Sansevieria Species, Snake Plant, African Spear, Spear Orchid, Skyline Spear

Sansevieria cylindrica

Family: Asparagaceae
Genus: Sansevieria (san-se-VEER-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: cylindrica (sil-IN-dree-kuh) (Info)
Synonym:Acyntha cylindrica
Synonym:Cordyline cylindrica
Synonym:Sansevieria angolensis
Synonym:Sansevieria livingstoniae


Tropicals and Tender Perennials

Cactus and Succulents

Water Requirements:

Drought-tolerant; suitable for xeriscaping

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


24-36 in. (60-90 cm)


USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers



Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Summer

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From leaf cuttings

Allow cut surface to callous over before planting

Seed Collecting:

Allow unblemished fruit to ripen; clean and dry seeds

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Decatur, Alabama

Jones, Alabama

Carefree, Arizona

Mesa, Arizona

Casa de Oro-Mount Helix, California

Encinitas, California

Hayward, California

Lompoc, California

Los Angeles, California

Palm Springs, California

Vacaville, California

Bartow, Florida

Cape Coral, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Hollywood, Florida

Key Largo, Florida

Lake Worth, Florida

Melbourne Beach, Florida

Miami, Florida

New Port Richey, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Petersburg, Florida

Sarasota, Florida

Wellborn, Florida

Winter Springs, Florida

Augusta, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Bossier City, Louisiana

Schenectady, New York

Duncan, Oklahoma

Leesville, South Carolina

Boerne, Texas

Dallas, Texas(2 reports)

Dickinson, Texas

Fort Worth, Texas

Mission, Texas

Quemado, Texas

Richmond, Texas

San Augustine, Texas

Camas, Washington

Oshkosh, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 15, 2016, ReneGB from Fort Worth, TX wrote:

I have had this plant since 1995. I got a rooting from my sister, who got it from my uncle who worked at an arboretum. It has flourished, and I have divided and shared it many times. I have moved it from Louisiana to Arizona to Texas. Mine bloom in winter, close to Christmas, when I bring them inside from the cold. I have grown them from the seeds also. They take off very slowly, but they do go.I have seeds stored in case something happens.Mine are so heavy and tall some of the "horns" droop over. I have watered them regularly and sparsely. They do well for me either way.I guess I've gotten lucky. I also use Miracle-Gro on them sometimes. I have repotted them a few times for fresh soil. We call them Rhino Horns because of their similarity of the texture of the animals' horns, and resilienc... read more


On Nov 2, 2011, backstroker from Paradise Valley, AZ wrote:

i have a very large terra cotta pot with two sanseverias......under a sky-light in a very sheltered, light-wise, covered entry-(30x16). It has 13 spears from 12" to 38" which are firm and very stable. I live in Phoenix
and it can be VERY cold sometimes and HOT five months of the year.
My watering plan is this: 2X a month (the 1st and the 15th) in hot weather
and once a month, on the 1st, in cold. THEY WILL ROT if you water them "regularly" and as they are expensive, be on the careful side!
They do not like the kind of sun we have so they really like diffused light.


On Aug 15, 2010, AmyMorie from Green Cove Springs, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Great rock garden plant in Los Angeles. Placed it at the bottom of a slope with gravel channels that gave it a little water (the gravel diverted overflow from a lawn at the top of the slope; this was at the very bottom and got the least water). Tripled in size and started flowering in just a few months.

Does have sharp points on the ends; great specimen when planted out-of-the-way!


On Apr 14, 2009, BeachTanned from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

I inadvertently placed this plant in an out-of-the-way spot and forgot to water all winter of 2008/09. The pot tipped and the root ball fell out of the pot and was exposed to the air all winter. The leaves became a bit shriveled but have responded well to repotting and watering this spring. Like its cousins, it seems very drought tolerant and forgiving of neglect. ([email protected])


On Dec 3, 2007, tropicsofohio from Hilliard, OH (Zone 6b) wrote:

it has added 2 spikes from when i bought it last year, slow, but the spikes are over 4 feet tall!!! it is so amazing and has been growing in med. light. i love the foliage, i wonder if it gets a sizable trunk?


On Aug 6, 2007, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

It rots easily if overwatered. Good idea to move it or protect if you expect lots of rain.


On Jan 22, 2007, spaceman_spiff from Saint Petersburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I've had mine about a year and a half now, and it is currently blooming spectacularly with two very long flower spikes (see pics at the link above). So, at least in central Florida, it appears to be a winter bloomer.

I've had it sitting in a garden (potted) on the side of my house all this time (where it receives torrential downpours in our tropical summer rainy season) and the tons of rain never bothered it at all. Our typical winter lows dipping occasionally into the 30's have never bothered it, either.

I've brought it onto my covered back patio for the time being so that I could observe the flowering cycle and am just amazed by the incredible fragrance of the flowers!

