Sansevieria Or Mother-in-law Language: All You Need To Know

One of the most famous apartment plants, the Sansevieria, commonly known as the mother-in-law language, is frequently cultivated for ornamental purposes.

It is a very rustic plant and therefore very simple to cultivate, not only it is well suited to any type of furnishing but it is also capable of cleaning the air of our house from polluting substances.

Sansevieria Or Mother-in-law Language: Characteristics And Origins

The Sansevieria (also called Sanseveria or Sansevera) is a genus of plants of the Agavaceae family, native both to the Indies and to tropical Africa.

The genus includes perennial herbaceous species with rhizomatous roots, coriaceous and thick, the leaves of this genus of plants are fleshy, lanceolate and variegated, sprouting in groups from the rhizome, erect, of dark green color, at times with golden stripes along the margins.

The height of the Sansevieria, or mother-in-law’s tongue, varies from 30 cm to more than 1 meter.

The flowers of this plant are united in a whitish, spike-shaped inflorescence, which emanates a sharp sweetish odor, even if, as we have already mentioned, they adapt well to any type of apartment, becoming true to their own furnishing elements, they flower very rarely.

Sansevieria Care And Cultivation

The Sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue is a plant of easy cultivation, commonly placed in pots, we often find it in houses and apartments, just for the few attentions it requires.

Cultivated in pots as an indoor plant, the Sansevieria (or mother-in-law’s tongue), rarely exceeds the meter of height. Some cultivars of this kind of plant are much lower and more compact, and have wider leaves.

Being small and easy to grow, it is perfect not only at home but also in the office or shop or other structure.

Let’s see together how to cultivate this beautiful plant.

Ideal Soil For Sansevieria

Organic soil, of good quality and specific for cacti and succulents, rich in organic substances, well drained to avoid water stagnation,

Language Of Mother-in-law Plant: Best Exposure

The tongue of mother-in-law plant which resists very well to the high temperatures, as it can bear temperatures as high as 30 degrees, is, however, little tolerant towards the low temperatures, especially if they drop below the 5-8 degrees.

It loves very luminous places, but better not exposed to the direct rays of the sun.


As already said, as far as watering is concerned, the plant is not very demanding and is carried out every 5-6 days during the warm periods, being always careful to avoid water stagnations. In winter, on the other hand, the frequency with which the Sansevieria has to be watered expands a lot, in fact, in the winter period, it has to be watered every two weeks.


Being a very rustic and leathery plant, it does not need any particular fertilization, however in the spring period it can be advantageous to get a strong and vigorous plant to fertilize it with specific liquid fertilizer very rich in nitrogen once a month.

All types of fertilization should be suspended during the winter period. Never use leaf polishers to clean the leaves but use a damp cloth taking care to support the leaves to prevent them from breaking.


The Sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue does not need any kind of pruning, but only the dry leaves have to be removed.

Sansevieria: Multiplication And Propagation

The multiplication of the Sansevieria takes place mainly or by division of the heads in the varieties of the Sansevieria trifasciata, and by cutting of leaves in the Sansevieria zeylanica.

Sansevieria: The Most Common Varieties

The genus Sansevieria includes more than 60 different species:

  • sansevieria aethiopica;
  • sansevieria arborescens;
  • sansevieria ascendens;
  • aubrytian sansevieria;
  • sansevieria bacularis;
  • sansevieria bagamoyensis;
  • ballyi sansevieria;
  • beautiful sansevieria;
  • sansevieria braunii;
  • sansevieria burdettii;
  • sansevieria burmanica;
  • sansevieria canaliculata;
  • sansevieria caulescens;
  • sansevieria concinna;
  • conspicuous sansevieria;
  • cylindrical sansevieria;
  • sansevieria dawei;
  • sansevieria downsii;
  • sansevieria dumetescens;
  • sansevieria ebracteata;
  • sansevieria ehrenbergii;
  • sansevieria eilensis;
  • sansevieria erythraeae;
  • sandwich wraps;
  • sansevieria whistles;
  • forskalian sansevieria;
  • sansevieria francisii;
  • sansevieria frequens;
  • sansevieria gracilis;
  • sansevieria gracillima;
  • sansevieria grandicuspis;
  • sansevieria hallii;
  • sansevieria hargeisana;
  • sansevieria humiflora;
  • sansevieria hyacinthoides;
  • sansevieria × itumea;
  • sansevieria kirkii;
  • liberal sansevieria;
  • sansevieria longiflora;
  • sansevieria longistyla;
  • masonic sansevieria;
  • metallic goods;
  • nilotic sansevieria;
  • sharp sansevieria;
  • sansevieria parva;
  • sansevieria patens;
  • sansevieria pearsonii;
  • sansevieria pedicellata;
  • sansevieria perrotii;
  • sansevieria pfisteri;
  • sansevieria phillipsiae;
  • sansevieria penguicula;
  • sansevieria powellii;
  • powysii sansevieria;
  • sansevieria raffillii;
  • sansevieria roxburghiana;
  • sansevieria sambiranensis;
  • sansevieria scimitariformis;
  • sansevieria senegambica;
  • sansevieria sinus-simiorum;
  • sordid sansevieria;
  • sansevieria stuckyi;
  • subspicated sansevieria;
  • sansevieria subtilis;
  • sansevieria suffruticosa;
  • three-step pantry;
  • sansevieria varians;
  • sansevieria volkensii;
  • zeylanica sansevieria.

Sansevieria Or Mother-in-law Tongue: Diseases And Parasites

Although, as we have said many times, they are very rustic plants and easy to grow, they are not free from pests and diseases.

In fact, this kind of plant fears the attacks of cochineals, which must be eliminated promptly.

In addition, like many other plants, they are afraid of water and moisture stagnation, which causes leaf yellowing and rotten rhizomes and leaves.

Sansevieria Benefits

In addition to being a beautiful ornamental plant, Sansevieria brings not only aesthetic benefits to our house, in fact, much research has shown that this kind of plant can purify the air, managing to absorb many substances that are toxic to us, such as formaldehyde, nitrogen oxide and fine dust.

Furthermore, unlike other plants that release carbon dioxide at night, the Sansevieria (or mother-in-law’s tongue) continues to produce and release oxygen, which is why we commonly find it also in the bedrooms, unlike other plants.

Last Curiosity

Sansevierium is also used in cosmetology as part of detergents, while preparations with substances derived from this plant are generally used in traditional medicine for inflammation of the mouth and as a laxative.

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