• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Copyright
 Introduction
 Cultivars of sansevieria produced...
 Sansevieria production by...
 Sansevieria production from...
 Potted sansevieria production
 Propagation by seeds
 The production environment
 Back Cover






Group Title: Florida Cooperative Extension Service circular 491
Title: A guide to sansevieria production
CITATION PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE PAGE TEXT
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00049260/00001
 Material Information
Title: A guide to sansevieria production
Series Title: Circular Florida Cooperative Extension Service
Alternate Title: Sansevieria production
Physical Description: 7 p. : ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Henley, Richard W
Publisher: Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Publication Date: 1981?
 Subjects
Subject: Agavaceae   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: R.W. Henley.
Funding: Florida Historical Agriculture and Rural Life
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00049260
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: Marston Science Library, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Holding Location: Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and the Engineering and Industrial Experiment Station; Institute for Food and Agricultural Services (IFAS), University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida
Resource Identifier: oclc - 08896421

Table of Contents
    Copyright
        Copyright
    Introduction
        Page 1
    Cultivars of sansevieria produced in Florida
        Page 1
    Sansevieria production by division
        Page 2
        Plantings in open fields
            Page 2
        Plantings under structures
            Page 3
    Sansevieria production from cuttings
        Page 3
    Potted sansevieria production
        Page 3
    Propagation by seeds
        Page 4
    The production environment
        Page 4
        Physical factors
            Page 4
        Chemical factors
            Page 4
            Page 5
        Biological problems
            Page 6
            Page 7
    Back Cover
        Page 8
Full Text





HISTORIC NOTE


The publications in this collection do
not reflect current scientific knowledge
or recommendations. These texts
represent the historic publishing
record of the Institute for Food and
Agricultural Sciences and should be
used only to trace the historic work of
the Institute and its staff. Current IFAS
research may be found on the
Electronic Data Information Source
(EDIS)

site maintained by the Florida
Cooperative Extension Service.






Copyright 2005, Board of Trustees, University
of Florida















Ornamental
Horticulture
Commercial
Pulhliratinn


Circular 491



A GUIDE TO

SANSEVIERIA PRODUCTION

R. W. Henley1'2


01 If 1' I
Florida CooperativeExtnsn Service / Institute of Food

S--.AS. Univ.
Introduction


of Florida


The genus Sansevieria, a member of the agave fam-
ily (Agavaceae) contains approximately 60 species
indigenous to Africa, Arabia, and India. Several spe-
cies and their cultivars are grown commercially for use
as interior foliage plants. Indoors they may be used in
floor level planters, small specimens, dish gardens and
other combination planters, and occasionally in hang-
ing planters. Sansevieria use depends upon growth
habit, texture, and color of the plant.
Sansevieria trifasciata and its cultivars have been
important foliage plants in Florida since the late
1920's. Over one-half of the sansevieria produced in
Florida during the 1930's were shipped to Europe.
Today bare-rooted plants are imported from the
Caribbean Islands and Central America because of
their low production costs. In 1956 sansevieria consti-
tuted 16 percent of the total foliage plant mix pro-
duced in Florida, but by 1975 they accounted for only
3 percent.
The 3 categories of sansevieria produced by Florida
growers are bare-root divisions from established bed-
grown plants, bare-root plantlets removed from roo-
ted leaf cuttings, and finished container-grown plants.
Cultivars of Sansevieria Produced in Florida
Most commercially important cultivars were se-
lected from Sansevieria trifasciata. A few out-of-state
specialists list 20 or more sansevieria species and cul-
tivars in their catalogs.
Sansevieria cylindria, the spear sansevieria, has a
thick rhizome supporting rosettes of 3 to 4 leaves,
each 2.5 to 4.5 feet (0.8 to 1.3 meters) long by 0.7 to 1.2
inches (1.8 to 3 centimeters) wide. The medium green
leaves with dark green cross-banding are nearly cylin-
drical and slightly thicker from front to back than from
side to side. Small plants propagated from leaf cuttings


have some reflexing leaves in each rosette. Rosettes
from established clumps produce predominantly
straight, erect leaves.
Sansevieria parva, sometimes called Kenya hya-
cinth, is a relatively fine-textured species with narrow,
reflexing leaves about 8to 16 inches (20 to 41 centime-
ters) long and 0.5 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 centimeters)
wide. Rosettes are composed of 6 to 12 medium green
leaves with dark green cross-bands.
Sansevieria trifasciata, also called snake plant,
mother-in-law's tongue, or common sansevieria, has
up to 6 leaves per rosette. Mature leaves are dark
green with light gray-green cross-banding, and usu-
ally range between 2.5 and 3 feet (0.8 to 0.9 meters) in
length and 2 to 2.8 inches (5 to 7.1 centimeters) in
width. Leaves which develop under bright light out of
doors or in bright greenhouses have prominent light
cross-bands, while those which develop under 2000
footcandles (21,520 lux) or less, or are held under low
light intensities, have nearly solid dark green leaves.
Most plants sold as Sansevieria zeylanica are S. trifasci-
ata. True Sansevieria zeylanica has little appeal as an
ornamental.
Sansevieria trifasciata, 'Bantel's Sensation' or white
sansevieria, is marked with an alternating and variable
pattern of longitudinal white and dark green stripes.
Leaves are stiffly erect and both narrower and slightly
shorter than those of the species. Some leaves with
wide green sectors may have transverse-banding of
lighter green similar to that of the species.
'Bantel's Sensation' is a sport of S. trifasciata 'Lauren-
tii' which was discovered by Gustav Bantel of St. Louis,
Missouri and patented (Plant Patent 796) in 1948. Its
slow growth rate has limited its production to a few
growers specializing in unusual plants.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Futura', is similar to S. trifas-
ciata 'Laurentii' but has shorter, broader leaves, more


1Associate Professor, Foliage Extension Specialist, Ornamental Horticulture Department, University of Florida stationed at Agricultural
Research Center, Apopka, Florida.
2Special thanks to Dr. Ann Chase, Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology and Dr. Ronald A. Hamlen, Associate Professor of Entomology,
Agricultural Research Center, Apopka for their suggestions on the discussions of pests of sansevieria.


/ I


I J *















Ornamental
Horticulture
Commercial
Pulhliratinn


Circular 491



A GUIDE TO

SANSEVIERIA PRODUCTION

R. W. Henley1'2


01 If 1' I
Florida CooperativeExtnsn Service / Institute of Food

S--.AS. Univ.
Introduction


of Florida


The genus Sansevieria, a member of the agave fam-
ily (Agavaceae) contains approximately 60 species
indigenous to Africa, Arabia, and India. Several spe-
cies and their cultivars are grown commercially for use
as interior foliage plants. Indoors they may be used in
floor level planters, small specimens, dish gardens and
other combination planters, and occasionally in hang-
ing planters. Sansevieria use depends upon growth
habit, texture, and color of the plant.
Sansevieria trifasciata and its cultivars have been
important foliage plants in Florida since the late
1920's. Over one-half of the sansevieria produced in
Florida during the 1930's were shipped to Europe.
Today bare-rooted plants are imported from the
Caribbean Islands and Central America because of
their low production costs. In 1956 sansevieria consti-
tuted 16 percent of the total foliage plant mix pro-
duced in Florida, but by 1975 they accounted for only
3 percent.
The 3 categories of sansevieria produced by Florida
growers are bare-root divisions from established bed-
grown plants, bare-root plantlets removed from roo-
ted leaf cuttings, and finished container-grown plants.
Cultivars of Sansevieria Produced in Florida
Most commercially important cultivars were se-
lected from Sansevieria trifasciata. A few out-of-state
specialists list 20 or more sansevieria species and cul-
tivars in their catalogs.
Sansevieria cylindria, the spear sansevieria, has a
thick rhizome supporting rosettes of 3 to 4 leaves,
each 2.5 to 4.5 feet (0.8 to 1.3 meters) long by 0.7 to 1.2
inches (1.8 to 3 centimeters) wide. The medium green
leaves with dark green cross-banding are nearly cylin-
drical and slightly thicker from front to back than from
side to side. Small plants propagated from leaf cuttings


