Striped mother-in-law tongue – care

The leopard lily of the British, the snake skin of the Americans, the African hemp of the Germans, the mother-in-law or the pike tongue of the Russians – all this refers to sansevier. And although the official name given in the XNUMXth century after the Italian prince Sanseviero is more euphonious, the nicknames given by different peoples are evidence of the great popularity of this plant. The popular love of sansevieria (sansevieria) won for its extreme unpretentiousness – dry air, dust, even the atmosphere of the shops of industrial enterprises is not afraid of it.

Sansevier three-lane (Sansevieria trifasciata). Farmer Harley DiBlasio

This wonderful plant came to our apartments from India and Africa. At home, sansevier is used to the maximum. The leaves are used to extract fiber for the manufacture of coarse fabrics, ropes and ropes. For us, it is important that almost all parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes.


Description of sansevier

Sansevier leaves are xiphoid, leathery, with a striped pattern. They can be light and dark green, and the stripes are cream or yellow, running along the edge, or dark, lining the silvery green leaves. The most common type in room culture is three-lane sansevier. It has flat, large leaves decorated with dark green wavy stripes. Blooms in April-May, filling the room with the scent of vanilla. During the flowering period, the plant throws out an arrow with small, white-green or pink-purple flowers, collected in a cylindrical or capitate inflorescence.

In addition to large plants, reaching a height of 150 cm, there are tiny sanseviers, only 20 cm high. They have beautiful, slightly bent leaves, collected in dense rosettes. However, these plants are less popular, although they are also unpretentious and have medicinal properties.

The leaves of the plant contain abamagenin, hemolytic sapogenin, organic acids. In African folk medicine, their juice has long been used to treat stomach ulcers, otitis media, and gynecological diseases. A decoction of roots and leaves is used for general weakness, convulsions and itching. Africans believe that the smoke from the burning leaves of the sansevier relieves headaches, and the decoction of the root increases efficiency.

This plant not only heals, but also purifies the air in the apartment, having the ability to absorb the harmful emissions of linoleum and furniture synthetics. In addition, it is a true oxygen production unit, especially active during the daytime.

Three-lane Sansevieria flower
Three-lane sansevieria flower. Farmer lawchick

Growing sansevier

Sansevier grows well even with an inexperienced grower, adapting to the proposed conditions. Of course, it is better to place young plants on a well-lit windowsill, and adults will have enough light on the floor.

Watering the sansevier is often unnecessary. From spring to autumn, she needs moderate watering when the soil is slightly dry, and rarely in winter. But it is necessary to water carefully, trying not to wet the middle of the outlet, otherwise the plant may rot. In general, excess moisture is not for the sansevier, it destroys it, causing the death of roots and leaves.

Sansevieria trifasciata
Sansevier three-lane (Sansevieria trifasciata). Farmer Derek Ramsey

Although sansevier does not need to be sprayed, its leaves should be wiped with a damp cloth at least once a month to remove dust. In summer, the pot can be placed on the balcony or in the garden, but provided that the temperature does not drop below 5 ° C at night, and the sun does not bake the leaves at noon.

In general, sanseviera loves moderate temperatures (in summer 21 ° C, in winter not lower than 15 ° C), monthly fertilizing in May-June with mineral fertilizer for cacti and flat wide pots filled with drainage material a quarter.

Young plants are transplanted annually in March-April, then every 3 years. The signal for transplanting is the roots protruding from the pot. The soil mixture can be prepared from turf, peat and sand (3: 1: 1) or you can buy ready-made soil for roses. Sansevier looks good in flat boxes, planted with ampel or ground cover plants. In this case, she needs a soil mixture of turf, peat, sand, compost (3: 1: 1: 1) and feeding 2 times a month.

Propagated by lateral shoots, dividing rhizomes during transplantation and leaf cuttings. The latter method is inherent in few plants, so I’ll tell you more about it. For cuttings, take a leaf, cut it into pieces 10 cm long, immerse two-thirds in the wet sand of the pot, cover with a jar and keep in a warm, bright place. Raise the jar for airing for 5-7 minutes every day. Water the cuttings into the pan of the pot. After 30-40 days, roots appear, then buds, from which young plants develop.

Sansevieria trifasciata
Sansevier three-lane (Sansevieria trifasciata). Farmer Forest & Kim Starr

Sansevier recipes

Ulcers and wounds

  • Ingredients: fresh sansevier leaf.

Cut off the old leaf, rinse in boiled water, drain, chop and squeeze the juice. Moisten a gauze napkin in juice, apply to the affected area, secure with a bandage. Change the bandage 2 times a day.


  • Ingredients: 2 tbsp. tablespoons of sansevier leaf, 250 ml of water.

Grind the dry leaf of the sansevier, pour boiling water, cook in a water bath for 10 minutes, leave until cooled. Wash the affected areas with broth and apply compresses at night. The course of treatment is 10 days.


  • Ingredients: fresh sansevier leaf.

Cut off the old leaf of the sansevier, rinse in boiled water, drain, chop and squeeze the juice. Instill 12-15 drops of slightly warmed, but not hot, sansevier juice into the ear 2 times a day.

Be careful: Sansevier contains very toxic substances! Use it for treatment only after consulting your doctor. Always wash your hands after handling a plant.

Striped mother-in-law tongue - care
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Anna Evans

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