Silver Flame Sansevieria (Sansevieria Zeylanica ‘Silver Flame’)
Popular in the UK but unusually rare here in the states, Silver Flame Sansevieria (Sansevieria Zeylanica ‘Silver Flame’) is proof that the Brits may have questionable cuisine, but their taste in tropical plants is sublime.
Like most sansevierias, Silver Flame has thick, leathery leaves the shape of swords, arranged in a rosette. But Silver Flame’s leaves differ from the norm in two interesting ways. First, the leaf body gets darker as it ages, masking out almost all of the silver-green striping that most snake plants have. On the other hand, the leaf edges are almost completely silver-green with dark green markings. The result is a classy sansevieria with a stunning, but slightly more refined and understated look when compared to “snakes” with chartreuse margins.
Of course, being a sansevieria, Silver Flame is as durable as it is lovely. It’s comfortable in most any light short of full direct sun (including low light), sips water like a camel, and needs only the most basic care. Want a plant that merges effortless care with an appearance so interesting it looks like art? Dracaena Trifasciata 'Silver Flame' is the plant for you.
Characteristics and traits of a Silver Flame Sansevieria (Dracaena Trifasciata 'Silver Flame')
Scientific Name: Dracaena Trifasciata ‘Silver Flame’, (syn: Sansevieria Trifasciata ‘Silver Flame’, Sansevieria Zeylanica ‘Silver Flame’)
Genus: Dracaena (formerly Sansevieria)
Family: Dracaenaceae (formerly Asparagaceae)
Common Name: Silver Flame Sansevieria, Whitney Sansevieria, Snake Plant, Mother in Law’s Tongue, Devil’s Tongue
Indoor: All year in temps above 60°F
Outdoor Zones: 10-12
Type: Perennial evergreen succulent; propagated via leaf cuttings and division
Mature Height: 2’-3’
Mature Width: 1’-2’
Plant Height when Shipped: XXXXXX
Growth Rate: Slow
Flower: Very rare on indoor specimens - tall central stalk supporting two dozen or more small, green-white flowers shaped like spindly lilies.
Foliage: Thick, sword-shaped leaves held vertically in a tight rosette, dark green in color with silver-green edges mottled with darker green.
Plant Care and Advice for Silver Flame Sansevieria (Sansevieria Zeylanica ‘Silver Flame’)
Grown In: Inside: all zones year round, Outside: zones 10-12
Light Requirements: Bright indirect to medium or low. Can accept full sun in some locations.
Water Requirements: Water when top 1” of soil becomes dry. Give larger drinks in spring/summer and smaller drinks in fall/winter.
Drought Tolerance: Excellent
Temperature: Likes indoor room temp. 65°F-85°F. Bring in when outdoor temps fall below 40°F. Can often handle colder temps if planted directly in the ground.
Air Purification: Excellent - removes airborne pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene.
Toxicity: Toxic. When ingested, can cause symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Fertilizer: Give half-strength dose of cactus or succulent fertilizer every 1-2 months between March and August.
Container Friendly: Yes - But must have good drainage
Sansevierias like being pot-bound, so feel free to leave yours until it’s clearly overcrowded or warping/cracking its pot. When you do repot, use a heavy pot that breathes well (terracotta is best) and has holes for drainage.
As a succulent, Silver Flame Sansevieria needs a soil that drains well. Standard cactus or succulent mix works well, as does African violet soil with extra sand (say a 2:1 soil/sand ratio) added for drainage. Alternatively, you could mix your own soil. We’d recommend a 2:1:1 blend of perlite or sand, peat, and garden soil.
Repotting as you normally would—keeping in mind that this is also an ideal time to divide the plant if it’s large enough—and water sparsely for the first month afterward so the plant has time to acclimate to its new home.
Silver Flame Sansevieria shows its best colors when in bright indirect light, but can tolerate medium or low light or shade with aplomb. Bright full sun can scorch its leaves, especially on hot afternoons, so you’ll need to keep an eye on it.
Water the plant when the top inch of soil has dried out. In the spring and summer, you can water deeply as long as the soil and pot have adequate drainage. In fall and winter, your Silver Flame Sansevieria will become slightly dormant, so water just enough to moisten the soil again. It’s imperative that the plant not be forced to sit in waterlogged soil (it often induces root rot).
Temperature and humidity are easy: If you’re happy, Silver Flame Sansevieria is happy. If you’re keeping it outdoors, it’s best to bring it in when temps drop below 50°F, just to be safe. Finally, a half-dose of cactus or succulent fertilizer every 1-2 months during the spring and summer will be adequate.
As long as it isn’t overwatered, your Sansevieria Zeylanica ‘Silver Flame’ should have very few care concerns. However, if its leaves begin to droop or tip over, it’s likely the plant is getting too much water (especially if you also see soft, rotting tissue, especially at the base of the leaf). By comparison, if the leaves look “wrinkled” or bent, your plant may need a bit more water than it’s currently receiving.
If the leaves of your Silver Flame Sansevieria are tipping over, but you’ve eliminated overwatering as a possible cause, consider whether the plant could be asking for a larger pot or more light.
Pests like spider mites, scales, or mealybugs are rare on Silver Flame, but they can still appear. When that happens, remove them by wiping daily with a damp cloth, dabbing the pests with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol, or by treating the plant with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
Silver Flame is easy to propagate, but it can take awhile. There are two main methods of propagation in use today. The first and easiest is via natural division. Sansevierias reproduce by sending our underground stems, called rhizomes, that sprout baby “plantlets”. Once they’ve grown to a height of 6-8 inches, these plantlets can be detached from the parent plant and moved to their own pots.
Granted, you do have to wait for your Silver Flame to send out its rhizomes. You can’t rush or force the process. On the bright side, the new plants will be exact clones of the parent plant, with all their variegation and other unique qualities.
By comparison, the plants produced via the other technique, leaf cuttings, will likely revert to the plant’s original type. In this case, that’s the base sansevieria, whose leaves have gorgeous dark green/silver green mottling devoid of fancy edging.
To reproduce your Sansevieria Zeylanica ‘Silver Flame’ using leaf cuttings, cut a leaf into 4” sections, making sure to note which end was “up” on the original leaf, and let each cutting sit for 24 hours to seal its wounds. From here, you have two options: soil or water.
If rooting in water, insert the cutting upright in 1” of distilled water, set it in bright, indirect light, and change the water daily (clean the container weekly). Roots should appear in 2-8 weeks, followed months later by a plantlet.
If rooting in soil, dip the lower end in rooting hormone (optional, but recommended) and push the cutting ½”-¾” deep into moist soil. Place in bright, indirect light and keep the soil moist, but not soggy. You should see a plantlet emerge in 6-8 months.
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GET FREE SHIPPING
when you buy any 3 or more items!
That's right - As soon as your shopping cart contains any 3 items, your shipping is FREE! Eligible for ground shipped orders going to the same address only.
And if you only order one or two items, shipping is just $7.50 per item!
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Do you ship all year long? Yes! In the cold Winter and hot Summer months we check each order destination to be sure the temperature is safe to ship your live plant. When the temperature borders on the "too cold" to ship side, we may choose to ship your plants with a heat pack at no extra charge. If the temperature is still "too cold" to ship, we will hold your order in the warmth of our greenhouses until we can find a safe window of shipping weather and you will be notified via email.
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