Sansevieria : Greenhouse Plants
C – cool, minimum of 7°C (45°F) / W – warm, minimum of 13°C (55°F) / T – tropical, minimum of 18°C (65°F)
These are mainly represented in cultivation by Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’ from West tropical Africa, known to most of us as the ubiquitous Mother in Law’s Tongue. Sometimes S. t. ‘Hahnii’ S. t. ‘Silver Hahnii’ and S. t. ‘Golden Hahnii’ are seen for sale which grow as short rosettes of leaves and are much more compact than the species. S. t. ‘Moonshine’ is slightly shorter than the species and a lovely smoky silver colour. However, one is unlikely to come across one of the many other species which can vary from being small and almost creeping with stems above ground to being up to 1.2 m (4 ft) tall with great wide strap-shaped leaves. These plants are incredibly easy to grow as long as they are not overwatered. They are not out of place in a collection ofalthough they can still do well in much hotter temperatures. I recently came across a pot of S. t. ‘Moonshine’ which had been pushed into a corner and had not been watered for eight or nine months. It was looking a little shrivelled but soon plumped up again when watered. Propagation can be by cutting sections of leaf but it has to be noted that S. t. ‘Laurentii’ will revert to the species and lose its attractive yellow marginal stripe if treated this way. Plants send up offsets from underground or surface stems and these can be cut away from the main plant and grown separately. I prefer to grow these plants in loam-based as it is more stable when dry.