Do You Know the Genus Sansevieria?


Most people are familiar with this common green variety of sansevieria, or snake plant. The plant also goes by the common name of mother in law’s tongue,  or, less commonly, vipers bowstring. It’s easy to obtain at box stores, grocery stores and garden centers.

Unless you grow the plant in higher light, you probably don’t know that it flowers. Snake plants are amazingly adaptable in terms of light.

While I have said that they practically will grow in a closet  (but I wouldn’t test that out–certainly not in a closet with a door!), they will also grow in East or west exposures.

All of mine grow inside in West windows.  I have grown them outdoors in eastern exposures as well. Depending on the amount of light,  you increase or decrease water accordingly  (and if you try the closet, I would withhold all water).


This is a close-up of the flower spike. It’s incredibly beautiful and incredibly fragrant. I have no doubt if this were outdoors,  some pollinator would love it, although these plants are native to Africa.


This is probably the most common variety,  although this variety with an outer leaf variegation, sansevieria triasciata, is also popular.

Both of these plants can get quite large,  although you can often buy them as 2.5″ starter plants. Both of my “monster” sized plants started in these small pots.

Give them bright light and water  (because in high light they will need more water) and watch out!

2 thoughts on “Do You Know the Genus Sansevieria?

  1. quietwordsite September 10, 2017 / 11:56 am

    My plants are still quite small, but hope they make it to the flowering stage!

    • gardendaze September 10, 2017 / 12:06 pm

      Oh, I have every faith that they will. Supposedly they need “stress” to flower but I am not sure what sure what sort of stress mine have. Don’t repot them frequently and give them as much light as you can (east or west should do it–not south windows–that’s too much).

      One of my green ones that you see flowering is only in a 6″ pot. The other is in a 12″ and has literally busted through the side of that. And I have another that flowers at about 8″ (pot size, not plant size). So I don’t think that they need to be gigantic to flower.

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Let me know how your plants do!


Leave a Reply to quietwordsite Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.