Sansevieria Parva Beginners Care Guide (+ Propagation Techniques)
The Sansevieria Parva belongs to the dwarf snake plant classification, with smaller than average foliage growing in small rosette clusters close to the ground. A beautiful specimen that is ideal as a houseplant.
- small snake plant, perfect as ground cover in your succulent garden or as a feature indoor plant
- drought-hardy, making it ideal for busy individuals or beginners getting their feet wet with indoor plants
- easy to propagate via the division of rhizomes or leaf cuttings
Sansevieria Parva Quick Care Summary
|Watering||Allow soil to dry between watering|
|Lighting||Position in a space that receives plenty of bright indirect light|
|Temperature||70-90° Fahrenheit (21-32° 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 Parva (the Kenya Hyacinth)
Scientific Name: Dracaena Parva (recently reclassified from the Sansevieria genus)
Common Name(s): Kenya Hyacinth
The Sansevieria Parva can be found growing in the wild tropical parts of Africa, like Kenya, Rwanda, and Uganda.
They grow in the sandy substrate along the sides of the road as ground cover.
The rainfall is sporadic and unpredictable, meaning the Sansevieria Parva must endure long dry periods. To survive the drought periods, they store water in their thick fleshy foliage. As well as underground stem structures called rhizomes.
Appearance & Flowers
Sansevieria Parva is a dwarf variety of snake plants, with foliage reaching up to 1-1.5 feet (30-61 cm) in length.
They grow in rosette patterns along the ground, making them perfect as ground cover in succulent gardens or pathways.
Like other snake plants, the Parva can produce snake plant flowers. However, they do not bloom annually. Generally speaking, conditions must be ideal before a snake plant considers blooming. And even then, it may decide to put it off for another year.
If you do happen to own a snake plant in bloom, make sure you take plenty of pictures and send them to us!
The flowers look like fireworks in suspended animation and develop on stalks that grow approximately 1-2 feet high from the base of the snake plant. The dainty flowers can range from cream to off-white, sometimes with a pinkish hue.
Sansevieria Parva 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 Parva 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 Parva, 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 Parva love an abundance of plenty of bright light.
Position your indoor Sansevieria Parva 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 Parva 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 Parva
As succulents from tropical Eastern Africa, your Sansevieria Parva thrive in warm weather.
The recommended indoor temperature for Parva 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 Parva leaves can freeze, causing irreparable damage to the leaf cells.
We recommend bringing your Parva (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 Parva in between 30 and 50% relative humidity.
Short-term fluctuations won’t bother your Parva. 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 Parva 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 Parva can profoundly affect your houseplant’s health.
Quality soil will reduce the frequency of your watering, facilitate the uptake of nutrients by your Parva, 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 you should familiarise yourself with for your Sansevieria Parva, 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 Parva. 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 Parva 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 Parva’s root system.
Sansevieria Parva Propagation Techniques
To preserve the stunning variegated patterns and colors, we recommend only propagating your Parva using the propagation method by plant division or by splitting snake plant pups.
Propagating your Sansevieria Parva 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 Parva 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.