We have had a new Sansevieria since 2004, meanwhile this “Sansevieria cylindrica” ​​has conquered almost half of the Sansevieria market – speaks for itself. Just as easy to care for as every Sansevieria, it differs from the good, old Sansevieria trifasciata (our most popular traditional Sansevieria) in terms of its growth habit, which brings some exciting new possibilities to indoor plant culture (which you will get to know below).


The Sansevieria cylindrica was named after the Latin word “cylindricus” = with a round stem, cylindrical, slender column, and this is how it grows: In a narrow, up to 1 meter high column next to the other; their overall growth is really very elegant.

The Flower Council of Holland (Marketing Association) recommends that the associated breeding companies pay attention to the following characteristics when purchasing Sansevieria:

  • Well-balanced relationship between pot size and plant
  • Long leaves should be thick enough, “thin sticks” result from rapid rearing
  • The leaves should not be corked
  • The tips of the leaves should be absolutely intact
  • The plants should be free of cup insects and scale insects
  • The rooting should be in order (meaning a ball with evenly rooted roots, which will not always be visible to end customers)
  • The plant should be stable in the pot, wobbly bow hemp has usually been too wet for a long time and may suffer from root rot

In the global plant trade, Sansevieria cylindrica is also on the move under the synonyms Sansevieria cylindrica var. Patula, Acyntha cylindrica, Cordyline cylindrica, Sansevieria angolensis and Sansevieria livingstoniae.

Location and care

At Sansevierien, easy-care means that they need almost no care as long as a few basic needs are met:

  • A light to partially shaded location is ideal
  • Full sun is also tolerated, but in the middle of summer only after getting used to it
  • Some Sansevierie should also survive well in an (almost) shady location
  • Variegated varieties need a little more light (at least to develop a nice leaf color)
  • Temperatures between 15 and 30 ° C
  • Room air, like “spa stays” in the high humidity of a bright bathroom
  • In summer, Sansevieria cylindrica is allowed outside
  • Burning sun can cause sunburn and thus leaf spots
  • As soon as the temperatures drop below 15 ° C at night, move to a warmer environment
  • Loose and rather nutrient-poor substrate
  • Good, poor garden soil with sand, cactus soil or succulent soil
  • The Sansevierie can be kept in hydroponics
  • Only water when the soil in the pot has dried well
  • If there is no water for a longer period of time, the succulent plant taps into its reservoirs
  • Since every fleshy leaf is a water reservoir, the plant can withstand longer periods of drought
  • The Sansevierie does not need fertilizer in pre-fertilized substrate if it receives fresh soil every 1-2 years
  • When cultivating in natural soil, give some organic-mineral liquid fertilizer during the vegetation period
  • The succulent plant is not pruned; damaged leaves can be removed at the base
  • Repot when the roots are slowly growing out of the pot
  • Then don’t wait long, S. cylindrica spreads over rhizomes and can blow up clay pots
  • It is best to repot in the spring, then broad-growing old Sansevieria can also be divided immediately
  • Continue to cultivate normally in winter, with even less watering (no more than 1x per month)

That was it, although the care of S. cylindrica has just been described in great detail. Actually, “light, little water, let grow” would have been enough; perhaps with the hint that a Sansevieria cylindrica can really be killed the fastest by abundance: abundance of water and (over) fertilization.

Diseases and pests

Diseases are hardly known to the Sansevieria cylindrica and their popular companions. Rather, you can assume that every other houseplant in your household has run out of steam long before your Sansevieria falls ill. Unfortunately, this does not mean that bacterial pathogens stay away from Sansevieria – sometimes the plants with the stable leaf skin are even hollowed out from the inside, which is why you should always include the Sansevieria in the vicinity when fighting any pathogens on other plants.

Pests like to congregate on Sansevieria cylindrica in winter just as much as on other houseplants. But the sturdy succulent plant probably tolerates the shower better than any other plant, with which you remove spider mites, mealybugs and Co. (of course, only if you make sure that you do not soak the soil unplanned). It doesn’t mind if you “clean” webs or other stains from the leaves with soap and alcohol. Sansevieria can even be sprayed preventively with a mixture of soapy water and alcohol.

Rescue in the event of undesirable developments

If a Sansevieria cylindrica – due to excessive watering, bacterial infestation, etc. – has visibly rotten areas, a rescue attempt is worthwhile if the location is favorable and the area is small: cut out rotten areas, place the Sansevieria in fresh soil, adjust the watering. If the cause is unclear, assume an infection as a precaution and work under appropriate hygienic conditions.

Clearly demarcated, possibly sunken, light spots on the leaves are caused, for example, by sunburn, contact with lamps, cold / frost (on the balcony, but also because the Sansevieria came too close to an old window pane with moderate insulation values); there are other possibilities of injury to the plant skin. The spots can be cut away if the location is favorable, but will not harm the plant once they have dried up. They are to be assessed in a similar way to a scar, in which the cosmetic surgeon must also consider for each individual case whether the benefit for the patient outweighs the dangers.

The situation is very similar with the narrowing below the tip caused by the cold. You can part with the corresponding leaf (and pull several new Sansevieria from it), you can also live with the spots and keep the bow hemp better warm in the future.

