Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ (also known as Night Owl snake plant) is one of the newer hybrids of the popular Hahnia cultivar. It forms a low and wide rosette of elliptical and upright leaves.
The characteristic of this hybrid is the soft green leaves color with discrete transverse lines and a narrow, white, or cream rim.
Sansevieria is a genus in the Dracaena family, which includes about 70 species of succulent plants native to Africa, Madagascar, and South Asia. In addition to indigenous species, there are many cultivars and hybrids of this well-likes and decorative plant.
Regardless of their diversity, all sansevieria are plants that are very easy to grow, adapt well to different conditions, tolerate neglect, thrive where most other houseplants fail, and purify the air (which is why I love Snake Plants).
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- Light: Bright indirect sunlight
- Water: Once in 15 days from spring to fall, once a month in winter
- Soil: Well-drained, sandy, cactus or suculent soil mix
- Fertilizer: Once every month (during growing seasons)
- Size: Up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall
- Size: Leaves grow up to 10″ (25 cm) wide
- Leaf color: Dark and light green
- Temperature: Between 55º and 85ºF (12-29ºC)
- Humidity: Standard home humidity level
- Cold hardy: Sensitive to frost
- Propagation: By dividing and cuttings in water or soil
- Toxicity: Mildly toxic to humans and animals
General Care for Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’
Sansevieria are plants that are often said to be almost impossible to kill! This miraculous endurance has unquestionably contributed to their popularity.
Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ is no exception! Even complete beginners can grow this plant whose beauty cannot be impaired even by very unfavorable conditions such as prolonged drought and poor soil.
Yet, do not abuse this fact! Try to provide it with a suitable surrounding where it will show all its beauty!
Classified as succulent, Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ stores water in its thick pointed leaves. It means that it can withstand long periods in an almost completely dry substrate and is easier to handle with a shortage than with an excess of water.
Therefore, water it less often than other houseplants. It is enough to water it once in 15 days during the growing season and only once a month during the winter.
Allow the soil to dry almost completely before watering the plant. In addition, every time you water the plant, after ten minutes, check whether the excess water has accumulated in the tray of the pot.
The truth is that the ‘Night Owl’ can handle anything but is sensitive to sitting in water, so be sure to empty the tray.
Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ grows in every place in the house except on the south window sill, where it will be exposed to direct sunlight for hours. Thus, indirect light in any part of the space is enough to make the Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ feel comfortable.
Moreover, even some points away from the light source will not be a problem. It is one of the few species that will thrive under artificial lighting and, therefore, it is a common design choice for spaces with little natural lighting.
However, it grows faster and has more intense colors and patterns on the leaves if it gets some direct morning light. That is why the positions along the East window are ideal.
The fundamental condition that the soil must meet is an airiness and good permeability. Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ will struggle in heavily compacted soil that retains moisture for a long time. The most practical solution is to get a ready-made cactus mixture.
However, you can also prepare a homemade mix using available ingredients such as one part garden soil, one part peat moss, and two parts perlite or builder’s sand.
You can improve the nutritional value of the soil with some compost, but its share should not be more than one-tenth because compost tends to keep moisture, which this plant does not like at all.
The modest Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ will thrive without additional fertilization, drawing on what is available to it in the soil in which it grows. However, do not let it starve because it will slow down growth.
Once a month, dissolve in water half the recommended concentration of a balanced liquid fertilizer with an equal proportion of sodium, phosphorus, and potassium, and apply it when water your plant.
Alternatively, you can use slow-release fertilizers in granules mixed into the substrate at the beginning of the season.
Of course, follow the recommendations on quantities, and if you are not sure exactly how much fertilizer you need to add, it is always better to use less since excess nutrients are more dangerous than a lack of them.
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Sansevieria is a plant that comes from the area of dry and warm air. It easily adapts to growing conditions in standard indoor spaces. It does not need additional moistening or spraying of the leaves.
Regularly removing dust with a damp cloth is quite enough to refresh the leaves.
Moreover, when watering, avoid wetting the aboveground part of the plant. Namely, water glides quickly through its smooth thick leaves, and if it accumulates in the heart of the rosette, it can cause rotting of the leaves.
In the USA climate zone, 9 to 11 Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ is a plant that you can grow outdoors in the garden provided the soil is well-drained and not too wet.
In other zones where the winter temperature falls below the freezing point, Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ thrives as a potted plant protected from low temperatures.
It grows best in a room with a temperature range of 55 to 85°F (12-29ºC).
However, here the Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ demonstrates high tolerance and endurance too! Unlike most other houseplants, it will survive for a few weeks in a space whose temperature drops to 45°F (7°C)!
In summer, Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ doesn’t mind even if the temperature reaches 100°F (37°C) as long as it is not exposed to direct sunlight!
Although Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ is a hybrid species, it has retained all the primary characteristics of the indigenous plants from which it originated. One of them is a weakly branched and relatively small root system.
In the natural environment, these plants grow on dry, stony or sandy soil in which the root does not have much room to grow and branch.
Therefore, plant sansevieria in small capacity containers. It must have at least one opening, above which you could place a layer of coarse gravel or tile fragments to ensure soil drainage.
The Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ can grow in the same pot for years!
Moreover, the lack of space has a stimulating effect on the appearance of new shoots that often grow along the very edge of the pot.
However, no matter how cramped the new shoots seem to you, that is what Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ likes!
