contribution to air quality.
The plant absorbs air particles and toxins from its environment. These include carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and benzene.
So, as long as you do not eat the plant, you will certainly benefit from holding it in your surroundings.
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Common problems with Sansevieria Robusta
We’ve talked in length here about the great qualities of the Sansevieria Robusta – the main one being its ease of maintenance, making it ideal for beginners. Or for those who can’t seem to keep a plant alive for more than a few months.
Relatively hard to destroy, keep in mind these problems that may occur if you do not pay attention to the basic care principles indicated in this article.
Unwelcome visitors can sometimes make an appearance. Watch out for the usual suspects, including mealybugs or spider mites. These bugs love to feast on the leaves, destroying the surface and potentially introducing infections.
You can try to hose them off with a gentle stream of water. Mealybugs, in particular, can resist this. You can try a gentle alcohol rubbing mixture to remove them.
Make sure to isolate the plant from any others if you are experiencing any sort of infestation. It can spread quickly.
It is best to inspect your plant on a regular basis to ensure any signs of an infestation are quickly removed before they take hold and get out of control.
Unfortunately, if this happens you might need to start over again with a new plant.
This is the most likely infection you will get on the Sansevieria Robusta. The plant hates to have its roots sitting in damp or waterlogged soil.
Root rot occurs either as a result of overwatering or poorly draining soil. If the soil becomes clogged with water, the oxygen pockets in the soil become blocked.
The roots begin to get soggy and the damp environment will eventually give rise to fungal infection.
Unfortunately, by the time the signs of root rot become apparent above the surface – the plant may lose shape, appear soggy at the base or even begin to wobble in its soil – it may be too late.
Keep therefore a careful eye on the water content of the soil.
It is best to follow the soil content guidelines in this article. Ensure the soil is also dried out before watering and ease off with the water during the winter period.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sanseviera Robusta
Why is my Sansevieria Robusta not getting any bigger?
Check that you are giving the plant adequate and bright indirect sunlight. Don’t worry if you have no growth from September to the spring season, the plant typically won’t grow then.
Is the Sansevieria Robusta poisonous?
The Sansevieria Robusta is toxic. You should take care to ensure it is kept away from inquisitive pets and children. Look out for any signs of ingestion, including swelling of the airways or vomiting.
An all-rounder plant that offers a striking appearance without needing too much by way of attention. Follow the basic principles in this guide and you will likely be able to enjoy your Sansevieria Robusta for years to come.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.