Sansevieria, the More the Merrier

Sansevieria, the More the Merrier

Sansevieria, aka snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, is one of the most popular houseplants on the planet. See why.
Way back when I was a junior editor at Better Homes and Gardens magazine, I was assigned the task of updating some of the old gardening features from the 1950s.

There was a huge stack of stories to go through, but the title that stuck with me all these years was “Sansevieria, the More the Merrier!”

Sure, it’s a silly title (I still feel sorry for the poor editor who had to come up with a word that rhymes with "sansevieria"), but what I really loved was how on point the concept remained. After all, sansevieria, aka snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue, still remains one of the most popular houseplants on the planet and, because it comes in so many forms, it’s become as collectible as baseball cards or vintage China, and it’s the perfect plant for the first time houseplant owner.
See why this plant is always on the list of plants for first-time plant owners. 

If you’ve never grown a sansevieria before, you’re in for a big surprise. First, these plants are super versatile. They come in two basic shapes: tall and narrow and short and bushy. Some grow just a few inches tall, while others can stretch 3 to 4 feet high. Use small specimens on a side table or bathroom vanity and let the tall ones accent a corner of your living room or porch.

Sansevieria is also forgiving about the amount of light it receives. They don’t mind dark corners (perfect for that bedroom where nothing else will grow), but they will be just as happy in bright sun.

Sansevieria also has bold, beautiful foliage. Some varieties sport broad yellow stripes while others show off a splatter-paint collection of eye-popping dark stripes or spots. There’s even varieties that have cylindrical foliage instead of the traditional flat leaves.

And finally, sansevieria doesn’t need to be fussed over to keep it happy. In fact, if you forget to water your plant now and again it won’t mind at all. In fact, sometimes sansevieria actually does better when it’s left to its own devices. Only water when the soil feels completely dry to the touch.

Fair warning though: once you’ve gotten hooked on these amazing plants you’ll soon find yourself making room for more!

Written by Doug Jimerson