The plant known scientifically as Sansevieria , and in Spanish as language of mother-in-law or tiger’s tongue and in English popularly called snake plant , is from the Liliaceae family, native to Africa, Asia and especially New Guinea. This plant became very popular in the 1930s as a very hardy houseplant. It is a crass plant that tolerates drought and poor care well, the only thing that does not resist is excess water or extreme cold.
Varieties and types of Sanseviera
Within Sansevierias few include 60 or 70 species of plants perennial leafless. Its Latin name is due to the Neapolitan prince San Severo, who played a role in the development of natural sciences. In general, its species can be divided into two types of leaves: flat leaves and thick leaves .
The best known Sansevierias are:
- Sansevieria cylindrica : this variety has leaves that reach up to 1 meter in height. Its flowers are milky white with pink tips that form a racemose inflorescence. In turn, this species includes multiple varieties.
- Sansevieria trifasciata : it is the best known species. It has flat oval leaves that grow from the root zone. These are usually dark green in color and are separated by light transverse bands. The length of the blade ranges from 30 to 120 cm. And a width of between 2 and 10 cm. The Sansevieria trifasciata is a plant commonly used for interiors and that stands out for its few pretensions. It is often called the pike tail.
- Sansevieria laurentii : This species has ivory-colored leaves with lateral edges and perfumed flowers.
- Sansevieria zeylanica : it has leaves between 30 and 60 cm in length with white edges and white flowers that perfume the nocturnal atmosphere.
- Sansevieria Fernwood ‘Mikado’ ( Sansevieria hybrid) : It is a species of succulent plant with dark green round leaves with a mottling similar to Fernwood. As the leaves mature, they curve outward.
Other species of mother-in-law or tiger’s tongue are:
- Sansevieria grandis , the largest Sansevieria
- Sansevieria hyacinthoides or Hyacinth
- Sansevieria dooneri or Dunery
- Sansevieria liberica or Sansevieria liberiana
- Sansevieria kirkii or Kirk
- Sansevieria gracilis or Graceful Sansevieria
Caring for Sansevieria Trifasciata outdoors
As we have mentioned before, this plant is very grateful and its care is not very complicated. To grow Sansevieria Trifasciata outdoors, follow these tips:
Light and location
To grow the mother-in-law’s tongue plant outdoors, keep in mind that it is not a plant that requires a large amount of light, so it can also grow in the shade without suffering. If it is possible that the plant receives a few hours of direct sunlight a day, it will be able to develop stronger and with greener leaves.
Regarding irrigation , it must be borne in mind that this plant stores water in its tissues, so it must be watered from time to time , with enough space of time. It is a plant that fears excessive humidity, so the soil between waterings will have to dry out. In case the leaves turn yellow, watering should be reduced. With once a month in winter and autumn and every fortnight in spring it will be enough
The ideal temperature for this plant is between 16ºC and 30ºC , but it is sensitive to temperatures below 14ºC. For this reason, it resists summer well, but in winter it should be avoided that it is at a very low temperature.
Caring for Sansevieria Trifasciata indoors
If it is easy to take care of it on the outside, it is also easy on the inside. Follow these guidelines on caring for Sansevieria Trifasciata indoors :
Since Sansevieria is a warm climate plant , having it indoors is a good option to keep it at a good temperature (between 16-21ºC) in colder climates. When we have it indoors, it is a light-loving plant, so it should be placed in a well-lit area, but avoiding direct light rays.
Regarding irrigation, as we discussed previously, it must be very moderate , without providing it with so much water as to cause it to rot. If you notice that its leaves are wrinkled, inclined or bent, it should be watered. Conversely, if they become messy or greasy, they will need to be dried.
Pot and fertilizer
These plants do not require large amounts of soil, but if we place them in a pot, the length of the leaves must be taken into account and more soil must be added so that they are well supported, as the plant needs a pot with good support, as well as a good drainage . They also don’t require too much fertilizer, although it’s okay to apply cactus fertilizer to them once a month, which will make them grow stronger. If the leaves are observed to fall, they should be pruned. You don’t have to straighten them, just remove them and remove dirt. It is convenient to transplant them to a larger pot once a year or to one of the same size but renewing part of the soil.
Reproduction of the Sansevieria Trifasciata or mother-in-law’s tongue
The Sansevieria Trifasciata, snake plant , tiger’s tongue or mother-in-law’s tongue can be multiplied by two methods:
- Reproduction by division: it is the easiest way to propagate it. Simply, the rhizome with a few leaves must be cut with a knife. In addition, the suckers that appear next to the base, can be planted in pots to have new specimens. Sansevieria trifasciata , the best known, can only be multiplied by division, as the cuttings cause them to lose their ornamental yellowish margin.
- Reproduction by cutting leaf pieces: cut leaves into 5 cm long pieces and grow in a porous substrate and in a warm place. From its base originate the new stems and roots.