The bow hemp is quite tough – nonetheless, you should take your preferences into account when caring for it. If you heed these tips, the houseplant will feel completely at home with you.
When it comes to caring, the bow hemp is a frugal roommate. However, many expect the bow hemp (Sansevieria) to do a lot that would have killed other houseplants long ago. So that the plant, also known as the “mother-in-law’s tongue”, can thrive optimally, it is better to consider your individual preferences. With good care, older specimens of the bow hemp even develop flowers that smell sweet!
Maintaining bow hemp: tips in brief
Bow hemp needs a bright and warm location, in winter the temperature must not fall below 15 degrees Celsius. The soil should be permeable and poor in nutrients. Do not water until the surface of the earth is dry. Between March and October, fertilization is carried out every three to four weeks in low doses. If the roots push out of the substrate at the top, repotting is recommended in March or April.
Tip 1: place bow hemp optimally
So that the bow hemp feels completely at home with us, you should consider its region of origin. Most species come from tropical regions – the popular Sansevieria trifasciata originally comes from Africa. As in their natural habitat, the steppe and desert plant loves a bright to a sunny place in our room. As for the temperature, ideally, it should be around 21 to 24 degrees Celsius.
In winter, it is advisable to set the bow hemp even lighter, but a little cooler – the temperature should not fall below 15 degrees Celsius at this time of the year, as otherwise, hypothermia can damage it. No matter whether in summer or winter: Avoid drafts and excessive temperature fluctuations.
As a steppe and desert plant, the bow hemp loves a bright, warm place without drafts
Tip 2: Pay attention to the right substrate
What is often forgotten when caring for bow hemp is the substrate. However, the succulent only develops optimally if it is in well-drained, nutrient-poor soil. Instead of normal potting soil, it is better to choose special succulent or cactus soil that is rich in minerals but poor in humus.
Alternatively, you can also make the substrate yourself: To do this, mix house plant soil with clay granules or coarse sand in a ratio of 3: 1. To prevent damaging waterlogging, drainage on the bottom of the pot is also very useful.
A layer of expanded clay, which is separated from the substrate layer with a fleece, is ideal for this purpose. Alternatively, you can also cultivate the ornamental foliage plant in hydroponics.
Tip 3: do not pour bow hemp too much
Less is more – that’s the motto when pouring bow hemp. Since the succulent plant can store water in its leaves, it can even tolerate brief dehydration. If, on the other hand, it is too wet, the roots can rot quickly.
You should therefore only water the bow hemp when the surface of the earth has dried well. If the Sansevieria is a bit cooler in winter, you only have to supply it with water about every four weeks. Even if the plant can cope with hard tap water, it prefers rainwater and soft, lime-free water.
And another care tip: do not pour the succulent plant directly into the leaf rosettes, but rather on the side of the earth – this prevents rotting leaves. Dust that tends to form in the winter when the room air is dry is best removed with a soft duster.
The bow hemp likes it too dry rather than too damp. It should therefore only be poured sparingly
Tip 4: fertilize bow hemp sparingly
The fertilization of the bow hemp is also a maintenance measure in which too much is not well tolerated. During the growth phase from March to October, the bow hemp is only supplied with fertilizer every three to four weeks – if possible in low doses.
It is best to choose cactus fertilizer or green plant fertilizer, which you apply in liquid form with the irrigation water. It is usually sufficient to use only half of the amount of liquid fertilizer stated on the package. In winter, the fertilizer application is completely stopped.
Tip 5: repot bow hemp at the right time
Basically, the bow hemp likes it when it is a little cramped in the pot. Over time, however, it develops strong rhizomes that can fill a pot and even blow it up. If the roots push out of the substrate at the top of the drainage hole at the bottom, the arch hemp should be repotted.
The best time for this measure is at the beginning of the growing season in March or April. You can also multiply your bow hemp at the same time. Then you can use the same pot again – otherwise, the new planter should be a little wider in diameter.
Damaged rhizomes are removed with a sharp knife, compacted areas are loosened. And important: the bow hemp should not stand any lower than before, even after repotting. After the stressful move, the Sansevieria is placed in partial shade for a few days and during this time there is no watering.