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Sansevieria Zeylanica (Devil's Tongue) House Plant Foli8 Sansevieria Zeylanica (Devil's Tongue) House Plant Closeup Devil's tongue long pointed leaves Sansevieria Zeylanica with coir pot Devil's Tongue

Devil's Tongue

Sansevieria zeylanica

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

Floor Standing

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 - read more here.

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Additional Information

Pets & Children

The tips of the leaves can be hard, so mind your eyes when getting close. The foliage is toxic to cats and dogs

foli8 Coir Pot Size - read here


Country of Origin

India and Sri Lanka

Habitat Conditions

A minimum of 10 C is required, although they do best at warmer temperatures (15 C - 25 C). If they get chilled, the fleshy leaves collapse into a vile-smelling mass.

Plant Care


It will tolerate low light levels. Direct sunlight causes bleaching of the leaves. Will also tolerate dry atmospheres.


Little water required. 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

Occasional mealybugs, which can be removed when cleaning the leaves with a damp cloth

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