This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

September 1, 2014

African Spear plant Sansevieria Cylindrica

I've been adding a lot more companion plants to my palms and cycads lately. Something that has worked well here, and looks good with cycads, is the Sansevieria Cylindrica (African Spear plant).

I just planted this one a few minutes ago, and it was an offshoot from a plant that belongs to a friend of mine here in town. Like agaves, sansevierias send out runners and *pups*, which you can detach from the main plant, doing no harm, and start a new plant.

As you can see, it's planted in dappled shade. The soil that I've amended there is light and sandy, and I also added some slow-release fertilizer, and some moisture crystals. This particular plant doesn't have it's own dedicated watering head, it will just get runoff from the cycad to its right. I will be sure to hand-water it until it gets established, then it should be OK on its own. In addition to runoff, this area gets a good amount of additional misting.

As Sansevieria Cylindricas grow, they fan out, so it's a good idea to take a close look at how you plant it. I want the fan to go width-wise, not sideways, so I hope I've done it right. Of course, if I'm wrong, I can just lift and replant it, but I hope not.

Tall, skinny plants like this are easy to squeeze into a narrow space, and as they grow, they will help fill in these areas. I have one more Sansevieria Cylindrica to plant today, and that will be out in the front courtyard.

I now have many different types of sansevierias here in The Tropical Paradise. The most common type is known as a snake plant, which was called a Mother-in-Law's tongue when I was a kid. I guess they don't say that kind of stuff anymore! Anyway, I'm learning to say *sansevieria*.
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