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Mother-in-law's Tongue

Sansevieria trifasciata

Snake plant, Mother-in-law's nose

Probably the toughest and most tolerant house plant you can find, it is virtually indestructible and it's a good-looker too. Its attractive patterned leaves don't flop or spread so it's great for tight spaces, or where you want something upright. Occasionally called Snake plant because of the shape of it's leaves it is more frequently called Mother-in-Laws 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 watering's). Short spikes of small fragrant tubular greenish-white flowers can appear in summer. In Haitian Vodou and Yoruba mythology, due to its bladelike shape, it is commonly associated with Ogum, the deity of war (usually associated with Saint George), and is used in rituals to remove the evil eye. A yellow-tipped variant is known as espada-de-santa-barbara (sword-of-saint-barbara), and is associated with Iansan/Oya, the female deity of storms (usually associated with the sword-bearing image of Saint Barbara). In the past it was also used as a source of hemp, the plant fibre used to make bowstrings.

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer, Autumn
Fruiting time
Autumn

Harvesting

Generally not harvested.

Propagation

Suckers
Remove in late summer & pot on.
Cuttings
Leaf cuttings can be done in Spring or early Summer.

Special features

Geography

Origin
Africa, South, Africa

Environment

Light
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Soil moisture
Dry
Soil type
Sand
Soil PH preference
Alkaline, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Tender

Uses

Notes
A low maintenance plant that is prefect as a house plant in conservatories or sub tropical indoor greenhouses.

Personality

Family
Asparagaceae
Flower colour
Green, White
Scent
Mild

Problems

Generally disease free
Black Vine Weevil
Black Vine Weevil
Otiorhynchus sulcatus

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