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How to Care for Sansevieria Fernwood

The Sansevieria Fernwood Mikado, or more commonly referred to as “Snake Plant” or “Mother-in-law’s Tongue” is an evergreen succulent from the very popular family of Sansevieria. The Sansevieria Fernwood is a hybrid of Sansevieria Parva and Sansevieria Suffructicosa.

The Sansevieria Fernwood is indigenous to Africa and is set apart from other species of Sansevieria by its sword-like leaves that can reach about 2 feet long. The leaves are lender and tubular with tiger-striped patterns in colors ranging from light to dark green, yellow, and white. The leaves form a plant body with no stem and grow vertically to points. 

Sansevieria Fernwood is slow-growing, taking months or years to reach its mature height. It grows most during the spring and summer and can reach up to 6 feet or higher in the right conditions. It will grow more quickly in ideal situations. 

Sansevieria Fernwood vs Sansevieria Cylindrica vs Bacularis

As a member of the popular Sansevieria plant family, the Sansevieria can be often confused with other species, notably Sansevieria Cylindrica and Dracaena Bacularis.

The Sansevieria Cylindrica, also called “Starfish” is set apart from other Sansevieria in its tube-like leaves, which grow to a point in a fan shape. The leaves are thick and very sturdy, maintaining the tell-tale stripes and coloration of other Sansevieria.

The Dracaena Bacularis, previously labeled as a part of the Sansevieria family, is another evergreen stemless succulent. It is recognized by its call cylindrical smooth leaves, which are grey and green striped. Their leaves stem from purple leaf sheaths, which help to tell them apart from other species. 

Air Purification Qualities

The family of Sansevieria plants is known for their air-purifying qualities. The Sansevieria Fernwood can filter toxins, convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, and decrease airborne allergies. It is even known to absorb harmful air pollutants, such as benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene! Due to its leaves’ surface area, Sansevieria Fernwood is better at air purification than some other household plants. These qualities are what make Sansevieria Fernwood and other Sansevieria plants popular and sought-after in peoples’ homes.

How To Care For Sansevieria Fernwood

The Sansevieria Fernwood are known to be very sturdy and hearty plants, which can live and thrive in many different conditions. Even though they can withstand most circumstances, still follow correct care so that your Sansevieria Fernwood can live a long and healthy life. 

Indoor vs Outdoor

Sansevieria is able to live both inside as a houseplant as well as outside. It can thrive in planters, in the ground, in flower pots, etc. The main difference in a Sansevieria being planted inside or outside is that the size of your Sansevieria Fernwood over time will depend on its environment. The larger the space it is planted in, the larger your Sansevieria Fernwood will grow. Otherwise, the care will be the same as you will find below.

Watering

Sansevieria Fernwood is very tolerant to dry conditions with minimal water. It is even considered drought-resistant. You need only water your Sansevieria Fernwood once a week, and only if it needs the water. To check if it needs water, you should see if the soil is dry. It is best to err on the side of caution and wait before watering. 

Sansevieria Fernwood would rather go without being watered than watered too frequently. When watering, be sure to water the soil and not the leaves. Consider also the drainage ability of your soil, when deciding the amount of water to use. The worst thing you can do to your Sansevieria Fernwood is to over-water it and cause root rot. This is the most common way that people kill their Sansevieria Fernwood.

Light

As Sansevieria Fernwood is very adaptive in terms of its light requirements; it can survive in most lighting situations. Ideally, you will want to place your snake plant in bright indirect sunlight. Sansevieria Fernwood can even grow and thrive in artificial light, making it a great addition to homes with poor natural lighting and offices! It can adjust to direct sunlight, but it is not recommended to have your Sansevieria Fernwood exposed to direct sunlight. If in direct sunlight it might scar from sunburn and its leaves may turn yellow and crispy.

Temperature/Humidity

Sansevieria Fernwood is not picky when it comes to temperature and humidity. The ideal temperature would be around 70-90 degrees F. There is also no need for any extra humidity, the average humidity of a household is good enough for the Sansevieria Fernwood. Too much humidity can lead to root rot and fungus, so keep that in mind for more humid climates and conditions.

