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Tropical Zone Gardening: My Mother-in-Law's Tongue is smelling very sweet!

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tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 1, 2009
11:36 PM

Post #6765312

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

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 1, 2009
11:39 PM

Post #6765323

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

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 2, 2009
12:03 AM

Post #6765458

Very nice! Do you have any other varieties?
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 2, 2009
12:25 AM

Post #6765564

No, that's the only one.
goofybulb
El Paso, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 2, 2009
1:12 AM

Post #6765809

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!
Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 2, 2009
1:13 AM

Post #6765819

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

This message was edited Jul 1, 2009 9:13 PM
goofybulb
El Paso, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 2, 2009
1:17 AM

Post #6765844

OK, pics? Please? Curious goofy wants to know how many tongues (MIL tongues, that is)!
Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 2, 2009
9:53 AM

Post #6767114

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.

Thumbnail by Dutchlady1
Click the image for an enlarged view.

tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 2, 2009
1:37 PM

Post #6767566

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.
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

July 3, 2009
4:19 AM

Post #6771410

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

Metrosideros

Metrosideros
Keaau, HI


July 3, 2009
5:31 AM

Post #6771555

Sansevieria bloom every year in warm climates.
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 3, 2009
1:39 PM

Post #6772100

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.
Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2009
1:55 PM

Post #6772149

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

Thumbnail by Dutchlady1
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2009
1:56 PM

Post #6772154

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

Thumbnail by Dutchlady1
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2009
1:58 PM

Post #6772158

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

Thumbnail by Dutchlady1
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2009
1:59 PM

Post #6772166

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

Thumbnail by Dutchlady1
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2009
2:01 PM

Post #6772171

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

Thumbnail by Dutchlady1
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2009
2:02 PM

Post #6772177

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

Thumbnail by Dutchlady1
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2009
2:04 PM

Post #6772182

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

Thumbnail by Dutchlady1
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2009
2:05 PM

Post #6772187

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. :-)
LariAnn
Miami, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2009
4:03 PM

Post #6772665

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!
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 3, 2009
4:15 PM

Post #6772697

I like the little bird's nest ones.

Thumbnail by hcmcdole
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 3, 2009
4:43 PM

Post #6772787

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.
extranjera
Mérida, Yucatán
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 3, 2009
7:21 PM

Post #6773335

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.

Thumbnail by extranjera
Click the image for an enlarged view.

extranjera
Mérida, Yucatán
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 3, 2009
7:23 PM

Post #6773341

and these are the ones I took and potted.

Thumbnail by extranjera
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extranjera
Mérida, Yucatán
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 3, 2009
7:47 PM

Post #6773452

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

Thumbnail by extranjera
Click the image for an enlarged view.

extranjera
Mérida, Yucatán
Mexico
(Zone 11)

July 3, 2009
7:48 PM

Post #6773456

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

Thumbnail by extranjera
Click the image for an enlarged view.

planolinda
Plano, TX

July 4, 2009
2:07 AM

Post #6774816

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
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 4, 2009
4:01 AM

Post #6775282

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.
Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

July 4, 2009
9:55 AM

Post #6775756

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.
planolinda
Plano, TX

July 4, 2009
12:54 PM

Post #6776127

thank you--i might bring some in and leave some out--play it safe!
d_thomcat2000
Kapaa, HI

July 8, 2009
8:49 PM

Post #6794526

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.

victorgardener

victorgardener
Lower Hudson Valley, NY
(Zone 6b)

July 8, 2009
8:50 PM

Post #6794529

Oh man - what a thread title!!
planolinda
Plano, TX

July 8, 2009
10:52 PM

Post #6794962

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

Metrosideros

Metrosideros
Keaau, HI


July 9, 2009
1:44 AM

Post #6795722

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

July 9, 2009
3:50 AM

Post #6796312

oh--well that explains why my houseplant tongues don't bloom i guess
goofybulb
El Paso, TX
(Zone 8a)

