Whale Fin Snake Plant Sansiveria
Whale Fin Snake Plant Sansiveria
Whale Fin Snake Plant Sansiveria
Whale Fin Snake Plant Sansiveria
Whale Fin Snake Plant Sansiveria
Whale Fin Snake Plant Sansiveria
Whale Fin Snake Plant Sansiveria
Whale Fin Snake Plant Sansiveria

Whale Fin Snake Plant Sansiveria


Whale Fin Sansevieria (Sansevieria Masoniana)

“Thar she blows!” While most foliage plants flash dozens of leaves to get attention, the Whale Fin Sansevieria (Dracaena Masoniana) can make a huge splash with only a single leaf.

Granted, it’s one very impressive leaf. Whale Fin Sansevieria’s leaves—yep, it can grow more than one leaf as it matures—are massive fleshy paddles that can stretch to 36” high and 12” wide. Plus, they’re not only big, but also beautiful, with the trademark sansevieria patterning of intricate light green mottling on darker green and a thin, pink-to-yellow pinstripe around the very outermost edge. If you want a plant that captivates not because it’s showy or gaudy, but because it just seems to exist on a different scale than the rest of the world? Whale Fin Sansevieria is that plant.    

Native to Africa and originally collected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Whale Fin Sansevieria is also an easy-to-please whale. Remember, this is a sansevieria, which means there are weeds in your yard that are harder to take care of than this plant. It’s happy with light ranging from bright indirect (which gives the best color) down to low light, and requires very little water or fertilizer. It even grows slowly, so you won’t have to repot it very often, and few pests or diseases know what to do with it. It is mildly toxic when eaten, so you’ll want to avoid doing that. Otherwise, Whale Fin Sansevieria is good to go. 

Best of all, you won’t have to scour the seven seas to track down this great whale. We’ve got them right here and ready for you. So don’t wait—get your own Dracaena Masoniana today, and go whale watching from the comfort of your own home.  


Characteristics and traits of a Whale Fin Sansevieria (Dracaena Masoniana)

Scientific Name: Dracaena Masoniana (formerly Sansevieria Masoniana)

Genus: Dracaena

Family: Asparagaceae

Common Name: Whale Fin, Shark’s Fin, Snake Plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, Good Luck Plant, Mason Congo Sansevieria

Indoor:   All year round as long as temperatures are above 55°F

Outdoor Zones: 10-12

Type: Perennial; Propagated via rhizomes (division) and leaf cuttings

Mature Height: 2’ - 4’

Mature Width: 1’ - 2’

Plant Height when Shipped: XXXXXX

Growth Rate: Slow

Flower: Very rare indoors - spikes of small, non-ornamental greenish-white flowers

Foliage: Very stiff, diamond-shaped leaves, arranged in a whorl, with a mottled light/dark green pattern and pencil-thin purple edge. 

Plant Care and Advice for Whale Fin Sansevieria (Dracaena Masoniana)

Grown In:  Inside: all zones year round, Outside: zones 10-12

Light Requirements: Best color when in bright indirect or filtered light, but can handle everything down to low light.

Water Requirements: Give moderate water in summer (March-August), drain completely, allow top 1”-2” of soil to dry before watering again. Reduce water in colder months. 

Drought Tolerance: Excellent

Temperature:  Likes indoor room temp. 65°F-75°F. If outdoors, bring indoors when temp falls below 50°F.  

Air Purification: Excellent - removes airborne pollutants including benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene

Toxicity: Toxic. Saponins in tissues can cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Fertilizer: Give succulent food or half-strength general plant food once every month in summer, none during fall & winter.

Container Friendly: Yes, but required good drainage.


Unlike its namesake, the Whale Fin Sansevieria dislikes sitting in water—in fact, soggy soil can be disastrous for this plant. Drainage is vital. As such, it’s important to plant Whale Fin Sansevieria in a container that has adequate drainage holes—preferably a terracotta pot, which dries out faster than sealed porcelain, plastic, or other materials.

It’s worth mentioning that pot size is more important to Whale Fin Sansevieria than it is to most plants. The new pot should be no more than 1”-2” wider than the plant’s current container—any larger and it will retain too much water. On the other hand, your whale fin’s growth can be restricted if the plant is allowed to become pot-bound in a too-small container, so when it does need repotting—most likely every 2-3 years—, you’ll want to act quickly.

