How to Flower a Sansevieria (Sword of Saint George)

The hallmark of a Sansevieria is its vivid leaf-like foliage. But did you know that they can also flower? Many do not realize this because a Sansevieria can go for decades without flowering. This article will help you understand how it happens and how to make a sansevieria bloom.

flower a Sansevieria

introduction

Lighting and maturity are the most important factors for the flowering of a Sansevieria.

These plants usually don’t flower until they are at least a few years old. And even older Sansevierias that live indoors may not produce flowers because they don’t get as much sun as they would in the wild.

The flowers arise from a stalk called a flower spike, which arises from the center of its foliage.

Each cluster of leaves can only bloom once, and once the flowers fade, you won’t get any new growth from that rosette.

However, your plant will continue to send up rhizomes from which new foliage shoots and flower rosettes will sprout.

How to Make a Sansevieria Flower

flower a Sansevieria

First, keep in mind that Sansevierias don’t flower until they’re at least a few years old, even under ideal conditions.

Next, we will see the three most important aspects to make Sansevieria thrive.

1. Sunlight

Your plant needs a good amount of sun to grow flowers. If you want to encourage your Sansevieria plant to bloom, try moving it to a brighter location.

A windowsill is usually the best option. Although sold as low-light plants, most varieties of Sansevieria do well in direct sunlight.

You may need to water it a little more often, but that’s the only real downside. Just be sure to transition slowly if you drastically change the amount of light it’s going to receive.

2. Do not transplant often

Interestingly, the other thing that can help is quitting. Sansevieria plants are more likely to flower when under certain stress. The plant feels in danger and tries to pass on its genes if it dies.

It’s a fine line, because you don’t want to stress the plant to the point that its health is seriously affected.

The best method is to simply leave your plant’s roots a little heaped in its pot. Normally, to avoid this, you should increase the pot size of the plant every 3-5 years. But if you want it to flower, you can reduce the frequency to every 5-7 years.

Keeping the plant in a mildly stressed state, combined with low fertilization, can cause it to flower.

Your Sansevieria should be able to handle being lightly attached to the roots. However, you should be on the lookout for warning signs, such as wilting or discoloration of foliage.

3. Compost and soil

There is an important myth that we need to tackle before proceeding. Many people are under the impression that there are special types of fertilizers that will give plants a better chance to thrive.

These are usually high phosphorus formulas, often sold as “bloom enhancers” or a similar name that suggests they will induce bloom.

It is true that a poorly nourished Sansevieria plant will not flower. But once you’ve met their basic needs, adding extra phosphorus doesn’t help. All it does is leave potentially harmful mineral salts in the ground.

Give your Sansevieria an average dose of a well-balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring), and don’t waste your money on fancy “bloom boosters”. Look: How to make homemade fertilizers for the garden and vegetable patch.

It is best to use a growing medium specifically designed for cacti and succulents. Look: How to make an ideal substrate for succulents and cacti.

When and how does a Sansevieria flower?

when the sansevieria blooms

Sansevieria plants they usually bloom in the spring. The flowers bloom at night and close during the day. They will stay 2-4 days before they start to wilt.

When you flower your Sansevieria plant, the flowers do not emerge from the surface leaves, but rather the plant sends up a flower spike from the rhizome. This thin green stem emerges from the center of the rosette and can reach up to one meter in height.

As the flower spike grows, it develops dozens of small green shoots along its length.

Within 2-4 weeks of the flower spike first appearing, these little buds will begin to open into delicate white flowers.

What do Sansevieria flowers look and smell like?

how is a Sansevieria flower

Its slender white petals curl downward like ribbons, while a cluster of tiny, green-tipped stamens protrude from the center of each. The flowers almost look like little fireworks coming out of the center of the plant.

When closed for the day, the flowers of the plant fold into green or white fingers. It’s very appealing in its own way.

A blooming Sansevieria gives off a strong fragrance that most find pleasing (although, as always, personal tastes vary widely).

The scent varies from cultivar to cultivar, but often includes a touch of sweetness that is very reminiscent of jasmine or vanilla. The smell of flowers becomes stronger at night.

The flowers also give off sweet nectar, so wrap paper or towels around the base of the plant. Otherwise, that sticky liquid can create a bit of a mess as it drips down.

Do Sansevieria plants die after flowering?

sansevieria flowers

Proud owners of Sansevieria often post photos of their flowering plants on Internet forums. And sometimes people respond with dire warnings that a blooming Sansevieria plant is doomed.

Fortunately, this is a misconception. It is true that some plants are monocarpic, that is, they die after the first flowering. Others are polycarpic, able to flower again and again.

Sansevieria plants fall somewhere in the middle. Each rosette can only produce a flower spike once in its lifetime, and once it does, no new foliage will sprout.

It won’t really die – those precious leaves will stay where they are for years.

In addition, the root mass will continue to spread new rhizomes which will give rise to new rosettes. Over time, these can create their own flowers.

Final Thoughts

Your sansevieria plant can produce very pretty flowers. However, it is difficult to get this to happen consistently when grown indoors.

It may also be interesting to read: How to grow Sansevieria (Saint George’s sword) and its care.

It is best to give it plenty of light, the right amount of fertilizer and a slightly narrow container. Patience, optimism and a bit of luck are also good.

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