House Plants and Flowers Care Mother-in-Laws Tongue House Plant Care - Care of Mother-in-Laws Tongue

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Mother-in-Law Tongue Plant Care
Houseplants & Flowers


If you have a difficult time with your house plants, the Mother-in-Law Tongue is the plant for you. Also known as a Sansevieria or Snake Plant, this plant is great for a medium to high light situation and will do well with minimal attention. It is sometimes spelled Sanseveria as the extra "i" is often left out.

Mother-In-Laws Tongue Plant Care

Mother-In-Laws Tongue
House Plant

Mother-in-Law Tongue plant care questions? I would be happy to answer any indoor, house plant questions as I can. Free of charge, no sign-ups or log in required!

You can send a house plant care question but before you do, please read this page and further information on watering your indoor plants, how to tips to help keep your house plant's root system healthy and lighting for your house plants. These are most important for your house plant's health and this is some of the information I will refer you to when you send an email.

Mother-in-Laws Tongue can be found in different sizes and colors. Some are shorter, with a rosette type of growth such as the Sansevieria 'Hahnii'. Sansevieria 'Superba' is somewhat larger but with wider leaves than the taller varieties. The Sanseveria Laurentii is the most common variety, with a broad, yellow edge on the thick, sword shaped leaves. The center of the leaf is cross-banded with pale markings.

Sansevieria, or Mother-in-Law Tongue plant, can be found with pale silver-green foliage as with Sansevieria 'Moonshine'. The 'Black Gold' has a dark leaf center, almost black, with a gold leaf edge. The Sansevieria 'Zeylanica' is more of a light silver-green with darker crossbands or mottling of the leaf. The 'Black Gold' and 'Moonshine' Mother-in-Law Tongue plant are two of my favorites, along with the 'Laurentii'.

Sanseveria has upright growth and a shallow root system and is best kept somewhat pot bound. It has thick rhizomes that store water for a long time. While you may be able to keep a Snake Plant that is in high-light slightly moist, in low light the roots will rot and unhealthy roots mean an unhealthy plant. Err on the side of less water with this plant.

Mother-in-Laws Tongue Plant Care
How to Water

Mother-in-Laws Tongue has rhizomes that store water, so stay more to the dry side with this plant. In low to medium light, allow potting media to dry down completely in between watering. In high light, allow to dry down at least 3/4 of the pot depth. Please see pages on watering indoor plants and lighting for your plants best health.

Also, be careful when you do water your Mother-in-Laws Tongue that you do not pour the water in the leaf rosette as it may cause them to rot. Water the soil only and use room temperature water.

It is often difficult to judge if a Mother-In-Laws Tongue needs to be watered so it is helpful to use a soil probe. This aids you in checking the soil at the bottom areas of the plant's root mass to check for moisture. A moisture meter or soil probe is very useful in helping you avoid over or under watering of your Mother in Law Tongue and other plants. I use one often in my indoor plant care accounts.

Buy a soil probe that is made of aluminum or steel. That will work well and not break and is the type interior landscapers use. A 13 inch length will work for most indoor plants. A longer length would only be useful for grow pots with a diameter of greater than 28 inches.

Mother-in-Law Tongue Plant Care
Other Plant Care Tips

Mother-in-Laws Tongue is a durable plant and high light is best to keep the foliage full. It will survive in lower light provided it is allowed to dry but over time, will weaken and thin. Temperatures for Mother-in-Law Tongue need to be kept above 50°F.

There are a few things to watch for with Mother-in-Laws Tongue. They are prone to scale and mealy bugs and if you notice these pests they should be wiped off immediately with a cloth or cotton dipped in rubbing alcohol.

With the different growth types and unusual and beautiful colorations, the Mother-in-Laws Tongue plant has something for everyone who enjoys keeping and growing indoor plants. And they are easy care, too! As I said, keep them pot bound, don't over water and place your plant in adequate light and they should be relatively trouble free. To learn more about plant care for succulent plants try one of these great books from

When the plant does become rootbound you can remove it from the grow pot and divide the plant to make smaller individual plants. Make sure when you do divide your Mother-in-Laws Tongue, that you plant the smaller plants into pots that fit them. Remember, Mother-in-Laws Tongue is better pot bound. You can often place a cut leaf into moist sand or rooting media and get it to root and start a new plant that way. Have fun with your Mother-in-Laws Tongue.

Flower on Mother in Laws Tongue plant

Flower on Mother
In Laws Tongue Plant

While it is usual to see Mother In Laws Tongue plant at a height of about 2-3 feet tall, I have seen them grow to over 5 feet tall. This was a Mother-in-Laws Tongue plant potted in a 14" diameter grow pot in a very good light situation. It is unusual to see them that large indoors but it can happen with excellent lighting and care.

Thanks for visiting and come back soon as plant care information, pictures and more are being added all of the time. I hope that your Mother-in-Laws Tongue plants and all of your plants and flowers are happy, green and growing because that is why I started this site

Mother-In-Law Tongue Plant Care Questions?

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