Sansevieria Cleopatra (Snake Plant) – Complete Guide for Beginners

With a name like Sansevieria Cleopatra, you cannot expect anything less than a beautiful and stunning indoor plant.

With their mesmerizing striped leaves and unique growing pattern, the Sansevieria Cleopatra plants are always a showpiece in any succulent collection.

Sansevieria Cleopatra Plant Care Guide

And we are excited today about featuring these popular plants on the Garden Bench Top.

We will be taking a close look at everything that has to do with the Sanseviera Cleopatra. Including its origins, how to successfully care for these unique plants, as well as how to propagate your very own.

Last but not least, we will feature a frequently asked questions section to tackle all those odd questions that may fall outside the remit of a care guide.

So go on then, grab your garden gloves and get ready to become up close and personal with the Sansevieria Cleopatra.

What is the Sansevieria Cleopatra?

Cleopatra Snake Plant Care Guide

As we indicated earlier, the Sansevieria Cleopatra is part of the succulent family. More specifically, it belongs to the variety of succulents known as ‘snake plants‘.

They are a very popular plant among succulent collectors and indoor plant enthusiasts. This is likely due to their ease of care, unique look and resilience to varying conditions.

Let’s now take a closer look at the background of the Sansevieria Cleopatra.

Name Guide

If you have made it this far into the guide, you will already be familiar with the scientific name (or botanical name), Sansevieria Cleopatra. We tend to use botanical names at the Garden Bench Top to avoid confusion.

More common names that the plant may be referred to as are:

  • snake plant,
  • Cleopatra plant, or simply just
  • Cleopatra.


The Sansevieria is a beautiful plant, that has striking broad leaves that feature whitish, yellow stripes running along the leaf.

It is a low-lying succulent that has a unique plant growth pattern. Many describe it as growing in a rosette pattern, giving it a flower – like appearance.

Like most other succulents, they have broad green leaves that tend to grow horizontally, with the newer immature leaves forming a tube-like opening at the center of the plant. The leaves are certainly one of the main features of the Sansevieria Cleopatra, with beautiful coloration and growth patterns.

Sansevieria Cleopatra plants are a low – growing succulent that generally do not grow too large. They are perfect for filling in those bare patches of ground within a cacti garden, or placing high in an ornamental pot as the centerpiece of a garden.

Origin of the Sansevieria Cleopatra

If you want to see these beautiful plants in the wild, you will have to travel to warm – hot climates like Asia, Africa and even to Madagascar.

image courtesy:

Understanding where your plants originate from is a big part of our approach to gardening at the Garden Bench Top. It helps to guide the decision you make when it comes to the husbandry requirements of your plants.

For the Sansevieria Cleopatra, we understand now that they prefer warmer, humid climates and can tolerate a bit of sun.

This leads us nicely into the next section about Sansevieria Cleopatra Care.Sansevieria Cleopatra Care.

How to Care for Sansevieria Cleopatra

Okay, so you know about the Cleopatra Snake Plant. Now let’s take a look at how to successfully grow and care for these beautiful plants. Spoiler alert – it’s pretty easy!


As is common in the succulent world, the Sansevieria Cleopatra thrives in positions that receive a lot of light, and even direct sunlight. We know this from where they originate from (Asian and African regions).

Cleopatra snake plants love light and can even tolerate direct sunlight…

One of the biggest headaches for succulent owners is trying to find the optimal lighting conditions for their plants.

Not that is particular hard in the Sansevieria Cleopatra’s case, but more so when you have many plants that all like the same lighting conditions! Maybe this is a good problem to have? Or potentially, we might have a bigger addiction concern ha!

The good news for fanatics like us, is that Sansevieria Cleopatra plants can also survive in lower light conditions. However, if you have space, place them in a spot where they can enjoy the sun.

Temperature & Humidity

Looking at the Cleopatra’s originating regions, they will thrive in warmer conditions, like temperatures between 70 – 95° F (21 – 32° C), with a dry air (low humidity).

That being said, they have been cultivated to still grow in cooler climates. However, you will most likely see slower growth and potentially duller coloration on their leaves.

We would avoid temperatures below 50° F (10° C), as the plant may go into hibernation and won’t particularly enjoy these conditions.

Is the Sansevieria Cleopatra difficult to care for?

Sansevieria Cleopatra is an easy plant to care for.

Cleopatra snake plants are perfect for beginners and novices beginning their gardening journey, or even time poor individuals…

The most difficult part of the care and maintenance process is finding the right position for your plant. They don’t require much water (read more below), and they are slow growing. Meaning they do not require much attention or ongoing maintenance (when compared to other plants like vines).

We highly recommend individuals just starting out in the indoor plants or succulent spaces to begin with a Sansevieria Cleopatra.

This is the perfect plant for those who are time poor and may miss the occasional watering.

Water Requirements

Since Cleopatra plants can tolerate direct sunlight, it isn’t a big surprise that these plants are also drought tolerant (to a degree).

Don’t get us wrong, like all plants they still require water. However, we recommend letting the soil dry out before topping it up with some light watering.

How often you water your Cleopatra Snake Plant will depend on many factors, such as lighting position and the season. However, as a guide, checking in on your plants’ moisture levels every other week is a good start.

One of the most common difficulties with Sansevieria Cleopatra plants is that they develop root rot from soil that is too wet and soggy.

