Sansevieria ehrenbergii (The Sword Sansevieria)

Sword sansevieria ehrenbergii

Sansevieria ehrenbergii, also known as Sansevieria dwarf samurai, dracaena hanningtonii, Blue sansevieria, Sansevieria samurai, sword sansevieria, samurai dwarf, East African wild sisal, or Dracaena hanningtonii, is one of the most popular species of houseplants, from the family Asparagaceae, thanks to its striking leaves and hardiness.

This species was discovered in 1844 by German explorer Heinrich Wilhelm Schott, who named it after his assistant Jacob Ehrenberg. It’s native to South Africa, where it occurs in the succulent scrublands and coastal forests of Namaqualand and on the Richtersveld slopes of the Northern Cape Province.

Sansevieria Dwarf Samurai has recently become more and more popular among houseplant enthusiasts.

In addition to its unique, interesting leaves, Sansevieria ehrenbergii can thrive with very little light, which makes it an ideal plant to grow in even the dimmest corners of your home or office!

This plant is one of the most common sansevierias used in home decor and Feng Shui applications due to its low maintenance needs and stunning shapely leaves.

Origin and distribution

Sansevieria ehrenbergii is native to Africa. The plant has naturalized in southern Florida and Puerto Rico. It is commonly called the dwarf samurai sword or dwarf sansevieria.

It is also similar to Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Laurentii’. It grows well in bright light but can tolerate low light conditions such as those found in a shaded north window. It grows best with average household temperatures between 15-24 degrees Celsius (60-75 degrees Fahrenheit).

Watering should be done when the soil feels dry to the touch, approximately every two weeks during active growth, and once a month during winter dormancy. Allow soil to dry out slightly between watering.

Common names

East African wild sisal, Sansevieria dwarf samurai, Sansevieria samurai, samurai dwarf, Blue sansevieria, sword sansevieria, or Dracaena hanningtonii

Sansevieria ehrenbergii propagation

Sword sansevieria ehrenbergii

Since Sansevieria ehrenbergii plants usually propagate from cuttings, it is not a very difficult plant to grow. These cuttings can be taken from leaves or stems.

The most important thing to note when propagating Sansevieria through leaf cuttings is that you will need a cutting that has at least two nodes which leave emerge from. Remove all but one of these leaves for the best results.

This should be done in spring or summer and kept in a warm location out of direct sunlight. Roots should begin to form after several weeks and once they are about an inch long, transfer them into soil and water well.

Dracaena hanningtonii can also propagate via rhizome division which is done by separating sections with roots attached from mature plants and replanting them in new pots with fresh soil every 2 to 3 years.

Rhizomes can also be divided every few years to maintain your plant’s size if desired. In general, watering frequency depends on how much light your sansevieria receives. If it is getting bright light or direct sun, allow its soil to dry completely between watering sessions while less frequent watering is needed if your sansevieria receives only moderate light.

Sansevieria ehrenbergii care information

Sword sansevieria ehrenbergii

As with most succulents, Sansevieria ehrenbergii requires little in terms of specific care. However, they do need to be placed in an area that provides them with both good drainage and adequate light. Too much water can rot their roots—causing your plant to topple over, but too little water will cause it to wither and die.

In addition, these plants are surprisingly cold-hardy and can survive temperatures as low as 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 Celsius). However, they do prefer warmer weather.

Light requirement

Sansevieria ehrenbergii requires moderate to bright light. It is important to avoid placing your plant in direct sunlight, as it will cause leaves to burn and turn yellow. The best place for a Sansevieria is near a window that gets some sun but not direct sunlight.

Place your plant away from windows where cold drafts enter your home, as these can be detrimental to its health. In addition, try to avoid any drafts coming from fans or air conditioners, as they can dry out leaves quickly.

Soil/potting mix

Sand particles and peat moss are both sources of organic matter. Organic matter is important because it helps retain moisture while improving drainage. An ideal soil mix contains a little sand, some peat, and some compost or other type of organic material.

The choice of potting soil can affect how quickly your Sansevieria gets established in its new home, so it’s best to choose a quality brand that has good drainage properties. When you pick out a container for your Sansevieria, look for one with at least one drainage hole at the bottom.

This will help prevent root rot by allowing excess water to drain away from roots. Most growers use clay pots rather than plastic containers; clay pots have better insulating properties than plastic ones.

However, if you live in an area where temperatures get below freezing during the winter months, plastic containers might be better since they won’t crack when exposed to cold weather.


It’s easy to overwater Sansevierias ehrenbergii because they seem to do well in sopping wet soil, but don’t fall for it. Overwatering is one of the most common reasons why plants die. Let your new baby get its feet under it before you start letting it drink from a fire hose.

Don’t worry if its leaves wrinkle up—that just means it’s trying to tell you something and save itself from drowning.  Use a pot with drainage holes to prevent root rot. Water thoroughly when soil is dry at least an inch down, then allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings.

Some species of Sansevieria are sensitive to fluoride in tap water. Check with your local utility company before using treated tap water if you suspect your local supply contains fluoride. Sansevieria ehrenbergii may also need to be flushed thoroughly when moved between different light levels or into the new soil.