Once the pot is chosen, select a soil that will drain quickly. Whale Fin Sansevieria requires very little organic matter, so soilless mix, cactus potting mix, or African violet mix with a bit of added sand are all good choices. You could also mix your own 2:1:1 blend of perlite or sand, peat, and garden soil. Once that’s done, feel free to repot the plant as usual.

Plant Care:

One of the reasons people love sansevierias is that they are very tolerant of medium- and even low-light situations. While this is undeniably true, Whale Fin Sansevieria actually grows better and shows its brightest coloration when given bright indirect light. In fact, it can even take full sun in many indoor settings.  

During the spring and summer months, give Whale Fin Sansevieria’s soil a good soak whenever the top 1” or so becomes dry or if the plant’s leaves begin to wrinkle a bit. Once that’s done, allow the soil to drain and dry out again before giving more water. In the winter, give water less often and in smaller amounts to make sure the soil is never soggy. If you’re unsure whether to water or not, hold off, even if you go weeks without watering the plant. Too little is always better than too much.

Two more notes about watering: First, water the soil rather than the leaves, which can rot if they’re allowed to stay wet. Secondly, water straight out of the tap might not be the best thing for your Whale Fin Sansevieria, especially if it’s hard water or has added fluoride or chlorine. For optimal plant health, use room-temperature distilled water, rainwater, or tap water that’s been left to sit uncovered for at least 24 hours (which enables the additives to dissipate out).

Whale Fin Sansevierias have minimal need for fertilizer, but they can benefit from a dose of succulent food (or half-strength general plant food) once a month during the spring and summer. Nothing during fall or winter, though. That could harm the plant instead of helping it.

Average room temperatures and humidity are fine for these plants, so there’s no need to mist, but do make an effort to keep it away from cold drafts, A/C vents, and even central heating vents, all of which can dry the plant out.

Expert Advice:

Whale Fin Sansevieria (Dracaena Masoniana) can handle more cold that you might imagine—down to 50°F. However, because this plant does most everything slowly, cold damage can take up to a month to appear. If you see what looks like random tissue damage, think back over the past several weeks to see if you might identify a cold-related cause.

If Dracaena Masoniana’s leaves look a bit wrinkled, the plant needs water. If the leaf edges are yellowing, it may be getting too much intense light. If the leaves straight-up fall over? It’s a fertilizer overdose. Flush the soil with a ton of clean water, then make sure the soil drains so you’re not inviting a root rot infestation.  

With leaves this size, it’s no wonder the plant appreciates if you wipe down its leaf/leaves with a moist cloth once a month. This can also help prevent the arrival of nuisances such as mealybugs or spider mites. If the pests turn up anyway, either neem oil or diligent mechanical removal with a wet towel can dispose of them.

As long as your Dracaena Masoniana is not stressed out by overwatering, it is highly resistant to diseases.

Whale Fin Sansevieria propagates naturally by producing smaller “pup” plants on rhizomes (underground stems). However, if you don’t want to wait for it to get around to propagating itself, you can force the issue with leaf cuttings.

To propagate via a leaf cutting, it’s best to have a plant with at least two leaves. Choose one to sacrifice and cut it off at its base. Cut it again into pieces each 4”-5” long. Note: Pay attention to which end of each cutting originally pointed downward. Like their parent leaves, leaf cuttings always have an up and a down, and the roots will only form on the “downward” edge. Let the cuttings sit for 1-3 days so their wounds callus over (this helps keep the cuttings from decaying when inserted into soil or water).

If rooting in water, simply place the cutting downside-down in a container with enough distilled water that the lower inch or so of the cutting is submerged. There’s one tricky point here: You don’t want the cutting to rest on the bottom of the container, because that can damage the new roots. The easy solution is to use a container whose bottom is slightly narrower than the cutting. A slightly more complex (but far cooler looking) method is to find something long, such as a bamboo kitchen skewer, and use an orchid clip or hair clip to attach it to the leaf cutting in such a way that the skewer sticks out below the cutting and lifts if off the bottom of the container like a stilt.

Whichever solution you choose, change the water 1-2 times per day, wipe off any slime that forms on the cutting, and wipe the inside of the container clean once a week. Within a couple months, you should see roots begin to develop on the cutting, which will eventually grow a “pup”. 

If rooting in soil, once the cuttings have callused, dip their downward edges in rooting hormone (optional, but highly recommended), then insert that edge ½” to ¾” into moist soil. From there on, treat the cutting like you would the full-sized plant. The cutting itself won’t grow, but it will form roots and, over the next 6-8 months, grow a pup.