Herself's Houseplants

Killing plants so you don't have to

African Spear aka Variegated Snake Plant ( Sansevieria cylindrica patula )

I thought for sure these were mislabeled at the store. Especially since the tags had pictures of the traditional Snake Plant. But I’ve found several references to them as ‘Variegated Snake Plants’. I do think African Spear is the correct common name for this one.

I just brought this one home so I’m relying on other people’s information on this one. As I have it longer and adjust better to its needs I’ll make changes as necessary.

It is hard to see in the picture but the leaves are growing in a fan shape like an aloe, not in a round clump. I’m told this turns into a spiral as the plant gets larger. I can’t confirm that yet. The leaves are round like a pencil. It’s nice to see some new and different plants hitting the stores.

It prefers drier conditions about like a jade plant or aloe plant. Water when the soil is dry for the top inch.

The recommendation is for more light than traditional snake plants ( which just means anything brighter than a closet ) and it says it can take full sun. This plant wants bright sun. Give it as much sun as you’d give an aloe plant. Find it a bright south or south western window if you can. If it gets too little light the leaves will bend down instead of standing near upright. So judge by the leaf position whether you are giving it enough light.

It can handle temperatures down to freezing occasionally so feel free to put it near a drafty window or door. But that said, they are desert plants and prefer it to be warm.

This plant is supposed to thrive on neglect. Certainly others in this family do, so it should be an easy to grow house plant. Keep them slightly pot bound or they may get too large. In the wild they grow to 5′.

They are listed in the agave family or lily family depending on the source you read.