Why is my violin bow so dark

Bow hemp


from 20.00cm to 150.00cm
Growth width
from 20.00cm to 50.00cm
Flower shape
  • terminal
  • multi-flowered
  • Panicles
Leaf shape
  • entire margins
  • long pointed
  • sword-shaped
  • Interior greening
  • Planters
  • Winter garden
  • Warm house


The bow hemp is also known under the name Sansevierie and belongs to the asparagus family (Asparagaceae). The plant is closely related to the dragon trees (Dracaena). Most of the 67 species of bow hemp are at home in the warm, dry climates of tropical Africa. Few species also grow in the tropical parts of Asia. Due to garden culture, bow hemp can now also be found in Florida, southern Europe and the Canary Islands. Some varieties of bow hemp are grown as crops thanks to their hemp-like fibers. They are used as raw material for rope making or for bowstrings. This is where the German name "Bogenhanf" comes from.

In 1794 the Swedish naturalist Carl Peter Thunberg brought the plant to Europe and gave it the botanical name Sansevieria. Their namesake is Raimondo di Sangro, Prince of San Severo, a well-known Italian scientist and inventor from the 18th century. In the meantime, the desert plant has adapted extremely well to indoor life. Bow hemp has thrived as an exotic potted plant on sunny windows for generations. As houseplants and office plants, the many cultivated forms of the wild species Sansevieria trifasciata are of the greatest importance because they hardly need any care. This is how the bow hemp got the unflattering nickname "official asparagus".


The Sansevieria is an herbaceous succulent and does not form an upright stem axis. The basal leaves all arise from short, thick rhizomes. They end in a green, prickly tip, which has earned the plant the nickname "mother-in-law's tongue".


The around 70 varieties of bow hemp, which are mainly used as indoor plants in our latitudes, have more or less long, belt-like, fleshy leaves. Depending on the variety, they grow rigidly upright or are arranged in a rosette-like manner. The leaves of the various types and cultivated forms are flat or rounded. They are drawn on both sides with light or dark green transverse bands and are up to 1.50 meters long. The succulent leaves of the bow hemp are not only nice to look at, they also filter pollutants (for example formaldehyde) from the room air. Dried and ground or cooked sheet hemp leaves and rhizomes of certain types have anti-inflammatory effects due to their leaf juices.


With good care, older Sansevierias sometimes show small, greenish-white, fragrant flowers. The special feature: bow hemp flowers open at night. They are arranged like panicles on a slender shaft that reaches a maximum of two thirds of the leaf length.


The tropical plant prefers bright locations by large windows. Thanks to its robust nature, the bow hemp thrives even under less optimal site conditions. The ideal temperature is 21 to 24 degrees Celsius, but the plant can withstand a room temperature of up to 30 degrees. For longer periods with high temperatures and a lot of sun, Sanseverien should be shaded a little. In winter, the room temperature should be a little lower, but not below 15 degrees Celsius. Give the plant a location that is as bright as possible over the winter months than in summer and avoid drafts.

Tip: The bow hemp adapts its color to the light conditions. The darker the plant, the darker the leaves are. In a very bright spot, the leaves will fade. If the houseplant is in the bedroom, it works like an oxygen generator. Unlike most plants, the Sansevieria does not produce oxygen during the day, but at night. In this way, bow hemp ensures an excellent sleeping environment. For a measurable positive effect, however, you need more than one plant.


Like all steppe and desert plants, Sansevieria prefer a not too moist, permeable and predominantly mineral substrate. A mixture that consists in equal parts of houseplant and clay granulate or coarse sand is ideal for planting bow hemp. Ready-mixed succulent or cactus soil can also be used. When planting in pots, make sure there is good drainage to avoid waterlogging. Bow hemp is also very suitable for hydroponics.

to water

When it comes to care, the Sansevierie follows the motto: Less is more! Bow hemp likes it too dry rather than too damp. The houseplant stores water in its leaves. So water the Sansevierie sparingly and let the soil dry off before the next watering. If Sansevieria are too wet for a long period of time, there is a risk of rot. Do not pour the water directly into the leaf rosettes, but rather laterally on the ground or in a saucer. Bow hemp can cope with calcareous tap water, but stale, low-calcium irrigation water is better for him. In winter you should only water the bow hemp every four weeks. Watering must be stopped completely at temperatures below ten degrees Celsius, as Sansevieria then pause in growth.

