Sansevieria or Tiger Tongue: An Ornamental Plant
The sansevieria is one of the most beautiful and popular indoor plants. It falls within the variety of succulents because it has an enormous capacity to absorb water and store it in its leaves.
This is the reason why it’s resistant and suitable for those who love plants but don’t have time to take care of them. If you’re thinking of growing one or you already have one, learn how to care for it by identifying its main characteristics.
Characteristics of sansevieria
In addition to being a succulent, Sansevieria belongs to the Dracaena genus. Depending on the species, it’s known by specific names such as the Saint George sword, cow’s tongue, lizard’s tail, snake plant, and mother-in-law’s tongue or tiger’s tongue.
It’s not only very robust but also very long-lived, with sturdy leaves. It can reach up to 50 centimeters in height and its exotic beauty makes it the ideal plant to decorate any home interior.
It should also be noted that there are more than 120 different species of sansevieria, all with different nuances in the color and shapes of their leaves. Some of the better known varieties are sansevieria trifasciata (laurentii and hahnii), sansevieria zeylanica, and sansevieria cylindricas.
Keep in mind that it’s a slow-growing plant, managing to create only three to four new leaves. It can be grown both indoors and outdoors.
Sansevieria or tiger tongue care
Tiger tongue not only adds elegance to homes. As has been reported in different scientific investigations, it has the ability to clean the toxins and impurities present in the air, which is why it’s known as a purifying plant.
This natural beauty absorbs nitrogen oxide, benzene, formaldehyde, xylene, and trichloroethylene. So don’t hesitate to go out and buy one. Next, we’ll explain their care.
Substrate quality and fertilizers
The sansevieria requires a specific substrate, which must have a good proportion of earth and sand so that there’s optimal drainage. This aspect is important because stagnant water can damage the roots and the general structure of the plant.
The fertilizer must be applied during the hottest season, and it must be liquid and dissolve in the water. Be careful not to overfeed your plant with fertilizers as this can also be harmful. Use a special one for succulents.
Sansevieria belongs to the succulent family and you mustn’t forget that. That’s why, although it retains a good amount of water in its leaves, it can become damaged by excess liquid, to the point of causing botrytis (stem rot).
You’ll know that the plant is suffering from overwatering if you notice that its leaves turn yellowish. Keep in mind that the parts affected by botrytis will die without you being able to avoid it.
A piece of advice! When you water your plant, don’t use cold water, rather, make sure the water is at room temperature. Avoid getting water on the leaves and be sure to gently remove any dust that accumulates on the leaves.
Temperature and light
The tiger’s tongue enjoys the sun, but it’s not demanding when it comes to light, so it can live well indoors and in dark areas.
This means that you can have it in any room, regardless of light conditions. Although it must be said that it develops better near a natural source of light such as a window.
You’ll notice that when the plant isn’t close to a light source and if the environment is cold, limited new stems will grow and those that do emerge will be long and arched.
Now, regarding the temperature, you should know that sansevieria prefers a warm indoor environment, and it doesn’t like temperatures of less than 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
Renew the substrate once a year
As we mentioned, the sansevieria has slow growth and it’s not a good idea to regularly transplant it. However, it’s good to renew the substrate every year, preferably at the beginning of spring, so that the plant can absorb the nutrients.
You have the option of removing the soil without removing the plant and adding more, taking the opportunity to add some fertilizer or compost. Alternatively, you can also carefully remove the plant and completely change the substrate.
You can take advantage of this moment to multiply your sansevieria. Do this by dividing it, taking some of the new plants, and moving them to a new pot with their roots intact. Although many people prefer to take cuttings, this method isn’t usually successful.
Enjoy your sansevieria or tiger tongue!
As you’ve read, sansevieria is a beautiful plant with outstanding benefits for your health. It’ll not only brighten your home, but it’ll also purify the air you breathe.
Finally, you should know that this plant is resistant to pests, although its nemesis is mealybugs and mites. Now that you know how to take care of your sansevieria, you’ll be able to fully enjoy it and reap the rewards.