Sansevieria Masoniana Care: Growing Whale Fin Snake Plant

The Sansevieria masoniana is a type of snake plant called the shark fin or whale fin Sansevieria. This luscious beauty is not always the easiest plant to find.

Its enormous leaves make it an intriguing plant that is well worth the time to give proper care.

Leaves of the whale fin sansevieriaPin
Sansevieria Masoniana Whale Fin Snake Plant growing in the landscape Animal Kingdom Walt Disney World

Sansevieria masoniana is also known as Dracaena masoniana in the scientific community. Common names for this plant include:

  • Whale fin snake plant
  • Shark fin snake plant
  • Mason Congo Sansevieria

The whale fin is part of the Asparagaceae family. Sansevieria masoniana originates from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa.

The common name Mason’s Congo Sansevieria comes from its native home.

Whatever you call the plant, this plant is a striking herbaceous perennial.

Sansevieria Masoniana Quick Care Tips

  • Botanical Name: Sansevieria Masoniana
  • Common Name(s): Whale Fin Snake plant, Shark fin snake plant, Mason Congo Sansevieria
  • Synonyms: None
  • Pronunciation: san-se-VEER-ee-uh mas-oh-nee-AH-uh
  • Family & Origin: Asparagaceae family, native to Congo in central Africa
  • Growability: Easy to grow
  • Grow Zone: 10-11
  • Size: Can grow up to 4 feet tall and 2 feet wide
  • Flowering: Rarely flowers indoors
  • Light: Thrives in partial sun and shade or filtered light
  • Humidity: Average humidity between 40-50%
  • Temperature: Prefers temperatures between 65° to 70° degrees Fahrenheit
  • Soil: Sandy or loamy soil with a neutral PH
  • Water: Minimal watering but need to dry out in between watering
  • Fertilizer: Fertilize with a balanced liquid fertilizer or cacti/succulent fertilizer, diluted by half, once a month during the growing season (spring and summer)
  • Pests & Diseases: Can be susceptible to spider mites and mealybugs. Overwatering can lead to root rot.
  • Propagation: Can be propagated through division or cuttings
  • Plant Uses: Air-purifying, decorative plant for indoor spaces.

Sansevieria Masoniana Whale Fin Care Tips

Size and Growth

Masoniana Sansevieria grows to an average height of 2’ to 3’ and can spread between 1’ to 2’ feet. If you have the plant in a small pot, it can restrict its growth from reaching its full potential.

While this snake plant can tolerate filtered or low light, it does not mean the whale fin thrives with it.

A snake plant with long, upward-pointing leaves in a black pot against a gray wall.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram

With the proper soil, ample space for roots, and an adequate amount of light, the Sansevieria masoniana flourishes.

Flowering and Fragrance

The masoniana rarely blooms indoors. When the whale fin snake plant does flower, it boasts greenish-white flower clusters.

These snake plant flower spikes shoot up in a cylindrical form.

This plant will often flower at night (if it does at all), and it emits a citrusy, sweet aroma.

After Sansevieria masoniana flowers, it stops creating new leaves. It does continue growing plantlets by way of rhizomes.

Light and Temperature

In some locations, Sansevieria masoniana is content with partial sun and shade or filtered light.

While intense, full sun can be too much for these plants. This plant can handle full sun in many places, especially as an indoor plant.

Three potted snake plants with variegated leaves on a white background.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @adalees_thumb

Outside, partial sun is best. Low light will slow the growth of the Sansevieria masoniana. The ideal temperature range is between 65° to 70° degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

The plant slows when temperatures fall below 55° degrees Fahrenheit.

In colder regions, grow the whale fin sansevieria outdoors in pots. Bring them in for the cold seasons between September and May.

Moreover, this plant thrives and is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 10-11.

Watering and Feeding

It’s crucial not to overwater Sansevieria masoniana. The whale fin snake plant can handle slight drought conditions better than wet soil.

Watering this plant with lukewarm water is best, and it must dry out between watering.

Avoid using cold water or hard water. Rainwater is an option if you have hard water in your area.

Use minimal water on the Sansevieria masoniana during dormant seasons. During the warmer months, especially if plants are in bright light, ensure the soil does not dry out.

Warm temperatures and heat will dehydrate the soil faster. It also prefers average humidity between 40-50%.

You can also feed your plant with a balanced liquid fertilizer or cacti/succulent fertilizer, diluted by half, once a month during the growing season (spring and summer).

Soil Mix and Transplanting

Repot your pot-grown Masoniana every two to three years. Over time, the soil will become depleted of nutrients. Replanting your whale fin snake plant will help nourish the soil.

Snake plants prefer sandy or loamy soil with a neutral PH. Pot-grown Sansevieria masoniana needs a well-drained potting mix. Select a container with drainage holes to help drain excess water out.

Related: Tips on the Best Soil for Snake Plants

A potted Sansevieria plant with green mottled leaves in a garden nursery setting.Pin
Photo Credit: Instagram @curated_craftsmanila

Grooming And Maintenance

Snake plant care is low maintenance. Daily care is minimal, but the plant can collect dust.

Wiping down the giant leaves with a moist cloth once per month will keep plants looking fresh.

Related: Dracaena angolensis, aka Sansevieria cylindrica, the cylindrical snake plant.

Propagating Masoniana Sansevieria

When your whale fin snake plant grows well, it may need division.

Create multiple plants by cutting out a portion of both the roots and leaves. Replant them in fresh soil.

You can also cut the leaves at the base (if you have enough extra to do so on a plant). Stick the bottom of the cut leaf in a cup of water.

Change the water every few days. After roughly a month or two, you should begin to see roots forming off the bottom of the cut leaf.

Make sure you have water with neutral PH if you want to propagate your whale fin snake plant in this way.

More on: How To Propagate Snake Plant | 25+ Other Snake Plant Varieties

Sansevieria Masoniana Pests or Diseases

Overwatering may not be a pest or disease itself, but it can cause root rot. Rotting roots is detrimental to Sansevieria masoniana.

Root rot is one of the most common problems for the snake plant, especially when potted.

Some types of mold and fungus can grow on snake plants with too much moisture or too little light.

Mealybugs and spider mites can also be troublesome for Sansevieria masoniana.

Wiping leaves down with a mixture of neem oil and water can help remove or prevent many insects.


Sansevieria masoniana is a unique type of snake plant for your potted plant collection or in gardens that grow in hot, humid climates.

These large-leaf plants are low maintenance and survive well near bright light windows. With a little care, your Sansevieria masoniana can thrive and provide years of enjoyment.

JOIN Our FREE Plant Care Newsletter 

By entering your email address you agree to receive a daily email newsletter from Plant Care Today. We'll respect your privacy and unsubscribe at any time.