have some reflexing leaves in each rosette. Rosettes
from established clumps produce predominantly
straight, erect leaves.
Sansevieria parva, sometimes called Kenya hya-
cinth, is a relatively fine-textured species with narrow,
reflexing leaves about 8to 16 inches (20 to 41 centime-
ters) long and 0.5 to 1 inch (1.3 to 2.5 centimeters)
wide. Rosettes are composed of 6 to 12 medium green
leaves with dark green cross-bands.
Sansevieria trifasciata, also called snake plant,
mother-in-law's tongue, or common sansevieria, has
up to 6 leaves per rosette. Mature leaves are dark
green with light gray-green cross-banding, and usu-
ally range between 2.5 and 3 feet (0.8 to 0.9 meters) in
length and 2 to 2.8 inches (5 to 7.1 centimeters) in
width. Leaves which develop under bright light out of
doors or in bright greenhouses have prominent light
cross-bands, while those which develop under 2000
footcandles (21,520 lux) or less, or are held under low
light intensities, have nearly solid dark green leaves.
Most plants sold as Sansevieria zeylanica are S. trifasci-
ata. True Sansevieria zeylanica has little appeal as an
ornamental.
Sansevieria trifasciata, 'Bantel's Sensation' or white
sansevieria, is marked with an alternating and variable
pattern of longitudinal white and dark green stripes.
Leaves are stiffly erect and both narrower and slightly
shorter than those of the species. Some leaves with
wide green sectors may have transverse-banding of
lighter green similar to that of the species.
'Bantel's Sensation' is a sport of S. trifasciata 'Lauren-
tii' which was discovered by Gustav Bantel of St. Louis,
Missouri and patented (Plant Patent 796) in 1948. Its
slow growth rate has limited its production to a few
growers specializing in unusual plants.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Futura', is similar to S. trifas-
ciata 'Laurentii' but has shorter, broader leaves, more


1Associate Professor, Foliage Extension Specialist, Ornamental Horticulture Department, University of Florida stationed at Agricultural
Research Center, Apopka, Florida.
2Special thanks to Dr. Ann Chase, Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology and Dr. Ronald A. Hamlen, Associate Professor of Entomology,
Agricultural Research Center, Apopka for their suggestions on the discussions of pests of sansevieria.


/ I


I J *









leaves per rosette and, typically, a narrower yellow
margin, approximately 0.13 inch (3.3 millimeters)
wide. The growth habit of 'Futura' closely resembles
'Moonshine'. 'Futura' is a relatively new cultivar
which is well received by consumers. When 'Futura' is
propagated from leaf cuttings, practically all plantlets
formed are green with silvery green cross-bands, but
lack the yellow marginal stripe. However, they do
retain the broad-leafed, robust growth habit typical of
'Futura', and in this guide are called 'Robusta'.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Golden Hahnii', golden bird-
nest sansevieria, has attractive green leaves with a
combination of marginal and internal yellow stripes of
variable width which are parallel with the veins. Dis-
covered by Sylvan Hahn,'Golden Hahnii' was issued a
patent (Plant Patent 1224) in 19533. Producers have not
attempted to grow 'Golden Hahnii' extensively be-
cause the pattern of variegation is rather unstable and
growth rate is slow.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Hahnii', birdnest sansevieria,
has attractive short, dark green, reflexed leaves which
form a vase-shaped rosette. Leaves have similar band-
ing patterns as the species, but 'Hahnii' and the other
birdnest cultivars of S. trifasciata are not known to
flower. Birdnest sansevieria, a sport of S. trifasciata
'Laurentii', was discovered by William W. Smith, Jr., in
the Crescent Nursery Company, New Orleans, Louisi-
ana in 1939 and was patented in 1941. The patent (Plant
Patent 470) was assigned to Sylvan Hahn, Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii', the goldband san-
sevieria, has an upright growth habit as the species but
features a showy golden yellow leaf margin which is
somewhat variable in width and position. 'Laurentii'
was introduced from the Belgian Congo. Although
there are several relatively new cultivars of sansevieria
which are increasing in popularity, goldband sanse-
vieria has been and is still by far the most popular
ornamental sansevieria.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii Compacta', the com-
pact goldband sansevieria, is a selection maintained
by a few producers. 'Laurentii Compacta' has shorter
leaves with darker green coloration between the gold
bands than 'Laurentii'.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Moonshine', Moonshine san-.
sevieria, is a relatively new cultivar which features
broad, nearly solid, light silvery gray-green foliage
with a tracery of dark green around the margin. Plants
grown in deep shade have darker leaves. 'Moonshine'
plants, also sold as 'Moonglow', usually have 3 or
more upright leaves giving individual divisions a vase-
like form as the leaves diverge slightly from the center

3Plant patents are effective only for the first 17 years after they are
issued.


of rosettes. 'Moonshine' is identical in growth habit
and vigor to 'Futura' and 'Robusta'.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Nelsonii', Nelson's sansevie-
ria, is a sport from S. trifasciata 'Laurentii' which was
patented (Plant Patent 633) by Oscar Nelson of Miami,
Florida in 1944. Its solid dark green leaves have a
velvet-like sheen and stiffly erect habit of growth.
Leaves are shorter, thicker, and more numerous per
rosette than the species. Its slow growth rate makes it
relatively rare in the trade. There are two nearly iden-
tical forms, one of which is'Nelsonii'.'Nelsonii' prop-
agates true to type from leaf cuttings while the other
form, also sold as 'Nelsonii', must be propagated by
rhizome division because leaf cuttings yield S. trifasci-
ata. The latter type is most widely distributed.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Robusta', the robust sanse-
vieria, resembles 'Futura' but lacks yellow leaf mar-
gins. Leaves are about 30 percent shorter and 1.5 to 2
times wider than S. trifasciata, with essentially the
same color and pattern of leaf cross-banding as the
species.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Silver Queen', silver queen
sansevieria is an upright cultivar similar to the species.
New leaves are nearly solid silvery gray-green with
thin dark green margins. Older leaves darken, and
plants in low light darken sooner.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Silver Hahnii', the silver bird-
nest sansevieria has medium silvery gray-green leaves
with indistinct transverse green bands through silver
coloration and fine dark green margins.'Silver Hahnii'
originated as a sport of 'Hahnii' in New Orleans and
was patented (Plant Patent 1220) in 1953 by Sylvan
Hahn. Its growth habit is nearly identical to that of
'Hahnii'.
Sansevieria Production by Division
Plantings in Open Fields
Open-field sansevieria production is concentrated
in the southern part of Dade County near Homestead,
where severe cold injury is rare. Most open-field stock
beds in Dade County are planted in limestone soils
classified in the Rockland association. The solid lime-
rock surface is fragmented with a heavy rock plow and
crusher to a depth of approximately 4 inches (10 cen-
timeters) prior to planting. Most of the limerock soils
range in pH from 7.5 to 8.5 and are very well drained.
Sansevieria are planted in beds 3.5 to 4.5 feet (1.1 to
1.4 meters) wide. New beds are usually planted with
single rosette divisions on approximately 10- to 12-
inch (25- to 30-centimeter) centers. Plants branch at
and just below the soil surface and reach full produc-
tion 1.5 to 2 years after planting, depending upon
initial plant spacing, fertilization rate, irrigation sche-
dule, and quantity of plants harvested before beds are
fully productive.









