Sansevieria, as mentioned in some botanical sources belongs to the Asparagus family. The plant has a well-developed leaf rosette and belongs to the group of perennials that do not shed their foliage throughout the year. More than 60 species modifications unite this genus.
Sansevieria is common in tropical and subtropical zones. Wildflowers are found in Madagascar, Africa, India and Indonesia. The culture prefers to develop on a dry and stony substrate.
The cultivated species do not require much attention and quickly adapt to life in the apartment. Florists have long been familiar with this amazing stemless perennial.
If the flower is placed in the sun, then you will notice an iridescent shine and gloss. Due to the atypical structure of vegetative organs, the plant is often popularly called “snakeskin” or “mother-in-law’s tongue”. sansevieria can compete with succulents in terms of drought tolerance. Bright foliage does not lose color even in the case of a prolonged absence of moisture. Designers have learned to create interesting flower arrangements with the participation of this culture to decorate interiors. Thanks to its long leaves, sansevieria is often used for office space.
Description and features of sansevieria
Sansevieria has long, wedge-shaped leaves that grow upward. The leaves are 35 to 40 cm long. On the inflorescences, you can observe small flowers that have lilac and white shades. The flowers have a plentiful and pungent aroma, although they look inconspicuous and inconspicuous.
It is worth noting that the spines of sansevieria in ancient times were actively used as needles for gramophones, because of their hardness and elasticity. And in Central Africa, this magnificent plant was used to make strong ropes and a variety of rough fabrics.
- sansevieria foliage filters the air from formaldehyde and fills the living space with oxygen.
- All ground parts of the flower are poisonous, so the flowerpots must be kept out of the reach of children and pets. It is recommended to transplant or prune bushes with protective gloves.
- Even the most boring interior will sparkle with fresh colors if you get a bright variegated sansevieria variety.
- In the South, the culture is often grown in urban gardens and park complexes.
- At times, the surface of the leaves is covered with viscous droplets like nectar. During such a period, it seems as if the plant is “crying”.
Basic rules for growing sansevieria
The table shows brief rules for caring for sansevieria at home.
|Lighting level||Sansevieria flower loves semi-shaded corners, where bright and diffused light penetrates.|
|Content temperature||In the summer months, the optimum air temperature is 20-22 degrees, and in winter they make sure that the thermometer does not drop below 16 degrees.|
|Watering mode||The soil needs systematic and moderate moisture; with the onset of autumn, watering is carried out much less often.|
|Air humidity||The room should have a normal level of humidity, dry or, conversely, too humid air will adversely affect the health of the plant.|
|Top dressing||They are introduced only at the stage of active vegetation, namely, once a month. It is recommended to use special mineral mixtures for decorative deciduous crops. Fertilizers for cacti are also suitable.|
|Transfer||At a young age, they are transplanted every couple of years. More mature plants are disturbed only once every 3 years.|
|Dormant period||The plant hardly rests, the life processes proceed in the same way and do not depend on the season.|
|Reproduction||Sansevieria is propagated using cuttings, or the rhizome is divided into parts.|
|Pests||“Mother-in-law’s tongue” is attacked mainly by colonies of mealybugs, thrips and spider mites.|
|Diseases||As a result of improper maintenance, the risk of infection with fungal infections increases: root rot and anthracnose.|
Sansevieria care at home
Before you get a flower, you need to study all the intricacies of growing. Compliance with the rules of care will save sansevieria from diseases and problems associated with growth. Like other asparagus crops, sansevieria develop normally if it finds itself in a familiar habitat typical of its wild relatives.
“Mother-in-law’s tongue” is considered an unpretentious ornamental plant. If you choose the right place and container for planting, this will allow the bushes to adapt faster.
To grow a beautiful and spectacular sansevieria, it is important to follow these rules:
- Feed enough once a year. It is allowed to arrange more frequent feeding, then the flower will begin to grow foliage more intensively.
- The optimal location of the flowerpot is a well-lit window sill. It doesn’t matter how warm or cold it is near the window opening. The main thing is that natural light falls on the foliage.
- At noon, when scorching rays fall into the windows, it is advisable to shade the flower. Otherwise, the leaf blades risk getting burned. The evening rays of the setting sun are not dangerous.
- Watering the substrate requires moderation. If moisture stagnates for a long time at the bottom of the pot, the root system will be at risk of death. The fungus quickly attacks the surface of the roots.
Although the flower loves to be closer to the sun, it can perfectly exist in a darkened area, or in partial shade. At any time of the year, sansevieria can be kept on the windowsill. When the plant grows, it is moved to the floor and transplanted into a larger pot.
A store-bought or self-planted sansevieria flower will not grow normally if you experiment with watering. Even experienced gardeners sometimes make mistakes and overflow seedlings. To regulate soil moisture, it is more expedient to buy a special moisture indicator – a moisture meter, which signals the state of the soil and informs about the need for the next moistening.
For watering sansevieria, rain or bottled water is used. Alternatively, you can simply set the normal tap water to room temperature. Cold tap water will harm the roots. When the weather is cool outside the window, the irrigation regime is adjusted, respectively, the amount of moisture is halved.
Plants that have already “grown” need to be watered less frequently than young ones, as an adult plant will rot if they receive too much water.
Sansevieria easily adapt to live in any humidity. However, if in the winter in the living room where the pot stands, the temperature drops below 16 degrees, the culture may get sick. Being in a cold room for a long time, an unhardened flower loses its decorative advantages. Since dust accumulates on the leaves over time, it is recommended to regularly wet the bushes.
