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How to Care for Your Mother in Law's Tongue

Sansevieria trifasciata

This plant grows best with full sun for most of the dayThis plant requires or will tolerate shade during the heat of the dayThis plant may not tolerate any direct sunlightOnce established this plant requires little or no supplemental wateringThis plant will tolerate some drought, but benefits from periodic wateringWhite flowering plantGreen flowering plantA photograph is availableHow to Use the Plant Care Icons at The Garden Helper

Growing Requirements for Sansevieria Plants

The Mother in Law's Tongue is also commonly called a Snake plant.
Sanseveria plants are only hardy in USDA zones 10-12.
They are considered a sub-succulent and should always be watered sparingly but regularly, especially in the winter when they are more or less dormant. Overwatering can cause tip burn.
The variegated forms of the Mother in Law's Tongue prefer full sun but can tolerate some shade.
Sansevierias seem to thrive and flower best when they are kept somewhat rootbound.
Your Mother in Law's Tongue will appreciate an occasional sponge bath!

Summer Vacation for Your House Plants

Sanseverias, like many other types of house plants enjoy spending their summers outdoors, but is very important to acclimatize them gradually.
Tiny the Garden Gnome
For the first couple days let them stay in a shaded area, then move them into increasingly brighter spots, until they have adjusted to full sun (7-10 days)...
That is, of course, only if they are full sun plants!
Be sure to take proper precautions before you bring your house plants back indoors!

Propagating Sanseveria Plants

Snake plants can be propagated by separating offsets from the mother plant or by root division.

Leaf Cuttings from Snake Plants

Leaf cuttings are another fun method of propagating new Sanseveria plants.
Using a sharp, clean knife or shear, cut each leaf into 3-4 inch segments,
making sure to keep track of which end of the cutting is the top and which is the bottom.
Insert the leaf cutting (TOP END UP) an inch or so into a moist (never soggy) sandy loam or vermiculite rooting medium.
Keep the temperature of the rooting medium at around 75° F.
New roots will start forming in about 3 or 4 weeks but it will take 2-3 months before you begin to see the first new leaves.
Each cutting will produce several new plantlets.


Mother in Law's Tongue
Sansevieria trifasciata
A Collection of Different Snake Plants, Sansevieria trifasciata