Snake Plant – Mother in Law’s Tongue
It’s easy to grow as an indoor plant, Sansevieria trifasciata adds a strong architectural look to the home and cleans the air, commonly called the ‘Snake Plant or Mother In Law’s Tounge. This plant has recently been renamed Dracaena trifasciata
As they thrive in low light they grow well indoors, and if you happen to be going away for a few weeks, they will survive without you.
As for drought, low light and insect pests, they are just as hardy as the Aspidistra and that is known as the cast iron plant. This is just one of a number of many Sansevieria varieties available for sale.
How to Grow the Snake Plant.
This is a plant that requires excellent drainage, so use an open free draining growing medium.
- Plant in a container not much larger than the rootball of the plant itself.
- Use an open free draining potting soil or compost.
- Water well once after planting.
- Do not water again until the growing medium is dry.
- Fertilise in spring with a slow release fertiliser. Wait until the plant needs watering, fertilise and water in well.
- Keep the plant in bright filtered light for best results.
Fertilise with a general purpose slow release fertiliser in spring, a 6 month type will do. You do not need to fertilise twice a year.
In terms of light, these plants will grow in full sun or part shade, try for 6 hours of good filtered light a day as a minimum.
Watering Sansevieria trifasciata
This is the most important care factor. As a rule you will only need to water once every 6 weeks, although this depends on where you are growing it. In a warm heated position indoors, you may need to water every 3 weeks as the heating drys the air and the soil.
Always allow the soil to dry between watering and never let the plant sit in a saucer of water.
Should you mist spray your Snake Plant ? The simple answer is no. In fact most succulents should never be mist sprayed. One exception is some of the Lithops.
- They are best grown in filtered or indirect light, full sun can cause leaf burn.
- In very dark lighting the foliage can begin to go pale in colour.
- Watering should be kept to a minimum. Overwatering can cause the leaves to go floppy or fall over. On the other hand, a lack of water will eventually cause the leaves to turn yellow.
If the plant is over watered it can usually be saved.
- You need to remove the plant from the potting soil and remove the soil from the roots.
- Any parts of the root system that are rotting need to be cut away.
- Leave the plant in a dry position overnight to allow the roots and stem to dry.
- Repot in a free draining potting mix that is fairly dry and do not water in.
- Leaves Turning Brown. This is usually caused by overwatering and therefore root rot. Remove the plant from the potting mix, allow to dry for 3 – 4 days and repot.
- Leaf Tips turning brown or black. This is usually caused by over fertilisation.
- Soft or Mushy Leaves. Again overwatering and root rot.
- Curling leaves. Rare, but caused by under watering. The leaves curl up to conserve water,
You can divide the plant in spring, you will see the offsets and these can be easily removed and repotted.
It is also possible to propagate the plant from leaf cuttings which will strike in either water or compost mix.
Sanseviera plants are available for sale from the following nurseries
Indoor Plant specialists for Melbourne. - Ph : 0435 677 428
"Indoor potted house plants & plant gifts delivered throughout Melbourne.
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Succulent nursery for drought hardy plants. Includes: Adenium, Agave, Alluadia, Aloe, Anecampseros, Crassula, Euphorbia, Gasteraloe, Haworthia, Kalanchoe, Ledebouria, Portulacaria, Sedum, Senecio and many others.
Online and Retail Melbourne and Geelong based garden centres. Check out their large range of indoor and outdoor plants, Australian Natives, Fruit Trees and Edibles, Succulents, Gardenias, Camellias, Hydrangeas plus a full range garden products for delivery in Melbourne.
132 Silver Valley Rd. MS 415 Mt.Garnet QLD 4872
Australia's largest collection & specialist breeders of world class frangipani cultivars & rare species. Includes Dwarf cultivars. Mail order specialists Australia & worldwide. Australia's biggest range of the Worlds best frangipani.