Beginners Care Guide for Sansevieria Cylindrica

As one of the more unusual-looking snake plants in the family, the Sansevieria Cylindrica is a fan favorite for indoor plant enthusiasts. They share the low-maintenance features of other snake plants but look fascinatingly like something from a science fiction movie.

Owning a Sansevieria Cylindrica is easy once you find the perfect position for them – more on that later. Like other succulents, they can tolerate dry periods, making them ideal for busy individuals who forget to water now and again. Make sure you set them up correctly, and you’ll be a proud plant parent of the Cylindrica.

For those in a rush, here is a quick reference guide for their care requirements.

Sansevieria Cylindrica Care Guide

WateringOnly water when soil is dry
LightingA position that receives plenty of bright indirect light
Temperature50-90° Fahrenheit (10-32° Celsius)
HumidityRelative humidity levels at 30-50%
FeedingAll-purpose houseplant fertilizer at the beginning of Spring
SoilLoamy well-draining soil

Images of Sansevieria Cylindrica

Getting to Know Sansevieria Cylindrica

Sansevieria Cylindrica

To successfully own a Sansevieria Cylindrica, we find dedicating a bit of time to understanding their origins goes a long way.

It helps you appreciate their natural environment so that you can mimic the conditions as closely as possible.


We like to refer to this unique-looking plant as the Sansevieria Cylindrica (and we will continue to throughout this article).

However, their scientific name is Dracaena Angolensis.

They do have other common names, such as:

  • Cylindrical snake plant,
  • African Spear, or
  • spear snake plant.

It isn’t hard to see why the Sansevieria Cylindrica has adopted the spear nicknames, as each leaf looks like a piece of weaponry that could be used in battle.



Like most other snake plants, the Sansevieria Cylindrica originates from Africa. But, they are more widely known to grow naturally in the warm climate of Angola.

They thrive in naturally hot, arid climates and can live off little water, creating water reserves in their leaves to draw down upon when required.


You may have guessed from the name that the Sansevieria Cylindrica comprises multiple cylinders.

Their foliage colors vary from apple green to dark green varieties (similar to Sansevieria Trifasciata). And they sport variegated lines that run perpendicular to the leaf.

When grown indoors, Sansevieria Cylindrica usually develops 3-4 feet high. They will form dense clumps of cylinders, sometimes growing in a fan or rosette shape (as displayed in the picture below). However, if grown outdoors and left to mature, each cylinder can reach up to 6 feet tall.

rosette growth pattern of cylindrica

They are genuinely unique-looking snake plants.

Sansevieria Cylindrica Flowers

When optimal conditions are provided to your Sansevieria Cylindrica, they can reward their owners with beautiful blooms. Note, if you have the opportunity to experience a flowering event, take heaps of photos, as they do not flower annually.

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 color to off-white with a pinkish hue.

Sansevieria Cylindrica Detailed Care Instructions

Sansevieria Cylindrica Quick Care Guide

This section will elaborate on the care instructions we detailed above. We’ll explain why and provide some helpful tips for treating your Sansevieria Cylindrica with the ultimate care.

Water Requirements

We mentioned earlier that Cylindrica is a drought-tolerant plant. The key word here is tolerant.

Just because they can survive periods of dry and neglect doesn’t mean you can forget about them. They still require regular water top-ups. However, the frequency changes each season. For guidance on seasonal water frequency, check out our article HERE.

Always allow the soil to dry before adding more water to your Sansevieria Cylindrica.

We recommend allowing their soil to dry out between watering. And the best way to determine this is to use a finger soil moisture test or a soil moisture meter from your nursery or online at Amazon.

Lighting Requirements

Provide your Sansevieria Cylindrica with plenty of bright indirect light. They can tolerate early morning or late evening direct sunlight. However, midday and afternoon sun is too intense for indoor Cylindrica snake plants and will quickly dehydrate the leaves, causing leaf burn.

Outdoor Sansevieria Cylindrica plants are hardened to the weather elements and have higher tolerances for sunlight.

