The (usually) popular snake plant, (Sansevieria), also called mother-in-law tongue, is a perfect example of beauty in the eye of the beholder. You’ll learn how to deal with this distinctive plant once it outgrows and how to get rid snake plant its confines in this article.
Sansevieria (Mother-in-Law Tongue) – Weeds or Wonders?
Is mother-in-law’s tongue an invasive plant? According to the answer, it depends on the variety. Most Sansevieria varieties, including the popular Sansevieria trifasciata, are hardy, attractive indoor plants that behave well.
Sansevieria hyacinthoides has become a nuisance in south Florida, primarily along the coast in USDA zones 10 and above, according to IFAS Extension at the University of Florida. Tropical Africa is the native home of this plant, but it was introduced as an ornamental in the United States decades ago. Native plants were systematically wiped out by it for much of the 1950s. According to plant experts, the plant poses a serious threat to natural ecosystems.
How to Get Rid Snake Plants
There are very few control methods available for mother-in-law tongue plants. Pre-emergent herbicides have been successful for some gardeners and agriculturalists, but no products are approved for use against this harmful plant in the United States. Products containing glyphosate have been ineffective in experiments.
It’s most effective to remove small stands by pulling them by hand or digging them up. Take out weeds when they are young and the rhizomes aren’t deep – always before they bloom and go to seed. It is easier to weed the ground when it is slightly moist.
If you leave small pieces of plants in the ground, they can take root and grow into new plants. Remove entire plants and rhizomes. Wear appropriate clothing and be aware of snakes and spiders in snake plant thickets. If you want to control mother-in-law tongue plants, persistence definitely pays off. As soon as new plants begin to appear, keep a close eye on the area. Despite your best efforts, total control may take two or three years. Large stands may require mechanical removal.
Keep Your Sansevieria Totally in the Dark
I thought I’d learnt my lesson and wanted to give it another shot, but this time with prudence. I got a miniature snake plant. I replanted him, but in a much smaller container, where he thrived.
He’d been on a windowsill, but my windowsills were rapidly becoming overcrowded, so I needed to find him a new home. My error was underestimating the amount of light a “low light” plant actually need. My small sansevieria was placed in a washroom with no windows and only a dim ceiling light. It did, I believe, get some indirect light from a window in the adjacent room.
Regardless, there wasn’t nearly enough light. When I went to water him, I noticed that the largest leaf had a yellow line running across it. Closer investigation revealed that all of the previously gray leaves had become a pale golden color. I placed it back to a windowsill when Googling said it was a lack of light, but it was too late. One day, I gently tugged at the leaves, and they all fell apart. The rhizomes were rotting away.
This person was also laid to rest in the ground. His empty pot became a home for an aloe plant in the circle-of-potted-plant-life. I’m embarrassed to report that I have no photographs of him.
So that’s how it’s done. Give a snake plant too much space, too much water, and too little light, and it will die. Do the polar opposite if you want to keep a snake plant happy!