Do not rush with transplanting, and only when the newborn shoots fill the pot, transplant it into a new, not much larger container.
Pruning is a procedure that maintains the healthy appearance of the plant or controls its size or shape.
Feel free to remove any old leaves that have begun to wilt or those with physical damage such as cracked tips or crushing.
It is enough to take a sterile knife or scissors and cut the leaf along the rosette base, approximately 1/3 inch above the surface of the substrate. Should we even say that Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ tolerates it well?
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It is no exaggeration to say that Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ is pests and problems free because you will not face many issues growing this plant. The most significant complication is excessive watering which results in root rot.
Excess water disturbs the plant’s metabolism since it already has water reserves in the leaves. Constant sitting in a wet substrate or growing in a pot without a drainage hole is a threat that Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ does not fight.
The heart of the rosette becomes mushy, watery, and soft, and it can no longer hold the leaves that begin to separate at the base and fall off.
If the roots of the ‘Night Owl’ are rotting, immediately remove the plant from the wet substrate.
You could leave it in the air to dry the roots for at least 24 hours and afterward transplant it into fresh soil that is not moist. Do not water for at least 15 days!
Hard, leathery leaves of sansevieria are not particularly attractive to pests that feed on plant sap, so their occurrence is quite rare.
However, it is not to say that the ‘Night Owl’ is resistant to intruders such as mealybugs, spider mites, or aphids. In case of their attack, first try to wash the parasites from the leaves under lukewarm water, taking care to dry the plant well after treatment and that no water remains in the heart of the rosette.
If this does not give the desired result, apply a solution of neem oil or standard insecticides.
How to keep your Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ problem free?
The only non-negotiable condition for growing sansevieria is to grow it in well-drained soil through which the water passes quickly!
When you meet this condition and do not water it too often, the Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ can actually withstand all other possibly unfavorable problems.
How to Propagate Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’
If you want to reproduce your Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ you can choose one of the following methods:
Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ leaves grow directly from the roots without petioles forming a rosette. Mature plants usually develop several rosettes that grow next to each other, and each has its part of the root. It makes the process of division particularly simple.
- Carefully remove the plant from the pot, remove all soil and rinse the root under water spray.
- When the root is completely clean, and you can see where each shoot grows, separate them using a sterile tool, together with part of the rootball.
- Plant the new ‘Night Owl’ in a small pot that is one inch wider than the diameter of the root. The container must have a drainage hole, and the substrate with which you fill it should be a combination of standard soil and perlite or sand in a ratio of half to half.
- Water the newly planted Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’, allow the excess water to drain, and place it in a shaded place.
Cuttings in soil
Each leaf of sansevieria is a potentially new plant because it can develop roots in a cross-section and continue growing as an individual plant. And not only that, even any leaf, if you cut it horizontally into pieces two or three inches long, can form a root! If you want to try, here is the procedure, step by step:
- Cut off a healthy and developed leaf one inch above the surface of the substrate
- Leave the leaf in the air for a few hours for the cut to dry and form a scab.
- Insert the leaf into a container with a moist mixture of substrate and sand or perlite, taking care that one quarter or one-third is in the substrate. You can insert several leaves into the same container to get more plants at the same time.
The rooting process takes between one and two months, but the new leaves only appear after six or seven months. Therefore, be patient!
Cuttings in water
Instead of in the substrate, you can also root the leaves and parts of the leaves in water.
- Place the leaf or the leaf parts in a glass of water. A quarter of their total length should be above the water level.
- Place the glass in a warm spot with plenty of filtered light. Since the rooting process takes quite a long time, two and three months, occasionally add lukewarm water to maintain a constant level.
- Change the water periodically to prevent the development of microorganisms that can cause cuttings to rot.
- When mustache-like roots appear along with the cut, transplant the new Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ into a cactus soil mix (or self-made substrate like explained in this article).
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Why are the leaves of my Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ turning yellow?
Poor soil permeability and excessive watering usually result in yellowed leaves without firmness. Therefore, do your Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ a favor and make sure the top 2 inches of the soil are dry before watering again, especially if it grows in heavy and dense soil.
Why are Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ leaves turning brown?
Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ is succulent but still not a cactus and cannot tolerate the bright midday sun. The brown, burns-like, necrotic spots on its leaves, are the result of direct exposure to the sun.
Why is my Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ wilting?
The wilting of sansevieria leaves is caused by prolonged drought or excessive watering, with the last being more likely. With excess water, the leaves begin to fall and dry immediately from the base of the stem. A plant that is thirsty for weeks will start to dry out from the tops of the leaves.
Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ vs. Moonshine (differences & simularities)
The reason why these two species of sansevieria often cause confusion, especially when it comes to young plants, is the similar bright silvery-green color of the leaves. However, no matter how similar they look at first glance, they are still two different plants.
Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ is a hybrid created by crossing within a cultivar known as Hahnii sansevieria. It means that it is a dwarf species that grows in a low and wide rosette up to one foot.
Sansevieria Moonlight is a cultivar of Sansevieria trifasciata which means that it grows upright, has larger leaves, and can grow 2 feet high. The color of the leaves is lighter, with a dominant silver undertone. In addition, its mighty, broad leaves have a narrow dark green border.
The Sansevieria ‘Night Owl’ leaves are sooner light green than silver with a slightly wider creamy white or yellowish bordure. Also, the transverse lines on the Sanseviera Moonlight leaves are much more discreet and less noticeable because they are only a few shades darker than the underneath.
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