Propagating Mother-in-law’s Tongue

Mother-in-law’s Tongue, Snake Plant or Viper’s Bowstring Hemp, Sansevieria (Sansevieria trifasciata) seem to have become very popular plants of late. 

My friend Vicki has a great big patch of Sansevieria growing near her front door. I asked her what she does to make them grow so beautifully and she told me her secret is neglect. She never waters hers and they're absolutely thriving.

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When I was heading home from her house, I helped myself to a leaf and after looking through some YouTube videos (honestly, how did we ever live without YouTube?) I grabbed my trusty garden scissors, placed them at an angle and cut up that leaf into 3 pieces. 



I placed all 3 pieces, facing down with what was the lower section of the plant into a small glass jar half filled with water. I placed the cuttings on my bathroom window sill in a well lit area. As it was right near the basin, I remembered to change that water regularly. But, for weeks, nothing happened. It was quite disheartening and I wondered if I'd done some wrong. 



But about a fortnight ago, I noticed the first little roots sprouting from one of the pieces. And then a couple of days later, some more from another piece of the plant.


Here it is today and I'm so pleased with it. I'm going to find a nice spot in the garden for my spider plant to grow big and beautiful, thriving on neglect. 

It's a slow growing plant species, so I'll come back in about a year with an update. 

Do you have any of these snake plants in your garden?
What is your secret to growing them?

11 comments

  1. I did not know the name of this one. Used to be very common in my part of the world but like lots of plants seems to be disappearing now.

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    1. I know it as 'Mother in Law's tongue' (though I'm not sure why as my MIL is lovely).
      I'm sure I used to see these around gardens when I was a child. I guess it's like a lot of things that go in and out of favour.

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  2. Well done on striking the cuttings taken. I sometimes think that we definitely "over do the love" with some plants.

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    1. Thank you! I'm quite pleased with them.
      I totally hear you about "over-doing the love". I'm forever killing off strings of pearls.

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  3. I used to have so many plants in my house that I arranged my furniture to give them access to the "proper" light. That got old and I gifted all my indoor plants to people that wanted them. I recently one a blog giveaway that was this plant in a pumpkin planter. I will just let it live on the kitchen counter. Our winters in northern Indiana are too cold for it to live outside.
    xx, Carol

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    1. LOL I move furniture around to have plants in the best lit position around my home too. Only the best for my peace lilies. Good on you for re-gifting them and giving them new homes.

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  4. Here is a very wonderful explanation about this plant https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sansevieria_trifasciata
    I love Wikipedia

    I do not do indoor plants anymore. My kitties nibble them, and I just do not have time. I used to like having green things to grow.... but one day I woke up and decided this was not fun anymore hahahahahaha
    I was always forgetting to water them.
    I think it is great to have plants around the house. They are good for health, and great fun for kiddos to learn about

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    1. Oooh thanks for the link. I'll have a look later on.
      I think I'm lucky that my cat shows zero interest in my indoor plants. He's too busy sleeping the day away ;-)

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  5. A friend of mine has a bunch of them and last year they flowered... neither of us knew they did that.... a gorgeous gorgeous scent in the evening/night time....
    Hugz

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    1. Oh wow! I didn't know they flowered either. Definitely something to look forward to (possibly.... maybe).

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  6. Thank you for this timely info on succulents and propagating mother-in-laws tongue. Lately I've been attempting to propagate Moses in the Boat and another succulents. Your articles have helped fill in some of the gaps in this learning process.

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