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A picture of a Mother-In-Law's Tongue

Mother-In-Law's Tongue

Sansevieria trifasciata

Also known as

Variegated Snake Plant

Starr 070906-9018 Sansevieria trifasciata by Forest & Kim Starr (CC BY 3.0)

Full Sun
Easy care
Light watering
Tender

12b

USDA zone

13°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

1m

Max

50cm

50cm

Min

10cm

10 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has a mild fragrance

More images

A photo of Mother-In-Law's Tongue
Sansevieria trifasciata-buds

Overview

Sansevieria trifasciata is a succulent, evergreen perennial species in the Asparagaceae family. Leaves grow to between 80-100cm in length and 5-7cm wide. These tend to be dark green in colour with grey-green bands and horizontal marbling. Probably the toughest and most tolerant houseplant you can find, it is virtually indestructible and a great choice for the beginner gardener. Its attractive patterned leaves don't flop or spread, so it's great for tight spaces or where you want something upright. It is commonly known by the names Variegated Snake Plant because of the shape and colour of its leaves, and Mother-in-Law's Tongue due to the sharpness of the leaves. It thrives on neglect and is drought-tolerant, disliking excessive watering (drench once a week and allow to dry out between waterings). Short spikes of small fragrant tubular greenish-white flowers can appear in spring or summer.

Common problems

Vine Weevil may attack the roots, and sometimes it can suffer from Soft Rot.

Harvesting

Generally not harvested.

Propagation

Cuttings

Root leaf cuttings with bottom heat during summer. Cuttings from variegated cultivars will lack the same variegation patterns, if grown from leaf cuttings.

Division

Divide clumps in spring.

Suckers

Remove suckers in spring and replant immediately.

Special Features

Indoor plant

Attractive leaves

Drought resistant

Pot plant

Uses

A low maintenance plant that is prefect as a houseplant in conservatories or subtropical indoor greenhouses.