leaves per rosette and, typically, a narrower yellow
margin, approximately 0.13 inch (3.3 millimeters)
wide. The growth habit of 'Futura' closely resembles
'Moonshine'. 'Futura' is a relatively new cultivar
which is well received by consumers. When 'Futura' is
propagated from leaf cuttings, practically all plantlets
formed are green with silvery green cross-bands, but
lack the yellow marginal stripe. However, they do
retain the broad-leafed, robust growth habit typical of
'Futura', and in this guide are called 'Robusta'.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Golden Hahnii', golden bird-
nest sansevieria, has attractive green leaves with a
combination of marginal and internal yellow stripes of
variable width which are parallel with the veins. Dis-
covered by Sylvan Hahn,'Golden Hahnii' was issued a
patent (Plant Patent 1224) in 19533. Producers have not
attempted to grow 'Golden Hahnii' extensively be-
cause the pattern of variegation is rather unstable and
growth rate is slow.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Hahnii', birdnest sansevieria,
has attractive short, dark green, reflexed leaves which
form a vase-shaped rosette. Leaves have similar band-
ing patterns as the species, but 'Hahnii' and the other
birdnest cultivars of S. trifasciata are not known to
flower. Birdnest sansevieria, a sport of S. trifasciata
'Laurentii', was discovered by William W. Smith, Jr., in
the Crescent Nursery Company, New Orleans, Louisi-
ana in 1939 and was patented in 1941. The patent (Plant
Patent 470) was assigned to Sylvan Hahn, Pittsburgh,
Pennsylvania.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii', the goldband san-
sevieria, has an upright growth habit as the species but
features a showy golden yellow leaf margin which is
somewhat variable in width and position. 'Laurentii'
was introduced from the Belgian Congo. Although
there are several relatively new cultivars of sansevieria
which are increasing in popularity, goldband sanse-
vieria has been and is still by far the most popular
ornamental sansevieria.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii Compacta', the com-
pact goldband sansevieria, is a selection maintained
by a few producers. 'Laurentii Compacta' has shorter
leaves with darker green coloration between the gold
bands than 'Laurentii'.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Moonshine', Moonshine san-.
sevieria, is a relatively new cultivar which features
broad, nearly solid, light silvery gray-green foliage
with a tracery of dark green around the margin. Plants
grown in deep shade have darker leaves. 'Moonshine'
plants, also sold as 'Moonglow', usually have 3 or
more upright leaves giving individual divisions a vase-
like form as the leaves diverge slightly from the center

3Plant patents are effective only for the first 17 years after they are
issued.


of rosettes. 'Moonshine' is identical in growth habit
and vigor to 'Futura' and 'Robusta'.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Nelsonii', Nelson's sansevie-
ria, is a sport from S. trifasciata 'Laurentii' which was
patented (Plant Patent 633) by Oscar Nelson of Miami,
Florida in 1944. Its solid dark green leaves have a
velvet-like sheen and stiffly erect habit of growth.
Leaves are shorter, thicker, and more numerous per
rosette than the species. Its slow growth rate makes it
relatively rare in the trade. There are two nearly iden-
tical forms, one of which is'Nelsonii'.'Nelsonii' prop-
agates true to type from leaf cuttings while the other
form, also sold as 'Nelsonii', must be propagated by
rhizome division because leaf cuttings yield S. trifasci-
ata. The latter type is most widely distributed.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Robusta', the robust sanse-
vieria, resembles 'Futura' but lacks yellow leaf mar-
gins. Leaves are about 30 percent shorter and 1.5 to 2
times wider than S. trifasciata, with essentially the
same color and pattern of leaf cross-banding as the
species.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Silver Queen', silver queen
sansevieria is an upright cultivar similar to the species.
New leaves are nearly solid silvery gray-green with
thin dark green margins. Older leaves darken, and
plants in low light darken sooner.
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Silver Hahnii', the silver bird-
nest sansevieria has medium silvery gray-green leaves
with indistinct transverse green bands through silver
coloration and fine dark green margins.'Silver Hahnii'
originated as a sport of 'Hahnii' in New Orleans and
was patented (Plant Patent 1220) in 1953 by Sylvan
Hahn. Its growth habit is nearly identical to that of
'Hahnii'.
Sansevieria Production by Division
Plantings in Open Fields
Open-field sansevieria production is concentrated
in the southern part of Dade County near Homestead,
where severe cold injury is rare. Most open-field stock
beds in Dade County are planted in limestone soils
classified in the Rockland association. The solid lime-
rock surface is fragmented with a heavy rock plow and
crusher to a depth of approximately 4 inches (10 cen-
timeters) prior to planting. Most of the limerock soils
range in pH from 7.5 to 8.5 and are very well drained.
Sansevieria are planted in beds 3.5 to 4.5 feet (1.1 to
1.4 meters) wide. New beds are usually planted with
single rosette divisions on approximately 10- to 12-
inch (25- to 30-centimeter) centers. Plants branch at
and just below the soil surface and reach full produc-
tion 1.5 to 2 years after planting, depending upon
initial plant spacing, fertilization rate, irrigation sche-
dule, and quantity of plants harvested before beds are
fully productive.









Harvesting bed-grown sansevieria is a selective
thinning process. Single rosettes of desired size are
severed from the remaining clump by hand with a
weeding knife or similar cutting tool, and lifted from
the bed. Fully productive beds are harvested 5 to 6
times per year to prevent crowding of young plants
which distorts new rosettes. Beds which become
excessively crowded or are severely damaged by cold
or hail can be rejuvenated by mowing 2 inches (5
centimeters) from the ground. Some sansevieria stock
beds in Florida have been in continuous production
for approximately 40 years.
The surface of harvested bare-root plants should be
dry before packing to reduce the chance of bacterial
soft rot in shipment. Tall cultivars are separated into 6
grades of 3-leafed divisions according to height; 6-9,
9-12, 12-15, 15-18, 18-24, and over 24 inches (15-23,
23-30, 30-38, 38-46, 46-61, and over 61 centimeters).
Graded bare-root plants are usually wrapped individ-
ually in newspaper and packed tightly in cardboard
shipping cartons. Proper packing technique reduces
damage from plants shaking loose or cartons being
crushed.

Plantings under Structures
In central Florida and parts of south Florida sanse-
vieria are grown in greenhouses or in shadehouses
lined with polyethylene and heated during winter.
Plants are grown from division of stock or from leaf
cuttings, depending upon the cultivar and size plant
desired. Stock bed width and harvesting procedures
are similar to open-field production. One exception is
that the sandy soil is usually rinsed from roots prior to
packing, a procedure not usually required when
plants are grown in limerock.
Sandy field soils used for ground beds should be
amended with 15 to 20 percent peat incorporated into
the upper 4 inches (10 centimeters) to improve water
holding and cation exchange capacity. The pH of most
sandy ground beds in central Florida ranges between
5.5 and 6.8.
Research has shown that S. trifasciata growing in
beds of sand and peat in central Florida will yield 24 or
more plants per square foot (2.2 plants per square
meter) per year, with an average weight of 0.29 pound
(0.13 kilogram) per plant. Nonvariegated plants are
generally more productive than variegated cultivars
of the same species.
Sansevieria Production from Cuttings
Some nurseries grow small plants from leaf cuttings
in either ground beds or raised benches. Leaf cuttings
of nonvariegated cultivars are usually stuck in early
spring and yield small plants in autumn under shade-
house conditions.


