How to care for Sanseviera hahnii - Dwarf Mother-in-law's Tongue

    How to care for Sanseviera hahnii - Dwarf Mother-in-law's Tongue

    Sanseviera hahnii is commonly called the bird’s nest snake plant. It is a small growing species and comes in a number of varieties distinguished by foliage colour and variegation.

    It differs in growth habit and foliage colour from the common ‘Mother in Laws Tongue’ however also makes an exceptional low maintenance indoor plant.

    This an increasingly popular plant as it is compact, has attractive foliage and is very easy care as an indoor plant.

    A popular form is ‘Golden Hahnii‘, silvery green leaves with golden yellow variegation. However a number of other forms are also available

    Growing naturally as a rosette forming succulent that will reach around 30cm (12 inches) in height, usually a little smaller.

    The actual height will depend a little on the amount of light the plant receives. In very low light it tends to ‘stretch’ and is therefore taller.

    Very low light can also lessen the impact of the variegation.

    Sanseviera hahnii Care

    Widely used as an indoor plant Sanseviera hahnii is available in a number of forms, all with interesting variegated foliage.


    Best grown in bright filtered light indoors except in tropical to sub tropical areas where it can be grown outdoors as a ground cover plant.


    Grown indoors, normal room temperature is adequate, keep the plant away from cold drafts.

    Soil / Growing Medium

    A free draining cactus and succulent potting mix is suitable.

    When repotting try not to increase the pot size to much as this is a species that grows best with a constricted root run.


    Watering should only be carried out when the soil has dried. Most growers find watering once a month is adequate.


    Generally the fertiliser that is is the potting mix is enough as these are not hungry plants. As S.Hahnii will usually send out offsets each year you will need repot every two years. This means fresh potting mix and again the fertiliser and nutrients in the potting mix should be adequate.

    Other Care

    Remove old dead foliage as it appears.

    Do not mist spray as this increases humidity which can cause fugal problems. Misting or watering the foliage can also mark the leaves.

    Is this plant safe for cats and dogs ? The answer is no, all parts of the plant are toxic.

    Sanseviera hahnii Propagation

    Easy by division of offsets, also easy from leaf cuttings taken in spring.

    Summary description

    • Botanical name – Sansevieria trifasciata hahnii
    • Common Name – Dwarf Snake Plant, Dwarf Mother In-Laws Tongue, Birds Nest Sansevieria, Birds Nest Snake Plant.
    • Position – Filtered light
    • Soil – Well drained.
    • Height – To around 30cm
    • Spread – To around 20 cm in width, clump forming over time.
    • Growth Habit – Rosette forming.
    • Foliage – Green with yellow to silver variegation depending on variety.
    • Flowers – Inconspicuous.
    • Drought Tolerant – Yes
    • Frost tolerant – No
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