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Sansevieria Zeylanica “Devil’s Tongue”

Latin name

Sansevieria zeylanica


(“san-sev-ee-AIR-ree-ah zay-LAN-ik-ah”)

Common name

Snake Plant


India and Sri Lanka

How easy am I to care for?

Buy one of my cousins from the nursery:

Devil’s Tongue, or Sansevieria zeylanica, is an easy-care houseplant that requires little water, making it a perfect plant for novice plant owners and those who are busy.

Superficially resembling Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake plant, or Mother-in-Law’s tongue), this species is found many thousands of miles away in Sri Lanka and India. The leaves are long and strap-like and are grey-green with horizontal bands of darker green along their length. The largest leaves occasionally show signs of age. These leaves are the oldest on the plant and may be several years old by the time it is ready to be sold, which means that sometimes they have small brown lesions and scars on them, especially near the tips and leaf edges.

Devil’s Tongue is also sometimes called a Snake plant, or even Fan snake plant, which can be confusing (and why using the scientific name is always a good way to be sure to find what you need!)

Sansevierias are now classified as a species of Dracaena – if you examine their underground stems, the resemblance becomes very clear.

All our potted plants come in compostable coir pots.

Caring for your plant



It will tolerate low light levels. Direct sunlight causes bleaching of the leaves.


Little water required – can tolerate dry atmospheres. The compost should be allowed to dry out between watering.


Do not prune, although the plant can be divided when large.


A little dilute fertilizer added to the water will be all that is necessary.

Pest & Diseases

Can occasionally be affected by mealybugs, which can be removed when cleaning the leaves with a damp cloth

Mill Pond Nurseries,
Mill Road,
CM22 6AA

T: 0345 505 3333
E: enquiries@planteriagroup.com

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