Cutting size is determined by plant growth habit
and propagator preference. Propagators of dwarf
types such asS. trifasciata 'Hahnii' utilize entire leaves
3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) long, while leaves of
taller types are cut into 4- to 8-inch (10- to 20-
centimeter) sections. Shorter sections yield fewer
plantlets per cutting and require more time in propa-
gation.
There is little if any benefit from use of rooting
hormones on sansevieria. Cuttings must be stuck with
their basal ends down approximately 1 to 1.5 inches
(2.5 to 3.8 centimeters) into a well drained but moist
medium. Since the upper and basal end of cuttings
taken from the mid-section of taller types is difficult to
determine visually, it is often desirable to mark or
notch one end of the cuttings consistently to aid in
sticking. Cuttings stuck upside down will not develop
roots. A mixture of sphagnum peat and coarse sand (3
to 1 by volume) or a similar mixture is satisfactory for
rooting in raised benches. Cuttings can also be rooted
in trays 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) deep. Roots
initiate and begin to develop within 4 to 6 weeks if the
medium is kept warm between 700 to 750F (210 to
240C) and one or more leaves emerge from the
propagation medium surface within another 3 to 4
months. The propagation medium should not be kept
wet, or cuttings may become infected with bacterial
soft rot. Root and shoot development occurs more
slowly at lower temperatures; temperatures below
600F (150C) should be avoided. Depending on cul-
tivar, cutting size, section of leaf used, and its physio-
logical conditions, leaf cuttings will usually produce 1
to 5 plantlets. Plantlets should be broken or cut from
the leaf cutting when they reach the desired size.
Variegated cultivars such as 'Laurentii', 'Futura', 'Gol-
den Hahnii', and 'Bantel's Sensation' must be propa-
gated by rhizome division rather than leaf cuttings to
retain desired variegation.
Since several sansevieria cultivars are periclinal
chimeras, they do not propagate true to type from leaf
cuttings. Types which should be propagated from
crown division only and those which may be pro-
duced from either crown division or leaf cutting are
indicated in Table 1. The first few leaves to develop on
sansevieria propagated from cuttings are juvenile and
lack the typical foliage shape characteristic of mature
plants. Juvenile leaves on many sansevieria are shorter
and more reflexed than mature leaves. Plants from
rhizome divisions usually produce leaves typical of
mature plants.
Potted Sansevieria Production
Potted plants are available in container sizes from
2.5-inch (6-centimeter) square to 14-inch (36-centi-
meter) diameter, depending upon the cultivar. Most









Harvesting bed-grown sansevieria is a selective
thinning process. Single rosettes of desired size are
severed from the remaining clump by hand with a
weeding knife or similar cutting tool, and lifted from
the bed. Fully productive beds are harvested 5 to 6
times per year to prevent crowding of young plants
which distorts new rosettes. Beds which become
excessively crowded or are severely damaged by cold
or hail can be rejuvenated by mowing 2 inches (5
centimeters) from the ground. Some sansevieria stock
beds in Florida have been in continuous production
for approximately 40 years.
The surface of harvested bare-root plants should be
dry before packing to reduce the chance of bacterial
soft rot in shipment. Tall cultivars are separated into 6
grades of 3-leafed divisions according to height; 6-9,
9-12, 12-15, 15-18, 18-24, and over 24 inches (15-23,
23-30, 30-38, 38-46, 46-61, and over 61 centimeters).
Graded bare-root plants are usually wrapped individ-
ually in newspaper and packed tightly in cardboard
shipping cartons. Proper packing technique reduces
damage from plants shaking loose or cartons being
crushed.

Plantings under Structures
In central Florida and parts of south Florida sanse-
vieria are grown in greenhouses or in shadehouses
lined with polyethylene and heated during winter.
Plants are grown from division of stock or from leaf
cuttings, depending upon the cultivar and size plant
desired. Stock bed width and harvesting procedures
are similar to open-field production. One exception is
that the sandy soil is usually rinsed from roots prior to
packing, a procedure not usually required when
plants are grown in limerock.
Sandy field soils used for ground beds should be
amended with 15 to 20 percent peat incorporated into
the upper 4 inches (10 centimeters) to improve water
holding and cation exchange capacity. The pH of most
sandy ground beds in central Florida ranges between
5.5 and 6.8.
Research has shown that S. trifasciata growing in
beds of sand and peat in central Florida will yield 24 or
more plants per square foot (2.2 plants per square
meter) per year, with an average weight of 0.29 pound
(0.13 kilogram) per plant. Nonvariegated plants are
generally more productive than variegated cultivars
of the same species.
Sansevieria Production from Cuttings
Some nurseries grow small plants from leaf cuttings
in either ground beds or raised benches. Leaf cuttings
of nonvariegated cultivars are usually stuck in early
spring and yield small plants in autumn under shade-
house conditions.


Cutting size is determined by plant growth habit
and propagator preference. Propagators of dwarf
types such asS. trifasciata 'Hahnii' utilize entire leaves
3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) long, while leaves of
taller types are cut into 4- to 8-inch (10- to 20-
centimeter) sections. Shorter sections yield fewer
plantlets per cutting and require more time in propa-
gation.
There is little if any benefit from use of rooting
hormones on sansevieria. Cuttings must be stuck with
their basal ends down approximately 1 to 1.5 inches
(2.5 to 3.8 centimeters) into a well drained but moist
medium. Since the upper and basal end of cuttings
taken from the mid-section of taller types is difficult to
determine visually, it is often desirable to mark or
notch one end of the cuttings consistently to aid in
sticking. Cuttings stuck upside down will not develop
roots. A mixture of sphagnum peat and coarse sand (3
to 1 by volume) or a similar mixture is satisfactory for
rooting in raised benches. Cuttings can also be rooted
in trays 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) deep. Roots
initiate and begin to develop within 4 to 6 weeks if the
medium is kept warm between 700 to 750F (210 to
240C) and one or more leaves emerge from the
propagation medium surface within another 3 to 4
months. The propagation medium should not be kept
wet, or cuttings may become infected with bacterial
soft rot. Root and shoot development occurs more
slowly at lower temperatures; temperatures below
600F (150C) should be avoided. Depending on cul-
tivar, cutting size, section of leaf used, and its physio-
logical conditions, leaf cuttings will usually produce 1
to 5 plantlets. Plantlets should be broken or cut from
the leaf cutting when they reach the desired size.
Variegated cultivars such as 'Laurentii', 'Futura', 'Gol-
den Hahnii', and 'Bantel's Sensation' must be propa-
gated by rhizome division rather than leaf cuttings to
retain desired variegation.
Since several sansevieria cultivars are periclinal
chimeras, they do not propagate true to type from leaf
cuttings. Types which should be propagated from
crown division only and those which may be pro-
duced from either crown division or leaf cutting are
indicated in Table 1. The first few leaves to develop on
sansevieria propagated from cuttings are juvenile and
lack the typical foliage shape characteristic of mature
plants. Juvenile leaves on many sansevieria are shorter
and more reflexed than mature leaves. Plants from
rhizome divisions usually produce leaves typical of
mature plants.
Potted Sansevieria Production
Potted plants are available in container sizes from
2.5-inch (6-centimeter) square to 14-inch (36-centi-
meter) diameter, depending upon the cultivar. Most









Harvesting bed-grown sansevieria is a selective
thinning process. Single rosettes of desired size are
severed from the remaining clump by hand with a
weeding knife or similar cutting tool, and lifted from
the bed. Fully productive beds are harvested 5 to 6
times per year to prevent crowding of young plants
which distorts new rosettes. Beds which become
excessively crowded or are severely damaged by cold
or hail can be rejuvenated by mowing 2 inches (5
centimeters) from the ground. Some sansevieria stock
beds in Florida have been in continuous production
for approximately 40 years.
The surface of harvested bare-root plants should be
dry before packing to reduce the chance of bacterial
soft rot in shipment. Tall cultivars are separated into 6
grades of 3-leafed divisions according to height; 6-9,
9-12, 12-15, 15-18, 18-24, and over 24 inches (15-23,
23-30, 30-38, 38-46, 46-61, and over 61 centimeters).
Graded bare-root plants are usually wrapped individ-
ually in newspaper and packed tightly in cardboard
shipping cartons. Proper packing technique reduces
damage from plants shaking loose or cartons being
crushed.

