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

August 16, 2015

Growing African Spear (Sansevieria Cylindrica) plants from cuttings

My African Spear Plants (Sansevieria Cylindrica) are doing great here. I planted them all from cuttings, given to me by a plant friend who is an expert on Sansevierias (which are related to those common "snake plants" you see all of the time. They're succulents, and you can actually see the pleating contract and expand, the same way that you see it on saguaros.

This morning I transplanted a cutting to a pot. I've transplanted cuttings all over the garden, and it's easy. You don't even need to get any roots.

As you can see from the picture above, these plants produce a lot of offshoots, or pups, like agaves. So to take a cutting, simply cut one of the pups at the base. Do a nice clean cut and set it aside for a day. You can use some rooting hormone if you have it, but it's not absolutely necessary. Then plant it in some potting soil.

Like a cactus, this plant stores water. You can actually see the pleats as the plant drinks the stored water. And when the roots have formed, the plant expands, and the pleats are less visible. If the pleats never expand, then the plant, for whatever reason, didn't like the transplant. Try again.

The plant will start as a single spear (which is where it gets its name) and then will produce offshoots from the middle, pushing the side spears sideways, creating an interesting effect. Be sure to keep the spears away from where people walk, as they are kind'a pointy.

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