Last updated on August 25th, 2022 at 11:39 pm
Sansevieria cleopatra, commonly known as snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, or Saint George’s sword, is an attractive, easy to grow, and rare snake plant varieties that have been around since ancient Egyptian times. For most of this time, it was an ordinary plant that could be purchased at any garden center or home improvement store.
Also known as cleopatra sansevieria, it is the most common species of sansevieria. The difference between mother-in-law’s tongue varieties lies in their size, shape, and color. In addition to the many variations on Sansevieria cleopatra, there are also many rare snake plant varieties that display unique colors or leaf variegation and can be quite beautiful.
Sansevieria cleopatra has gained significant popularity since it was first discovered by Europeans in the 1600s. Although it was originally named after an Egyptian queen, it quickly became popularized by English speakers as a snake plant due to its thick, sharp leaves and snake-like appearance.
Origin and distribution
Sansevieria is a genus of flowering plants that belong to the Asparagaceae family. It is native to tropical Africa but has become naturalized in many places, including parts of North America. Some species are also cultivated as ornamental plants. Sansevieria consists of about 70 species, which are mostly natives of Africa with a few from Arabia and Madagascar.
Common names include mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant. The name mother-in-law’s tongue comes from its long narrow leaves resembling a human tongue. The name snake plant comes from its characteristic spotted leaves. Most species have stiff upright leaf stalks.
A few have trailing stems; these are often called snake plants even though they aren’t true snakeskin plants (sansevieria trifasciata).
Sansevieria cleopatra is a succulent that can grow upright to about 4 feet tall. The leaves are generally gray in color with a diamond pattern along each side of them. Sansevieria thrives best in indirect sunlight and should be watered only when the soil is completely dry. Cuttings from mature plants can be taken and potted to create new plants, with roots developing after several weeks.
Sansevieria cleopatra propagation
Sansevieria cleopatra can be propagated easily by two methods, which are rhizomatous division and stem-rooting. Rhizomatous varieties produce new plants from their rhizomes, while stem-rooting varieties produce new plants from their leaves or petioles.
To propagate a rhizomatous variety, simply divide an offset from its parent plant and replant it in fresh potting soil. For propagation by leaf cuttings, remove a healthy leaf and place it on top of moistened potting soil. Roots will form along the leaf’s underside; once they reach approximately one inch long, they can be planted in pots with good drainage.
Rhizomatous sansevierias grow best when repotted every few years. If left to grow for too long, their root systems become too dense and do not allow enough oxygen to circulate through them.
Sansevieria cleopatra care information
Sansevieria cleopatra has lovely sharp leaves and fascinating history. They are easy to care for and can be placed in virtually any environment.
They are one of the most famous and commonly kept houseplants. They are known by a variety of names including mother-in-law’s tongue, devil’s tongue, viper’s bowstring hemp, and good luck plant. With their striking foliage and impressive lifespan (they can live as long as 30 years), they are easy to see why they are such a popular houseplant.
Sansevieria cleopatra is a low-maintenance member of the Asparagaceae family. This hardy and drought-tolerant houseplant prefer indirect sunlight and warm temperatures. The plant has been used for thousands of years in traditional Chinese medicine and has proven anti-inflammatory properties. It is believed to help reduce fever and to relieve diarrhea.
Sansevieria cleopatra thrives in very low light. The less direct sunlight they receive, the more compact and sturdy their leaves will become. If you have a Sansevieria that’s grown to be large or has a lot of leaves, remember to keep it away from windows and doors; it’ll thank you with increased vigor. A north-facing window is perfect for snake plants and most other houseplants.
The best soil to use for your Sansevieria cleopatra plant is a soilless mix that drains well, like perlite or vermiculite. The better draining your potting mix, the less likely you’ll overwater. If you have an older potting mix and it seems very clay-like, add more perlite to lighten it up.
You can also add some organic material, such as composted bark or peat moss, to loosen things up.
Mix in about 10% of each by volume into your existing potting mix. Don’t worry too much about getting it exactly right; as long as you are using a good quality potting mix that contains the ingredients listed above, you should be fine. Just don’t use straight sand, your plants will never be happy!
Water thoroughly when the soil is dry to your touch. During its growing season, water on a weekly basis with enough water to thoroughly wet soil. During its dormant season, allow the soil to dry between watering. Use warm water and avoid splashing it onto leaves to prevent rot; use a watering can or hose set on low pressure so that no more than an inch of water comes out at a time.
If you have tap water treated with fluoride, let it sit for 24 hours before using it on your snake plant. Fluoride has been known to cause leaf spotting and other damage in these plants.
