Sansevieria Francisii: Complete Care Guide
If you are looking for a snake plant with style, look no further than the sansevieria francisii. This magnificent specimen from the Sansevieria family looks like a threatening piece of weaponry rather than your typical snake plants, like the more common Trifasciata or Cleopatra.
Sansevieria Francisii is one of the more decorative snake plants in the family. It has a unique growing pattern that quickly becomes a feature of any space it occupies. It is an easy-to-maintain houseplant that happily grows indoors or out. And is perfect for those indoor plant enthusiasts that are time-poor with busy schedules. Sansevieria Francisii love to be neglected as long as you have set them up in the right light conditions with the perfect soil – more on that later.
Here’s a quick reference guide for those who want a summary of care instructions.
Sansevieria Francisii Care Guide
|Watering||Only water when soil is dry|
|Lighting||A position that receives plenty of bright indirect light|
|Temperature||65-90° Fahrenheit (18-32° Celsius)|
|Humidity||Relative humidity levels at 30-50%|
|Feeding||All-purpose houseplant fertilizer|
|Soil||Well draining soil|
Images of Sansevieria Francisii
Sansevieria Francisii: The Facts
In this section, we will get up close and personal with the Sansevieria Francisii. By understanding where these unique plants originate, we can appreciate the conditions we need to replicate to get them to thrive in our homes.
If you came across these plants in your local nursery, they would usually call them by their common name Sansevieria Francisii. However, its botanical name is Dracaena Francisii.
Other generic names that you may hear people referring to the Sansevieria Francisii are:
- snake plant
- mother-in-law’s tongue,
- African Spear, or even
- Magic Sword.
Sansevieria francisii naturally grows in the tropical climate of Kenya, Africa.
The climate ranges from arid to semiarid conditions. Being on the equator, it can reach high temperatures with unpredictable periods of rain.
As a succulent, the sansevieria francisii thrives in areas with haphazard rainfall, as it creates water stores in its leaves to survive prolonged periods of dryness. It is also the reason why we mentioned that the sansevieria francisii is perfect for busy snake plant owners. They can tolerate stints of neglect, so missing a watering here and there will not detrimentally impact this tough houseplant.
The main reason we love the sansevieria francisii is its appearance.
If you saw the sansevieria francisii from afar, you would not guess it belongs to the snake plant family.
As a small immature plant, it looks like a small rosette of spikes shooting up from the planter or ground—a big contrast to the large sword-shaped leaves we are used to of other snake plants.
As it matures, small spikes continue to grow at the top, eventually building a column of rosette spikes. It almost looks like the tail of a mythical creature- can you tell we are fans of House of Dragons?
The sansevieria francisii foliage can range from dark emerald green to a dusky grey-green color, depending on the available light.
The leaves are much shorter than the traditional sansevieria, approximately 4-6 inches (10-15 centimeters) in length. But what it lacks in leaf length, it makes up for in its unique growing pattern.
Sansevieria Francisii Flower
Although rare to witness, sansevieria francisii do occasionally bloom. 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 can grow as high as 3 ¼ feet tall (around 100 centimeters).
If you are curious about these rare flowers, check out some pictures HERE.
How to Care for Sansevieria Francisii
Let’s now turn our attention to the sansevieria francisii requirements for care and its maintenance regimen.
Watering Sansevieria Francisii
As we have indicated throughout this care guide, sansevieria francisii has relatively low water requirements compared to other houseplants.
The best rule of thumb for watering sansevieria francisii is to allow the soil to dry BEFORE you top up with water.
Add water when the soil is completely dry.
How can you tell when your sansevieria francisii’s soil is dry?
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.
We like to bottom water our snake plants. You can read about the process HERE if you are unfamiliar with the bottom watering technique.
If you intend to keep your sansevieria francisii indoors, the optimal lighting conditions for your houseplant are in a position where it receives plenty of indirect light.
Bright positions with an abundance of indirect sunlight.
Your sansevieria francisii can tolerate brief periods of direct sunlight. However, it should ideally be early morning or late evening direct light. Midday or afternoon sunlight is more intense and can quickly dehydrate your beautiful snake plant, causing stress.
Many resources report you can successfully grow sansevieria francisii in shaded positions. However, this is only partly true. Yes – sansevieria francisii will survive in the shade. However, they will experience stunted growth and risk gradually becoming weaker, leaving them susceptible to disease and pests.
