Complete Guide to Owning a Sansevieria Black Dragon

As you would expect with a name like Sansevieria Black Dragon, the darkened colorations on the foliage of this magnificent specimen are the main attraction. They are not commonly found in nurseries, tending to be rarer. But if you happen to come across one, be sure to pick it up to add to your collection.

Caring for the Black Dragon is easy, especially if you have (or still) owned snake plants (mother-in-law’s tongue). Here is a quick reference guide for their care requirements.

Sansevieria Black Dragon Care Guide

DescriptionRecommendations
WateringOnly water when soil is dry
LightingA position that receives plenty of bright indirect light
Temperature65-90° Fahrenheit (18-32° Celsius)
HumidityRelative humidity levels at 30-50%
FeedingAll-purpose houseplant fertilizer at the beginning of Spring
SoilLoamy well-draining soil

Images of Sansevieria Black Dragon

Getting to Know Sansevieria Black Dragon

Sansevieria Black Dragon

We firmly believe that to be a proud plant parent of the Black Dragon, you should get to know your plant, inside and out.

Understanding where they come from is the first step to providing the best care possible. Once we know the environment they thrive in; we can attempt to emulate the conditions in our homes.

Let’s get up close and personal with the Sansevieria Black Dragon.

Name

The scientific name for this beautiful specimen is Sansevieria Trifasciata Black Dragon. But we like to shorten their name to Sansevieria Black Dragon or Black Dragon.

Trying to find the names of different varieties of snake plants can be slightly confusing because they are labeled as generic. Here is a list of the more common names that Sansevieria Black Dragon go by:

  • Black Birds Nest
  • mother-in-law’s tongue,
  • African Spear, or even
  • Magic Sword

Origin

Sansevieria Black Dragon
credit: geology.com

The Black Dragon is native to the African continent and lives in arid to semi-arid environments. Being close to the equator, it can reach high temperatures with unpredictable periods of rain.

This explains why, like other succulents, the Sansevieria Black Dragon has developed the ability to build up water stores in their leaves to draw down when needed. Fortunately for us, this water storing trait creates one hardy indoor plant that thrives on neglect.

Appearance

The Sansevieria Black Dragon is a stunning specimen sporting beautiful, glossy, darker-than-usual green leaves. And should not be considered the black sheep of the snake plant family.

From afar, true Black Dragon plants can look almost entirely black. However, as you get closer, you can see the foliage has graduating shades of dark to extremely dark green coloration.

Because they are a hybrid, they can have varying degrees of shades of green, sometimes appearing like the more common Sansevieria Trifasciata. However, they do not have variegated leaves, displaying only solid colors.

Black Dragons belong to the dwarf range of snake plants, like the Sansevieria Golden Hahnii. This means they only grow to 8-11 inches (20-28 centimeters) at maturity. Perfect if you may have one too many indoor plants but still want to grow your collection.

Sansevieria Black Dragon
credit: tenor

Sansevieria Black Dragon Flower

Snake plant flowers are rare, and if you witness a plant in bloom, consider yourself lucky. And the Black Dragon is no exception.

When they flower, they develop dainty little cream flowers that look like fireworks in suspended animation.

They grow from thin stalks that develop from the base of the plant and eventually into red/orange berries that form seeds.

If you are curious about these rare flowers, check out some pictures HERE.

Sansevieria Trifasciata Black Dragon Care Instructions

Sansevieria Black Dragon Quick Care Guide

Okay, let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what your care regimen should look like for the Black Dragon.

Watering Requirements

One thing to master regarding care for your Sansevieria Black Dragon is knowing when it needs a water top-up. Their water needs vary throughout the seasons (check out a seasonal watering chart for snake plants HERE).

snake plant seasonal watering chart

We already established that the Black Dragon is a succulent that can store water, making them drought resistant. However, their weakness is too much water.

Problems tend to arise when their soil stays too wet for too long. They become susceptible to pests and diseases like root rot – more on that later.

The big question is – how do you know when your Black Dragon needs more water?

The most accurate way to measure the moisture levels in your indoor plant’s soil is to use a soil moisture meter. They are relatively cheap and available at your nursery or online at Amazon.

We find the best way to water snake plants is using the bottom watering technique. It is efficient and delivers the perfect amount of water whenever done correctly. You can read about the process HERE.

Light Requirements

Sansevieria Black Dragon needs plenty of bright indirect light. We recommend avoiding direct sunlight for prolonged periods.

As an indoor plant, direct exposure to sunlight will cause both temperature and water stress, as the intense sun accelerates water dehydration from the soil and leaves.

Also, a unique quality of the Sansevieria Black Dragon is when exposed to an abundant amount of bright light, the colors lighten, and the rich dark green colors begin to fade.

