Sansevieria cylindrica (African Spear Plant)

The Sansevieria cylindrica is a unique succulent commonly known as African Spear Plant or Skyline Sansevieria. Round pointy leaves are stiff with a dark-green striped pattern. Over time leaves form a colony of solid cylindrical leaves. 

A relative of Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and just as easy to grow. Although it has a bold, fresh style all its own. The species is interesting in having rounded instead of strap-shaped leaves. It spreads by rhizomes – roots that travel under the soil surface and develop offshoots. Low-maintenance, drought tolerant, and striking.


Occasional – Drought Tolerant. Only needs watering once or twice a month


Bright Shade – Mostly Shade


They prefer lower humidity in the air.


Performs best in temperatures between 59-74°F but will survive short periods of temps at 50°F


Prefers a well-draining soil


Fertilize plants twice a month at 1/2 strength during the growing season.


Susceptible to mealybugs, thrips, spider mites and aphids.


san-se-VEER-ee-uh sil-IN-dree-kuh 

Common Name

African spear plant, Cylindrical Snake Plant, Spear sansevieria, Dracaena angolensis , ‘Skyline’, Skyline Spear Sansevieria, Sansevieria cylindrica Bojer, Sansevieria angolensis, Sansevieria guineensis, Sansevieria livingstoniae, Elephant’s Toothpick, Bow String Hemp, Snake Plant

Scientific Name

Sansevieria cylindrica 


Mildly toxic if eaten. Keep away from children and animals.

Snake plants are one of the easiest and most adaptable houseplants around. Sansevieria Cylindrica (san-se-VEER-ee-uh sil-IN-dree-kuh) is one of over 70 different species falling under the heading snake plant. 

This member of the Agave family is a low maintenance succulent that only needs watering once or twice a month. Water thoroughly from below or at the base of the plant, only when the soil becomes dry. Any doubts about watering should result in waiting, as it is a drought-tolerant plant. If you really want to be sure, a inexpensive moisture meter can be a fool proof way of watering. Do not allow water to stand on the leaves. Be careful not to overwater as this can lead to root rot. Always plant in a pot with a drainage hole.

Sansevieria Cylindrica Humidity

Starfish succulents require low humidity to thrive well. Species of plants in the genus Sansevieria need dry air and good aeration for best growth. Because household air tends to be dry, you don’t have to worry about indoor humidity. Keep it away from air vents or drafts as this can dry out your plant.The fleshy fan-shaped succulent gets enough moisture if you water it properly. It will need very little water in the winter.

Light for Starfish Snake Plant

Sansevieria Cylindrica
African Spear Snake Plant

Sansevieria thrives in moderate to bright, indirect light but will adapt to low light conditions too. Colors are enhanced in bright, filtered conditions. Tolerates low light and partial shade making it a popular office plant. It is one of the top plants that grow in fluorescent lights.

Keep in mind that the Starfish plant may become leggy or lose its color if deprived of light for too long. Although sansevieria starfish aren’t fast-growing plants, their growth will slow down even more in the dark. If you notice that the starfish snake plant doesn’t grow well, place it in bright, indirect light.

Sansevieria Cylindrica Soil

They tolerate many soil conditions. Although they grow best in well draining soil. I prefer a soil amended with gravel, perlite, or pumice or coarse sand to allow good drainage. To make a potting mix, combine two parts regular potting soil, one part perlite, and one part coarse horticultural sand. 

The soil should be aerated so that it dries fast, and water drains quickly. It is not too picky about pH requirements and does well in soil ranging from slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. 

Sansevieria Cylindrica, like all succulents, cannot stand in soggy, damp soil. The shallow root system quickly starts to rot and decay if the potting medium is continuously wet. Root rot deprives the Sansevieria Cylindrica of necessary nutrients and causes fungal diseases that eventually lead to the plant’s death.

Fertilize your Snake Plant

Sansevieria Cylindrica Plants are not heavy feeders. Use an organic fertilizer diluted at half strength if needed. Only fertilize sansevieria succulents during the growing season. Hold off on feeding during winter. Cylindrica Plants are low maintenance plants and do not require a lot of supplementary feeding.

