How To Grow Mother-In-Law’s Tongue In Low Light Gardens

The indoor plant Sansevieria is often called mother-in-law’s tongue. The houseplant is easy to grow and will thrive in low light gardens inside and out.

A tropical plant, Sansevieria is commonly grown as a houseplant and considered easy to grow indoors. Sansevieria is called many nicknames by gardeners; snake plant and mother-in-law’s tongue are among the more popular.

Mother-in-law’s tongue is notable for its clustered long fleshy leaves that reach 3’ – 4’ tall; there are short versions of this plant, as well. The stiff succulent leaves are marked with wide horizontal bands of lighter green, gray or silver up and down the dark green vertical leaves. Some markings are edged with yellow along the margins.

Growing Sansevieria in Low Light Gardens

Mother-In-Law's Tongue plant

Sansevieria is favored by gardeners for its ability to grow in low-light situations. The durable snake plant will tolerate benign neglect in a wide range of temperatures.

Despite all that, Sansevieria houseplants do require care to be healthy good-looking plants. This plant prefers potting soil with a sandier consistency that is allowed to thoroughly dry out between watering. Snake plants that are allowed to grow in routinely moist soils or with poor drainage will develop unnatural yellowing and weak leaf growth.

Basic plant care should include cleaning leaves, fertilizing and digging and dividing. The smooth leaves benefit from cleaning, either wiped with a damp rag or by misting. Sansevieria should be fertilized at half-strength every two to three months during the growing season.

Sansevieria has thick short rhizome roots that need to be dug and divided every three or four years. The thick short rhizome roots are so strong that when they become root-bound the roots are known to bust apart containers.

Digging and dividing Sansevieria is an excellent way to have more plants for the garden. Cutting leaf sections is another acceptable strategy to propagate this houseplant.

The tropical snake plant most often used as a houseplant in an indoor garden can grow in outside gardens too. In an outdoor garden, the plant thrives in dappled sun away from hot western and dark woodland sunlight extremes.

Houseplant Collections with Snake Plant

Snake Plant

Indoor gardeners can easily incorporate snake plants into a houseplant collection. Individually, large snake plants act as a focal point in the home garden with its very strong structural appearance. Vertical space can be taken full advantage of by hanging trailing vines above the upright snake plant resting on the floor. Dish gardens growing short rosette forms of Sansevieria varieties can be planted with other plants or singly in a six-inch pot.

Sansevieria leaf shapes and color variegations make interesting contrasts and can be planted outside in a mixed plant combination. Choose annuals or perennials that will grow in similar light outside, the mixed planting will make an interesting mini garden.

Tropical Sansevieria Plants

According to the International Sansevieria Society, there is more than 130 species and cultivars of the tropical plant, Sansevieria. Sansevieria trifasciata accounts for over 60 cultivars.

Sansevieria is a genus of the agave family native to Africa, Arabia and India. The snake plant became so valued by indoor gardeners that an entire commercial production business emerged during the early twentieth century in the United States.

Sansevieria plants are simple plants to grow in low light gardens. While a traditional houseplant, gardeners have found the snake plant worth growing with other plants outside, too.


About the Author

With the endless passion for organic living, I - Ann Sanders has come up with the idea of creating A Green Hand. Being the founder and editor of A Green Hand, my goal is to provide everyone with a wide range of tips about healthy lifestyle with multiform categories including gardening, health & beauty, food recipe,...

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