I love unusual, easy-to-grow plants like this!


On Nov 27, 2006, deltadawn758 from Leesville, SC wrote:

I bought this plant from Wal-mart, of all places, for less than $2 and it has four spikes about1' (12 inches) long each. Really neat plant. Was online researching a lot of plants and succulents I have that were bought blindly and stumbled on the plants genus. After looking at images on Google, I found a photo and the rest, they say, is history. I grow mine in medium light and it seems to like it.


On Aug 23, 2006, vcb1 from Melbourne Beach, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

I first got a cutting of this plant from the NY Botanical Gardens when I lived in NYC. I used to keep it inside on a window seat that got some nice sun but not all day. When I moved to FL, I planted it outside. It was getting too much sun and the spears were turning yellow so I moved it to a partial shade area and it's doing great. I like this plant -- it's tough and interesting looking. Easy to care for. It handles our winters that sometimes have brief 30 degree nights. It never shows any problem from that but of course it's only several hours at those temps.


On Jul 4, 2006, podster from Deep East Texas, TX (Zone 8a) wrote:

Sturdy sanseviera needing little care, only protection in the winter in zone 8a. This plant becomes huge and on occasion offers up blooms. Also reproduces from the roots. Plant tips serve the cats who like to rub on them, leaving the tips scarred. Not a plant for limited spaces. This one stays outdoors unless there is a severe freeze.


On Dec 11, 2005, CastIronPlant22 from Lompoc, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

This is a great Sansevieria. It is slow and do be careful, the tips of the plant can poke a eye out! I have mine in a sunny west window in the house, i have had it for 2 years now. Its very easy to take care of. Fertailizer sorta speeds things up, just a little bit. Sends new shoots up often. I have mine growing in a clay pot in cactus soil with Dr. Earth organic fertailizer mixed in and he seems to like it! Might be pricey for a Sansevieria, but is well worth the money. Try to find a well grown plant, seedlings take a while to reach the 2 foot mark.


On Oct 31, 2005, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

One of the easier exotic Sansevieria's to grow. I'm just a little surprised nobody has mentioned that this is not a plant to place near a walkway-those tips are sharp....not just a catchy name!


On Oct 25, 2005, manyhats from Palm Springs, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

this plant blooms for me every year, I have it in various size pots out side protected from full sun. loves to be left alone, root bound, let it dry out between waterings and don't even talk to it. flower spikes reach two feet high with hundreds of small off white flowers fragrant only at night. as many as thirty flowers open at the same time for one or two nights. I call this the "haute couture" of flower fragrance. I have several varieties but can't identify them. they started to bloom two weeks ago, will post a snap in this category for all of the flowers appear to be the same.


On Jan 29, 2005, Crasulady2 from Valley Village, CA wrote:

There is more than one form of this plant, 1, the leaves grow straight up and round,
2. the leave curve slightly

I grow mine in a green house in Calif. I keep the temp. no lower than 60 F I have never had a flower in the 10 years that I have had the plant, I find it grows very slowly.

I love it, no care at all, and is very forgiving. I do water and fertilize reg. during the warm months. I give a positive rating because I believe they are at least named correctly.

I have one plant from the Huntington Gardens,
my plant S. cyhlindrica var. patula N.E Brown, from the Vincent Price Estate.


On Sep 9, 2004, rfurnback from Anchorage, AK wrote:

I have grown this plant by rhizome for 28 years. It blooms every so often usualy when it is warm. I got the original from a plant sale at the UC Berkeley Botanical Garden. I have not seen one again. I made the pot to accentuate the tall spikes of green. One year it recieved no water when I got it back it just started growing again. I tell my friends it thrives on negelect.


On Oct 29, 2003, nipajo from Dallas, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is the easiest plant to grow. I bring it out in the spring and take it in during the winter. It thrives on total neglect and takes a lot of beatings from cats to squirrels; it's also drought tolerant. This a great plant!


On Oct 26, 2003, Faithfultiger from Brighton,
United Kingdom wrote:

I live in the UK. I have successfully grown and propogated this plant for 20 years as a house-plant and never had any problems until I moved in with my boyfriend. He lives in a basement flat with no natural daylight - the only place where they could get any was in the covered yard out back. Unfortunately, over the first winter, every one of them has withered and died.
The moral? They require natural daylight AND warmth all year round!


On Sep 25, 2003, Maudie from Harvest, AL wrote:

This makes a good houseplant in areas where there is frost. In winter water sparingly to avoid root rotting. After all danger of frost take outside and water more freely. When propagating remember that cuttings will lose the white stripe whereas root divisions will remain the same as the mother plant.


On Sep 24, 2003, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This unusual plant is easily grown outdoors in central Florida. The stiff, long leaves are desirable line material for flower arranging. It multiplies easily by rhizomes.