How to Grow and Care for Bird’s Nest Snake Plant (Sansevieria ‘Hahnii’)

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Bird’s nest snake plant has foliage that arises in a rosette formation, unlike those of other varieties that have lengthy leaves. For this reason, the rosette is structurally likened to a bird’s nest. The patterns on its foliage look just like those of the non-dwarf snake plant varieties.

If you’re after the typical Sansevieria colors but have a limited amount of space for the plant, definitely look for this cultivar!

History

D. trifasciata var. Laurentii is the parent plant of the ‘Hahnii’ cultivar. This bird’s nest snake plant was first discovered in a plant nursery in 1941. It is said to have grown off of the parent plant, with the new leaves emerging from the tip of the shoot rather than from the base of the plant. The leaves, which are wide and ovate, are oriented in a spiral along the stem.

This first stocky offset was cultivated further to generate its own robust lineage of dwarf plants. Today, this variety is just as popular as its lengthy parent plants. There is a steady demand for bird’s nest snake plant in the ornamental plant industry as it can easily be reared out of container gardens and small setups. 

Plant Facts

Scientific nameSansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’, Dracaena trifasciata ‘Hahnii’
Common namesBird’s Nest Snake Plant, Bird’s Nest Sansevieria, Dwarf Snake Plant, Good Luck Snake Plant, Dwarf Mother-in-law’s Tongue
GenusSansevieria or Dracaena
FamilyAsparagaceae
HeightUp to 12 inches (30 cm)
Width6-12 inches (15-30 cm)
USDA Plant Hardiness Zone9-11
OriginD. trifasciata cultivar at Crescent Nursery Company (New Orleans)
Flower colorsLight yellow-green
Blooming seasonSpring (extremely rare)
Plant/Flower special featuresOvate leaves

How to Grow Sansevieria ‘Hahnii’

Bird’s nest snake plant is easily reared out of small pots with a diameter of at least 5-6 inches (12.7-15 cm). As snake plants seldom flower, they are rarely grown via seed and are instead planted via division or cuttings. Growth via division is a surefire way of establishing young plants as shoot and root tissues would already be quite established to begin with. 

Place an intact snake plant division or offset in a few inches of pre-moistened soil. Ensure that the roots are provided with ample space to lengthen in your pot. Take note of this cultivar’s preferences below for proper care and maintenance. Once your plant is large and mature, you may use its tissues to generate new plants and expand your mother-in-law’s tongue population. 

How to Propagate Sansevieria ‘Hahnii’

You can propagate this cultivar just as you would all other D. trifasciata varieties. You can wait for the mother plant to produce offsets or you can make use of its healthy leaves to produce new root tissues. If you intend to obtain leaf cuttings, make sure to use sterilized cutting shears.

Plant the leaves as soon as they have been calloused over in a pot with clean soil. You can also try the water propagation technique. After just a few days to weeks, the leaves should begin to produce new roots.

Care and Maintenance

Soil

‘Hahnii’ prefers well-draining soil placed in porous pots with drainage holes. Soil mixes that are suitable for succulents and cacti should work well for this plant. You may also try to increase the porousness of houseplant mixes by adding perlite, pumice, sand, or stones. Soil that is too compact may prevent the roots from obtaining the necessary nutrients and oxygen requirements.

Water

Soak the soil with water only when the first few inches have dried out completely. Refrain from overwatering your bird’s nest snake plant as too much moisture can attract pests and bring about diseases. As this cultivar is a rosette, try to avoid watering from the top of the plant as moisture may be trapped in the funnel of new leaves. 

Fertilizer

Bird’s nest snake plant will rarely need fertilizer. It can thrive in poor soils, just as other succulents. If you must, use low-strength fertilizer and stick to conservative ratios. Try to use just half the strength indicated on the label and synchronize fertilization with watering. The water will help dilute nutrient concentrations. 

Sunlight

Filtered or partial sunlight is best for this cultivar as its leaves may be sensitive to intense sun exposure. Placement on a southwest-facing window ledge should provide it with enough sun. You may also place your ‘Hahnii’ outdoors as long as it is provided with shade during the hottest parts of the day. 

Temperature and Humidity

Room temperature (65-75F) and indoor humidity levels (30-40%) suit this cultivar just fine. This is why it is often reared alongside many other houseplants. Values that are far outside these levels can cause stunted growth.

Pruning

This cultivar will rarely require pruning as its leaves grow in a neat rosette. They typically do not exceed a length of 6 inches (15 cm). 

Repotting and Transplanting

Sansevieria ‘Hahnii’ should be repotted every 2-3 years or whenever the root system starts to push against the sides of the pot. 

Pests and Diseases

This cultivar is affected by the same pests and diseases that harm D. trifasciata. These include, but are not limited to, aphids, mites, and fungal disorders. Provide your plant with ample sunlight and refrain from overwatering it to keep it healthy and disease-resistant.

Uses of Sansevieria ‘Hahnii’

The charming rosettes of this plant can be used as fillers in container gardens with succulents and other cacti. Small pots can also be used to bring more life to sunny areas of your home. This plant may even help purify your indoor air and will prove to be a low-maintenance addition to your houseplant collection.

Common Varieties

The following cultivars are all dwarf snake plants that have varied patterns and degrees of yellow coloration. 

  • Golden ‘Hahnii’ 
  • Silver ‘Hahnii’
  • Black Jade
  • Black Star ‘Hahnii’
  • Jade Hahnii
  • Hahnii ‘Solid Gold’

Conclusion

Beginner gardeners or small apartment owners would benefit from a bird’s nest snake plant. It is a perfect variety for indoor cultivation and is remarkably easy to care for. It can be grown alongside larger Sansevieria varieties to create dimension and to accentuate the difference in leaf features.

*References

References

Edward Gilman, Sansevieria trifasciata ‘Hahnii’ (Fact Sheet FPS-534),

http://hort.ufl.edu/shrubs/SANTRIB.PDF

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