July 21, 2009
4:47 AM

Post #6844953

They are indeed beautiful plants, and what a variety!
nautilus6363
Seneca, IL

July 24, 2009
4:29 AM

Post #6858044

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.
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 24, 2009
12:11 PM

Post #6858573

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)

Thumbnail by hcmcdole
Click the image for an enlarged view.

lizzymahoney
Daytona Beach, FL

August 5, 2009
2:16 PM

Post #6909970

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.
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

August 5, 2009
3:45 PM

Post #6910325

Grows all over the place here, on the sides of roads. Seem to be mostly just a green with a slight pattern to the leaves. One other type has yellow borders on the leaves. A scrap of a leaf will grow roots, a root nearly cannot be killed.

The fragrance is sweet, but a little sickly sweet to me. Amazing plant!
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

August 5, 2009
7:53 PM

Post #6911267

Hmmm. Both Nautilus and I have them in pots...no or not many blooms. Illinois is cold, but I certainly can't say that about Kwaj! Rarely (VERY rarely) gets below 80. Perhaps the root systems need more area to help produce the blooms? I asked this before, but my post got lost in all the pretty pictures.


Yokwe,
Shari
Molamola
Christiansted, VI
(Zone 11)

August 5, 2009
8:14 PM

Post #6911323

My mother kept some in a tiny pot. about four by ten inches, in her dining room window in Virginia. It just kind of sat there for years, never growing. Then outa nowhere it bloomed. Maybe thy have a mind of their own.
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

August 5, 2009
8:53 PM

Post #6911452

Ha Ha! Yep, that sounds about right MM...I will not worry about it.

Yokwe,
Shari
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

August 6, 2009
12:24 AM

Post #6912174

Shari, mine flower in the coldest part of the year. This year it happened when we had our most extreme cold and the minimum got down to 10C. Days were still in the mid to low 30C's, Being on an island you probably wouldn't get nights that cold and that might be the trigger you need.
Islandshari
Kwajalein
Marshall Islands
(Zone 11)

August 6, 2009
12:49 AM

Post #6912282

Thanks for the info. I've been looking since you started this thread, and I haven't seen any blooming on island. The temp is probably the key. Oh well, they are still a stately plant.

Yokwe,
Shari
lizzymahoney
Daytona Beach, FL

August 6, 2009
1:50 AM

Post #6912523

Shari, mine blossomed even when root bound in pots, as long as I had them with a good amount of sun.

They will freeze to the ground here some years, but come back, but of course the stolons haven't frozen.

If you root from a leaf, a yellow edged kind will come revert to the plain green. I don't know about the birdsnest varieties.
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

August 6, 2009
3:59 PM

Post #6914408

i have a birdsnest variety, and some of the other varieties grow wild over here. i had no idea that they flowered, i'l have to keep an eye out!
westraad

Metrosideros

Metrosideros
Keaau, HI


August 6, 2009
5:44 PM

Post #6914824

Any photos Westraad?
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

August 7, 2009
5:16 AM

Post #6917489

we got a rainy storm at the moment, when its over, probably in a couple of days, i'l take a picture and post it.
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

August 12, 2009
7:30 AM

Post #6937464

sorry its taken me so long to post the photo, here it is. i have them growing in two pots, one in shade one in semishade with morning sun. What are the ideal growing conditions?

Thumbnail by westraad
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Dutchlady1
Naples, FL
(Zone 10a)

August 12, 2009
10:40 AM

Post #6937613

The birdsnest sansevieria which you have there likes the semishade best. Well draining soil too. Oh, slugs and snails like them so keep an eye out for those.

lourspolaire

lourspolaire
Delray Beach, FL
(Zone 10a)

August 12, 2009
2:47 PM

Post #6938263

Hi, everyone.

My grandmother had a MILT growing in a large terracota pot in the living room's bay window when I was a kid. Although it was kept inside year-round, it grew and grew. She propagated it by chopping one of the long leaves into 3-inch bits in the spring and putting them into small pots she kept along the North wall outside. They rooted and a new plant would show up. She gave those to friends, neighbors and anyone who wanted them. She would give away the rooted cutting but she would keep the small 3-inch terracota pots for the following year. We was poor!

