Monday, November 22nd, 2010...12:00 am

Do Sansevierias Grow Outdoors in New Zealand?

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Cooktown Trip (Group 28) – An Environmental Disaster – Mother in-law’s Tongue (Sansevieria trifasciata) (Snake Plant) by emblatame (Ron)

TheGardenLady received this question from Pauline.

Does [Sanseveria] grow outside? I live in New Zealand. (Auckland)

Depending on which of the approx 70 different species of Sansevieria you are interested in growing will determine where they can be grown outdoors as a landscaping plant. Sansevieria plants are native to tropical and sub-tropical regions of Europe, Asia, and Africa and need the same temperature where they came from to thrive in your area.

The most common Sansevieria grown in the US is the Sansevieria trifasciata grown as a houseplant unless you live in a frost free zone which in the states would be

USDA Zones 9b to 10a: which is about -1.1 °C (30 °F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 °C (35 °F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 °C (40 °F)

TheGardenLady saw them growing in private gardens in California. However, I have read that in frost-free areas, Sansevierias can become quite invasive because of their vigorous and spreading rhizomes.

I understand that New Zealand now has a Temperature Zone chart that is similar to the American Chart where you can tell what your temperature range is so that when you choose plants for your landscaping you can tell if they will survive outdoors. If you still want to plant Sansevierias outdoors knowing about the potential invasiveness of the plant, check your Temperature Chart zone to see whether Aukland, New Zealand is warm enough as well as frost free for the particular Sansevieria you want.

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