Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’ (san-se-VEER-ee-uh try-fask-ee-AH-tuh law-REN-tee-eye) is the most often sold Sansevieria plant variety.
The plants’ genus name, Sansevieria, honors the Spanish Prince Raimond de Sansgrio de Sanseviero. He was a patron of botanical expeditions in the 18th century. The specific epithet, trifasciata, means “three bundles.”
The variety name, Laurentii, honors Emile Laurent, an explorer and botanist in the 20th century. He collected and cataloged approximately 3500 plant specimens in central Africa.
The common names of Sansevieria Laurentii include:
- Viper’s Bowstring Hemp
- Mother-in-Law’s Tongue
- Variegated Snake Plant
- Gold Band Sansevieria
- Laurentii Snake Plant
- St. George’s Sword
- Bowstring Hemp
- Good Luck Plant
- Devil’s Tongue
- African Spear
- Magic Sword
- Golden Snake Plant
Hailing from the hot and punishing regions of India and Africa,
This evergreen perennial variety of Sansevieria is a member of the Agavaceae family.
The snake plant Laurentii is valued for its rugged good looks and the hemp-like fiber contained within its leaves.
Sansevieria Laurentii Care
Size & Growth
Snake Plant grows to be between two and four feet tall with a spread of one or two feet in the wild. When grown as a potted plant, it typically tops out at about two feet high and will spread to fill the container.
The plant is slow-growing and long-lived. An individual Sansevieria trifasciata Laurentii may survive several decades and produce many offspring.
Variegated Snake Plant has tall, stiff, lance-shaped leaves. The leaves are deep dark green striped in the center with broad, creamy yellow stripes. The thick, deeply patterned leaves grow in dense clusters that radiate from the base.
Flowering & Fragrance
Mature, pot-bound plants produce fragrant sprays of green/white flowers in the springtime.
Related: Details on the Snake Plant Flower
Light Conditions & Temperature
Mother-in-Law’s Tongue can handle a wide range of light levels. It survives in low light, but the plant prefers the steady, indirect bright light of a sunny window with occasional direct sunlight. If necessary, this indoor plant will adapt to a full sun setting.
These African/Indian plants are sensitive to cold, and they do not tolerate cold drafts or frost. The plant is winter hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9-12.
For best results, place your Sansevieria:
- In a warm, draft-free setting
- In a constant temperature ranging between 70° – 90° degrees Fahrenheit
- Never allow temperatures to drop below 50° degrees Fahrenheit
Watering & Feeding
St. George’s Sword is drought tolerant and requires very little in the way of fertilizer. Use the soak-and-dry watering method. Drench the plant occasionally and allow the soil to dry completely before watering again.
Water from below. Avoid wetting the leaves.
Feed once early in the springtime and again mid-summer. Use a diluted mixture of balanced 10-10-10 or cactus fertilizer.
Withhold fertilizer during the autumn and the winter.
Soil Type & Transplanting
Use a fresh, coarse, loose well-drained potting mix, such as a cactus mix. Or mix a standard potting soil and coarse sand/pebbles. A neutral pH value is preferred.
Repot when the plant becomes pot bound.
The plants’ roots can break weak or brittle pot materials. Use a sturdy container made of terracotta, ceramic or heavy plastic.
The container should have ample surface area for air circulation and good drainage.
Related: What Kind of Sansevieria Soil Mix?
Grooming & Maintenance
- Keep the plants’ leaves clean by occasionally wiping them with a damp cloth.
- If leaves become withered or damaged, prune them away with a sharp, sterile cutting tool.
- Separate pups as needed to prevent overcrowding.
How To Propagate Sansevieria Laurentii
This particular type of Sansevieria does not propagate well through root cuttings. Instead, separate the creeping rhizome pups from the parent plant.
This is easy to do when you repot your Devil’s Tongue. Separate the offsets from the parent plant using a sharp, sterile cutting tool.
Pot the offspring up in their own pots with fresh potting mix and treat them as you would adult plants.
Sansevieria Laurentii Pest or Disease Problems
For the most part, Gold Band Sansevieria is indestructible. If you give the plant:
- Ample, bright indirect light
- Good air circulation
- Warm temperatures
- A sharp draining potting mixture
- The right amount of water
… you should have no problems
If you notice the base of the leaves becoming soft, mushy, yellow, and/or black.
Ask yourself if the the plant was:
- Allowed to stand in water
- Allowed to become too cold
If so, assume root rot. A plant with root rot is usually discarded and replaced.
You can try to separate any healthy pups or healthy parts of the plant. Pot them up in fresh, clean soil and correct your environment and care habits.
Is The Laurentii Considered Toxic or Poisonous?
Wild Sansevieria is quite tasty and safe for elephants, but the plant is toxic to house pets, people, and domestic livestock. Ingestion can cause:
- Mouth Pain
To avoid these problems, place your African Spear plant out of the reach of kids, pets, and livestock. Wash your hands after handling the plant.
Related: Are Snake Plants Poisonous?
Is The Laurentii Plant Considered Invasive?
Although Laurentii Snake Plant is not listed as invasive. But, take care when planting it outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 9-12, where it is able to survive the winters. This plant slowly spreads, and could easily adapt, naturalize, and become invasive in a conducive environment. [source]
Suggested Uses For The Laurentii Sansevieria Plant
Snake plants are easy to grow and propagate and hard to kill. It can survive in about any room in your home or office setting. But it will do best in bright, warm areas as described above.
As a potted plant, it looks pretty in a cluster. Or plant individual pups in combination with other succulents, such as Jade or Donkey’s Tail, for an interesting display.
Viper’s Bowstring Hemp can move outdoors in containers during the spring and summer and brought back indoors during cold weather. But, we don’t recommend it.
In a temperate climate, the plant can remain outdoors year-round. It is a pretty addition to a coastal garden, courtyard, or Mediterranean garden. Sansevierias were among the top performers in NASAs clean indoor air study.