Sansevieria Silver Queen (Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Silver Queen’), is an ornamental succulent which, as its name suggests, is famed for its gorgeous silvery foliage and irregular green horizontal stripes.
It is a cultivar of the popular snake plant and displays thick fleshy leaves that add a tropical feel to any situation.
The foliage grows straight up in a sword-like structure and leaves generally grow to around 36 inches (90cm) tall and 2.5 inches (7cm) wide.
Sansevieria Silver Queen rarely blooms but can produce bunches of greenish-white flowers in summer. Flowers grow on an inflorescence.
Sansevieria Silver Queen is native to West Africa but is also found growing wild in tropical areas of India, Madagascar, and some other hot, dry countries in African and Asia.
It grows naturally in dry, rocky areas and thus is able to survive without much maintenance.
Sansevierias help purify the air when grown in pots at home or in the office and continue to convert carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen throughout the night – a rare feature in the botanical world.
Sansevieria Silver Queen Care
Sansevieria Silver Queen is a hardy, semi-tropical succulent. It is a plant that can adapt to a variety of conditions and survive, although it will struggle in direct sunlight or if overwatered. Sansevieria Silver Queen favors indirect sunlight and grows best in areas of dappled sunlight or semi-shade. It is exceedingly drought-tolerant and does well with thorough, irregular watering as opposed to small amounts of water on a regular basis. Sansevieria Silver Queen loves the heat and thrives in temperatures of 60°F to 85°F. It doesn’t generally require fertilization. It will cope with high levels of humidity, although it does prefer drier conditions.
Where to grow your Sansevieria Silver Queen
Sansevieria Silver Queen will tolerate low-light to bright light. But, harsh midday and afternoon sun will cause it to burn.
The ideal location for this plant is in an area of semi-shade where it receives indirect sunlight for around 6-8 hours per day.
That said, it will grow well under artificial light and can be a good choice of plant in areas around the home or office that don’t receive sunlight.
As it is grown for its foliage and not its flowers, a lack of sunlight should not diminish your enjoyment of the plant.
The same applies if is grown outside either in pots or directly in the ground. A shaded area where it will receive indirect sunlight is best and it will require free-draining soil.
Sansevieria Silver Queen will cope during long spells of drought. When watering, it is best to err on the side of caution as too much water is far more damaging than too little.
In its natural habitat, it will be exposed to long dry spells followed by heavy rain, so your watering regime should replicate this.
It is recommended that you thoroughly soak the soil and then wait for it to almost dry out completely before watering again.
Sansevieria Silver Queen will go through a dormant spell during the cold winter months and may not need to be watered at all.
During summer, it will most likely only require water once a fortnight depending on conditions, if grown in pots.
Sansevieria Silver Queen planted directly in the ground may not require any manual watering outside of lengthy spells of drought during the summer months.
If unsure of whether to water your Sansevieria Silver Queen, it is probably best to wait a few days.
The most common reason for Sansevieria Silver Queen to suffer from root rot is overwatering.
The ideal temperature for your Sansevieria Silver Queen is between 60°F and 85°F.
It won’t mind fluctuating temperatures and will survive short periods of cooler weather but should not be regularly exposed to temperatures below 50°F.
If grown in the home or office, it will cope well with a normal comfortable temperature and will have no problem if the room becomes cool for a couple of weeks while you are away.
If grown in pots outside, it will need to be brought inside to protect it during long spells of cold weather.
As a particularly hardy plant, occasional short spells of temperatures below 50°F will actually help your plant become conditioned to cooler temperatures.
If your Sansevieria Silver Queen has been planted in the garden, a protective covering will help to protect roots from frost and snow.
You would be forgiven for thinking Sansevieria Silver Queen likes humidity given that it is native to tropical West Africa.
But, a humidity of around 40%, which is standard in most homes and offices, is ideal for this plant.
It will cope with higher humidity but if the level rises above 60%, you will need to reconsider your watering regime due to the excess moisture in the air.
Sansevieria Silver Queen does not need fertilizer, but a good dose just before the growing season will help it thrive.
Any all-purpose, organic houseplant fertilizer (diluted to between ¼ and ½ ) will be fine can be picked relatively cheaply from most gardening centers or home improvement stores.
Your Sansevieria Silver Queen will not need fertilizer applied more than twice throughout the growing season. Unless it appears to be suffering, once will probably suffice.
Too much fertilizer can burn the roots and subsequently damage the plant.
Sansevieria Silver Queen will cope with dry, stale air and does not generally rely on airflow, although this will depend on its growing environment.
For example, if you regularly mist your plant, airflow will be necessary to help get rid of standing water which can cause fungal infections and mold.
You can propagate Sansevieria Silver Queen from cuttings or by division.
To propagate from a cutting, start by removing a section of leaf from the bottom of your plant. Use a sharp knife or secateurs and make a clean cut.
