What I really mean is that wonderful, indestructible houseplant sansevieria, also known as “mother-in-law’s tongue.” This amazing plant is on a list of “The World’s Worst Plant Names” right up there with names that are too racist or vulgar for me to bring to your attention. As a mother-in-law myself, I only admire this beautiful, resilient and reliable plant. I may start a movement to rename it. Something like “mother-in law’s helping hands.” In so many families, the mothers-in-law who get promoted to grandmother status are valued for their support of the next generation of growing families. The strong, sturdy, yellow-edged leaves also reflect the sunny, positive effect that mothers-in law often have in our families.
But I digress…. A few years ago, a garden club friend gave me an off-shoot of her Sanseveria Trifasciata Laurentii when she repotted hers. (Yet another good reason to join a garden club – new friends and new plants!) Last fall mine was getting crowded, so I divided it into four yellow pots that beautifully accent the yellow edges of the leaves. According to NASA, it’s one of the best plants to clean indoor air. If someone in your home has allergies, this is the plant for you! It also gives off oxygen at night, so find a place for it in your bedroom. Mine sit on the window seat in our bedroom. They are thriving in the south-facing window and may grow as tall as six feet.
If you don’t have a sunny window, they will do just fine in a low light, but the leaves will be darker. Water every other week during the growing season (late spring to early fall), every other month during the resting time for houseplants (late fall to early spring). Every three or four years, they should be transplanted into a larger pot with new cactus and succulent potting mix. Next time you’re at a doctor’s office, a shopping mall or the floral department of grocery or big box stores, look for the mothers-in-law and take one home with you. The benefits of a mother-in-law are numerous!
Look for events that the Naperville Garden Club is hosting on our website, napervillegardenclub.org or Positively Naperville’s web calendar, positivelynaperville.com. We welcome guests and also welcome your interest in membership.