Sansevieria Black Coral is a variety of Sansevieria trifasciata [san-se-VEER-ee-uh, try-fask-ee-AH-tuh].
This plant is commonly called:
- Snake plant
- Saint George’s sword
- Viper’s bowstring hemp
- Mother-in-law’s tongue
Most of these common names come from the tall, thick leaves featuring dark green with light green markings.
It was also once used to produce bowstrings, but it’s now mostly grown as an ornamental plant.
It’s an evergreen with dense growth belonging to the family Asparagaceae (asparagus).
The snake plant is native to tropical parts of West Africa, including areas between Nigeria and the Congo.
Black Coral Snake Plant Care
Size and Growth
Snake plants produce dense foliage forming a basal rosette.
The leaf stakes may reach up to 35″ inches long and 2.5″ inches wide.
Mature foliage develops light gray-green cross-banding over the dark green base color.
The cross-banding creates a distinct pattern on the foliage.
Flowering and Fragrance
The snake plant produces clusters of small white flowers in the summer.
The flowers aren’t very significant, but they produce a noticeable fragrance.
Light Conditions and Temperature
The snake plant is best suited for outdoor growth in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11 with a minimum average temperature of 30° degrees Fahrenheit (-1° C) during the winter.
- It doesn’t tolerate frost.
- Place under direct sunlight, full sun or bright lighting when grown outdoors.
- Black coral also grows well indoors at normal room temperature.
- It doesn’t require lots of light or frequent watering.
- In fact, these plants prefer medium light when grown inside as direct sunlight may cause scorching.
Watering and Feeding
Water when the top several inches of the soil is dry.
When watering, water thoroughly.
Ensure the soil is saturated before it starts to drain.
A potted plant may need watering once or twice per month during the summer, while outdoor plants may only need watering during periods of drought.
During the winter, the plant may only need water once per month.
Winter is the period when Sansevieria trifasciata black coral is most likely to suffer from overwatering and root rot.
Always allow the soil and the upper parts of the roots to dry completely between watering.
Fertilizer isn’t necessary but may encourage brighter colors and faster growth.
If using fertilizer, add the liquid plant food once per month in the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing.
Potting Mix and Transplanting
Use standard succulent potting mix or regular potting soil with additional sand.
The soil should be well-draining, helping the leaves obtain more of the moisture.
Transplant in the spring before active growth starts.
Only transplant if the plant outgrows its pot or when propagating the plant by division.
Grooming isn’t necessary.
The plants eventually reach several feet before growth slows.
However, like Sansevieria zeylanica it’s an easy, slow-growing plant and may take several years to reach full size.
Propagating Black Coral Snake Plant
Propagate the plant through division or cuttings.
Propagating by division is one of the easiest methods as Sansevieria plants tend to produce lots of suckers.
- To propagate by division, remove the entire plant from the soil.
- Loosely shake some of the soil from the plants to get a better view of the rhizomes.
- Use pruning shears to divide the plant into multiple sections.
- Ensure each section contains a portion of the root system.
- Plant the divided pieces in separate containers using standard succulent potting soil.
- Propagate in the spring for the fastest results.
To propagate with leaf cuttings, cut healthy leaves into 3″ inch sections.
Insert the lower third of each cutting into damp sand.
NOTE: Propagating with cuttings sometimes results in new plants without the marginal stripes or yellow banding.
Black Coral Snake Plant Pest or Disease Problems
This plant rarely suffers from pests or diseases.
It’s one of the easiest houseplants to cultivate.
Spider mites and other common pests tend to have trouble penetrating the thick succulent leaves.
The biggest threat is fungal growth due to root rot.
If the plant receives too much water or grows in soil with poor drainage, the fungus may start to appear near the base of the plant.
Treat fungal growth by correcting the watering frequency and soil drainage.
Cutaway the affected areas or propagate the healthy portions of the plant via division or cuttings.
The plant isn’t invasive.
However, it does contain mild toxicity.
Keep snake plant sansevieria away from animals and children as consuming parts of the plant may cause stomach irritation. More on the question –> Is the Mother in Law Tongue Plant Poisonous?
Suggested Uses For Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
Snake plants can grow quite large and keeps its leaves throughout the year, making it a great addition to a foyer or entrance in a large pot.
It is tough as nails, makes an excellent plant for any home or office and is easy to grow.