For growing sansevieria, you should not use garden soil. Asparagus take root better in a store-bought soil mixture, consisting of sod, leafy soil and sand. The ratio of the incoming components is 2: 1: 1. As an additional drainage material, the specialist mixture manufacturer also adds crushed perlite and crushed gravel.
sansevieria is fed in the spring-summer period once a month. For these purposes, liquid cactus dressings are bred or fertilizers intended for decorative gardeners are used. Overfeeding the roots with nitrogen will harm the flower. Gardeners advise to reduce the concentration of nutrients so as not to burn the underground organs. For variegated varieties, the concentration of the solution is made three times weaker than for monochromatic green counterparts. When a saturated solution is regularly added to the soil, the leaves lose their original pattern and acquire a uniform color.
Until the root system has grown so large that it fills the entire space in the pot, the transplant can be postponed. At a young age, sansevieria is transplanted every couple of years. More mature plants are disturbed only once every 3 years. The container is filled with suitable soil in advance.
When the roots begin to stick out of the drainage gaps, this is a signal to the owner that it is time to start a transplant. Bushes will not develop well if left to live in a cramped flowerpot. It is advisable to choose a container for transplanting with thick walls and made of clay. A clay pot is much more stable than a plastic container, which overgrown foliage can easily knock over. The flowerpot should be roomy and wide. Drainage is poured to the bottom so that the remaining water after watering quickly flows into the pan, and does not stagnate near the roots.
Breeding methods for sansevieria
Sansevieria propagates using lateral shoots, leaf cuttings or by dividing the rhizome. The last method involves carrying out the procedure in the spring season. The division of the rhizome of the sansevieria can be timed to the transplant. The bush is carefully removed from the flowerpot and the rhizome is cut with a sharp knife into equivalent divisions. It is important to maintain the growth point, otherwise the seedling will not appear. The potted pots are kept in a warm place and moistened as needed. The method of dividing the rhizome is relevant for any type of sansevieria, regardless of whether the bushes have a variegated or monochromatic color.
Select an old piece of paper and cut it into pieces. The length of each segment is 4-5 cm. The cuttings are dried in the air before being planted in the ground. The segments are rooted in a box of sand, where they are immersed at an angle of 45 degrees. To start the process of root formation, a kind of cap is put on the plant. A cut-off bottle or glass jar is used as a cap. The cuttings are watered in the lower way, namely through the pallet.
After 1-1.5 months, the stalk takes root and small green leaves. The next stage of grafting is transplanting into a permanent pot. The soil mixture is used with the exact same composition as for an adult specimen. The method is only successful for varieties with solid green foliage. Of course, you can try cutting off a variegated bush, but the rooted plant will still be completely green.
Types of sansevieria with photos and names
“Mother-in-law’s tongue” has a creeping rhizome. Strong leaves have a tough structure. The lower tier of the basal plates lengthens to a height of no more than 1 m. The leaves are colored in various shades: brown, green, light green. There are types of sansevieria with a spotted color or shading. Cylindrical inflorescences are devoid of decorative grace. Greenish-white flowers bloom in the evening and exude a subtle vanilla aroma. The inflorescences are replaced by berries. The pulp of the berries contains small achenes. Indoor species rarely bear fruit. You can see the ripening of berries only in a wild crop.
This type of stemless perennial has a juicy leaf rosette of 2-4 shoots, the length of which ranges from 30-60 cm. The leaves do not grow 15 cm wide. Dark stripes are visible on the surface in the transverse direction. A transparent reddish edging is visible at the edges.
The bushes reach half a meter in length. The tufts do not exceed 7 cm in width. The maximum height of the leaf blades is about 14-45 cm. The ground parts of the plant are colored in dark green tones. The outer side of the leaves is covered with a kind of intermittent stripes that look a tone lighter than the main palette. Greens are framed by a white or red border.
The named species of asparagus outwardly resembles a weakly expressed succulent. Rosettes are formed from a dozen smooth leaves, the width of which varies within 3 cm, and the length – up to 40 cm. The green foliage is painted in a rich dark pattern.
Another representative of succulent perennials. The height of rigid plates is from 50 to 60 cm. They are characterized by a pointed oval shape and a green color with a gray tint. On the outside of the thick pulp, beige spots or stains lie.
The bushes are attached to the ground using a short rhizome. Rosettes consist of a small number of leaves covered with whitish specks and a burgundy border. There are varieties with monochromatic brown leaves, or there is an additional reddish tint.
The external organs of this perennial culture are similar to succulents. In the expanded socket, there are up to 6 plates, which occupy a parallel position relative to the ground surface. The leaves of old bushes that live in the wild reach a length of 1 m. The width of the juicy plates is about 8 cm. The plant in question, like all previous species, is characterized by a variegated color. Light strokes and fuzzy curved lines are drawn against a rich green tone. A thin white border runs along the edges of the leaf.
The latter type is more common among professional florists. Elongated plates, enclosed in a green frame, have a yellowish tint.
Properties and application of sansevieria
A high content of biologically active substances was found in the tissues of the sansevieria. An important role belongs to saponins – glycosidic compounds of plant origin, which, when used correctly, are considered very useful. They have found their application in official medicine and are part of some medicines that have an anti-inflammatory, expectorant, choleretic, and laxative effect. Adherents of traditional medicine claim that “mother-in-law’s tongue” helps with cuts, cystitis, otitis media, skin diseases. Perennial plant material relieves inflammation in the oral cavity. Saponins are capable of foaming solutions. These substances are involved in the production of cosmetics, namely shampoos and liquid soaps.
Treatment with a sansevieria is contraindicated for pregnant women since the perennial contains hazardous substances that can provoke an abortion in women.
As greenery, “mother-in-law’s tongue” looks great in small rooms and at the same time in large rooms.