Read more HERE for tips on lighting conditions for snake plants.
To keep your sansevieria francisii happy, maintain the temperature between 65-90° Fahrenheit (18-32° Celsius).
As a succulent plant, sansevieria francisii can cope with warm temperatures, up to 100° Fahrenheit (37° Celsius). They have water reserves in their leaves that they can draw upon when necessary.
However, these very water reserves can cause a lot of damage when the temperatures drop to close to freezing temperatures. When ambient temperatures approach freezing, the water expands in the sansevieria francisii leaves. This results in irreparable damage to the leaf cells and harms the snake plant.
Like other snake plants, the sansevieria francisii will happily live in between 30 and 50% humidity.
It is easy to think, that because sansevieria francisii naturally thrive in Kenya, they would prefer conditions with low humidity. However, humidity impacts many internal processes in your francisii, 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.
Sansevieria Francisii Soil
If there was one thing we highly recommend you do for your sansevieria francisii, it is to choose the right soil. It can significantly impact your journey as a snake plant parent. And it affects your watering regime, the uptake of nutrients, and susceptibility to pests and disease.
To be effective, your Sansevieria’s soil must be:
- 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.
Fertilizing Sansevieria Francisii
To feed a sansevieria francisii, you only need a good all-purpose pot plant fertilizer. 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 francisii, check out this ARTICLE.
Pests and Diseases
The most problematic disease that most snake plant owners experience is root rot.
It is a fungal disease that develops in water-logged soil from overwatering. We recommend fine-tuning your watering practices to avoid any root rot from developing in your sansevieria francisii. The process of eliminating root rot is not complicated. However, it is cumbersome. You can read about the process HERE.
A few other fungal diseases can infect your sansevieria, which you can find out more about 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 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.
Other Care Instructions
Besides the core set of care instructions, there are a few other considerations you will want to familiarize yourself with specifically for the sansevieria francisii.
Sansevieria francisii likes to have a tight root system for leaf support. Without a solid root system, the leaves would fall over.
We generally look for pots approximately one-third bigger than the width of the root ball with plenty of drainage holes to allow any excess water to exit. We also like to use pots made from porous materials, like terracotta. The porous properties increase airflow and help maintain an optimal moisture level in the soil.
Find out more about the best pot with drainage holes for snake plants.
You wouldn’t think pruning would be much of an issue for the sansevieria francisii. Given snake plants are evergreen and do not shed. However, pruning is essential to your annual maintenance for all your plants, snake plants included.
Regularly remove any damaged, diseased or dying leaves from your francisii to maintain a healthy houseplant. Removing decaying debris will also prevent any mold or diseases from developing.
Learn how to trim snake plant leaves HERE.
Sansevieria Francisii Propagation Methods
There are many ways to propagate your sansevieria francisii.
To be precise, we have successfully propagated our snake plants using three easy-to-follow methods; water propagation with cuttings, soil propagation with cuttings, and propagation by division (we have step-by-step instructions for each technique HERE).
For the francisii, we like to use the water propagation technique. This is because the main attraction of this unique plant is its growth patterns. New plants grown using water propagation will retain this characteristic and quickly grow new amazing plants.
However, if you were propagating a snake plant with unique variegated colorations, like the Sansevieria Black Gold, we recommend using propagation by division. This will ensure the unique color patterns carry across to the next plant.
Here is an excerpt from our other snake plant propagation article detailing the steps involved in propagating with cuttings in water.
- 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 the new roots from growing at unhelpful angles (usually with straight cuts).
- 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.
- 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).
- 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. Depending on where you live, tap water may have chemicals that inhibit the propagation process.
Sansevieria Francisii – Frequently Asked Questions
Is Sansevieria Francisii Toxic to Pets and Humans?
Unfortunately, NO – Sansevieria francisii (like all other snake plants) contains saponins, toxic chemicals that protect plants from pests, diseases, and pathogens. Extreme toxic poisoning is uncommon; however, it is not a pleasant experience for all parties involved; cats, dogs, children, plants, or you.
Should Sansevieria Francisii Be Grown Indoors & Outdoors?
Depending on where you live, most francisii plants in your nurseries will have been hardened for indoor life. However, if your climate suits, a sansevieria francisii can quickly grow outdoors in your garden – after all, that is where they naturally grow. If your area is subject to frost and freezing temperatures, we do not recommend growing your Sansevieria outdoors in the ground. They will not survive the winter months.