My Mother-in-Law's Tongue is smelling very sweet!

noonamah, Australia

My Mother-in-Law's Tongue is smelling very sweet!

When I got home last night there was an overwhelming sweet smell pervading the garden. Wandering around with the torch I tracked it down to my patch of Mother-in-Law's Tongue. I've always tended to ignore it and it's grown quite large, as happens with Mother-in-Law's Tongue. Especially as they age and you don't keep them under control.

Rarely gets watered, except in the wet season. So it's going through a mass flowering now. Some people bring it into their houses but I prefer it outside. I mean, to me it just seems so sensible to keep your Mother-in-Law's Tongue outside.

Sansevieria trifasciata

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noonamah, Australia

A close-up of my My Mother-in-Law's Tongue

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Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Very nice! Do you have any other varieties?

noonamah, Australia

No, that's the only one.

(Zone 5b)

Dutchlady, one mother-in-law's tongue usually is enough, LOL!

Tropicbreeze, it looks so pretty, I've never seen one flower before! I wish I could smell it too!

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Goofy - I have lots of different ones. They are fun.

This message was edited Jul 1, 2009 9:13 PM

(Zone 5b)

OK, pics? Please? Curious goofy wants to know how many tongues (MIL tongues, that is)!

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

I happen to live near a gentleman who is one of the world's authorities on Sansevieria. He has opened my eyes to many interesting varieties of what I used to consider a dull plant.
I think I must have about a dozen different cultivars here in my yard, mostly as accent plants, but there are many, many more!
Here is a nice silver leafed variety in bloom; I'll take some more pictures soon.

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noonamah, Australia

As night fell the whole garden area around the Mother-in-lLaw's Tongue was again overwhelmed with fragrance. Seems to be trying to attact night flying pollinators. Never seen any fruit or seed on them.

Today I noticed a dracaena-type plant in one of the back gardens is also flowering and putting out a slightly sweeter fragrance than the Mother-in-lLaw's Tongue. It's funny, the mid winter blooms seem to be the most fragrant. Never notice this to the same extent during summer.

Kwajalein, Marshall Islands(Zone 11)

Breeze, I never get that many blooms at once, but my MIL's Tongue's are both in pots. Do you think your's is blooming so prolificly because its in the ground? It really looks fantastic!

Yokwe,
Shari

Keaau, HI

Sansevieria bloom every year in warm climates.

noonamah, Australia

It's mid winter here now. The day temps have been getting up to 34C to 35C and minimums down to 20C to 22C for the past fortnight.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Here is the first of my more unusual varieties of Sansevieria. I don't actually know what this one is called.

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Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

This is S. 'Moonglow' - getting to be quite popular these days.

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Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

One that is used a lot in plant arrangements: the 'Birdsnest' sansevieria

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Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Another one that is gaining popularity - I forget - it's 'black' something or other.
Oh and excuse the weeds.

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Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

S. pinguicula. This one is pretty rare. It 'walks' across the soil on stilt-like roots.

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Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Another unknown.
Gosh I better go and rip that horrible weed-vine off the fence!!

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Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

This one will get HUGE. The 'leaves' will get to be up to 6 inches wide.

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Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

That's all folks!! I know I probably have one or two others out there. My friend is generous!
He would be proud of me for introducing you all to his favorite plant. ^_^

Miami, FL(Zone 10a)

I've seen some curious ones with completely tubular leaves. If I had more time and space, I'd probably be hybridizing these plants as well!

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

I like the little bird's nest ones.

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Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

The tuibular ones are S. cylindrica, also becoming more popular now. They are very drought resistant by the way.
I have a small one of those.
The bird's nest types are nice in groupings and as I said, in plant arrangements since they don't really get very much bigger, they just make pups.

Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico(Zone 11)

I have some of the one with the tubular leaves. I was given a few pieces from a friend who has a whole wall of them on the side of his house. Here's part of that wall.

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Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico(Zone 11)

and these are the ones I took and potted.

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Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico(Zone 11)

I have several more. This is a small one I just got and potted in a coconut shell.

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Mérida, Yucatán, Mexico(Zone 11)

and another that I got a couple months ago, also in a pot. Funny how you notice the weeds when you take a picture

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Plano, TX

i always think of mother in law tongue as a house plant--i have some out for the summer but planned to bring them in for the winter--will a couple of freezes kill them?
also i had no idea they bloomed!! i don't think they do in the house

noonamah, Australia

I don't know about anything else but they are very drought tolerant. We've a four month period of the dry season when there's absolutely no rain and it's hot. Mine are in the non-irrigated part of the garden in full sun most of the day, never fertilized or looked after in any way. And the patch keeps growing larger and flowers freely. I've also seen them in abandoned homesteads here growing really well. They're considered an invasive but they only move slowly and aren't considered a problem.

Naples, FL(Zone 10a)

Some varieties are more drought tolerant than others. The S. cylindrica is the most drought tolerant.

Freezing will kill them yes, but I am not sure if they might return from the roots.

Plano, TX

thank you--i might bring some in and leave some out--play it safe!

Kapaa, HI

I just got back from my rental unit in Hanalei (Hawaii). The Mother in Laws Tongue is doing just fine. It is doing so fine it looks like it could take over the known universe. at any time. Anybody want some Mom in Laws Tongue rooted starts??????? And yes it is flowering.

Lower Hudson Valley, NY(Zone 6b)

Oh man - what a thread title!!

Plano, TX

yeah--great title!
how do you get them to flower?

Keaau, HI

They flower easily every year, by growing them in a tropical to sub-tropical habitat.

Plano, TX

oh--well that explains why my houseplant tongues don't bloom i guess

(Zone 5b)

They are indeed beautiful plants, and what a variety!

Seneca, IL

I have two large pots overflowing with several different varieties but they have never bloomed. I keep mine in a greenhouse over the winter and outdoors during the summer. Is there a way to get one to bloom in a greenhouse? I live in Illinois, but own property in Fiji and I see them growing in the ground there all the time.

Powder Springs, GA(Zone 7b)

It's probably an age and/or environmental thing. I had a big cylindrica bloom in winter in the basement while others bloom in summer.

Here is one in Thailand (July 2006)

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Daytona Beach, FL

I've had them in the ground for years. If they get enough sun where I am, they will bloom outdoors. I'm in Daytona. Never had one bloom indoors.

The smell of Sansevieria is very potent, too strong for me to keep it near doors or windows. Whoever mentioned Dracaena blooms being stronger scented is right, IMHO. D. massangeana is so intensely fragranced I had to move it to the far edges of a quarter acre lot. For both the flowers are not all that showy. Strappy thin petals of uninteresting color. My Sansevierias only had white blooms, but Dracaena massangeana had white with a brown stripe down the narrow petal. I don't know how closely related they may be, but the flowers are similar in arrangement and pattern of growth, except the Dracaena's arched like the leaves.

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