Snake Plants Sansevieria

Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel | Starfish Snake Plant

Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel is a more compact hybrid of Sansevieria Cylindrica. Commonly called Starfish Snake Plant, with its short, fat leaves that spread out like a fan. The name “starfish” comes from the fact that the plant looks like a starfish that has been planted halfway in soil. Like most succulent species, Starfish Sansevieria is easy to care for in addition to being very robust and strong. Grows to only 8 inches tall but when it blooms it will make 3′ flower spikes with pink and white flowers.


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 BON-sell

Common Name

Sansevieria ‘Boncel’, Sansevieria Cylindrica, Spear Orchid, Skyline Spear Sansevieria, Starfish Snake Plant

Scientific Name

Sansevieria cylindrica var. patula ‘Boncel’


Mildly toxic if eaten. Keep away from children and animals.
Snake plants are one of the easiest and most adaptable houseplants around. Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel (san-se-VEER-ee-uh sil-IN-dree-kuh BON-sell) is one of over 70 different species falling under the heading snake plant. ‘Starfish’ Snake Plant is a more compact hybrid variety of the well known Cylindrica Snake Plant. The plant only grows up to 8” tall so it is perfect for desks or small spaces. ‘Boncel’ (also commonly called African spear plant) is native to native to Angola.

Watering Starfish 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 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

Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel Starfish works as an indoor air purifier, removing toxins from indoor environments. They tolerate many soil conditions, but 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. 
Starfish sansevierias—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 ‘Boncel’ of necessary nutrients and causes fungal diseases that eventually lead to the plant’s death.
Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel Starfish Snake Plant
Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel | Starfish Snake Plant

Fertilize your Snake Plant

Starfish Snake Plants are not heavy feeders. Use an organic fertilizer diluted at half strength if needed. Only fertilize starfish sansevieria succulents during the growing season, and don’t feed during winter. Sansevieria are low maintenance plants and do not require a lot of supplementary feeding.

Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel Propagation

Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel Starfish will naturally propagate from underground rhizomes that 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. More on Propagating Snake Plants.
Snake Plant Care and Propagation | Sansevieria
Sansevieria trifasciata Laurentii Snake Plant Propagating in Water
Pink & white flowers bloom in mid-summer. Sansevieria Cylindrica will not die after it flowers but it will stop producing new leaves. The flowers apparently have a sweet aroma although we have never smelled them. Some of these plants, depending on the growing conditions, rarely flower. Even very healthy plants may be stubborn and not produce flowers.
Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel
Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel | Starfish Snake Plant

Snake Plant Toxicity

Sansevieria starfish 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 Starfish Snake Plant

Keep Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel 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 Starfish Sansevieria 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.

Sansevieria Repotting

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. Starfish sansevieria plants only need repotting every other year or so. Once the plant outgrows its current pot, repotting your Starfish Snake Plant will allow it to continue to thrive and grow.
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 starfish plants. Because of the large, fat cylinder leaves and fan shape, Starfish 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 Starfish 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 Starfish. 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.

Snake Plant Varieties

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

Sansevieria Cylindrica Boncel Pests

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.

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