The Whale Fin Plant is gorgeous, unique and super easy to care for. It's commonly called the Whale Fin Sansevieria or Whale Fin Snake Plant. The thick broad leaves look just like a whale fin sticking up.
I started with one of these plants. It grew well, so I have since divided the plant into two different pots.
Appearance of Whale Fin Sansevieria
There are so many things I love about the Whale Fin Plant's appearance. The dark green is rich and vibrant. The patterns on the leaves are also eye catching. It reminds me of a ripe dark watermelon.
The delicate copper edge around the leaves contrasts beautifully with the dark green. New leaves come out a lighter shade of green, but then slowly darken as they mature.
Often, you'll see this plant being sold with just one leaf. It can make quite a statement like that. However, I like growing them in groups, because of the way the leaves curve.
Whale Fin Plant Care
It's incredibly easy to take care of a Whale Fin Plant. Here are three basic requirements:
- Light: Bright or medium indirect light, but it can tolerate lower light levels
- Water: Water when the soil feels completely dry to the touch
- Soil: Chunky soil
Whale Fin Sanseviera grow best in bright indirect light. For example, place it near a large south facing window. Another good spot would be slightly away from a west facing window, so it doesn't get the direct rays. This is a naturally slow growing plant, but with good light, it will grow faster and healthier.
However, this plant will also tolerate lower light levels. I have one plant near a big east facing window. It receives about one hour of direct weak morning sunlight each day. In that spot, the plant receives consistent lower indirect light for most of the day.
Whale Fin Snake Plants do not require frequent watering at all. The root balls and leaves will hold on to water. Overwatering is a major concern, as it will cause the roots to rot.
I water the plant when the soil is completely dry. In the summer, I might water it about every 2 weeks. Both constant airflow from open windows and a hotter home cause the soil to dry out faster. Plants also typically grow more in the summer months, so they use a bit more water.
In the winter, I water the plant maybe every 3-4 weeks.
My Whale Fin Plants enjoy being bottom watered. That means, I place the plant pot in a bowl of water for about 5 minutes, and allow the water to be absorbed from the drainage hole. The soil absorbs what it needs, and there's no worry about the plant sitting in excess water.
Like all snake plants, the Whale Fin needs to have chunky soil that drains fast. I use a mixture that contains wood chips and organic coir.
You can also buy a premixed snake plant soil for ease. This mix contains coco coir, perlite and dolomite.
How to Style
As you can see in the photos, I have my Whale Fin Sansevieria in two different pots. I think they look beautiful in both the pots, but I'll explain the differences.
Terracotta is a great material for this plant for a couple reasons. First, the edge of the leaves match the terracotta color perfectly. The plant looks like it's made for a terracotta colored pot.
Second, because soil drys out faster in terracotta pots, it makes it a great material for the plant. There is a less chance of root rot or overwatering the plant.
I think the muted green pot brings out the different shades of green on the leaves better though. Because there isn't such a stark contrast between the pot and the plant, it's easier to see the various shades of green on the leaves.
This plant looks great next to almost any plant. I like it next to the Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight. Both plants have darker shades of green, so they pair well.
Where to Buy
Whale Fin Snake Plant is a rare plant because it's a slow grower. However, it has been gaining popularity lately. Because of that, it's easier to find these days.
If you want to buy the plant in person, check local indoor plant shops. I haven't ever seen this variety in a big box store before.
But there are a variety of sites where you can buy this plant online. I got mine from Canopy Plant Co. It came in great shape. You can also find a Whale Fin Plant on Amazon, if that's more convenient.
Why You'll Love a Whale Fin Snake Plant
There's so much to love about this plant. It's simply gorgeous with the dark green pattern on the leaves and the copper band outline. The contrast between the two colors is truly eye catching.
The Whale Fin Plant also looks great in many different settings. I have one in the entry way, and one in the living room.
Lastly, and maybe the most important, it is extremely easy to take care of the Whale Fin Sansevieria. Once you set it down, you'll only need to water it ever 2-4 weeks.
As always, please let me know if you have any questions.