You will need to allow the ‘wound’ to heal over before you can plant your cutting and a smooth wound will callous more quickly.
It will also lessen the chances of your new plant being vulnerable to diseases and dying before being given a chance to become established.
Once it has completely calloused over your cutting is ready to be planted in a pot or tray. Place the callous end into the soil (or a soilless growing medium if you prefer) and make it is kept moist.
Propagating Sansevieria Silver Queen from cuttings requires patience. It can be months before your new plant establishes itself and you start to see signs of growth.
A far quicker alternative is to propagate by division. Sansevieria Silver Queen naturally produces rhizomes that grow out, spread, and sprout pups.
These pups can be removed from the parent plant using a sharp knife and transplanted to pots of their own.
Once again, you will need to allow the pup to callous over before planting it.
When it is ready, your pup can be planted in the same way as cuttings, but it will establish itself much faster and you will grow your collection of Sansevieria Silver Queens much more rapidly.
Common problems with Sansevieria Silver Queen
Sansevieria Silver Queen is a robust plant and is not susceptible to most common plant diseases.
It is prone to scale infestations though. If your plant does become infested with scale, you will start to see small sugary droplets on the underside of the leaves.
These will be accompanied by tiny black insects that are feasting on your plant.
To get rid of significant infestations, you will need to remove the infected parts of the plant. Small-scale infestations can be treated with rubbing alcohol.
Scale infestations can be prevented by regular application of neem oil to the leaves as part of your ongoing maintenance routine.
Sansevieria Silver Queen is also susceptible to spider mite infestations.
Small spider mite infestations can be treated using warm soapy water to wash them away.
Make sure you dry the leaves thoroughly afterward to prevent standing water from damaging the leaves.
Spider mites can be deterred by adding regular dusting of the leaves as part of your routine maintenance.
Spider mites thrive in dry conditions so increasing humidity levels around your plant can also help to prevent them from being attracted to your plant.
You can do this by placing a tray of pebbles nearby or by investing in a humidifier.
Regular misting will also help to increase humidity levels but will require you to dry your plant thoroughly after a few hours to prevent mold or fungal growth.
Particularly bad or repeated spider mite infestations can be dealt with using a spider mite treatment from any garden center or DIY store.
Brown spots in the leaves are an indication that your Sansevieria Silver Queen is suffering from a leaf spot.
These spots can be an indication of fungal infection or bacteria and will turn mushy if left untreated. It is important that you deal with leaf spot as soon as you see signs of it to prevent it from spreading. Affected leaves should be removed immediately.
Mild leaf spot infestations can be treated with a solution of ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) of bicarbonate of soda to 1 gallon (4.5 liters) of water.
If that doesn’t get rid of it or if your plant has a significant infestation, you may need to buy a fungicide to treat it.
Fungicides can be bought from any gardening center or home improvement store.
Whether you use the bicarbonate of soda solution or a shop-bought fungicide, you will need to make sure your plant is sufficiently well drained following treatment for any fungal infection.
Frequently asked questions about Sansevieria Silver Queen
Why are the tips of Sansevieria Silver Queen leaves turning brown?
Your plant is most likely suffering from dehydration. Put your pot in a bucket of water for a couple of hours so the soil becomes completely saturated. Then allow the water to drain before placing the pot back in its usual position. If that doesn’t do the trick, your plant has most probably become stressed. Check each aspect of its care regime to determine the problem.
My Sansevieria Silver Queen smells bad. What is wrong with it?
Your Sansevieria Silver Queen is most likely suffering from root rot caused by overwatering. Remove the plant from its pot, shake off excess soil and examine the roots. Any black mushy roots will need to be removed and the plant should then be planted in fresh soil.
Why are the leaves of my Sansevieria Silver Queen scarred?
Your plant has probably been exposed to the cold for too long. Move it to a warmer area where it receives indirect sunlight and the warmth of the sun.
Sansevieria Silver Queen is an ideal choice for a low-maintenance plant for the home or office. A potted Sansevieria Silver Queen is strikingly modern and adds color, texture, and interest to your interior décor.
It is a good choice of houseplant for people who spend a lot of time away from home due to work or frequent travel.
Likewise, if you are a houseplant novice you can’t really go wrong with Sansevieria Silver Queen. It is a hardy plant that will tolerate neglect and most problems that can occur will not cause significant harm in a short period of time so you can rectify them prior to any serious damage being done.
Sansevierias also help to purify the air so a good choice for people with allergies or who suffer from asthma or eczema. There is even a school of thought that says Sansevierias can prevent serious illnesses like cancer.
There is an element of truth to this as they remove harmful particles from the air but to say they prevent disease may be a bit of a stretch.
That said, in a world where air pollution is not uncommon, anything that helps improve the quality of the air we breathe has to be a good thing.
Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.