Plantings under Structures
In central Florida and parts of south Florida sanse-
vieria are grown in greenhouses or in shadehouses
lined with polyethylene and heated during winter.
Plants are grown from division of stock or from leaf
cuttings, depending upon the cultivar and size plant
desired. Stock bed width and harvesting procedures
are similar to open-field production. One exception is
that the sandy soil is usually rinsed from roots prior to
packing, a procedure not usually required when
plants are grown in limerock.
Sandy field soils used for ground beds should be
amended with 15 to 20 percent peat incorporated into
the upper 4 inches (10 centimeters) to improve water
holding and cation exchange capacity. The pH of most
sandy ground beds in central Florida ranges between
5.5 and 6.8.
Research has shown that S. trifasciata growing in
beds of sand and peat in central Florida will yield 24 or
more plants per square foot (2.2 plants per square
meter) per year, with an average weight of 0.29 pound
(0.13 kilogram) per plant. Nonvariegated plants are
generally more productive than variegated cultivars
of the same species.
Sansevieria Production from Cuttings
Some nurseries grow small plants from leaf cuttings
in either ground beds or raised benches. Leaf cuttings
of nonvariegated cultivars are usually stuck in early
spring and yield small plants in autumn under shade-
house conditions.


Cutting size is determined by plant growth habit
and propagator preference. Propagators of dwarf
types such asS. trifasciata 'Hahnii' utilize entire leaves
3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) long, while leaves of
taller types are cut into 4- to 8-inch (10- to 20-
centimeter) sections. Shorter sections yield fewer
plantlets per cutting and require more time in propa-
gation.
There is little if any benefit from use of rooting
hormones on sansevieria. Cuttings must be stuck with
their basal ends down approximately 1 to 1.5 inches
(2.5 to 3.8 centimeters) into a well drained but moist
medium. Since the upper and basal end of cuttings
taken from the mid-section of taller types is difficult to
determine visually, it is often desirable to mark or
notch one end of the cuttings consistently to aid in
sticking. Cuttings stuck upside down will not develop
roots. A mixture of sphagnum peat and coarse sand (3
to 1 by volume) or a similar mixture is satisfactory for
rooting in raised benches. Cuttings can also be rooted
in trays 3 to 4 inches (8 to 10 centimeters) deep. Roots
initiate and begin to develop within 4 to 6 weeks if the
medium is kept warm between 700 to 750F (210 to
240C) and one or more leaves emerge from the
propagation medium surface within another 3 to 4
months. The propagation medium should not be kept
wet, or cuttings may become infected with bacterial
soft rot. Root and shoot development occurs more
slowly at lower temperatures; temperatures below
600F (150C) should be avoided. Depending on cul-
tivar, cutting size, section of leaf used, and its physio-
logical conditions, leaf cuttings will usually produce 1
to 5 plantlets. Plantlets should be broken or cut from
the leaf cutting when they reach the desired size.
Variegated cultivars such as 'Laurentii', 'Futura', 'Gol-
den Hahnii', and 'Bantel's Sensation' must be propa-
gated by rhizome division rather than leaf cuttings to
retain desired variegation.
Since several sansevieria cultivars are periclinal
chimeras, they do not propagate true to type from leaf
cuttings. Types which should be propagated from
crown division only and those which may be pro-
duced from either crown division or leaf cutting are
indicated in Table 1. The first few leaves to develop on
sansevieria propagated from cuttings are juvenile and
lack the typical foliage shape characteristic of mature
plants. Juvenile leaves on many sansevieria are shorter
and more reflexed than mature leaves. Plants from
rhizome divisions usually produce leaves typical of
mature plants.
Potted Sansevieria Production
Potted plants are available in container sizes from
2.5-inch (6-centimeter) square to 14-inch (36-centi-
meter) diameter, depending upon the cultivar. Most








container-grown sansevieria are produced in shaded
greenhouses where temperature, nutrition, diseases,
and pests can be controlled. Small plants propagated
from leaf cuttings are most suitable for use in 2.5- to
4-inch (6- to 10-centimeter) containers. Plants used in
larger pots are normally propagated by division of
bed-grown stock.
No particular grades exist regarding number of san-
sevieria rosettes per container. Most growers use
enough plant material in each container to give a
balanced appearance to the finished product. Plants
should be grown until roots have become well estab-
lished before they are sold. Usually 3 to 5 weeks is
sufficient. Plants from open-field stock beds in lime-
rock usually have fewer roots and establish more
slowly than plants from beds or benches containing
peat. Container-grown sansevieria should not be
permitted to become root-bound, because they soon
send rhizomes through container drainage holes or
split the sides of plastic pots. Extended holding of
container-grown plants increases production costs.

Propagation by Seeds
Although several species can be propagated from
seed, this technique is not employed because the
large number of seeds needed by commercial grow-
ers is not available and normally plants can be pro-
duced faster by cutting or division.

The Production Environment
The environmental factors which influence growth
of sansevieria are discussed under 3 categories -
physical, chemical, and biological.
Physical Factors
Temperature. The most frequently observed physi-
ological problem during sansevieria production in
open fields or non-heated structures is cold injury.
Mild chilling of sansevieria will reduce yield, while
more intensive chilling will constrict leaf width and
cause foliar chlorosis and necrosis. Cold-injured
necrotic tissue initially appears as whitish, water-
soaked areas 1 to 4 weeks after exposure to tempera-
tures of 360 to 460F (20 to 80C). Injury can beinduced
by either cold air or cold water. Low air temperatures
account for most of the chilling injury in open stock
beds while cold water draining through perforations
in polyethylene film used for lining shadehouses
accounts for much of the injury in central Florida.
Wind will increase the amount of cold injury at a given
temperature. Cold water spots on foliage are fre-
quently localized, especially when it drips from holes
in polyethylene-lined shadehouses.
Research has shown that plant nutrition influences
the sensitivity of sansevieria to chilling temperatures.


Application rates of nitrogen in excess of 50 pounds
per acre (56 kilograms per hectare) per month mar-
kedly increases the level of chilling injury.
The ideal temperature range for growing sansevie-
ria on a continuous basis is between 650 and 800F (170
to 270C).
Light. Sansevieria receive different light intensities
depending upon season and system of culture. Open-
field beds in Florida receive full sun which ranges
from approximately 8,000 to 14,000 footcandles (86,100
to 150,700 lux), depending upon season, although a
range of 2500-5000 footcandles (26,900 to 53,800 lux) is
excellent for growing sansevieria in shaded green-
houses and polypropylene fabric-covered shade-
houses. Light intensities for finishing acclimatized
sansevieria in greenhouses should be between 3500
and 4500 footcandles (37,700 to 48,400 lux), although
light levels may drop below this range during the
winter season. Plant leaves in heavily shaded areas
with only a few hundred footcandles grow slowly,
become elongated, and are darker green and without
the typical cross-banding pattern.
Water. Most sansevieria beds are irrigated using
overhead sprinklers. Approximately 0.75 to 1.5 inches
(1.9 to 3.8 centimeters) of water is recommended per
week for sansevieria stock in open limerock fields
depending upon temperature, relative humidity, air
movement, and soil type. Less water is required for
plants growing under structures, in moisture retentive
soils, and during cool periods. Growers should reduce
watering rates during wet periods to compensate for
natural rainfall. Overhead irrigation should be app-
lied early in the day so foliage will dry quickly, thus
discouraging development of Fusarium leaf spot.
Tube irrigation for potted plants is recommended
for pots over 4 inches (10 centimeters) in greenhouses
because it keeps foliage dry, prevents accumulation of
water impurities on leaves, and helps prevent Fusa-
sium leaf spot development.
Chemical Factors
Nutrient Elements and Soil pH. Ten to 12 fertilizer
applications per year to stock beds under field condi-
tions or under structures will maintain adequate fertil-
ity, plant vigor, and quality. Nitrogen is the most criti-
cal element in most nurseries in terms of limiting the
rate of plant growth. Stock beds should receive 500 to
750 pounds per acre (560 to 840 kilograms per hectare)
each of nitrogen (N) and potash (K20). Phosphorus,
expressed as P20O, should be applied at 300 to 500
pounds per acre (336 to 560 kilograms per hectare) per
year. The higher rates are most applicable to south
Florida due to higher temperatures. Fertilizer rates
should be reduced slightly when temperatures below
450F (7.20C) are anticipated, or when cold water will
be dripping on the plants.








