My Mother-in-Law's Tongue

by - January 16, 2019


 Better known as a 'snake plant' this plant is actually named Sansevieria trifasciata and yes, indeed is, referring to an actual woman's tongue. These plants can actually get pretty tall, anywhere from one to eight feet to be exact. Mine was in my bathroom and isn't too tall but I do have it in a larger pot now so it can grow. The certain class that is known as the snake plant usually have green banded leaves while the class that is known as mother-in-law's tongue usually have a yellow border to it. These are the most vigorous of houseplants with their ability to withstand essentially any condition you throw at it.

 The African native plants are one of the best houseplants for beginners who love the tropical nature. Snake plants can live their course in extremely bright light or dark corners, mine sat in view of a window in the bathroom but only saw a bit of light in the afternoon. After my Fiddle Fig died while I was in Chicago I moved my Snak plant to its spot in the family room across from the windows. I only have that one right now but I do plan to get more for in front of my fireplace in the future. They look wonderful in grouping but also do well on table-tops too.
 When you go to water your plants, you need to let the soil dry before the next. I truthfully forgot to water my snake plant a lot because it's the only plant in the bathroom and most of my time is spent at my desk in the bedroom or in the family room. One of the many reasons I now have a plant tracker in my bullet journal. During the winter though my forgetfulness pays off because you really only want to water it monthly. This is not an outdoor plant if your home is in a city that drops below fifty degrees Fahrenheit- so it's best to keep this baby indoors. Mine is in a black pot in the family room- it was on on the back of the toilet and only got a little bit of light in the evening. I hope the switch of location helps its growth after having it the dark for a year or so. It's got a great draining potting mix though, a bit of a sandier soil, which is what they prefer.

 I haven't personally propagated my plant just yet and I don't think I'll ever do it. I did just repot it when switching from a blue pot to a black and moving it. It truly didn't get enough sun to grow greatly just yet but now that I moved this one to the family room I'll probably be able to propagate it soon. When you do it, you can easily divide the plant during a repotting. If that's not how you want to do it, you can very easily get new shoots from what arises as spikes from the soil. Take those and repot them in a fun new pot, most of my pots that I have been found at thrift stores or were gifts from family and friends. The new black pot is from a local Goodwill and was $2.99. You can take cuttings if you'd like but it's a lot easier to rely on dividing the plant instead. When it does come time to repot the plant though, you should do it in springtime. If yours is a rapid grower and needs to be repotted before it splits your favorite clay pot with it's undershoots you need to make sure to use fresh soil.

 I can't remember when I got this plant exactly, but it has put up with so much of my own forgetfulness. I have forgotten to water this plant so many times even when I had reminders on my phone. My kitten has even taken a nice chunk off of it and batted it around like a toy earlier this year. It's such a gorgeous plant and I truly love it- I've had it for maybe three years now- and it's still carrying on. I'll be much better with it now, even more, once I move it beside the fireplace in the family room as soon as I get a few extra of these babies.



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