How to Care for Mother-in-Law Tongue Plant: A Complete Guide

August 22, 2022 - 8:50 pm - 4 min read

Mother-in-law tongue, also known as snake plant, is a resilient and low-maintenance tropical plant native to West Africa. As a popular indoor plant, it is gaining popularity due to its air-purifying qualities and unique aesthetics. Caring for the mother-in-law tongue isn’t an arduous task, but consistent attention is mandatory to maintain its appearance and growth. In this article, we will guide you on how to care for your mother-in-law tongue plant.

Light Requirements for Mother-in-Law Tongue Plant

Ensuring the optimal amount of light for your mother-in-law tongue plant is a vital aspect of caring. These plants tolerate bright conditions and prefer indirect or filtered sunlight. The moderate light level should be enough to keep the plant healthy and grow. However, keep your plant away from harsh sunlight as they are sensitive to intense light and may scorch the leaves.

If you are growing your mother-in-law tongue plant indoors, place it near a window or area that receives indirect sunlight. If bright light isn’t accessible, artificial light sources, such as fluorescent lights, can be used to provide sufficient light. Inadequate light levels can affect the growth and cause the leaves to become yellow or brown.

Watering mother-in-law-tongue plant

While Mother-in-law tongue plant is a low-maintenance plant, watering according to their needs is essential. Watering frequency for this plant is dependent on conditions such as humidity, light levels, and temperature. Overwatering may cause the plant’s roots to rot, while under-watering can cause the leaves to wilt and dry up.

Watering the plant once every two weeks will keep the soil moist. Before watering, ensure that the top layer of the soil has dried up, or you can dip your finger to check the moisture level. In winter, decrease the watering frequency as the plant generally requires less water.

Soil and Fertilizer for Mother-in-Law Tongue Plant

Well-draining soil that is rich in nutrients is beneficial for the health of the mother-in-law tongue plant. Soil that retains water for too long might encourage the occurrence of root rot, therefore use lightweight, mossy soil. You can also mix some sand or perlite to provide adequate drainage.

The mother-in-law tongue plant requires little to no fertilization. However, if you want to fertilize, use a slow-release fertilizer or liquid fertilizer in small amounts. Fertilize your plant once in a growing season, i.e., every six months.

Humidity and Temperature

Mother-in-law tongue plants are favorable to warm and humid environments. They adapt to a wide range of temperature and humidity levels. Temperatures ranging from 60°F-85°F are moderate and won’t deter the growth of the plant. Humidity levels ranging from 40%-70% will suffice for the plant.

However, during winter, when humidity levels are low, it’s essential to provide artificial humidity through the use of a humidifier. Ensure that the plant isn’t exposed to extreme temperature changes.

Repotting Mother-in-Law Tongue Plant

Mother-in-law tongue plants grow slower compared to other indoor plants, and if you notice that the plant is outgrowing the pot, then it’s time for a repot. Repotting should be done in early spring as it’s the time when the plant is active. Repotting the plant frequently might encourage root bound, so make sure to repot once in every 2-3 years.

Use a well-draining soil mix in a pot that is slightly bigger than the previous pot. Ensure that the leaves and stems aren’t damaged while replanting.

Common Mother-in-Law Tongue Plant Problems

Despite being durable plants, the mother-in-law tongue plants are not immune to problems, and it’s essential to take care of these before they become severe. Some common issues you may encounter are:

– Leaf tips turning brown: This could be due to over-fertilization, low humidity, or under-watering.

– Leaves are soft and mushy: This signifies that the plant has been overwatered or exposed to too much moisture, causing root rot.

– Yellowing leaves: Yellowing of leaves may indicate too much sunlight, root rot, or over-watering.

– Pests: Mother-in-law tongue plants are known to attract mealybugs, spider mites, or scale insects.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, mother-in-law tongue plant is an easy-care, low maintenance plant that can effectively purify the air in your home, office, or any indoor space. It’s the perfect plant for those who lead a busy lifestyle and don’t have the time to tend to high-maintenance plants. By following the above simple guidelines, you can keep your mother-in-law tongue plant healthy and attractive. Make sure to regularly inspect the plant for pests and other issues to ensure it remains healthy and happy.


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