I remember that she used leftover cold strong tea once in a while to water her MILT.

Take care, all.
Sylvain.
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

August 12, 2009
2:55 PM

Post #6938301

i haven't had any problems with slugs or snails, but i will be sure to keep an eye out. i am one of those people who avoid to spray insecticides. i had to the other day, for my hibiscuses. they were covered in bugs, but are doing better now.
nicholtammy
Huntsville
Canada

July 4, 2010
6:18 AM

Post #7942132

do you mind if I show someone this post they were asking questions on there house plants trying to give them names she has diffrent varietys most are the tall varieties one or two smaller varieties.
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 4, 2010
6:46 AM

Post #7942196

You're welcome to show this post. Funnily enough, my Mother-in-Law's Tongues are flowering again right now. For the past week they've been flooding my place with their fragrance.
nicholtammy
Huntsville
Canada

July 4, 2010
6:52 AM

Post #7942206

Thats wounderful I never new they bloomed too but many house plants wont bloom in a pot inside not enough of their natural habbitat indoors to bloom if we stick them outdoors for the warm time they may get infested with bugs and bring the bugs back indoors thats what im afraid of I try not to use sprays so I keep the house plants inside to claen the air inside. Very nice to see them grow naturally
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

July 5, 2010
2:49 AM

Post #7944010

wow, can u believe its a year since you started this thread, Tbreeze!! glad to hear they are flowering, mine aren't yet. but i just recently moved them to an ideal location, so hopefully next year!!
isaac
nicholtammy
Huntsville
Canada

July 5, 2010
8:16 AM

Post #7944590

It's nice the threads have been around for along time so newbies like me can see these wounderful pictures diffrent than any book and real information from poeple that are growing them. My plant I have Im thinking about putting it out in the garden its realy tall weather here is 30+ sunny
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

July 5, 2010
11:17 AM

Post #7945050

we are very glad to have you here, nicholtammy!

Happy_1

Happy_1
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 5, 2010
1:39 PM

Post #7945401

nichol.

Are you saying it's only 30F this am?

Hap
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 5, 2010
5:39 PM

Post #7945883

In Canada, I'd say that was 30C or 86F.
OCCAROL
Santa Ana, CA
(Zone 10b)

July 5, 2010
5:45 PM

Post #7945898

Hap, surely, that was centigrade!
Hope youall back there on the east coast survive the predicted heat wave!
Here in so. cal, we are still waiting for summer to happen. A balmy 72F. with drizzle until 15 minutes ago. Now the sun is out at 5:45.
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 5, 2010
6:15 PM

Post #7945993

Isaac, I took a lot of plants from the main patch last year and planted them around other areas. They're all flowering now and have spread that knockout fragrance further around. This is one of the newer planted ones flowering, won't be long and yours will be like that.

Thumbnail by tropicbreeze
Click the image for an enlarged view.

nicholtammy
Huntsville
Canada

July 5, 2010
10:07 PM

Post #7946437

Yes Centigrade all these planted in the shade?
westraad
Xai Xai
Mozambique

July 5, 2010
11:33 PM

Post #7946543

can't wait, Tbreeze! don't they grow in shade as well as sun? mine do...
tropicbreeze
noonamah
Australia

July 6, 2010
1:34 AM

Post #7946573

Mine are all over the place, some with a fair bit of sun, some in nearly complete shade. Doesn't seem to make much difference.

Happy_1

Happy_1
Fort Lauderdale, FL
(Zone 10b)

July 6, 2010
4:23 AM

Post #7946653

Thanks...just wondering. Coming from Rochester, NY I thought is was possible. LOL

Hap
nicholtammy
Huntsville
Canada

July 6, 2010
8:06 AM

Post #7947048

Thank you it really likes the heat anyway along with my unbrella tree I usually keep them in my front protch it gets really hot in there but it is too big to stay inside in the summer its time to seperate my big pot so i will try these outside and wash them off really good when I bring them back in for the winter so no bugs get the free ride inside

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