The genus Sansevieria belongs to the Agave family. Sanseviera is one of the most common and persistent houseplants. In nature, it grows in the tropical regions of Asia and Africa, on the islands of Indonesia and Madagascar.
The genus is represented by perennial herbaceous plants and shrubs with short thick rhizomes. From the nodes of the rhizomes, fleshy linear or rounded leaves leave in a dense bunch upwards. The flowers are white or slightly yellowish.
In room conditions, three-striped sansevier (Sansevieria trifasciata) is most often grown – “mother-in-law’s tongue”, or “pike tail” (photos of plants are widely presented on our page below).
The large xiphoid leaves of the “pike tail” flower with transverse stripes and bright yellow edges are very spectacular. In a sunny place in spring, it blooms with small whitish-green flowers with a pleasant smell.
The leaves of the Lawrence variety (Sansevieria trifasciata var. Laurentii) with a golden border around the edges reach a length of 1.5 m.
An interesting variety is Hanni (Sansevieria trifasciata var, hahni) , which forms a beautiful rosette of leaves 12-20 cm high. Transverse light short wide stripes on green leaves.
Large Sansevieria (Sansevieria grandis) forms a rosette of two to four broadly ovate leaves 30-60 cm long, up to 15 cm wide. The leaves are light green, with dark transverse stripes and a reddish cartilaginous border along the edge. Flowers in dense racemes up to 80 cm tall, white or greenish, up to 5 cm in diameter.
Prolific Sansevieria (Sansevieria suffruticosa) forms new specimens using ground shoots. On each shoot there are 7-18 leaves, collected in pairs or in uneven rosettes 30-60 cm high. At the beginning of growth, the leaves are dark green, wrinkled, eventually becoming cylindrical with a prickly tip.
Sansevier Francis (Sansevieria francisii) has leaves 8-15 cm long, slightly rough, cylindrical and pointed, with a distinct canal on the upper side. The leaves are arranged in five rows. The stem first rises to about 30 cm, then begins to spread along the surface. The leaf is dark green with gray-green transverse stripes, the edge of the leaf is brownish-red with a white border to the middle of the leaf.
In culture, there is a variety of Sanseviera – “Variegata” .
Caring for the “pike tail” flower
The houseplant “pike tail” grows well in the sun and in the shade, tolerates any room temperature well, puts up with dust and drafts. Variegated forms are able to tolerate a certain amount of direct sunlight per day, but should be shaded from midday rays. In the spring-summer period it prefers moderate air temperature (18-25°C), in the autumn-winter period the temperature should not fall below 14-16°C for a long time.
When caring for a pike tail flower, it is important to pay attention to the composition of the soil and the shape of the pot. The earth mixture is made up of turf and leaf earth with the addition of sand (2: 2: 1). Plants are planted in wide low containers. Water moderately in summer, in winter – once every two to three months. Irrigation water should not fall into the heart of the outlet – the base of the leaves may rot. Waterlogging the soil in winter leads to yellowing and death of the leaves. Sansevier should not be fed often, as the leaves become monotonous green and lose their decorative effect. Young plants are transplanted annually, adults – rarely (when the pot bursts).
Propagated by lateral shoots of rhizomes, which are dried before planting; division of the rhizome, leaf cuttings. The rhizome is divided into three or four parts or more. For propagation by leaf cuttings, a healthy leaf is cut across into fragments 5 cm long, the sections are dried in air, then the lower cut is treated with a root formation stimulator and buried 1-2 cm in slightly damp sand or in a mixture of sand and peat (1: 1). Cuttings root in six to eight weeks.
Houseplant “pike tail” can be affected by scale insects and spider mites.