The saber or mother-in-law (Lat. Sansevieria trifasciata) is the most famous plant of the genus Sansevieria. It is an evergreen perennial that is extremely easy to maintain . Often kept as a houseplant, it contributes to the cleaning of the air . Because it can grow up to 90 cm in height, it is sometimes planted outside the house as a natural fence.
This plant is named after its sharp leaves that resemble a saber or a sharp mother-in-law’s tongue. Most often they are dark green with stripes and yellow edges, depending on the type.
In rare cases, mother-in-law’s tongue may bloom . In this case, the buds appear on a stem that can grow up to one meter. When opened, the flowers are white or beige and have a strong but pleasant scent.
The mother-in-law’s language was originally cultivated in China, where it was thought to bestow upon the owner eight virtues , including long life, intelligence, art, strength, etc. According to the principles of feng shui, herbs were to be placed at the entrance so that virtues could circulate throughout the premises.
Although mother-in-law’s tongue is not a poisonous plant, it is recommended to keep it out of the reach of children and pets, as chewing on its leaves can cause excessive salivation, nausea and diarrhea .
Mother-in-law’s language – types
The mother-in-law’s tongue is one of the most famous species of the genus Sansevieri , and there are about 70 different plants belonging to that genus. There are also variations in the species Sansevieria trifasciata , among which are:
- S. trifasciata Laurentii ,
- S. trifasciata Goldiana,
- S. trifasciata Compacta,
- S. trifasciata Hahnii, etc .
The differences in these types of mother-in-law’s tongue lie mostly in the shape, size and color of the leaves.
Mother-in-law’s tongue as a cure
The mother-in-law’s tongue is kept as a houseplant because it acts as an air purifier: even the US space agency NASA listed it as one of the best air-purifying plants in its research.
Specifically, mother-in-law’s tongue converts toxic substances and air pollutants into oxygen and balances the humidity in the home, which has a beneficial effect on the skin, eyes and respiratory tract . She creates large amounts of oxygen during the night, so the bedroom is her ideal place.
The consumption of leaves is not recommended because they irritate the stomach and can cause gastrointestinal problems such as nausea , vomiting or diarrhea.
Mother-in-law’s tongue – breeding
This plant is easy to care for and can grow in almost any condition. It can withstand both direct sunlight and a lack of light, but it is most suitable for indirect light with a few hours of direct light per day. It will grow as long as there is no complete lack of light, only slightly slower.
The best temperatures for mother-in-law are between 12 and 30 ° C , and they prefer warmer temperatures. You can keep it outdoors if you live in a warmer area, but if you live in a cooler climate it is best to keep it indoors.
The reasons why the mother-in-law’s tongue is the most common vein (although difficult to bring about) are excessive cold and excessive watering. For this reason, pay more attention to this aspect of caring for this plant.
Mother-in-law’s tongue – watering
Excessive watering can cause rotting of this plant. Water the mother-in-law’s tongue when the ground is dry to the touch. It is also important that the plant has good drainage in the jar.
During the autumn, it is necessary to water this plant moderately often, but in the winter months reduce watering to a minimum. It is best to pour it with lukewarm water rather than cold water.
Mother-in-law’s tongue – reproduction
If you want to produce more small plants than a main, adult plant, this is usually done by cutting the leaf and leaving it in the air for a couple of days. After that it should be planted in a jar with good drainage.