If during the rescue attempt it turns out that there is only unpleasant smelling liquid inside the leaf tubes, this part of the Sansevierie can no longer be saved; the intact part of the plant material can possibly be used beneficially:

Propagate Sansevieria cylindrica

A Sansevieria can be propagated from seeds, but it does not make sense with the simple propagation by leaf cuttings and the even easier propagation by division. The following is an overview of the different types of propagation:

  • Seeds can be obtained from the berries that ripen after flowering
  • But only if the flower is pollinated (unlikely if every insect in the area is sprayed dead)
  • Extract seeds from ripe berries, wash the pulp
  • Allow the seeds to dry briefly and sow on a sterile, slightly moist substrate
  • Slightly over-sieve, place in a warm place in the greenhouse, keep it moist and wait a few weeks
  • Several finger-length cuttings can be cut from a sheet of bow hemp
  • Allow the cut to dry, insert the cutting and let it form roots in a light, warm place
  • Keep the substrate moist and do not lose patience, with succulents it can take months for roots to form
  • Division is a matter of feeling: potting, loosening the balls and shaking off the earth, carefully pulling the roots apart with your hands
  • Pot the 2, 4, 8 new plants
  • If there are suitable rhizome shoots on the outside of the roots, these can also be potted
  • Peek 2 cm out of the earth and keep it moist until leaves form (then roots have also grown)

Cultivars, “commercial varieties” and design talents

There are hardly any cultivars of the Sansevieria cylindrica; there is probably little need for this with currently 70 known species of bow hemp, of which around a dozen with different looks are cultivated. So only two cultivars were developed that decisively change the leaf color and the height of the natural S. cylindrica. Since S. cylindrica is propagated by cuttings in mass production, the image of the plant can be changed by grouping the cuttings, with the result that the following Sansevieria cylindrica variants are sold:

1. In its natural form, S. cylindrica grows via rhizomes into a slightly anarchistic collection of long green leaf tubes. Such a naturally growing Sansevieria needs a spacious tub even as a young plant; but can only be obtained from knowledgeable collectors. What you buy in the many-and-cheap sales outlets could emerge from such a Sansevierie about 1,000 times, cut into pieces and rooted in a factory hall.

2. Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Variegata’: cultivar in which the usual dark green-gray of the natural species has been changed into slightly lighter green tones with yellowish accents.

3. Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Boncel’: cultivar with compact growth, short, sturdy tubes with graphic leaf markings that spread out into a fan. In sufficiently bright light, this cultivar can produce up to 90 cm long grapes with pink-white flowers.

4. Sansevieria cylindrica Skyline: Not a cultivar, but a general trade term for particularly bright clones of S. cylindrica. The first picture of the S. cylindrica ‘Boncel’ shows a S. cylindrica ‘Boncel’ skyline, the second with the flower shows a normal colored S. cylindrica.

5. Sansevieria cylindrica Mikado: Culture form in which many leaf cuttings are pulled close to each other so that one plant grows with “one neat Mikado stick next to the other”.

6. Sansevieria cylindrica Spaghetti: Many leaf cuttings are pulled even closer together so that a plant grows with a handful of leaf tubes that are almost as thin as spaghetti.

7. Sansevieria cylindrica Patula: Cultivated form from a single cutting that is allowed to branch or is even stimulated to branch.

8. Sansevieria cylindrica Wild: Here, as many leaf tips of different lengths as possible are rooted in a pot as untidily as possible.

9. The newest star in the Sansevieria sky is the braided S. cylindrica.

A Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Variegata’ can also be grown as a patula. B. to arrange a number of cuttings in a circle and call the whole “Sansevieria cylindrica Stonehengia”. If he then colors the tips red (a variant that should not necessarily prolong the life of the plant), the S. cylindrica z. B. to the “Sansevieria cylindrica Burning Ring”.

If you would like to know everything in more detail, now you know.

If you are simply looking for an easy-care green plant, buy the S. cylindrica with the most beautiful design.

If you want a lot of Sansevieria, buy a special sale plant that you can propagate into 100 new plants.

If you want to grow S. cylindrica, first grow an original mother plant from such a naturally growing side shoot.

With the S. cylindrica you can also do very nice indoor plant design yourself, from very cool to very confused.

Good air and poisonous leaves

Like all Sansevieria, S. cylindrica is considered a good air purifying plant. The best-known Sansevieria trifasciata has been known since a decades-old study by NASA that it “pulls” trichloroethene, benzene, xylene, toluene and formaldehyde “out of the air”; the close relative S. cylindrica metabolizes very similarly.

According to some articles on the species, S. cylindrica is said to contain poisonous saponins that can kill young children and pets; Sources are not mentioned, however. Since such reports could induce young parents in particular to banish their Sansevieria, but who are in an extraordinary stressful situation in which they can very well use indoor plants that are as easy to care for as possible, here is a more detailed overview of the threat from the Sansevieria:

S. cylindrica or other Sansevieria cannot be found in the official federal German poisonous plant list (with the plants that do not belong in playgrounds), in the veterinary database of the University of Zurich or in other reputable lists of poisonous plants. According to Wikipedia, various types of bow hemp are used as traditional medicinal plants; a 2017 phytochemical study isolated saponins from S. cylindrica among other ingredients – and confirmed the traditional use of S. cylindrica to treat various diseases; a 2015 study isolated a new steroidal saponin with radical scavenging activity from S. cylindrica, which was compared to the antioxidant power of vitamin C.

So it is more healing than poisonous – with medicinal plants it depends on the dose and certainly no baby should constantly chew on the leaf tubes of a S. cylindrica, but fear of death is probably not appropriate. As far as domestic animals are concerned, the situation is even more opaque, even without source information on the alleged poisonous content of Sansevieria (including a private rodent forum that classifies bow hemp among hemp, but the asparagus Sansevierie has nothing to do with this native plant from the rose-like order ). If a pet falls in love with your Sansevierie and has frequent visits to it, you should therefore ask a veterinarian who specializes in this pet and who has an overview of the latest research. In any case, neither children nor animals should come into closer contact with Sansevieria,

A plant for all occasions that has almost no maintenance requirements and with which unusual design ideas can be realized. Sansevieria cylindrica also ensures good air, only babies and pets should not be given the opportunity to consume parts of the plant because of the pharmacologically active ingredients.

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