container-grown sansevieria are produced in shaded
greenhouses where temperature, nutrition, diseases,
and pests can be controlled. Small plants propagated
from leaf cuttings are most suitable for use in 2.5- to
4-inch (6- to 10-centimeter) containers. Plants used in
larger pots are normally propagated by division of
bed-grown stock.
No particular grades exist regarding number of san-
sevieria rosettes per container. Most growers use
enough plant material in each container to give a
balanced appearance to the finished product. Plants
should be grown until roots have become well estab-
lished before they are sold. Usually 3 to 5 weeks is
sufficient. Plants from open-field stock beds in lime-
rock usually have fewer roots and establish more
slowly than plants from beds or benches containing
peat. Container-grown sansevieria should not be
permitted to become root-bound, because they soon
send rhizomes through container drainage holes or
split the sides of plastic pots. Extended holding of
container-grown plants increases production costs.

Propagation by Seeds
Although several species can be propagated from
seed, this technique is not employed because the
large number of seeds needed by commercial grow-
ers is not available and normally plants can be pro-
duced faster by cutting or division.

The Production Environment
The environmental factors which influence growth
of sansevieria are discussed under 3 categories -
physical, chemical, and biological.
Physical Factors
Temperature. The most frequently observed physi-
ological problem during sansevieria production in
open fields or non-heated structures is cold injury.
Mild chilling of sansevieria will reduce yield, while
more intensive chilling will constrict leaf width and
cause foliar chlorosis and necrosis. Cold-injured
necrotic tissue initially appears as whitish, water-
soaked areas 1 to 4 weeks after exposure to tempera-
tures of 360 to 460F (20 to 80C). Injury can beinduced
by either cold air or cold water. Low air temperatures
account for most of the chilling injury in open stock
beds while cold water draining through perforations
in polyethylene film used for lining shadehouses
accounts for much of the injury in central Florida.
Wind will increase the amount of cold injury at a given
temperature. Cold water spots on foliage are fre-
quently localized, especially when it drips from holes
in polyethylene-lined shadehouses.
Research has shown that plant nutrition influences
the sensitivity of sansevieria to chilling temperatures.


Application rates of nitrogen in excess of 50 pounds
per acre (56 kilograms per hectare) per month mar-
kedly increases the level of chilling injury.
The ideal temperature range for growing sansevie-
ria on a continuous basis is between 650 and 800F (170
to 270C).
Light. Sansevieria receive different light intensities
depending upon season and system of culture. Open-
field beds in Florida receive full sun which ranges
from approximately 8,000 to 14,000 footcandles (86,100
to 150,700 lux), depending upon season, although a
range of 2500-5000 footcandles (26,900 to 53,800 lux) is
excellent for growing sansevieria in shaded green-
houses and polypropylene fabric-covered shade-
houses. Light intensities for finishing acclimatized
sansevieria in greenhouses should be between 3500
and 4500 footcandles (37,700 to 48,400 lux), although
light levels may drop below this range during the
winter season. Plant leaves in heavily shaded areas
with only a few hundred footcandles grow slowly,
become elongated, and are darker green and without
the typical cross-banding pattern.
Water. Most sansevieria beds are irrigated using
overhead sprinklers. Approximately 0.75 to 1.5 inches
(1.9 to 3.8 centimeters) of water is recommended per
week for sansevieria stock in open limerock fields
depending upon temperature, relative humidity, air
movement, and soil type. Less water is required for
plants growing under structures, in moisture retentive
soils, and during cool periods. Growers should reduce
watering rates during wet periods to compensate for
natural rainfall. Overhead irrigation should be app-
lied early in the day so foliage will dry quickly, thus
discouraging development of Fusarium leaf spot.
Tube irrigation for potted plants is recommended
for pots over 4 inches (10 centimeters) in greenhouses
because it keeps foliage dry, prevents accumulation of
water impurities on leaves, and helps prevent Fusa-
sium leaf spot development.
Chemical Factors
Nutrient Elements and Soil pH. Ten to 12 fertilizer
applications per year to stock beds under field condi-
tions or under structures will maintain adequate fertil-
ity, plant vigor, and quality. Nitrogen is the most criti-
cal element in most nurseries in terms of limiting the
rate of plant growth. Stock beds should receive 500 to
750 pounds per acre (560 to 840 kilograms per hectare)
each of nitrogen (N) and potash (K20). Phosphorus,
expressed as P20O, should be applied at 300 to 500
pounds per acre (336 to 560 kilograms per hectare) per
year. The higher rates are most applicable to south
Florida due to higher temperatures. Fertilizer rates
should be reduced slightly when temperatures below
450F (7.20C) are anticipated, or when cold water will
be dripping on the plants.








container-grown sansevieria are produced in shaded
greenhouses where temperature, nutrition, diseases,
and pests can be controlled. Small plants propagated
from leaf cuttings are most suitable for use in 2.5- to
4-inch (6- to 10-centimeter) containers. Plants used in
larger pots are normally propagated by division of
bed-grown stock.
No particular grades exist regarding number of san-
sevieria rosettes per container. Most growers use
enough plant material in each container to give a
balanced appearance to the finished product. Plants
should be grown until roots have become well estab-
lished before they are sold. Usually 3 to 5 weeks is
sufficient. Plants from open-field stock beds in lime-
rock usually have fewer roots and establish more
slowly than plants from beds or benches containing
peat. Container-grown sansevieria should not be
permitted to become root-bound, because they soon
send rhizomes through container drainage holes or
split the sides of plastic pots. Extended holding of
container-grown plants increases production costs.

Propagation by Seeds
Although several species can be propagated from
seed, this technique is not employed because the
large number of seeds needed by commercial grow-
ers is not available and normally plants can be pro-
duced faster by cutting or division.

The Production Environment
The environmental factors which influence growth
of sansevieria are discussed under 3 categories -
physical, chemical, and biological.
Physical Factors
Temperature. The most frequently observed physi-
ological problem during sansevieria production in
open fields or non-heated structures is cold injury.
Mild chilling of sansevieria will reduce yield, while
more intensive chilling will constrict leaf width and
cause foliar chlorosis and necrosis. Cold-injured
necrotic tissue initially appears as whitish, water-
soaked areas 1 to 4 weeks after exposure to tempera-
tures of 360 to 460F (20 to 80C). Injury can beinduced
by either cold air or cold water. Low air temperatures
account for most of the chilling injury in open stock
beds while cold water draining through perforations
in polyethylene film used for lining shadehouses
accounts for much of the injury in central Florida.
Wind will increase the amount of cold injury at a given
temperature. Cold water spots on foliage are fre-
quently localized, especially when it drips from holes
in polyethylene-lined shadehouses.
Research has shown that plant nutrition influences
the sensitivity of sansevieria to chilling temperatures.


