Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’

Family: Asparagaceae

Countries: Africa, Angola, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ is a rhizomatous plant from Tropical Africa that has specialised underground storage organs to store water and energy; these reserves enable this species to survive the dry seasons in Sansevieria cylindrica‘s homelands of Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.  NB: The correct botanical name for this particular species is Dracaena angolensis, but plants are usually sold as Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’.  This plant’s common name is the cylindrical mother-in-law’s tongue.

Grow Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ in a position that enjoys bright, filtered and diffused light.  Avoid placing Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ in areas that receive harsh or intense, direct lighting.  Afternoon sunlight is usually stronger than morning sunshine, so avoid placing Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ in a position that is brightest in the afternoon.  Having said this, I must say that I find that Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ is an adaptable plant that will thrive in bright filtered light and will also grow happily in a more shaded position, indoors.

Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ plants are named after their erect, cylindrical, evergreen leaves that are dead straight and stand upright like the proudest soldier standing to attention.  When grown in shaded conditions, the Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ leaves can lean towards the window, aiming themselves at the sunlight; if this is something that concerns you, and you’re anxious to maintain your plant’s dead straight appearance, simply turn and rotate your plant’s container regularly.

Water Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ by directing the water around the outer circumference of your plant’s pot.  Avoid watering the centre of the pot if you can; this is advisable at all times but is especially important from mid summer onwards – over autumn and winter through until early springtime.  These plants don’t want to be watered too often and they do not want to sit in water or waterlogged compost.  Never sit Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ plants in a saucer of water; this plant must always be watered from above, not below.  Use your fingers to touch the compost and check that the plant’s compost has totally dried out before you consider watering this plant again.  Plants need more water from mid spring until mid to late summer time, but during the autumn and winter months these plants require far fewer waterings and many only need to be watered once every couple of months or less.

Always plant Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ in containers with holes at their base that will allow water to run through, over the plant’s roots and escape out of the bottom of the container.  These plants never want to sit in water, as this is likely to cause rotting and will end your Sansevieria plant’s life within a very short time frame!  Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ plants don’t need to be re-potted very often.  This houseplant is a great purchase for anyone who doesn’t have time to re-pot their houseplants, as plants can live happily in the same container of peat-free compost for many years.  If your plant is breaking out of its container and absolutely needs to be re-potted, in springtime repot Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ plants into pots filled with a peat-free, free-draining compost blend.  Avoid re-potting Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ plants in autumn or wintertime, as it is best for the plant not to disturb their roots at this time of year.

A succulent and evergreen perennial, Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ plants thrive in free-draining sandy compost.  If you are re-potting your Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ plant, before you remove your plant from its pot, double check that the compost you’re using is peat-free – this plant doesn’t want to grow in a peat-based compost.  Choose a pot one or two sizes larger than your existing pot.  Don’t make the mistake of potting Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ into too large a pot, as these plants won’t be happy.

Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’  is a superb low-maintenance houseplant.  This plant is the perfect choice for anyone who doesn’t remember to water their houseplants very often; or anyone who doesn’t want the hassle of re-potting their houseplants; as these plants can remain in the same container of peat-free compost for many years.

I find that Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ plants thrive in temperatures from 17C to 25C (64F to 77F).  Please don’t expose Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ plants to temperatures that drop below an absolute minimum winter night time temperature of 13C (55F).  Sansevieria cylindrica ‘Straight’ plants thrive in warm rooms, away from cold draughts from exterior doors.

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