Fertilize bow hemp

Supply the Sansevierie every three to four weeks from March to October with cactus fertilizer or commercially available green plant fertilizer. It is best to apply the fertilizer as a liquid fertilizer together with the irrigation water. It is better to fertilize the bow hemp less than too much. Bow hemp is not fertilized in winter.


Shallow, large-diameter pots are best for Sansevierias because they develop thick rhizomes that spread horizontally just below the surface of the earth. Repot the plants in March or April if necessary. This is only necessary when there is complete root penetration, when the rhizomes push each other out of the soil or grow beyond the edge of the pot. With tall houseplants, individual leaves occasionally tip sideways because the rhizome is not sufficiently anchored in the ground. You can also tell from this that the time has come to repot your bow hemp.

Before repotting the bow hemp, place potsherds on the drain holes in the pot. First fill in a thin layer of clay granules as drainage. In the case of large planters, only the top layer of soil is replaced every year. Since the tall, tall arch hemp species can become top-heavy, they should be placed in heavy pots or cachepots. Pot in the bow hemp at the same height as it was previously.

Cutting bow hemp

Usually, bow hemp is not cut. However, as a maintenance measure, you can cut off individual disruptive leaves at any time with a sharp knife directly on the rhizome.

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.

Important species and varieties

In addition to the green basic shapes, there are also beautiful, colorfully patterned variants of the bow hemp.

  • Within the species Sansevieria trifasciata, the varieties differ in color (green, silver or gold colored) or leaf length.
  • Probably the best known variety of bow hemp bears the name Sansevieria ent Laurentii ’. Its leaves are lined with golden yellow vertical stripes.
  • Sansevieria ‘Silver Cloud’ has silver patterned leaves
  • ‘Hahnii’ shapes grow low and in rosettes.
  • Round and very long, upright leaves are characteristic of the cylindrical bow hemp (Sansevieria cylindrica). They come in many sizes. Their green or gray leaves are also braided.
  • Much smaller, thinner leaves are borne by Kirk's bow hemp (Sansevieria kirkii). There are also several ornamental forms of the species.
  • Ceylon bow hemp (Sansevieria zeylanica) is an extremely pretty variant of the easy-care houseplant.

Propagate bow hemp

In spring or summer, green leafy bow hemp is very easy to propagate by cuttings from about five centimeters long leaf segments from younger plants. However, when multiplying the bow hemp, make a note of which cutting edge goes up and which goes down! The cut surfaces should air dry for about a week after cutting. Only then are the leaf pieces placed in the moist substrate. In partial shade at 21 degrees, they soon form small, rooted rhizomes from which new leaves sprout. They can then be potted individually. Note, however, that when using this method of propagation, bow hemp cuttings of yellow-striped varieties lose their varietal color and only produce green leaves.

Variegated leaf hemp varieties can be easily propagated by dividing them. In the case of slender upright species, rooted pieces of rhizome are separated from the mother plant with a few leaves. It is best to take these children when they are repotted and potted them. In the case of long-leaved varieties, shorten the leaves by about half so that the plants are stable in the pot. In the case of rosette-like growing Sansevieria, the individual rosettes are carefully separated from each other so that each has a few roots. The cuts are placed individually in flower pots.

Diseases and pests

Even with moderate care and suboptimal conditions, the bow hemp is a very robust plant that forgives even grosser care mistakes. Pests and plant diseases also occur rarely on the houseplant. Brownish discolored or slack leaves are mostly due to root rot caused by waterlogging or temperatures that are too low. The most common pests on bow hemp are mealybugs. In addition, the plants are occasionally attacked by spider mites in dry, heated air.