African Spear Plant
African Spear Plant

Sansevieria Cylindrica Propagation

The Sansevieria cylindrica will naturally propagate from underground rhizomes. These rhizomes run on top of or just beneath the surface of the soil. Propagation can be done by dividing the root ball, from offsets and from leaf cuttings. 

To propagate from a leaf, take leaf cuttings and have them callus over for a few days. Place them in water or soil in the same direction they normally grow. Upside down cuttings will not take root.

Propagation also works well by dividing the root ball. Separate and place each division in a new pot with a drainage hole. Read more on Propagating Snake Plants here.

Snake Plant Care and Propagation | Sansevieria
Sansevieria trifasciata Laurentii Snake Plant Propagating in Water

Flowers are tubular, delicate greenish-white tinged with pink and lightly fragrant. It blooms once a year in Winter to Spring (or summer too). Tends to bloom more readily from a young age than other varieties. Some of these plants, depending on the growing conditions, rarely flower. Even very healthy plants may be stubborn and not produce flowers.

Sansevieria cylindrica
African Spear Snake Plant

Sansevieria Cylindrica Toxicity

Snake plants are poisonous to cats and dogs and mildly toxic if eaten. According to the ASPCA, plants in the family Agavaceae contain saponins. Ingesting parts of sansevieria plants can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea in dogs and cats. Keep away from children as well as all parts of the plant are toxic.

Grooming your Spear Snake Plant

Keep Sansevieria Cylindrica leaves shiny and glossy, by dusting them with a soft damp cloth. There is generally no need to prune cylindrical snake plants. The only requirement to prune the Sansevieria cylindrica is to propagate the plant or remove yellow leaves. Over time leaves may naturally die, so be sure to trim them back. Do not mist your snake plant because it can leave unsightly water spots on the leaves.

Repotting Sansevieria Cylindrica

Many Snake Plant lovers allow their Sansevieria to become root bound and do not transplant more often than once every two to five years. This will not necessarily hurt the plant. Species of sansevieria are slow-growing succulents and grow well when they are rootbound.

In fact, cylindrical sansevierias only need repotting every other year or so. Once the plant outgrows its current pot, repotting your Snake Plant will allow it to continue to thrive and grow.

Sansevieria cylindrica | African Spear Snake Plant
Sansevieria cylindrica | African Spear Snake Plant

When repotting a cylindrical snake plant, always choose a pot one or two sizes larger than the current one. Terracotta pots are the best types of pots for growing Sansevieria cylindrica plants. Because of the large, fat cylinder leaves and fan shape, cylindrica succulents can become top-heavy. Clay pots will help give some stability. Most species of succulents thrive in clay pots because the soil dries faster. 

To repot a Cylindrica Sansevieria, remove the fleshy plant from its existing container. Check the roots for signs of decay and trim as necessary. Then, fill a new, larger pot halfway with well-draining potting mix and plant the Starfish Sansevieria. Fill the remaining space with soil and press down to stabilize the plant.

Allow the soil to dry out before watering your freshly repotted Sansevieria Cylindrica. This gives the newly-potted starfish snake plant time to adjust. It also protects any roots that may have been damaged during repotting. After that, you can care for the sansevieria starfish as usual. Add fresh soil every spring if not transplanting.

Braided African Spear Plant

Sansevieria Cylindrica Braid, aka African Spear Plant or Dragon Fingers, is the less common relative of the classic Sansevieria Trifasciata. This fascinating variety has leaves are round rather than flat. Leaves are braided together creating quite a stunning plant. 

Snake Plant Varieties

There are over 70 snake plant varieties. To learn more about different snake plant varieties such as the Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Cylindrica’, Sansevieria Hahnii, Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Laurentii’, Futura Robusta, Futura Superba, Sansevieria Hahnii ‘Black Star’, Sansevieria ‘Golden Hahnii’’, Sansevieria Cylindrica ‘Boncel’ and more, visit our Snake Plant Variety Post here.

Sansevieria Cylindrica (African Spear Snake Plant)
African Spear Snake Plant

Snake Plants rarely are affected by pests, but it can happen. The major pests that affect the Snake plants are mealybugs, thrips, spider mites and aphids. These pests feed off the plant by sucking sap from the leaves. This causes wilting and eventual drying of the plant if you don’t control them. Learn more about pest eradication here.

Sansevieria Cylindrica Plants For Sale

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Sansevieria Cylindrica

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