Application rates of nitrogen in excess of 50 pounds
per acre (56 kilograms per hectare) per month mar-
kedly increases the level of chilling injury.
The ideal temperature range for growing sansevie-
ria on a continuous basis is between 650 and 800F (170
to 270C).
Light. Sansevieria receive different light intensities
depending upon season and system of culture. Open-
field beds in Florida receive full sun which ranges
from approximately 8,000 to 14,000 footcandles (86,100
to 150,700 lux), depending upon season, although a
range of 2500-5000 footcandles (26,900 to 53,800 lux) is
excellent for growing sansevieria in shaded green-
houses and polypropylene fabric-covered shade-
houses. Light intensities for finishing acclimatized
sansevieria in greenhouses should be between 3500
and 4500 footcandles (37,700 to 48,400 lux), although
light levels may drop below this range during the
winter season. Plant leaves in heavily shaded areas
with only a few hundred footcandles grow slowly,
become elongated, and are darker green and without
the typical cross-banding pattern.
Water. Most sansevieria beds are irrigated using
overhead sprinklers. Approximately 0.75 to 1.5 inches
(1.9 to 3.8 centimeters) of water is recommended per
week for sansevieria stock in open limerock fields
depending upon temperature, relative humidity, air
movement, and soil type. Less water is required for
plants growing under structures, in moisture retentive
soils, and during cool periods. Growers should reduce
watering rates during wet periods to compensate for
natural rainfall. Overhead irrigation should be app-
lied early in the day so foliage will dry quickly, thus
discouraging development of Fusarium leaf spot.
Tube irrigation for potted plants is recommended
for pots over 4 inches (10 centimeters) in greenhouses
because it keeps foliage dry, prevents accumulation of
water impurities on leaves, and helps prevent Fusa-
sium leaf spot development.
Chemical Factors
Nutrient Elements and Soil pH. Ten to 12 fertilizer
applications per year to stock beds under field condi-
tions or under structures will maintain adequate fertil-
ity, plant vigor, and quality. Nitrogen is the most criti-
cal element in most nurseries in terms of limiting the
rate of plant growth. Stock beds should receive 500 to
750 pounds per acre (560 to 840 kilograms per hectare)
each of nitrogen (N) and potash (K20). Phosphorus,
expressed as P20O, should be applied at 300 to 500
pounds per acre (336 to 560 kilograms per hectare) per
year. The higher rates are most applicable to south
Florida due to higher temperatures. Fertilizer rates
should be reduced slightly when temperatures below
450F (7.20C) are anticipated, or when cold water will
be dripping on the plants.








container-grown sansevieria are produced in shaded
greenhouses where temperature, nutrition, diseases,
and pests can be controlled. Small plants propagated
from leaf cuttings are most suitable for use in 2.5- to
4-inch (6- to 10-centimeter) containers. Plants used in
larger pots are normally propagated by division of
bed-grown stock.
No particular grades exist regarding number of san-
sevieria rosettes per container. Most growers use
enough plant material in each container to give a
balanced appearance to the finished product. Plants
should be grown until roots have become well estab-
lished before they are sold. Usually 3 to 5 weeks is
sufficient. Plants from open-field stock beds in lime-
rock usually have fewer roots and establish more
slowly than plants from beds or benches containing
peat. Container-grown sansevieria should not be
permitted to become root-bound, because they soon
send rhizomes through container drainage holes or
split the sides of plastic pots. Extended holding of
container-grown plants increases production costs.

Propagation by Seeds
Although several species can be propagated from
seed, this technique is not employed because the
large number of seeds needed by commercial grow-
ers is not available and normally plants can be pro-
duced faster by cutting or division.

The Production Environment
The environmental factors which influence growth
of sansevieria are discussed under 3 categories -
physical, chemical, and biological.
Physical Factors
Temperature. The most frequently observed physi-
ological problem during sansevieria production in
open fields or non-heated structures is cold injury.
Mild chilling of sansevieria will reduce yield, while
more intensive chilling will constrict leaf width and
cause foliar chlorosis and necrosis. Cold-injured
necrotic tissue initially appears as whitish, water-
soaked areas 1 to 4 weeks after exposure to tempera-
tures of 360 to 460F (20 to 80C). Injury can beinduced
by either cold air or cold water. Low air temperatures
account for most of the chilling injury in open stock
beds while cold water draining through perforations
in polyethylene film used for lining shadehouses
accounts for much of the injury in central Florida.
Wind will increase the amount of cold injury at a given
temperature. Cold water spots on foliage are fre-
quently localized, especially when it drips from holes
in polyethylene-lined shadehouses.
Research has shown that plant nutrition influences
the sensitivity of sansevieria to chilling temperatures.


Application rates of nitrogen in excess of 50 pounds
per acre (56 kilograms per hectare) per month mar-
kedly increases the level of chilling injury.
The ideal temperature range for growing sansevie-
ria on a continuous basis is between 650 and 800F (170
to 270C).
Light. Sansevieria receive different light intensities
depending upon season and system of culture. Open-
field beds in Florida receive full sun which ranges
from approximately 8,000 to 14,000 footcandles (86,100
to 150,700 lux), depending upon season, although a
range of 2500-5000 footcandles (26,900 to 53,800 lux) is
excellent for growing sansevieria in shaded green-
houses and polypropylene fabric-covered shade-
houses. Light intensities for finishing acclimatized
sansevieria in greenhouses should be between 3500
and 4500 footcandles (37,700 to 48,400 lux), although
light levels may drop below this range during the
winter season. Plant leaves in heavily shaded areas
with only a few hundred footcandles grow slowly,
become elongated, and are darker green and without
the typical cross-banding pattern.
Water. Most sansevieria beds are irrigated using
overhead sprinklers. Approximately 0.75 to 1.5 inches
(1.9 to 3.8 centimeters) of water is recommended per
week for sansevieria stock in open limerock fields
depending upon temperature, relative humidity, air
movement, and soil type. Less water is required for
plants growing under structures, in moisture retentive
soils, and during cool periods. Growers should reduce
watering rates during wet periods to compensate for
natural rainfall. Overhead irrigation should be app-
lied early in the day so foliage will dry quickly, thus
discouraging development of Fusarium leaf spot.
Tube irrigation for potted plants is recommended
for pots over 4 inches (10 centimeters) in greenhouses
because it keeps foliage dry, prevents accumulation of
water impurities on leaves, and helps prevent Fusa-
sium leaf spot development.
Chemical Factors
Nutrient Elements and Soil pH. Ten to 12 fertilizer
applications per year to stock beds under field condi-
tions or under structures will maintain adequate fertil-
ity, plant vigor, and quality. Nitrogen is the most criti-
cal element in most nurseries in terms of limiting the
rate of plant growth. Stock beds should receive 500 to
750 pounds per acre (560 to 840 kilograms per hectare)
each of nitrogen (N) and potash (K20). Phosphorus,
expressed as P20O, should be applied at 300 to 500
pounds per acre (336 to 560 kilograms per hectare) per
year. The higher rates are most applicable to south
Florida due to higher temperatures. Fertilizer rates
should be reduced slightly when temperatures below
450F (7.20C) are anticipated, or when cold water will
be dripping on the plants.










Table 1. Propagation techniques for selected species and cultivars of sansevieria.


Plant Propagation techniques Comments
Crown Leaf
division cutting


Sansevieria cylindrica + +
Sansevieria parva + +
Sansevieria trifasciata + +
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Futura' + 0 Usually reverts to 'Robusta'
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Golden Hahnii' + 0 Usually reverts to 'Hahnii'
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Robusta' + +
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Hahnii' + +
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii' + 0 Usually reverts to S. trifasciata
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Laurentii Compacta' + 0
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Moonshine' + 0 Usually reverts to 'Robusta'
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Nelsonii' (original cultivar) + +
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Silver-Queen' + +
Sansevieria trifasciata 'Silver Hahnii' + +

ZPlants propagate true to type = +; plants do not propagate true to type = 0.