Soil

Since Sansevieria Fernwood is very sensitive to over-watering, use loose well-draining soil, a cactus mix is a good option. If your Sansevieria Fernwood is planted in less suitable soil, keep that in mind when determining how much water to use when watering or how frequently you water the Sansevieria Fernwood. If over-watering becomes a consistent issue, you may consider repotting in a soil that is better draining. 

There is also no need to fertilize your Sansevieria Fernwood as it is such a hearty plant. If you do choose to fertilize it, use a general-purpose fertilizer and only fertilize during the warmer months. Too much fertilizing can cause the Sansevieria Fernwood to have droopy leaves.

Repotting

If you choose to re-pot your Sansevieria Fernwood, select a heavier pot as the plant because it is very top-heavy. Ensure the pot has good drainage holes and that you check the saucer frequently to remove any standing water. Sansevieria Fernwood can survive in most conditions, so nearly any type of container will do well for it. Avoid cramping the Sansevieria Fernwood; make sure to have a large enough container for the plant’s current size, paying attention to both height and width. Even if it may not seem cramped above the soil, you do not want to cramp the roots below. 

Propagation

The Sansevieria Fernwood is very easy to propagate through rooting in water, leaf-cutting, and division of bulbs and rhizomes. 

The fastest way to propagate is through dividing bulbs and rhizomes. Remove the Sansevieria Fernwood from the soil and carefully divide the plant. Replant the individual rhizomes into separate containers or locations.

To propagate through leaf-cuttings, take a mature leaf and cut it into two. Place the two halves in either sphagnum moss or moist soil. Cover the bottom quarter of the leaf with soil/moss and place it in a bright place with indirect sunlight. 

If you are using the rooting in water method, cut off a leaf and dip the cut end to a quarter of the leaf under the water. Be sure to replace the water weekly. 

The easiest but longest method is to pot the pups that have started to grow around the parent plant. Remove the pups from the main Sansevieria Fernwood and remove them from the soil. Place the pup into moist soil and place it in a bright place with indirect sunlight. 

Pruning

If your Sansevieria Fernwood has drooping leaves, you should prune them rather than attempt to prop them up with a steak. These leaves are likely bent and damaged. Old and dead leaves can also be pruned, cutting around half an inch past the dead portion of the leaf. 

Do not cut or prune leaves that have browning tips. If you trim the tips, it will cause scarring on your plant. 

Blooming

The Sansevieria Fernwood will bloom during the summer once and will consist of white flowers sprouting from a spike. 

Toxicity

The Sansevieria Fernwood is mildly toxic when ingested so be sure to keep it away from children and pets. Ingesting may lead to vomiting and nausea. 

Common Issues With Sansevieria Fernwood

As the Sansevieria Fernwood is a very resilient plant it is also fairly pest and disease-adverse. The most common issue owners have is over-watering. Using a damp cloth, periodically wipe the leaves to remove dust, thereby avoiding pests, such as spider mites and mealybugs. 

Over-watering

Be careful when watering your Sansevieria Fernwood and err on the side of caution and water less frequently. You can see signs of over-watering if your Sansevieria Fernwood’s leaves are soft, yellowing, shriveling, and gaining splotches of yellow-green coloring. It is a slow process in appearing, but it should be addressed once you notice it. 

Brown Tips On A Sansevieria Fernwood

If you find your Sansevieria Fernwood’s tips are turning brown, this is an indication of over-watering or inconsistent watering. Do not cut the tips as this will scar your Sansevieria Fernwood. Adjust your watering to be more consistent and be cognizant of the amount of water your Sansevieria Fernwood needs based on its soil. 

Taking care of your Sansevieria Fernwood can seem like a pretty easy job, which it can be! Just be sure to keep an eye out for over-watering to ensure it has a healthy life. This houseplant is an awesome addition to your household for its unique appearance, hands-off care, and air purification qualities.

If you are interested, we also have an article on other snake plants, Sansevieria Black Gold and Sansevieria Coppertone.

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