Sansevieria Canaliculata Complete Care Guide – for Beginners
Sansevieria Canaliculata belongs to a select few snake plants that develop singular leaves from their rhizomes. Considered dwarf, they are rare and not as common as other varieties of sansevieria.
- developing tubular singular leaves, the Sansevieria Canaliculata has a unique growing pattern
- although rare, they are great for beginner indoor plant enthusiasts due to their low maintenance and ease of care
- can be easily propagated by cuttings or division
Sansevieria Canaliculata Quick Care Summary
|Watering||Allow soil to dry between watering|
|Lighting||Position in a space that receives plenty of bright indirect light|
|Temperature||60-85° Fahrenheit (15-29° Celsius)|
|Humidity||Relative humidity levels at 30-50%|
|Feeding||All-purpose houseplant fertilizer at the beginning of Spring|
|Soil||Loamy well-draining soil|
Getting to Know Sansevieria Canaliculata
Scientific Name: Sansevieria Canaliculata Carrière
Common Name(s): mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plant
Originating in the Eastern parts of the African continent, the Sansevieria Canaliculata grow in their natural environments, such as Tanzania, Mozambique, and Madagascar.
Even though the Sansevieria Canaliculata grows in tropical parts of Africa, the rainfall is sporadic. To adapt to unpredictable rainfall, the Canaliculata can store water reserves in its leaves and rhizomes (underground stems).
This ability allows them to endure long periods of dryness and tolerate warm weather. It also makes them very easy to care for and is perfect for indoor plant enthusiasts.
The rhizomes also make it easy to propagate Sansevieria Canaliculata, but we’ll explore that in more detail later in the article.
Appearance & Flowers
As we described earlier, the Sansevieria Canaliculata has a unique growth pattern. Single tubular leaves grow up from the rhizomes underneath the ground.
The edges along the foliage curve inwards, similar to the Sansevieria Cylindrica.
The colors range from the usual dark bottle green jade to a lighter apple green. Some Canaliculata varieties develop variegated patterns running horizontally along the leaves.
As a dwarf variety of snake plants, they only develop to approximately 3 feet (91 cm) tall.
They can develop flowers. However, conditions need to be optimal – even then, they may not have any blooms. Snake plants do not flower annually, so take plenty of pictures when they blossom.
The flowers look like fireworks in suspended animation and develop on stalks that grow from the base of the snake plant. The dainty flowers can range from cream to off-white, sometimes with a pinkish hue.
Sansevieria Canaliculata Detailed Care Instructions
This section will expand on the care summary we provided earlier in the guide. We’ll look deeper into the care regiment required to get these beautiful plants flourishing at home.
Sanseveria Canaliculata prefers its soil to dry between each watering.
The question is…how do you tell when the soil is dry?
Using a finger soil moisture test is a budget-friendly and convenient way to tell when the soil is dry.
The accurate way to tell when the soil is dry is to use a soil moisture meter from your nursery or online at Amazon.
The good news is the longer you care for your Sansevieria Canaliculata, the more familiar you will become with their water needs and instinctively understand when they need more water.
The watering frequency changes each season. For guidance on seasonal water frequency, check out our article HERE.
Sansevieria Canaliculata love an abundance of plenty of bright light.
Position your indoor Sansevieria Canaliculata in a position that receives plenty of bright light (indirect light is best). Direct sunlight is tolerated, however, only in small doses. Midday and afternoon sun is too intense for indoor snake plants and will quickly dehydrate the leaves, causing leaf burn.
However, when grown outdoors, the Sansevieria Canaliculata becomes hardened to weather fluctuations and has higher tolerances for direct sunlight.
Read more HERE for tips on lighting conditions for snake plants.
Temperature Requirements Sansevieria Canaliculata
As succulents from tropical Eastern Africa, your Sansevieria Canaliculata thrive in warm weather.
The recommended indoor temperature for Canaliculata is between 55-85° Fahrenheit (12-29° Celsius).
We caution all snake plant owners to be careful of extreme temperatures. Water expands when frozen. This means the water reserves in the Canaliculata leaves can freeze, causing irreparable damage to the leaf cells.
We recommend bringing your Canaliculata (and other snake plants) indoors for the winter. It will protect them from the harsh cold temperatures and ensure they don’t experience frost damage.
Keep your Sansevieria Canaliculata in between 30 and 50% relative humidity.
Short-term fluctuations won’t bother your Canaliculata. However, if you begin to see your snake plant take a turn for the worse, check the relative humidity with a hygrometer if your Sansevieria is starting to suffer.
Humidity can be challenging to control. However, it is essential for regulating your snake plant’s internal processes, like transpiration.
Not enough moisture in the air (low humidity) accelerates the transpiration process, dehydrates your plant, and causes water stress.
Too much moisture (high humidity) will prevent transpiration at the other extreme, and your Sansevieria Canaliculata will suffocate.
We have written an in-depth article discussing how humidity affects snake plants.
Soil & Fertilizer Requirements
The soil quality you use for your Sansevieria Canaliculata can profoundly affect your houseplant’s health.
Quality soil will reduce the frequency of your watering, facilitate the uptake of nutrients by your Canaliculata, and reduce its susceptibility to pests and disease.
To be effective, your snake plant soil must be:
- a sandy loam 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.
Pest and Diseases
If there is one disease that you should familiarise yourself with for your Sansevieria Canaliculata, it is root rot.
Root rot is a fungal disease that can develop when your snake plant has been sitting in waterlogged soil from being overwatered. The process of eliminating root rot is straightforward. However, it is onerous. You can read our step-by-step guide for removing root rot in snake plants HERE.
Some leaf-borne fungal diseases, such as mildew and leaf spot, can infect your Canaliculata. We explore these diseases and (more importantly) treatments HERE.
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 foliage and access the nutrient-rich sap. They can harm your snake plant’s health and cause many issues, such as white spots and overall weakness.
The best way to detect any signs of pests (or disease, for that matter) is to regularly inspect your potted plants and manually remove any pests you see. The key is not letting their population get out of hand and become an infestation.
You can read more about symptoms of pest infestation HERE.
Like other snake plants, Sansevieria Canaliculata requires a tight root system to support its large leaves.
When placed in a container too large for their root system, they will refocus their energy on developing the roots rather than growing new leaves. While they are still growing (under the soil), they will appear to be experiencing stunted growth.
Your snake plant pot should also have adequate drainage with plenty of drainage holes. As we pointed out earlier, constantly wet soil rots your Canaliculata’s root system.
Sansevieria Canaliculata Propagation Techniques
To preserve the stunning variegated patterns and colors, we recommend only propagating your Canaliculata using the propagation method by plant division or by splitting snake plant pups.
Propagating your Sansevieria Canaliculata 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:
- Remove the root ball – lift the mother snake plant root ball out of its container.
- Clean and prepare the root ball – rinse your snake plant’s roots under warm water to clear the soil away.
- Identify the rhizome – find the rhizome attached to the baby Canaliculata 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.
- Re-pot your Plants – re-pot 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.