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

Temperature Requirements

As succulents originate from African climates, your Sansevieria Cylindrica will thrive in warmer environments. We suggest keeping them between 50-90° Fahrenheit (10-32° Celsius).

Any temperatures below 50° Fahrenheit and your Sansevieria Cylindrica will be threatened with temperature shock.

You must keep your Sansevieria Cylindrica away from freezing temperatures. Water expands when frozen. And because your Sansevieria Cylindrica 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

To keep your Sansevieria Cylindrica happy, keep them in between 30 and 50% relative humidity.

We understand humidity can be challenging to control. However, this doesn’t mean it should land in the too-hard pile.

Incorrect humidity levels will adversely impact your Cylindrica’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.

We have written an in-depth article discussing how humidity affects snake plants.

Soil & Fertilizer 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 the best soil for your Sansevieria Cylindrica can significantly impact your plant parent experience. The proper soil will reduce the frequency of your watering, facilitate the uptake of nutrients by your snake plant, and reduce its susceptibility to pests and disease.

To be effective, your snake plant 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.

Pest and Diseases

Root rot is the primary disease you should concern yourself with for your Sansevieria Cylindrica.

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 can infect your Cylindrica, such as mildew and leaf spot. We explore these diseases and (more importantly) treatments HERE.

Regarding 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 foliage and access the nutrient-rich sap.

The best way to detect any signs of pests (or disease, for that matter) is to regularly inspect your Sansevieria Cylindrica and manually remove any pests you see. The key is not letting their population get out of hand, becoming an infestation.

You can read more about symptoms of pest infestation HERE.

Pot Size

We consider planter container selection for your Sansevieria Cylindrica more critical than other indoor houseplants.

Sansevieria Cylindrica, like other snake plants, requires a tight root system to support the fleshy, long 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 moist soil rots your Sansevieria Cylindrica’s root system.

Sansevieria Cylindrica Propagation Techniques

For Cylindrica, we like to use the water propagation technique.

This is because the main attraction of this unique plant is its uniquely shaped leaves and growth patterns. Propagating cuttings with water will ensure rapid growth. Plus, you can propagate multiple cuttings at once.

To propagate by plant cutting, follow these steps:

  1. Identify and Cut Leaf – Choose a leaf that looks healthy and vibrant with no visible signs of pests or disease. Selecting the right leaf will give it the best opportunity for success. Cut the leaf towards the base with a sterilized pair of garden scissors (or a sharp knife). We like to use an upside-down V cut (or an arrowhead-shaped cut) for snake plants, as it will naturally prop the cutting up in your container, which will help to prevent rot from setting in. It also helps to prevent new roots from growing at unhelpful angles (usually with straight cuts).
  2. Air Dry Your Cutting – Allow your cutting to dry for 2-4 days in a safe place so that it doesn’t accidentally get knocked to the ground. Air drying your cutting allows the wound to form a callous, which helps to prevent any rot or disease from developing.
  3. Find a Container – find a tall and thin container to support your snake plant leaf cutting. We like to use glass containers like mason jars or small vases. The glass allows you to examine your cutting without disturbing it (such as lifting it out of the water to see if roots are growing).
  4. Begin the Rooting Process – The final step is to piece everything together. Place your cutting in the container and fill it with distilled water so the bottom third of the cutting is submerged. It is essential to ensure the calloused wound is beneath the water line to encourage root growth.

We strongly recommend using filtered or distilled water for the propagation process. Where you live, tap water may have chemicals that inhibit the propagation process.

Sansevieria Cylindrica – Common Questions

How much sunlight for a Sansevieria Cylindrica?

We recommend plenty of bright indirect light if you plan on growing your Sansevieria Cylindrica indoors. They can be exposed to small amounts of sunlight. However, we do not recommend midday sun. It produces intense heat and will reveal your plant to heat stress.

How big can Sansevieria Cylindrica grow indoors?

When grown indoors, Sansevieria Cylindrica can grow to 3-4 feet high. However, the unusual thing about Sansevieria Cylindrica is its width. Due to their unique growing patterns, they can reach wider than most snake plants. Sometimes they can reach up to 2 feet in diameter.