Table 2. Suggested ranges of 5 elements in sansevie-
ria potting media.z


Concentration of element (ppm)
Element Very low Low Optimal High Excessive
Nitrate-
nitrogen
(NO3-N) 0-29 30-79 80-159 160-239 240+
Phosphorus 0-3 4-7 8-13 14-19 20+
(P)
Potassium 0-49 50-119 120-199 200-279 280+
(K)
Calcium (Ca) 0-79 80-199 200-349 350-499 500+
Magnesium 0-29 30-69 70-124125-174 175+
(Mg)
ZSoils which contain 30 percent or more of amendments which
have low cation exchange capacity, such as perlite, styrofoam, or
sand, should have nitrate nitrogen and potassium levels about 20
percent less than indicated in this table.


Table 3. Suggested range of nutrients for sansevieria
foliage.


Concentration in
Element foliage

Nitrogen (N) 1.7 -3.0%
Phosphorus (P) 0.15 0.3%
Potassium (K) 2.0 3.0%
Calcium (Ca) 1.0 -1.5%
Magnesium (Mg) 0.3 0.6%
Iron (Fe) 50 300 ppm
Manganese (Mn) 50 300 ppm
Zinc (Zn) 25 200 ppm
Boron (B) 10 60 ppm
Copper (Cu) 10 60 ppm









Potted, greenhouse-grown sansevieria should re-
ceive the equivalent of 14 pounds of nitrogen (N), 5
pounds of phosphorus (P205), and 11 pounds of
potash (K20) per 1000 square feet (68.9, 24.7, and 53.8
kilograms of N, P205, K20 per 100 square meters,
respectively) per year. Irrigation with 2.5 inches (6.3
centimeters) of water per month containing 100 parts
per million of nitrogen is approximately equal to 14
pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet per year.
Sansevieria grow well under a soil pH range of 4.5 to
8.5, although a range of 5.5 to 7.5 is preferred. Stock
growing in limerock soils is usually subjected to a pH
range of 7.5 to 8.5. The pH of beds prepared in sandy
soils amended with peat or potting mixes should be
adjusted with dolomitic limestone to a range of 6.0 to
6.8. Dolomitic limestone provides adequate levels of
calcium and magnesium.
Soil testing is recommended for nurserymen pro-
ducing plants in containers of soil mixtures with high
proportions of peat, bark, or other components which
have a high caton exchange capacity. The total salin-
ity of potting mixes and peat-amended soils of beds or
benches should be maintained between 800 and 1500
parts per million using the saturated paste soil extrac-
tion procedure. Levels exceeding 2500 are excessive
enough to reduce plant vigor in some soils. Table 2
shows extractable nitrate nitrogen (N03-N), phospho-
rus (P), potassium (K), calcium (Ca), and magnesium
(Mg) levels for potted sansevieria soils utilizing the
saturated paste extraction procedure followed by the
University of Florida Soil Testing Laboratory.
Leaf tissue tests are also useful for monitoring the
nutritional status of sansevieria. Table 3 shows the
desirable ranges of essential elements in sansevieria
foliage.

Biological Problems
The biological problems covered in this section are
caused by pests, but only descriptions of their symp-
toms of damage and, in some cases, environmental
conditions which favor their development are menti-
oned. Chemical pest control recommendations for
commercial foliage crops are provided in a separate
publication prepared by the Florida Cooperative
Extension Service.
Insects. Thrips (Heliothrips spp.) are the most com-
mon insect pest of sansevieria. The bases of develop-
ing leaves are injured by the rasping, sucking feeding
of thrips. As leaves continue to grow and harden off,
regions of feeding become conspicuous as irregular
barklike silvery-tan blemishes on the surface. When
feeding occurs at or near the leaf margin, leaf width is
constricted. Thrips damage is more common in green-
houses and shadehouses.


Fungus gnat larvae occasionally feed on basal ends
of leaf cuttings in propagation beds. Root mealybug
infestations of sansevieria roots, especially when
grown in pots, are a threat where poor sanitation
procedures are followed. Grasshopper damage is
rare, but these insects are capable of eating tough,
fibrous sansevieria leaves.
Diseases. Bacterial soft rot and Fusarium leaf spot
are regarded as the most serious diseases of sansevie-
ria. Bacterial soft rot caused by Erwinia spp., a systemic
bacterium, is most serious under warm temperatures
and high humidity. Plants growing rapidly under high
regimes of water and fertilizer levels are especially
vulnerable to development of soft rot. The disease
usually starts at the soil level or at the base of leaf
cuttings. As the soft rot progresses, the leaves and
rhizomes collapse. All plant parts leaves, stems, and
roots can be invaded by Erwinia spp. Bactericide
sprays and dips suppress development of new surface
infections, but have no impact on active rots because
they lack systemic activity.
The fungus Fusarium moniliforme causes reddish-
brown lesions with yellow borders on the leaves.
Occasionally the tissue becomes infected on both sur-
faces, and the centers of the lesions can drop out
giving the tissue a shot hole effect. The tissue above a
group of lesions that has coalesced, frequently dies
due to girdling caused by lesion. Infection usually
begins at the base of young leaves rather than mature
leaves, since the spores of the fungus wash down into
the center of the plant where the tissue is most sus-
ceptible. Fusarium leaf spot can be partially controlled
by eliminating excessive free water on the foliage and
by using recommended fungicide sprays.
Other fungal pathogens isolated from diseased
tissue of sansevieria include Botrytis cinerea, Colletot-
richum sp., Dothiorella sp., Fusarium oxysporum,
Gloeosporium sansevieriae, and Pythium and Rhizoc-
tonia sp. Pathogenicity of most of these organisms has
not been established, and the symptoms seen with
their isolations are not common.
Nematodes. The root knot nematode (Meloido-
gyne spp.) is the most common and injurious of the
nematodes infesting sansevieria. A high population of
root knot nematodes causes extensive knot-like swel-
ling of the roots and reduced plant vigor. Root knot
nematodes are most frequently a problem in stock
beds or in sandy soils in potted plants propagated
from ground-level stock beds.
Use of recommended nematicidal drenches approx-
imately twice per year in stock beds or once after
potting rooted plants propagated by division should
minimize nematode damage. Preplant nematicide
dips assist in control of nematodes of material to be
planted in either beds or containers.









Weeds. Several weed species are serious pests in
field-grown stock beds of sansevieria. The orientation
of sansevieria leaves permits plenty of light to pene-
trate to the soil surface providing little light competi-
tion for weeds. At present there are no herbicides
labeled for use on sansevieria beds which selectively
kill established weeds without damaging the crop.
Research has demonstrated a few preemergence
herbicides to be rather effective in sansevieria stock if
the beds are thoroughly weeded prior to application
of the herbicide. Unfortunately, these herbicides are


not labeled for use in sansevieria and cannot be
recommended in this publication.
Weeds should not be a problem with greenhouse-
grown potted sansevieria, or in greenhouse propaga-
tion benches, if soils are properly pasteurized and
good sanitation practices are followed. Weeds intro-
duced to clean soil in greenhouses usually come from
weeds established inside the structure, airborne seeds
entering the ventilation system or other openings in
the structures, or, in some cases, seeds carried in water
pumped from holding ponds used for crop irrigation.
















































































This publication was promulgated at a cost of $584.37, or 11.7 cents per copy, to assist foliage plant
growers with production of high quality sansevieria. 2-5M-81


COOPERATIVE EXTENSION SERVICE, UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA, INSTITUTE OF FOOD AND AGRICULTURAL
SCIENCES, K. R. Tefertiller, director, in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture, publishes this Infor-
mation to further the purpose of the May 8 and June 30,1914 Acts of Congress; and is authorized to provide research, educa-
tional Information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function without regard to race, color, sex or
national origin. Single copies of Extension publications (excluding 4-H and Youth publications) are available free to Florida
residents from County Extension Offices. Information on bulk rates or copies for out-of-state purchasers is available from
C. M. HInton, Publications Distribution Center, IFAS Building 664, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida 32611. Before publicizing this
publication, editors should contact this address to determine availability.




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