Growing Medium & Supplements

Giving the Cleopatra’s preference for dry soils, it makes sense to use a growing medium that expels any excess water.

We recommend using soil/compost that does retain some water, but drains well. This is usually referred to as ‘loamy compost’ or ‘loamy soil’. The usual makeup of loam-based compost is 50% sand, 30% silt and 20% clay.

This will help avoid any future issues with root rot or diseases that can impact on your plants’ health.

General Maintenance

As we mentioned earlier in the Difficulty of Care section, the sansevieria cleopatra is an easy plant to care for.

They make a great addition as a low maintenance indoor plant, or even look great en masse as ground cover to an outdoor cacti garden.

The Cleopatra Snake plant will not take up too much of your time, only requiring the odd watering every other week.

How to Propagate a Snake Plant

In this section, we are going to run you through the steps of How to Propagate a Sansevieria Cleopatra from a Cutting.

Sansevieria Cleopatra

Required Materials Checklist:

  • Sansevieria Cleopatra Cutting
  • Sterilized Knife/Blade
  • Glass Jar
  • Water
  • Loamy Soil (refer to growing medium section above)

Steps for propagating a Cleopatra Snake Plant:

  1. Find a healthy cutting from the mother plant. To give your cutting the best opportunity for success, you need to find a healthy cutting from your main plant. What you should be looking for is a leaf that appears vibrant, healthy and has no signs of diseases or stress.
    Take your sterilized knife, and cut the healthy leaf as close to the main plant as possible. You need a sterilized knife to avoid transferring any diseases or bacteria to the cutting AND your main plant. Both could prove fatal.
    Leave your cutting out on a bench to dry and seal the wound for 24-48 hours.
  2. Fill the glass jar with water. While your cutting is drying, fill the jar with distilled water and leave out on the bench near the cutting. This way, the water acclimates to room temperature, and there is less of a chance of shocking the cutting.
  3. Rooting maintenance. Put the stem into the jar and place in a position that receives plenty of indirect sunlight, and monitor the quality of the water. You do not want the water to become stale, so it is recommended to change the water every 2-3 days.
  4. Root Maturing. This is the exciting part. You should see tiny roots beginning to form where you made the cutting. Leave them in the water to grow into stronger roots, while continuing to refresh the water every few days.
  5. Transplanting Your Cutting. After about a week from when you first observe the roots developing, it should be time to transfer your cutting to a more soil based growing medium. Fill a small container with a mixture of damp peat or sphagnum moss with a loam based soil. Make sure the roots are covered entirely to give them the best opportunity to catch and grow in the new medium.
  6. Continued Maintenance. From this point on, just take care of your cuttings as you would normal Sansevieria Cleopatra plants. Except for possibly watering them a bit more frequently to help the new roots to establish. Once you observe new leaves growing, you can revert to the specified watering frequency in our care guide above.

Frequently Asked Questions

We are now at the section where we attempt to answer all your ‘other’ questions that may not be addressed in the care guide.

Keep in mind, if you don’t find an answer to your question, please send us a message via our CONTACT page. We will endeavor to respond with a timely answer, and include it in our growing FAQ section below.

Is the Sansevieria Cleopatra the rarest snake plant?

The Sansevieria Cleopatra snake plant does indeed belong to the rare snake plant collection.

Is it the rarest snake plant – well this would be up for debate. We wouldn’t be confident in placing a bet on the fact that it is the rarest plant, but it is hard to source. So if you come across one in your local nursery or farmers market, do not hesitate to pick one up (and send us a cutting as well!).

Are snake plants toxic (to household pets)?

Snake plants (including the Cleopatra Snake Plant) are mildly toxic to pets and should be mixed with caution. They contain a natural insecticide called saponins.

If you have a dog, then the chances of poisoning are less. However, if you are a cat lover, then this may be on the riskier side, and we would probably not recommend mixing the two. With a dog, you can place the plants high on cabinetry or a kitchen bench, out of reach of curious dog’s paws. However, cats love to jump on all surfaces, no matter how high, and will have easy access to your snake plant.

Unfortunately, it is only a matter of time before they get bored or curious and potentially ingest a part of the plant.

How big does a Cleopatra Snake Plant Grow?

Cleopatra Plants are small low plants
Cleopatra plants are small, low-lying succulents

Unlike some snake plants, the Sansevieria Cleopatra doesn’t grow very tall. At most, it will reach a height of around 10 inches (25 centimeters), but it will take quite a while to reach this height.

With leaves growing outwards in a rosette pattern and the fact that it is a slow grower, means the Cleopatra snake plant is the perfect small succulent for ground cover and small pots.

How often does Sansevieria need to be watered?

The Sansevieria Cleopatra originates from regions that are dry, hot and sunny. This means they are somewhat drought tolerant, and can stand periods without water. We do however, recommend checking on their soil every 10-14 days. If the soil is completely dry, then give it a light watering.

What’s Next?

Now that you have had your close encounter with Sansevieria Cleopatra, the next steps should be clear! Go out and find yourself one to add to your collection (if you can find one).

Besides watering, one of the most important elements to get right is the growing medium you are using for your plants. In the case of Cleopatra, a high-loam base soil would be ideal. Check out our guides on growing mediums for the best practices and recommended products for your plants.