It is recommended to fertilize sansevieria ehrenbergii once every two months with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer mixed at one-fourth strength. Plants will benefit from fertilizer spikes during their growing season and spiked every two weeks for enhanced results. Feeding too often can burn roots, so be careful not to overdo it!


Sansevieria ehrenbergii has a temperature preference between 65-75 degrees F. When kept too cold, it will enter dormancy and cease growth. This can be fixed by moving it to a warmer room until it shows signs of regrowth. If it stays dormant for long enough, though, you may lose your plant.

If you’re in doubt about how warm or cool your house is during certain times of the year, I recommend using an indoor/outdoor thermometer to monitor temperatures where your sansevieria lives.

You can also consider keeping it on a heat mat if you live in an area that experiences extreme fluctuations during colder months. Be sure not to set it on top of anything flammable like paper or fabric, as they could catch fire when exposed to high temperatures over time.


Sansevieria ehrenbergii requires medium to high humidity, and should not be exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can’t provide a space for Sansevieria with these conditions in your home, try putting it near a humidifier.

Drip irrigation is another excellent option to keep plant soil moist without overwatering. It works great as long as you don’t run out of water before your potting mix has had time to absorb it all.

The ideal humidity range is 50% to 80% for Sansevieria and 70% to 90% for most other houseplants. You can test humidity by placing a clean finger on your plant’s soil. If it feels dry within a few seconds, your plant needs more water.

When you water, do so until water runs out of drainage holes in your pot. Be careful not to over water plants as they may get root rot if the soil remains wet too long.


Your Sansevieria ehrenbergii plant may not need pruning, but if you choose to do so, it’s best to wait until it is mature. Prune after flowering in late summer or autumn when only leaves remain on stems.

The dwarf sansevieria rarely needs pruning except for removing dead leaves and spent flower stalks. If you want to keep your sansevieria looking tidy, snip off any yellowing or dying leaves from time to time. It will also help prevent new growth from becoming leggy.

When to repot

Sword sansevieria ehrenbergii

A dwarf Sansevieria needs repotting when it’s outgrown its current container and is in danger of becoming pot-bound. The root ball can be quite dense, so don’t repot into a larger container than you need.

A wider pot gives roots more space to grow and encourages faster growth. For example, if your plant is currently 6 inches wide, use a container that’s at least 10 inches across.

When repotting your Sansevieria ehrenbergii, remove only enough soil to make room for new soil; otherwise, some of your plants will remain above ground level.

When removing old soil from around a pot-bound plant, it’s best to gently tease away soil with fingers instead of trying to pull up individual roots. Use scissors or pruning shears to cut off dead leaves; healthy leaves should have white or yellow tips.


If you leave your Sansevieria ehrenbergii in bright light, it will not grow. Instead, it will go into a dormant stage where its leaves shrivel and curl up.

This happens naturally if you bring your plant inside for winter or if you move it to a different environment with different light conditions. It is crucial that you do not water or care for your plant during dormancy.

Flowers & Fragrance

Sansevieria ehrenbergii flowers are small and white and can be found on long stalks. They open and close according to sunlight, but don’t offer any noticeable fragrance. This makes them attractive to people who prefer a quiet or low-maintenance plant.

If you’re looking for something bigger, you can take cuttings from your Sansevieria if it is producing offsets; otherwise, your plant will grow fairly slowly over time.

Growth rate

Sansevieria ehrenbergii has a moderately fast growth rate, with tall varieties growing between 1 and 3 feet tall over their lifetime. The Sansevieria plant is native to subtropical regions and prefers bright, indirect sunlight.

Place your Sansevieria in average room temperatures of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This slow-growing succulent requires very little attention, making it perfect for home or office decoration.


There are no reported cases of Sansevieria ehrenbergii toxicity. All parts of Sansevieria are non-toxic, but if ingested, chewing can cause oral irritation to those with sensitive mouths. Most animals have no interest in ingesting Sansevieria plants and will leave them alone when given an alternative food source.

The only exception would be small children who may try to eat anything they can get their hands on and pets who may chew or scratch at plants out of boredom or stress.

USDA Hardiness Zones

Sansevieria ehrenbergii thrives in USDA hardiness zones 8-11. It can be grown outdoors year-round in zone 8 and may tolerate zone 7 if kept indoors during winter. In cooler climates, it can be grown as a houseplant year-round.

Pests and diseases

The sansevieria dwarf samurai is typically grown indoors, so it rarely comes into contact with outdoor pests and diseases. However, it is also commonly grown outdoors in Florida, Texas, and Arizona, so long as temperatures don’t drop below freezing.

The leaves of most sansevierias are not affected by fungal diseases. If a disease does strike your dwarf samurai and discolors or wilts portions of its leaves, try misting them with a 1/4-strength solution of hydrogen peroxide.


Sansevieria ehrenbergii is a hardy plant that makes a great addition to anyone’s home or office. With its durable nature and versatility in design, it can be enjoyed by any grower or fan of Sansevierias.

Sansevieria will grow in just about any kind of soil, but some types of soil do tend to favor certain types of problems. Soil that drains well tends to avoid root rot and other moisture-related issues, while soil that holds onto the water for too long can encourage both fungus growth and root rot.

In conclusion, we believe Sansevieria Ehrenbergii deserves to be at least considered for your next purchase. We are confident you will find it to be a welcome addition to your garden or home decor!

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