Looking for an easy-to-maintain houseplant but want something a bit different? The upright leaves on the Sansevieria Suffruticosa may give you just what you need.
If you think this succulent looks like a bunch of asparagus from a distance, you may be right. The official family it belongs to is the Asparagaceae!
Let’s explore this interesting variant of Sansevieria together.
Sanseviera Suffroticosa Care Guide
Lending itself well to the containerized indoor environment, the Sansevieria Suffruticosa needs little by way of maintenance. Make sure watering is only undertaken when the soil is thoroughly dried out, and do not expose it to frost. Soil should contain a mix of perlite and sand, and a neutral pH level is preferred. Keep temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius).
Like many other Sansevieria, the Suffruticosa is easy to maintain. Regarding light, it is not a demanding plant. It is tolerant of both light and shade but will thrive indoors in bright but indirect sunlight.
This succulent will also not lose any greenery during the winter months. You may notice however that it will slow down or even stop growing during cooler periods when light levels are a bit lower.
The ability of the Sansevieria Suffruticosa to do well in lower light environments makes it just one of the many reasons this plant is perfect for indoors.
Despite being a really easy-going plant – and one perfect for beginners – this is one of the areas to which you will need to pay particular attention.
The Sansevieria Suffruticosa prefers to dry out a little in between watering, so managing the dampness levels of the soil is key.
The main reason you need to be careful is to ensure you are avoiding what is known as root rot. This is essentially a fungal infection that occurs when the roots are sitting in damp or water-logged soil.
We’ll talk a little more about root rot later, but in the meantime let’s focus on how to water your Sansevieria Suffruticosa.
Firstly, ensure the soil is dried out before watering. This just doesn’t mean on the surface, but also below.
Check if the soil is still damp by inserting a chopstick or other suitable instrument into the soil. If it comes out without any of the soil sticking to it, then you are good to go.
Once a week should be good enough in the growing season. In the winter you will notice growth slowing, so ease back on your routine until the beginning of spring, then resume.
The composition of your soil goes hand in hand with the watering advice. You may take great care in establishing a watering routine, but if your soil is a poorly draining variety then you will likely still experience issues.
The Sansevieria Suffruticosa will be happiest in well-draining sandy or loamy soil. You can buy this in garden centers or online – look for soil mixes specially advertised for cacti or succulents.
Of course, you may be a keen gardener and prefer to create your own mix. This is also very easy – simply mix gardening soil (two parts) to two parts sand and one part perlite.
Even if you buy the mix in a store, you will likely see perlite in the composition. This helps to stop the soil from becoming compacted and gives it enough space to allow for water to drain.
Just another note on watering – if you are going away on vacation you won’t need to let the plant sit in a plate of water – that would do it more harm than neglecting to water for a couple of weeks.
Another reason the Sansevieria Suffruticosa is ideal for indoors is that it really hates the cold. The plant should never be in an environment below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
Ideally, it needs to be kept above 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) to ensure optimal growth.
As you will likely opt for the Sansevieria Suffruticosa as an indoor plant, you won’t generally need to worry about frost.
Just make sure it is not left on a balcony or terrace over winter, and if kept by a cold or draughty window, move it to a warmer spot.
The Sansevieria species does produce flowers on occasion. These may appear on a long stalk and are usually cream or white. It is however a rare occurrence, so do not bank on any flowers.
The Sansevieria Suffruticosa is favored more for its year-round greenery and striking stalks.
Propagation of the Sansevieria Suffruticosa is pretty fun and relatively straightforward. Pick whichever method works for you from the list below:
Propagating by division
If you are looking to propagate a plant that looks identical to the mother, then this method is best. Propagation by division – that is, separating a root and stalk clump – will guarantee the new plant will maintain the qualities of the original.
Division propagation is also ideal if your Sansevieria Suffruticosa is beginning to outgrow its container. You can separate part of the plant and instantly have another, whilst freeing up space for the original.
Remove the plant gently from its pot and shake off the soil. Identify a section of the root that looks suitable for cutting and separate it from the main cluster. Ensure this section also has its own shoots or stalks.
You can simply repot this section into the same sort of soil composition as the mother plant. Give it a bit of water and monitor it over the next few weeks to ensure it is taking to its new environment.
Propagation by leaf cutting + soil
Another popular method of propagation for the Sansevieria Suffruticosa is propagation by leaf cutting. It is just as easy as propagation by division but has a disadvantage (or benefit, depending on how you see it).
Using cuttings to propagate your Sansevieria will mean that the new plant may take on different patterns or properties. So you never quite know what you will get with this method.
