sansevieria varieties

9 Types of Snake Plants: Sansevieria Varieties To Grow

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Just about everyone has heard of the snake plant. These hardy perennials are really easy to care for and provide long-lasting color, texture, and beauty wherever they are grown. 

However, many of you might not realize that there are several different types of these excellent indoor plants that can be collected.

Once you know how to care for a snake plant, read our list below to learn more about some fantastic snake plant varieties that you can start growing in your home. 

Dracaena trifasciata

D. trifasciata is the most popular snake plant species in cultivation. Up until very recently, the species was known as Sansevieria trifasciata and is still commonly referred to by this name by many growers. 

This snake plants variety is native to the equatorial region of West Africa but is now found thriving in containers and gardens throughout the world. It has been developed into several attractive cultivars. The following options are all known to make wonderful houseplants

Dracaena trifasciata

S. trifasciata ‘MoonShine’

This attractive snake plant cultivar has relatively broad leaves that can reach about 4 inches (10cm) across. With a height of about 2 feet (0.6m), it does not grow particularly tall, creating a dense, leafy-looking specimen. 

The foliage color is unique, with a silvery-green base color that is accentuated by thin dark green margins and light bands. This plant works perfectly in both dark and light-colored pots for indoor setup. It will survive in lower light but may turn a darker green shade under these conditions. 

S. trifasciata ‘Laurentii’

This popular cultivar is commonly known as the variegated snake plant. It is probably the most recognizable snake plant, exhibiting sword leaves in alternating bands of light and dark green with yellow margins. 

‘Laurentii’ reaches a height of a little over 2 feet (0.6m) when grown indoors, although it can grow to nearly twice this size when grown outdoors in ideal conditions. Like other plants in this group, it is slow-growing and easy to care for, making it a wonderful low-maintenance houseplant. 

S. trifasciata ‘Golden Hahnii’

This variety looks just like ‘Laurentii’ except that the leaves are shorter and the yellow margin is thicker and runs throughout the underside of the leaves. This is a great choice for growers who want a more compact snake plant as this cultivar reaches just 8 inches (0.2m) or so in height.

S. trifasciata ‘Black Robusta’

Another striking new addition, this snake plant boasts dark green, almost black glossy leaves. Upon closer inspection, light green bands cover both sides of the leaves.

Sansevieria kirkii/ Dracaena pethera

This species is commonly known as the star sansevieria. This plant occurs widely in Eastern and Southern Africa (1). 

S. kirkii ‘Coppertone’

A relatively new and rare cultivar, this snake plant has striking shiny copper-colored wide leaves with green bands. The leaves are curled on the edges and are gathered in a rosette form. It is a relatively low-growing snake plant that has a flattened growth form. The leaves grow to a little less than a foot long under good conditions. 

Sansevieria ehrenbergii/ Dracaena hanningtonii

This species is commonly known as the blue or sword sansevieria. It grows wild from Saudi Arabia in West Asia to Tanzania in East Africa (2). It is a fairly large species that can grow to about 5 feet (1.5m) tall. The leaves grow in an attractive fan shape, rather than the typical rosette form. 

Sansevieria ‘Rorida’

Reported as the most expensive snake plant of 2019, this slow-growing cultivar of S. ehrenbergii has fan-shaped downward-curving stubby leaves growing on top of one another. The leaves are green and unlike most snake plants, the dark bands are thin and parallel to the midrib. It is a much more compact form than the wild species.

Sansevieria patens

This East African species can reach a height of about 3 feet (0.9m) (3). It is a unique succulent type of snake plant with stubby pointed dark green leaves that are initially arranged in a rosette form and then arch in different directions as the plant matures. This plant thrives indoors in bright, indirect lighting. 

Sansevieria cylindrica

sansevieria cylindrica

This plant is commonly known as the cylindrical snake plant or African spear plant. The long tubular leaves in different shades of green fan out from the base of the plant. It is a large species that can reach nearly 7ft (2m) long when grown outdoors. Indoors, however, they look striking in pots with a manageable height of 12-16 inches (0.3-0.4m).

Sansevieria zeylanica

The original ‘mother-in-law’s tongue’, this plant has long sword-like leaves with alternating irregular bands of dark and light shades of green. It is a hardy species that needs very little maintenance and thrives in bright light conditions. 


While this guide is by no means exhaustive, it does give you a good idea of the diversity of many varieties of sansevieria. If you don’t already have these snake plant types in your collection and are considering growing one, you certainly won’t be disappointed. 

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