Mother in Law’s Tongue

Mother in Law’s Tongue

Sansevieria Laurentii
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    Tolerates low light.

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    Water when soil feels dry.

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    Copes with dry or humid air.

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    Feed during spring and summer.

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  • pest icon


    Thrips and scale

About the Mother in Law’s Tongue

Also going by the name Snake Plant, the Sansevieria Laurentii boasts stunning long, variegated green leaves with yellow edging, sharp at the tip which is possibly why it’s commonly called the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.

It’s an easy plant to care for and will suffer most neglect you throw at it which makes it a perfect plant if you’ve a bit of a reputation for being the plant slayer. It’ll also make a good gift to someone as it will look good in most rooms and requires little looking after.

It is a slow grower but it can grow to around to around 60cm (2 feet) high, making it suitable for both a table surface and floor.

mother in law in bloomWhile it will look good in any room, two of the best rooms to place it in are the bedroom and bathroom. The reasons for this are because of research done by NASA: this plant is one of the best for filtering out formaldehyde, which is common in cleaning products, toilet paper, tissues and personal care products. It filters the air and is therefore a healthy addition to your bedroom while you sleep.

The Mother-in-Law’s Tongue does produce some flowers but rarely does so and they aren’t anything of real beauty. In the 4 years that I’ve owned one it has flowered only once.


Caring for your Mother in Law’s Tongue

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    The Sansevieria will tolerate light conditions from low to direct sunlight making it a versatile plant to position.

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    If you're going to kill this plant it'll happen through over-watering. The Sansevieria is a succulent which means it keeps lots of moisture in its leaves. This means it requires less watering from you (good news, right?). Water it when the soil feels dry to the touch.

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    Humidity isn't something you need to consider for this plant. It'll do just as well in dry air as it will in humid air.

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    You can feed this plant during its growing season, from spring to summer.

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    Again, its versatility is demonstrated in its temperature requirements. It'll cope with low temperatures but not for any long period of time. Basically it will thrive in normal room temperatures, even when they rise during summer months.

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    Be aware of Thrips and Scale which can attack this plant. You can try to get rid of these pests organically or asking for some repellant from your local garden store.

First aid for your Mother in Law’s Tongue

Common problems

The Leaves of the plant have gone yellow and are drooping.

Drooping leaves might indicate a need for more water but in this instance it means the opposite. It's likely the plant has been watered too much or has been left in a cold room for too long. Try moving it to a warmer spot or removing it from its pot and allow the roots to dry out - hopefully before they've begun to rot.

There is no yellow band along the leaves of my Sansevieria

Not all varieties of Sansevieria have the yellow edge on their leaves. Check that you have the Laurentii and if you do then it might be because the plant has been left in a dark area for a prolonged period of time. Try moving it to an area with more light and that might help.

Need some more help?

Do you own this plant and have any tips to offer?
Is your plant not doing too well and you'd like some advice on how to help it?
Why not ask others for help or leave some advice below.