To propagate by leaf-cutting, identify a healthy leaf and using a sharp and clean pair of scissors, or a knife, make a cut at the base.
You will need to leave the cutting for a couple of days until it forms a callous and becomes hardened over at the point of incision.
Then, insert your cutting into a well-draining potting mix. Give it a little water and again, keep an eye on it for the next few weeks.
Don’t give up if you don’t see anything immediately. It takes a little while for the cutting to establish its own root system, and even longer to begin to form pups.
Propagation by leaf cutting + water
Similar to the above method, there is another propagation trick that is actually pretty fun. This one is good if you are curious as to the progress of your cutting or wondering if it is taking to its new environment.
We also use this at home with our kids as it is a great biology lesson!
Follow the same process for cutting the leaf from the mother plant above. This time, cut an upside V in the base of the leaf – this will give the roots space later on.
Insert the leaf in a jar of water and you’re done! No need to worry about your soil being well-draining!
After a few weeks, you will begin to see tiny roots forming at the base of the cutting. Allow another few weeks to pass and you will see the beginnings of tiny pups appearing.
At some point, you can transfer to a pot, but there is really no rush. If you are enjoying the way this looks in the water then you can keep your new plants in there a while longer.
Expect a well-cared-for Sansevieria Suffruticosa to get to just over half a meter in height when fully grown. Do not worry if you don’t see any growth over the winter – this is the resting period.
During this time, ease back on the water. At the first signs of spring, you can resume your normal watering schedule and you will soon see the plant showing signs of growth.
The Sansevieria Suffruticosa is rated as mildly toxic by the Animal Poison Control Service. So, it is best to keep any animals – and children – out of the way of this cool plant.
Symptoms of ingestion and related reaction include swelling of the airways in extreme cases. More likely, your pet will experience gastrointestinal disturbances such as vomiting and diarrhea.
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Common Care Problems with Sansevieria Suffruticosa
The Sansevieria Suffruticosa – like many other variants of Sansevieria – is touted as a very easy-to-care-for plant.
Generally accepted as great for beginners, it tends to thrive on just a little bit of neglect and is not that fussy. By following this guide you should be on a clear course to a healthy and long-living plant.
There are however two key points to look out for – we’ve listed them below.
We mentioned this up in the watering advice, but root rot really deserves its own section. Root rot is basically a fungal infection that attacks the roots of the plant.
How does the fungal infection begin?
Well, if your soil is too compacted, doesn’t allow for sufficient drainage, or if the plant is overwatered the damp environment lets fungal spores multiply below the surface.
This fungal infection develops in the root system first, as these extremities are the most in contact with any excess water.
The roots will turn brown and mushy which in turn will lead to several changes to your plant.
For one, they will no longer be able to absorb sufficient water, so aesthetic changes will begin to occur above the surface.
You may notice changes to the color of the leaves or slow growth in the growing season. Or, your plant could wobble in a pot in which it had previously been held firm.
You need to act quickly to save your plant – sometimes it is not possible – by inspecting the roots and trying to spare any part of the root system that remains white and healthy. Repot it in new, well-draining soil.
Avoid root rot altogether by combining the soil composition tips in this article with the watering regime and your plant will likely be spared this disease.
Mealybugs and spider mites love nesting in succulents, and the Sansevieria Suffruticosa is no exception.
Mealybugs in particular love punching into the flesh and feasting on the sap. This can expose the plant to infections and also looks simply unsightly.
Inspect your plant regularly to catch any signs of infestation quickly. If spotted, immediately isolate your Sansevieria Suffruticosa from any other plants in the vicinity.
If the infestation is still small, you can try to hose it off with a gentle stream of water. You may need to resort to more aggressive measures for larger colonies.
Alcohol-based rubs or insecticides, whilst not ideal, may be necessary. If you struggle to get rid of them you may need to start over with a new plant, or propagate a well-washed healthy leaf, disposing of the mother.
Frequently Asked Questions about Sansevieria Suffroticosa Care
Why is my Sansevieria Suffroticosa turning yellow?
A couple of factors can affect the condition of your Sansevieria Suffruticosa’s leaves. Make sure the plant is not being under or over watered – check the soil is dried out before watering. Root rot can also cause yellowing of the leaves – so ensure your soil is well-draining.
Is the Sansevieria Suffruticosa toxic?
The Sansevieria Suffruticosa is mildly toxic, yes. Keep it away from pets and contact your vet if you suspect your animal is displaying any symptoms of poisoning such as vomiting.
A great all-rounder plant that will give a tropical feel to your home all year round, the Sansevieria Suffruticosa is excellent for beginners! Why not give it a try?
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.