Sansevieria Parva Care: Growing the Kenya Hyacinth

Ed Wike
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Sansevieria Parva Overview

Sansevieria Parva is an unusual looking succulent that is native to Eastern Africa. This variety of sansevieria is popularly known as the Kenya Hyacinth or the Zanzibar Gem. This particular variety is very easy to care for and is a relatively small sansevieria that stays relatively flat for most of its life.

The Kenya Hyacinth has a relatively broad leaf blade that cascades down the sides of the plant rosette. The leaves of the sansevieria are a very dark green color with a few thin yellow veins running through them. These leaves are very thick and do not feel soft like the leave of the common mother-in-law’s tongue.

The Kenya Hyacinth is just as easy to propagate and grow as the traditional sansevieria. All you need to do is get a leaf and place it directly into the soil. You will be able to begin growing the Kenya Hyacinth after a few weeks. You will also need to transplant it into a bigger pot once it starts getting bigger so it can get plenty of nutrients to continue to grow.

Sansevieria Parva Care

Growing the Kenya Hyacinth

Kenya hyacinth Sansevieria [San-se-ve-e-ree-a] are native to Eastern Africa, especially Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Zambia. They can be found growing both above and below ground although they prefer to grow in partial shade as long as they get a sufficient amount of light.

The biggest advantage with Kenya hyacinth Sansevieria is they are an extremely fast growing indoor plant and if you want to overwinter the plant you could because of its ever green leaves. Although with that being said you will have to prune regularly so you don’t destroy a good thing and you’ll be able to have it looking neat at all times.

These are completely easy to take care of and require very little maintenance. Just make sure the soil is moist but not soaking wet at all times. A good watering should do the trick and the soil should be kept slightly damp. Although a good idea is to water and allow the soil to naturally dry in between watering. Sansevieria does not like a lot of water at once. And the more indirect the sunlight is makes it an excellent choice for many people.

The Kenya hyacinth is one of the more popular Sansevieria trifasciata varieties because of its beautiful growth and easy way of taking care of it compared to other varieties.

Light & Temperature

Sansevieria parva (the Kenya hyacinth) is a form of the bowstring hemp plant. Originating in eastern Africa, it is in the same family as snake plants. This succulent plant is a very common houseplant in Europe and North America, with often different names.

This plant is one of the best succulent plants for beginners to try.

Sansevieria parva is a very easy plant to maintain, but it does like some sunlight.

It needs to be keep out of direct sunlight in summer, but the plant will need about 10 to 12 hours of sunlight in the late fall, winter and spring.

This plant doesn’t do well if you let the soil dry out until the point where the leaves start to shrivel and turn brown, since it needs to be watered thoroughly and then left in a state of dryness again.

If you follow these guidelines, you are sure to have a healthy Sansevieria parva.

Water & Humidity

When maintaining proper humidity levels, the amount of water in comparison to the plants' size is key. Sansevieria parva are native to equatorial, semi-arid areas of Africa where they are exposed to scorching heat and long periods of drought. With this in mind, it is important that the plants are not over watered, especially when transitioning from repotting. The bark will soften and break away from the roots. Watering just prior to repotting will give the roots a chance to re-anchor themselves.

Another important factor to consider when watering is the soil the plant is growing in. Most people choose to use mix derived from peat moss and perlite or vermiculite. These two are heavier than most other soils and have a tendency to retain large amounts of water. Be sure to monitor the soil as it dries out and keep your plants on the drier side of the wet to dry spectrum.

Once the plants are established, maintain a moderate amount of water with the use of a drip system. This will prevent excess evaporation and over watering.


These little plants love moist soil, but it is the type of soil that makes the biggest difference. Sansevieria Parva will need a soil that stays moist but drains well. You can accomplish this by mixing a layer of sand on top of your soil to hold the water.

Additionally, Sansevieria Parva is most suited for wetlands and savannas. They are often found growing naturally in areas that have little rainfall, and lack sandy soil. It is recommended that you keep your Sansevieria Parva in indirect light, with plenty of cactus, succulents, and air plants to help with proper drainage.

If you choose to have your Sansevieria Parva in a sunny area, make sure to water them more frequently to avoid them drying out. You can also use the sand to fill your pot and create an area for the water to collect and allow ample water drainage.


While it's natural to desire vibrant foliage and healthy flowers on Sansevieria, this indoor garden plant requires little to no fertilizer to thrive. When you're growing Sansevieria parva, the plants should be transplanted into a peat moss and coco fiber potting media. After transplanting the plants, you can then water the soil without applying any commercial fertilizer or nutrients. The reason for this is that this indoor plant “science project” should remain in a growing microclimate condition of low fertilization. This is to prevent any leaf burn or burning of you plant's foliage.

When the Sansevieria growth habit is cultivated, the plants will display a flat, wider form which is similar in curvature to the “Kenya Hyacinth” model and cultivar. Sansevieria parva uses this growth habit as a natural defense, wherein when the plants are touched, the striking foliage will sweep the threat of danger away from the center of the plant. However, the flat growth habit is better suited for displaying this indoor garden plant as a handsome, wide, foliage plant.


Sansevieria parva is a geophyte plant. It grows good in medium temperatures. Sansevieria is tropical in nature, and it is not easy to grow. It requires the right temperature and sunlight and proper watering to grow. If you are using an artificial light source make sure that the light source is bright enough.

You need to repot the plant in two months. Sansevieria parva has been in the adult stage. During this period it will start flowering and also growing.