Read more HERE for tips on lighting conditions for snake plants.

Temperature Requirements

To keep Black Dragons happy and thriving, keep them between 65-90° Fahrenheit (18-32° Celsius).

The biggest threat to your Black Dragon is freezing temperatures. Water expands when frozen. And because your Black Dragon stores water in its leaves, it can cause irreparable damage to the leaf cells and harm the snake plant when it freezes.

If your area is susceptible to frost or freezing temperatures in winter, we recommend bringing any snake plants inside the house where the temperatures will remain at acceptable levels.

Humidity Requirements

Humidity should sit between 30 and 50% for your Sansevieria Black Dragon’s processes to function correctly.

We understand humidity can be challenging to control.

However, it should not be overlooked or pushed into the ‘too hard basket’. Humidity levels affect many of your Black Dragon’s internal processes, such as transpiration. When there is not enough moisture in the air (low humidity), it accelerates transpiration, which quickly dehydrates your plant and causes water stress.

To read how humidity affects snake plants, check out this article.

Soil Requirements

One thing we always do when we introduce a new snake plant to our collection is to repot them into fresh homemade soil.

Choosing suitable soil for your Black Dragon can make a big difference in your plant parent journey. Good soil will reduce the frequency of your watering regime, facilitate the uptake of nutrients by your houseplant, and reduce susceptibility to pests and disease.

To be effective, your Sansevieria’s soil must be:

  • well-draining,
  • a loamy consistency (light and airy), and
  • contain some organic materials with water absorption properties.

We have devised a recipe for the perfect snake plant potting mix. You can also watch our video on making snake plant soil below.

How to Fertilize Black Dragon

Your Sansevieria Black Dragon is not a fussy plant regarding food. An excellent all-purpose houseplant fertilizer will provide everything required to produce strong and healthy growth. These fertilizers have the base elements for healthy plant growth, nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).

We like to feed at the beginning of spring with a slow-release fertilizer. Spring and summer are known as snake plants’ growing months. Therefore they will consume the most nutrients during this period.

To learn about the different methods for fertilizing your Sansevieria Black Dragon, check out this ARTICLE.

Pest and Diseases

As we established earlier in the water requirements, your Black Dragon is the most susceptible to root rot.

Root rot is a frustrating fungal disease that develops in soggy soil from being overwatered. The process of eliminating root rot is not complicated. However, it is cumbersome. You can read about the process HERE.

A few other leaf-borne fungal diseases can infect your snake plants, such as mildew and leaf spot. We explore these diseases and treatments HERE.

When it comes to pests, snake plants are most susceptible to sap-sucking insects like mealybugs, spider mites, and thrips. These pests have the equipment to penetrate the tough outer layer of the Sansevieria’s skin and access the nutrient-rich sap.

The best way to detect any signs of pests (or disease, for that matter) is to inspect your beautiful plant regularly.

You can read more about symptoms of pest infestation HERE.

Pot Size

Choosing the right pot for your Black Dragon is more important than you think.

Snake plants prefer to have tight root systems to support their meaty leaves. If they are planted in a pot that is too spacious, they will experience stunted growth.

Your snake plant pot should also have adequate drainage with plenty of drainage holes. As we pointed out earlier, constantly moist soil will develop rot in your Black Dragon’s root system.

Sansevieria Black Dragon Propagation Techniques

To preserve the deep colors, we recommend only propagating your Black Dragon using the propagation method by plant division or by splitting snake plant pups.

Propagating your Sansevieria Black Dragon with a cutting in water or soil risks the new plant reverting to a regular pattern on the foliage, similar to the Sansevieria Trifasciata.

To propagate by plant division, follow these steps:

  1. Remove the root ball – lift the mother snake plant root ball out of its container.
  2. Clean and prepare the root ball – rinse your snake plant’s roots under warm water to clear the soil away.
  3. Identify the rhizome – find the rhizome attached to the baby snake pup. Cut the rhizome as close to the main root ball of the mother plant as possible. You want to retain as many thin roots as possible with the rhizome.
  4. Repot your Plants – repot your mother snake plant into the original pot with some fresh potting mix. At the same time, fill your propagation containers a third up with a good-quality potting mix (discussed above). Place each pup into the pot and backfill with quality potting mix until the soil level covers the white parts of the rhizome and pups. Give all your plants good watering and ensure all excess water drains out.

You can find step-by-step instructions HERE if you prefer to propagate using cuttings.

Sansevieria Black Dragon – Common Questions

Is the Sansevieria Black Dragon Rare?

Yes, the Black Dragon is considered a rare variety of snake plants. Because it is a hybrid, you may find lighter versions of the variety. However, true dark Black Dragons are hard to come by.

If you see one available, take the opportunity to snap it up before the person behind you jumps on it.