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Watch Out for A Mother-In-Law's Tongue!

Apr 3, 2008
If you are looking for a new indoor plant, the Sansevieria is a great option. It is better known as the Snake Plant, Mother-In-Law's Tongue, etc. There are most commonly found in Africa, but can grow naturally in many areas around the world. These plants are very easy to care for and grow.

Their ideal conditions include low light and not much water. In the winter, they can go two months without any water. They are quite beautiful plants, and their looks are ever-changing because the patterns on the leaves change each time they grow new leaves. It is common for the leaves to be dark green with yellow stripes on the edges. Sometimes they can be speckled, or have a variation of other designs. The tips of the leaves are very sharp, so don't place the plant somewhere that people will bump into it often. Be careful not to cut yourself when you are trying to water the plant or trim its leaves.

Since the Sansevieria doesn't need much water, it doesn't do well when it is watered too much. It will make the leaves fall off and the roots can rot. If you don't water the plant enough, the leaves will wrinkle and the roots can become damaged. You should allow the soil to dry out between waterings. The Sansevieria is a drought resistant plant, so it can handle sections of time without much water. You can test the soil under the surface with a hygrometer or a tongue depressor. Insert the depressor into the soil a few inches to gauge the amount of moisture in the soil.

If you notice the leaves falling over, you should not stake them. Instead, trim the leaves at the base. You can then wait just a short time for new leaves to sprout.

The Sansevieria plants are tropical plants. When given plenty of heat and sunlight, they will grow quickly. They'll need a pot large enough to accommodate this quick growth. The roots can even split a clay pot if the plant outgrows the space. If the pot is really large, the growth rate will truly surprise you.

Along with not needing much water, the Sansevieria doesn't need much fertilizer. They will do best in soil with low nitrogen level. If the soil is too rich, the plants can become overwhelmed. They need similar conditions as a cactus in order to thrive.

Some species of the Sansevieria will produce white or greenish flowers. Other species have very useful leaves that can be made into string. Overall, the Sanseveria is an interesting, unique, beautiful, and low maintenance plant much like the bamboo palm or reed palm.

White or greenish flowers will appear along the stalks of some species. Others are grown because of their great fibrous leaves that were historically used for bow strings, another name for one species of Sansevieria.

If you want a houseplant that is attractive and easy to tend, these delightful species will make a great part of your indoor garden. It is a great choice for an indoor plant.
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