The male plant looks different than the female plant. Sansevieria parva is the male plant.

During the summer it is advised to repot them once, but during the winter do not repot at all because it is going to go through dormancy.


Sansevieria parva has a wide distribution, being found all over Africa between sea level and 1,500 feet. It can also be found in Asia, southern England and Australia.

Many of the species of Sansevieria have been produced by stem cuttings and grafting. Sansevieria propagates from a segment of the rhizome. The segment should contain at least one growing tip. It is very important to keep the cut segment fully moist while it is attached to a growing medium, such as sand or soil. The segment’s attached ends should then be covered with pebbles, and the container kept in a sunny area.

After several weeks, new plantlets will begin to emerge from the segment, and the vessels that were cut should be allowed to callus. When the callus has fully formed, the piece is cut again and more new plantlets should emerge.

This process, of segmenting and then allowing for callus to form, should be repeated several times, allowing the plants to mature and grow. At this point, the plants can be planted in a new container or planted in the ground to produce another Sansevieria parva, just like the mother plant.


You especially want to prune the leaves while the plant is still fairly young. The reason for this is that plants that are fairly young and small have roots that are not very deep. This is because as unassuming as Sansevieria are, they are very deep rooted.

Once the roots reach a certain depth, pruning becomes somewhat of a secondary thing. But when plants are still young, it is an easy way to do some maintenance to your plants without being intrusive. Whenever pruning the leaves, make sure to keep a length that is about an inch or two high. Also, make sure that the cut edges are smooth to the touch.

Also, if you have other sansevieria in the area, make sure to prune them as well.

Their only detriment in terms of being a nuisance is that the leaves will trail on the ground. This is fine, however, as people who do not know what you have do not notice it.

When you do prune the stem, make sure to remove the bottom leaves. This will make it very attractive to both birds and other small animals that consider it a great source of food.

Also, make sure to clean up the leaves around you, as they can make the area a little messy.

Growing Problems

When growing Sansevieria Parva, it is best to have a lot of light because Sansevieria Parva is more of a tropical species. A lot of people also make a common mistake of letting their soil be dry all the time. It is best if you water once a week, rather than watering daily or twice weekly

Make sure that the soil is not waterlogged so that the nutrients inside it can be absorbed by the plant. You should also make sure that the plant isn’t dried out completely. It is highly recommended that you place these around a flat, indoor plant container because they are known to grow away from the surface of the water and can then fall into the container.

You can always use charcoal and small rocks to make your container look more decorated and, at the same time, functional for your needs and your plants’. Here is a list of things that you might need when caring for your Sansevieria:


You can use rainwater, distilled water, or any water that contains a high amount of minerals. This will ensure that you are giving your plant the high nutrient content that it needs.

You can use rainwater, distilled water, or any water that contains a high amount of minerals. This will ensure that you are giving your plant the high nutrient content that it needs. Soil


Plant pests in indoor plants can be particularly troublesome because they are so easy to overlook. Insect infestations may not bother you until your plant finally looks unhealthy. When the health of a plant has deteriorated, it's difficult to recover. If plants have infestation, they may need to be discarded. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to prevent pests by taking a few precautions.

Be aware of what types of pests typically invade your plants. These may include ants, aphids, thrips, mealybugs, spider mites and scale. Ideally, you may wish to avoid the presence of such pests in the first place. To help with prevention, always check new plants thoroughly before you bring them home from a nursery. Avoid bringing in plants that have thrips. If you find them in your possession, dispose of them immediately to decrease the chances of infestation. Otherwise, you may introduce pests into your own home.

Check new plants for infestation. Thrips might be hard to find, because they are tiny.

Thrips are .5 mm long, yet they are able to cause irreversible damage to plants.

Thrips resemble grains of salt. They are black and beetle-like and have wings. If you find thrips in your new plants, dispose of them immediately. Also prevent infestation of other plants by carefully inspecting new ones.

Once in your home, take precautions to prevent pests.


Calcium and magnesium deficiencies can be caused by over watering. Over watering also causes root rot on this plant, which can be identified by wilting and dead leaves. Although over watering may effect many plants, it can generally be controlled in Sanseveria parva with a drainage layer at the bottom of the pot that is covered with pebbles. Sometimes, the drainage layer isn’t necessary, but if you have clay soil then it is recommended.

Another common disease in the Sanseveria parva plant is pests, such as silverfish and mealybugs. These pests can be treated with insecticidal soap, or you may reduce the chances of them appearing by spraying the plant with water to reduce the attractiveness of the plant to the pests.

The final disease in Sanseveria parva is a fungal disease. This most commonly occurs due to a lack of sun or humidity. This can be controlled by keeping the area around the plant moist.


What is Sansevieria Parva?

Sansevieria Parva is an attractive plant that can grow in many different environments. Some say it looks like a green snake, while others observe the dark green spiral channels on the leaves and conclude that it looks like a miniature broccoli plant. In spite of the many different ways that this particular houseplant can appear, it is known by many names such as the Light Green Spear Sansevieria and the Kenya Hyacinth. When it comes to Sansevieria Parva care, it is a highly versatile plant and it can adapt to different settings. Many of the common issues that houseplant enthusiasts face do not apply to Sansevieria Parva. This plant can tolerate lower temperature settings, it can survive without needing to be watered every day, and it even thrives in low lighting conditions. Even when you see that its leaves are yellowing and dying, it is still a desirable plant. Next time you want to show off your plants to guests, make sure that you include a Sansevieria Parva.

Sansevieria Parva Appearance