Beginners Care Guide for Sansevieria Hyacinthoides

Sansevieria Hyacinthoides is a beautiful specimen from the snake plant family that is perfect for indoor enthusiasts.

Sansevieria Hyacinthoides


Sansevieria Hyacinthoides:

  • easy-to-care-for medium-sized snake plant
  • drought-tolerant with low maintenance requirements
  • attractive variegated foliage that can be propagated via cuttings or division of rhizomes

Sansevieria Hyacinthoides Care Summary

WateringOnly water when soil is dry
LightingA position that receives plenty of bright indirect light
Temperature65-85° Fahrenheit (18-29° Celsius)
HumidityAny humidity, except for high humidity
FeedingAll-purpose houseplant fertilizer at the beginning of Spring
SoilLoamy well-draining soil

Getting to Know Sansevieria Hyacinthoides

This section will get up close and personal with the Sansevieria Hyacinthoides. This means we will familiarize ourselves with the type of environment they naturally grow. Explore the conditions they thrive in to replicate these conditions in our homes.


Scientific Name: Sansevieria Hyacinthoides

Common Name(s): African Bowstring Hemp, Snake plant, Mother-in-law’s tongue



The Sansevieria Hyacinthoides can be found growing in the foothills of Mount Guro in Mozambique.

Like other snake plants, they thrive in dry, arid rocky soil conditions due to their ability to store water in their leaves, stems, and underground roots called rhizomes.

In their natural habitats, they are generally exposed to direct sunlight. However, the varieties we find in our local nurseries are usually cultivated for indoor conditions and should only be exposed to natural indirect light. More on that later in our care guide.

Appearance and Flowers

The Sansevieria Hyacinthoides is the personification of the typical snake plant.

They sport the usual bottle green colors that vary from dusky grey-green to a bright apple green – depending on light exposure. They also have signature light green variegation patterns running horizontally across the leaf.

They are considered medium-sized snake plants growing to 2-4 feet (60-120 centimeters) in length.

They are known to bloom with delicate cream-light green flowers growing from a stalk that sprouts from the base of the plant. However, snake plants are not known to bloom profusely. Conditions need to be pristine before they even consider developing any blossoms.

You can read more about snake plant flowers HERE (with pictures).

Sansevieria Hyacinthoides Detailed Care Instructions

Now for the detailed care instructions. In this section, we’ll explore the care requirements of the Sansevieria Hyacinthoides more closely. We’ll also provide helpful links to more in-depth articles on the topics of snake plant care.

Sansevieria Hyacinthoides Quick Care Guide

Water Requirements

The good thing about Sansevieria Hyacinthoides is they have low watering requirements, which is part of why they are popular as indoor plants.

Sanseveria Hyacinthoides prefers its soil to dry between each watering.

The challenging part is knowing 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.

However, a more accurate way to tell when the soil is dry is to use a soil moisture meter from your nursery or online at Amazon.

We are confident as time progresses, you will begin to pick up your Hyacinthoides water absorption habits and instinctively know when it needs more water. You will notice subtle signs when your sansevieria tells you it needs something.

The watering frequency changes each season. For guidance on seasonal water frequency, check out our article HERE.

How Much Light Does a Sansevieria Hyacinthoides Need?

Indoor Sansevieria Hyacinthoides plants thrive in bright light for 6-8 hours a day.

As we explained earlier, indoor Sansevieria Hyacinthoides will thrive in spaces with plenty of indirect light. Direct sunlight can be tolerated by your indoor snake plant, 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.

In contrast, outdoor Sansevieria Hyacinthoides plants are more tolerant of direct sunlight. Similar to their natural environment in Mozambique, they become hardened to the weather elements and have higher tolerances for direct sunlight.

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

Temperature Requirements Sansevieria Hyacinthoides

As succulent plants from Africa, your Sansevieria Hyacinthoides thrive in warm weather.

The recommended indoor temperature for Hyacinthoides is between 55-85° Fahrenheit (12-29° Celsius).

Where you want to be careful is at the extreme temperature zones. Water expands when frozen. Unfortunately, this means that the water reserves in the Hyacinthoides leaves can freeze, causing irreparable damage to the leaf cells. Note the rhizomes beneath the soil’s surface will be insulated and won’t be affected.

We recommend bringing all snake plants indoors for the winter. It will protect them from the harsh cold temperatures and ensure they don’t experience frost damage.

Humidity Requirements

Keep your Sansevieria Hyacinthoides in between 30 and 50% relative humidity.

Short-term fluctuations won’t bother your Sansevieria Hyacinthoides. However, check the relative humidity with a hygrometer if your Sansevieria is beginning to suffer.

Humidity can be challenging to control, and as such, it is easy for a beginner to overlook. 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, quickly dehydrates your plant, and causes water stress.

Too much moisture (high humidity) will prevent transpiration at the other extreme, and your Sansevieria Hyacinthoides 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 Hyacinthoides can profoundly affect your houseplant’s health.

Quality soil will reduce the frequency of your watering, facilitate the uptake of nutrients by your Sansevieria Hyacinthoides, and reduce its susceptibility to pests and disease.

To be effective, your snake plant soil should be similar to that of its natural environment:

  • well-drained soil,
  • 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 Hyacinthoides, 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 the foliage on your Hyacinthoides. 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.

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.

Pot Size

Like other snake plants, Sansevieria Hyacinthoides require 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 Hyacinthoides root system.

Sansevieria Hyacinthoides Propagation Techniques

To preserve the stunning variegated patterns and colors, we recommend only propagating your Hyacinthoides using the propagation method by plant division or by splitting snake plant pups.

You are propagating your Sansevieria Hyacinthoides from a leaf cutting, which 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 Hyacinthoides snake plant 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. 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.