Although Sansevieria cleopatra can survive on just water and sunlight, they may not thrive if you don’t give them fertilizer. Be careful not to over-fertilize because it is easy to do. If you are using a chemical-based fertilizer, mix at half of what is recommended on its package or follow these steps:
Use up to one-quarter teaspoon of fertilizer for every two inches of snake plant height per month, diluted in about two cups of water.
Sansevieria cleopatra is a tropical plant. Although, they will survive in a cooler environment, ideally you’ll want to keep your snake plant somewhere between 75 and 85 degrees F. If you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing during winter, consider moving your Sansevieria to a warmer room for those months.
Alternatively, you can bring it outside during summertime when temperatures rise above 100 degrees F. Just be sure to place it in a shaded spot that receives plenty of sunlight; direct sunlight can burn Sansevieria leaves.
The Sansevieria cleopatra is not a forgiving plant. It needs humidity in order to stay healthy and continue growing and should be given water whenever it feels dry. Check its pot every day and see if it’s dried out; if so, use your fingers to scratch away some of that thick, insulating soil and add a little more water. After doing so, let it sit for 20 minutes or so before putting it back on its shelf or table.
The ideal humidity range is between 40 and 60 percent. If your home’s relative humidity is below 40 percent, you can use a humidifier to boost it, or simply place your Sansevieria in a room with higher humidity levels.
Be sure to monitor its progress closely; if it appears to be struggling, try moving it back into a more humid area. If that doesn’t work, you may need to repot it in order to give it more room for its roots.
It’s important to remove older leaves as they are yellow or otherwise degraded. These dead and decaying leaves can harbor pests or diseases. Most varieties of Sansevieria can be pruned simply by cutting off long, brown leaves; however, some varieties are more difficult and require that you cut out larger sections at a time. Always do your research before you start pruning so that you know what type of Sansevieria you have and how best to trim it!
When to repot
Depending on where you live, your Sansevieria cleopatra may need repotting every six months to a year. If so, simply do it in spring or summer when both you and your snake plant are in good spirits. First, carefully remove any visible weeds and dead leaves from around its roots. This will give you a clearer picture of how much soil needs to be replaced.
Then add fresh potting soil around the outside of its root ball. Be sure not to cover up more than half of its base; if you can’t see most of its base, it’s time for a bigger pot. Finally, fill in any empty space with more soil until your new container is about an inch from full.
Water thoroughly after repotting and place back in bright light but out of direct sunlight for at least two weeks before returning it to normal conditions.
Like all snake plants, Sansevieria cleopatra is dormant when first removed from its container. This means it will look brown and a little bit dead. Don’t worry: Just keep it in a well-lit area away from direct sunlight until you see some fresh green shoots coming out of its center. It may take a week or two for your plant to make a comeback, so be patient! Water sparingly during dormancy—once every few weeks should do it.
Sansevieria cleopatra flower & fragrance
Sansevieria cleopatra flowers are light, small, and white in color. Most Sansevierias produce no fragrance at all, but some species have a pleasant aroma similar to that of cinnamon or mint.
They may bloom only once during their lifetime or they may repeat-bloom several times throughout a year if conditions are favorable. The main attraction of these plants is their foliage; they look good when flowering or without flowers and make excellent houseplants.
The Sansevieria cleopatra is classified as a slow-growing houseplant. As such, you should cut back on fertilizer use when you have one of these plants in your home. Feeding it too much will cause a growth rate that’s out of whack with its natural tendencies and lead to an early death.
Sansevieria cleopatra is mildly toxic to both human and pets.
USDA hardiness zones
Sansevieria cleopatra is known for its hardiness, particularly when it comes to cold temperatures. They can tolerate freezing temperatures and some of them even prefer it.
These plants grow in USDA zones 9-11 and will tolerate subzero temps. When brought inside during winter, they need plenty of sunlight and high humidity levels to stay healthy. Some varieties are sensitive to transplant shock, so it’s best not to move them at all after they’ve grown into their permanent home.
Pests and diseases
The snake plant is relatively disease- and pest-free, but it can be prone to mealybugs. Spider mites are also common in high humidity, though there are no pesticides approved for use on sansevierias. If you notice spider mites or mealybugs on your Sansevieria cleopatra, wash them off with a strong stream of water from a garden hose, you can also remove them manually by dabbing them with cotton dipped in rubbing alcohol.
The Sansevieria cleopatra is a great plant for those who are looking to add greenery to their home or office space. Some of these plants are available in a variety of different colors, making them truly unique. If you want your home or office to be one-of-kind, consider adding a snake plant to your collection! The Sansevieria is hardy and makes an excellent addition to any green thumb’s collection.