Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf: A Unique and Hardy Succulent

When it comes to the Asparagaceae family, most people immediately think of asparagus. However, there is another remarkable member of this family that deserves attention – Sansevieria ehrenbergii, also known as Samurai Dwarf or the Sword Sansevieria.

This short perennial succulent, native to Africa, is a close relative of the more popular Sansevieria species.

In this article, we will explore the unique characteristics and care tips for the Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf, as well as its popularity among succulent enthusiasts.

Background and Origin

The Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf, scientifically known as Sansevieria ehrenbergii, belongs to the Asparagaceae family and is native to Africa.

While its more well-known relatives include the Cigar Sansevieria (S. cylindrica) and the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (S. laurentii), the Samurai Dwarf stands out with its unique characteristics and compact size.

Size and Growth

Unlike its taller counterparts, the Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf is a petite plant, growing only 4 to 6 inches in height. Its variegated evergreen leaves form a V-shape, with a subtle red tint along the edges and tips.

When viewed from above, the alternating pattern of leaf growth gives the plant a spiral appearance. As the plant grows, new leaves emerge from the base, adding to its compact and bushy form.

Flowering Habit

The Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf has an unusual flowering habit. After the central plant flowers, it stops producing new leaves.

The tiny blooms, measuring less than 1 inch in width, have an erratic bloom time from plant to plant. While some similar plants die after flowering, the Samurai Dwarf continues to produce new plantlets through its rhizomes and stolons.

Light and Temperature Requirements

To thrive, the Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf requires bright, indirect light. While it can tolerate low light or partial shade, full sun exposure may damage the more delicate leaves.

When grown outdoors, it is recommended for USDA hardiness zone 10 due to its sensitivity to frost.

Indoors, the plant should be kept away from cold drafts, with room temperatures maintained above 50° degrees Fahrenheit. The ideal temperature range for the Samurai Dwarf is between 60° and 75° degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering and Feeding

As a succulent, the Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf stores water in its leaves and has low water requirements compared to other houseplants.

During the spring and fall, water the plant whenever the soil becomes dry to the touch. However, it is crucial to avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. In winter, reduce watering to once a month.

The plant can handle normal house humidity levels, but a humidity level of around 50% is preferable. When it comes to feeding, a balanced liquid house plant fertilizer (10-10-10) can be applied once a month during the growing season.

Soil and Transplanting

The Samurai Dwarf thrives in well-drained cactus or succulent potting mix with a pH ranging from 5.0 to 7.5. You can also add peat and perlite to regular potting soil for improved drainage.

Transplanting should only be done when necessary, as the plant prefers to be slightly root-bound. If you notice your plant outgrowing its container, opt for a clay pot that will crack as the plant continues to grow.

Propagation Methods

The Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf can be propagated through division, leaf cuttings, or rhizome cuttings. Division is the easiest method, where the plant is carefully separated into smaller clumps, ensuring each clump has a healthy root system. Leaf cuttings involve cutting a healthy leaf into sections and planting them in well-draining soil.

Rhizome cuttings can be taken by carefully removing a section of the rhizome and planting it in a suitable potting mix. Whichever method you choose, make sure to provide the newly propagated plants with proper care and suitable conditions for successful rooting and growth.

Pest and Disease Management

The Samurai Dwarf is generally a hardy plant with no significant pest or disease issues. However, overwatering can lead to root rot, so it is crucial to ensure proper drainage and avoid excessive moisture.

Additionally, all members of the Sansevieria genus, including the Samurai Dwarf, contain saponins, which are toxic to pets.

Symptoms of ingestion may include depression, drooling, lethargy, loss of appetite, and vomiting. It is important to keep the plant out of reach of curious pets and children.

Uses and Benefits

The Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf is not only a visually appealing succulent but also a hardy and versatile plant. Its low water requirements and easy care make it an excellent choice for beginner gardeners.

The compact size and unique appearance of the Samurai Dwarf make it a popular decorative plant for indoor spaces. It is often kept for good fortune and is considered a symbol of luck in some cultures.

Additionally, it serves as a great living decoration, adding a touch of greenery and natural beauty to any room.

Taxonomical Classification

The Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf, also known as Sansevieria ehrenbergii, belongs to the Asparagaceae family. It is worth noting that the APG III classification system of 2009 merged the Sansevieria genus into the Dracaena genus.

Therefore, depending on your local supplier, the Samurai Dwarf may be referred to as Dracaena ehrenbergii.


In conclusion, the Sansevieria Samurai Dwarf, or Dracaena ehrenbergii, is a unique and hardy succulent that adds beauty and charm to any indoor space. With its compact size, spiral growth pattern, and variegated leaves, it is sure to capture the attention of succulent enthusiasts.

By providing the Samurai Dwarf with the right conditions, including proper lighting, watering, and feeding, you can enjoy the benefits of this low-maintenance plant. Whether you’re a beginner gardener or a seasoned plant enthusiast, the Samurai Dwarf is an excellent choice for adding a touch of greenery and positive energy to your home or office.

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