Mother in law plant is a natural air purifier that helps to purify the air by absorbing harmful elements like formaldehyde, benzene and xylene that are considered dangerous for humans. Physically this plant looks like tall and stiff grass, with a height of 2ft – 3ft and a width of 5cm – 6cm.
With more than 70 varieties across the globe, “Sansevieria” is commonly known as Mother in Laws Tongue Plant or Snake Plant. Due to its high air purifying properties and low water demand it is considered as one of the indoor plant. Here we have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you with all the queries regarding the mother-in-law plant.
What is a Mother in Law Plant?
The snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue is an evergreen, succulent perennial plant that rarely flowers during the spring season. The leaves are long and strap-like, growing up to 100cm long and 2cm wide. Both sides of the leaf surface have white, Yellow or light grey patterns on them and are slightly glossy.
In Snake Plant, small flowers grow on spikes up to 60cm tall and are pretty inconspicuous, these flowers are white in color and highly fragranced. After flowering, the plant produces small berries containing the seeds.
The snake plant is native to East Africa. It has been growing there for millennia without changing much because of its perfect adaptation to the desert-like conditions.
Factors Affecting the Growth of Mother in Law Plant
Snake plant is easy to grow as it does not require much attention or care. However, most people prefer to plant it inside their house or office. So, let us have a look at the factors essential for the growth of mother-in-law plants.
Belonging to the succulent category, Snake plants like well-drained soil, so make sure you use a pot/container with plenty of holes at the bottom. If there is no room for water to drain out, bacteria can build up, causing root rot, which will eventually kill your plant.
Most succulent experts advise using a potting mix with a high concentration of sand. Hence, the potting soil should be in the ratio of 2:1:1 (i.e. Around 50% River Sand, 25% Garden Soil and 25% Organic Compost or Vermicompost)
Mother in laws tongue are naturally found in hot and dry climates (Desert Climate), but these plants can easily survive in any region. The snake plant is best kept at a temperature between 60-80° Fahrenheit, making it a great indoor houseplant during the winter or summer seasons.
Snake plants require significantly less water. Overwatering is the main reason for this plant to die. Mother law plant is adapted to desert climates, and it naturally has water-holding properties that fulfil the plant’s water needs for several days. A healthy mother-in-law plant has tall and rigid leaves, and overwatering may cause the leaves to lose or turn yellow.
Snake Plant Indoor Care
Mother in law tongue plants are great to be chosen as an indoor house. Here are some factors necessary for indoor plant care.
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Light Conditions: Light conditions play a very vital role in the overall health of this plant. Snake plants need ample sunlight for healthy growth. Therefore, it should be kept on the balcony or next to a window to get a good amount of sunlight throughout the day. During the winter season or in the case of low sunlight, artificial growing light should be used to fulfil the plant’s needs.
Pot Selection: The pot or the plant container should have several holes at the bottom to allow the excess water to pass easily and prevent root rot.
Soil Mix: Soil should be airy and well-drained to help the plant’s roots grow easily and allow the excess of water to leave the pot.
How to Propagate a Mother in Law’s Tongue Plant?
Besides growing from seeds, snake plants can be easily propagated using the leaf or root of the plant. There are two different methods of performing the propagation in mother-in-law plants. Let us have a look at both methods.
Root Division Method
In the root division method of propagation, we need to take the whole plant out of the pot and remove all the soil to make the roots visible. Here you will find some new plant joints that are attached to the main plant. Separate those plants by cutting the joint. Now they are ready to be grown separately.
Leaf Cutting Method
Another method of propagation for snake plants is by cutting the leaf of the plant. First, choose a healthy leaf and separate it from the plant by cutting it from the bottom. Now cut the leaf into multiple 2-inch pieces, each with the lower part at 90 degrees. Keep these pieces aside to dry in a shady place for 12 hours.
Now, prepare a mix of sand and vermicompost in a bowl (60% : 40% respectively) and sow the leaves in the soil mix. Only water while planting. After 10 -15 days, new roots will start to grow. And after 25 days, you can transplant the leaf into a separate individual pot.
Benefits of Mother in Law’s Tongue Plant
Snake plant is also known as a natural air purifier due to its high air-filtering properties. Due to this reason, this plant is majorly preferred as a household plant. Its long and stiff leaves enhance the beauty of your indoor premises, and its vibrant color shaded leaves make indoors even more appealing. With a very low demand for nutrients, mother in law’s tongue plant is among the easiest plants to grow indoors.
Is Snake Plant Poisonous?
Yes, the mother in laws tongue is a poisonous plant. The leaves of this plant contain a translucent fluid that can be very harmful to humans or animals if consumed. Hence, it is advised to keep this plant out of reach of pets and children.
With the great increase in air pollution, several new air diseases are affecting our bodies. Nature has provided us with several plants that help us to purify the air at no cost. Mother in law plant is the best plant purifier that removes harmful elements and pollutants from the air by absorbing them and releasing oxygen even at night.
In this brief guide, we have tried to cover all the information good to our knowledge and available over the internet. However, if you find anything missing or have any queries, do let us know in the comment section below.