Mother-in-law’s tongue is known as sansevieria by its scientific name Sansevieria trifasciata, although you can also find it as tiger’s tongue, cow’s tongue, cat’s tongue, tiger’s tail and Saint George’s sword.
It is a common houseplant native to Asia and Africa. It can be recognized by its sword-shaped evergreen leaves that grow upright and almost look like artificial foliage.
If you have mother-in-law’s tongue in your house, chances are it never flowered. This plant, known and appreciated for its incredible resistance, is one of the most difficult to make flower, but not if you apply the advice that we offer you in this article.
Know the benefits of mother-in-law’s tongue
But first, we will talk about some benefits of this wonderful plant:
1. Filters indoor air, even at night
Like other household succulents, mother-in-law’s tongue helps filter indoor air. What is unique about this particular plant is that it is one of the few plants that can convert carbon dioxide (CO2) to oxygen overnight.
2. Eliminate Toxic Contaminants
These plants are also known for their ability to help remove toxic pollutants from the air. They can absorb cancer-causing pollutants, including:
3. Mental health benefits
While the mental health benefits of houseplants still require more scientific research, the fact that plants play a positive role is well established, according to 2018 research.
Horticultural therapy is even used in the treatment of mental health, due to its therapeutic effects.
Houseplants can be added to workplaces, schools, and medical facilities as a low-cost, low-risk way to enhance these environments.
4. Effective against allergies
By releasing oxygen and adding moisture to the air, mother-in-law’s tongue can help lessen the impact of airborne allergens, such as dust and dander.
5. Relieves minor physical ailments
There are many other benefits of mother-in-law’s tongues that are not scientifically proven but are widely accepted by plant experts.
For example, the mother-in-law’s tongue is said to:
- Heals wounds and skin burns
- reduce inflammation
- Regulates blood pressure
- Helps strengthen the immune system
- Helps eliminate parasites
- Relieves headaches
You can apply the sap of the leaves of the plant on wounds, burns and inflammations. And aromatherapy can help you get rid of a headache.
However, care must be taken when using these plants for healing purposes. Its leaves contain saponins, which are poisonous substances, in large quantities. Saponins are often part of many diuretic, choleretic and laxative drugs.
How to make the mother-in-law’s tongue bloom in a simple way
Next, we suggest the basic care that the sansevieria or mother-in-law’s tongue needs to grow healthy and strong in our homes.
This plant is resistant to virtually all lighting conditions. The optimal condition, however, is shade. Excessive sun could damage its leaves and make it less aesthetic. Place the sansevieria near a window, exposed to indirect light.
Water the plant once a week, but don’t overdo it. Check the soil moisture before watering, and water only if it is dry. The mother-in-law’s tongue is resistant to periods of drought, but its aesthetic appearance suffers.
It is not necessary to fertilize the mother-in-law’s tongue, but if you wish you can use eggshells (rich in calcium) or water with potato peels.