Common Name: Snake Plant, Mother In Law’s Tongue
Latin Name: Sansevieria
Plant Type: Succulent
Origin: South Africa
Blooming Time: Rarely
Temperature: 60 – 85*F
Color: Dark green, light green or creamy white
Insects and Diseases: Thrips, scale
Mother in Law’s Tongue has thick, vertical sword shaped leaves. The leaves are dark green and are accented with
lighter green bars going horizontal along the blade like leaves. Some varieties have a yellowish colored border along the leaves.
Bright indirect sunlight is recommended for Snake’s Tongue. The plant can survive in lower lighting conditions, but it will grow faster and have deeper colors when given brighter light.
The soil should be kept barely moist, but not soaked. Watering can be done in sink or tub, to make sure that all the roots get water. But, make sure that there’s a hole in the bottom of the pot so that excess water can properly drain.
Soil should retain water, but drain well to prevent root rot. A African Violet soil mixture will work very well when a little sand is added for drainage. To mix your own soil add 1 part garden soil, 1 part peat and 2 parts of Perlite or coarse sand.
Snake’s Tongue should be fertilized once a month. Use a good quality water soluble mixture that is nitrate free.
Fertilizer is only needed during the growing season and shouldn’t be given during the winter months.
Propagation can be easily done through leaf cuttings or division of the plant. Keep leaf cuttings in evenly moist soil, provide occasional mistings and place them in filtered sunlight.
All parts of the Snake Plant are mildly toxic, but the plant has been used in herbal remedies in some areas of the world. While low doses of the plant normally don’t produce any symptoms, large doses can cause vomiting or nausea.
The poison found in the plant can cause the tongue and throat to swell and be numb. In severe cases there may be distress in the digestive tract.
Unlike most plants, Snake Tongue’s will droop when they’ve gotten too much water not too little! If the leaves have a wrinkled appearance or start to bend, the plant isn’t getting enough water!
Snake’s Tongue plants like to be root bound, repotting should be avoided unless the plant gets too heavy for the pot and can’t remain upright. When repotting, select a pot that is just a few sizes larger than the current pot.
Written by Connie Corder for HouseplantsForYou.com, Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved