Mother in law’s tongue
Mother-In-Law’s Tongue is a popular houseplant, possessing striking looks while being extremely easy to care for. Its botanical name is Sansevieria, although it is also commonly known as Snake Plant or Devil’s Tongue.
The leaves on Mother-In-Law’s Tongue resemble small swords pointing upwards and have a marbled pattern as well as having yellow tips around the leaf edge. While the leaves on Mother-In-Law’s Tongue grow upwards, the leaves on the variety known as ‘Bird’s Nest Snake Plant’ fan outwards in a circle.
Originally found in both tropical West Africa and some parts of India, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue is a hardy plant that can survive almost any conditions. It can grow well in either sunshine or shade.
Because of its remarkable endurance, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue remains popular, especially for beginners. Once you have a thriving plant, leaf cuttings can be taken or it can be divided to cultivate new shoots.
Mother-In-Law’s Tongue comes in a number of species, but the two most common types found are the taller S. trifasciata Laurentii, which can grow up to four feet in height and the smaller Golden Hahnii, which usually reaches around two feet tall.
Water sparingly because over-watering can rot the base of the plant. Avoid low temperatures and try not to damage the tip of the leaf as it will stunt the growth. It’s a good idea to add a little sand to the soil to help drainage. Although not recommended, it can even withstand draughts and long periods of time with little water.
Did You Know?
The plant grows slowly but will last for many years and is rarely affected by insects. It can flower, but may go a long time without doing so.
Mother-In-Law’s Tongue is mildly toxic and the poison in the leaves can cause the tongue and throat to swell.