GREENSCAPES

Sansevieria, up close and personal

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I have often bragged about this plant genus because of its fascinating adaptability. It is one of the plant groups that can grow in both pitch dark and harsh sunlight.

Other common names for the plant include Snake’s plant, Snake’s Tongue, Devil’s Tongue or a more common domesticated name for the plant is Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. The sword-like leaves with their glossy finish is the most likely reason why the tongue is associated with Sansevieria.

Sansevieria species are often used for fencing and landscapes because of their hardy skin

Plant background
The Sansevieria genus consists of over 70 species which are all commonly classed as flowering plants—meaning they often produce seeds and live on land. From handicrafts to medicinal uses, this plant is very hardy and versatile for the beginner gardener.

For veterans, it will be a delight to collect many species and propagate them. It is a lucrative business aside from it being fun and relaxing. Usually they are sold per leaf, from P100 to more than P1000 PER LEAF depending on the species.


The plant was named by famed Swedish botanist Carl Peter Thunburg after Italian Prince Raimondo di Sangro (1710-1771) who enjoyed an illustrious career as an inventor. Raimondo is credited with inventing a waterproof cape, a super-lightweight cannon, color fireworks, a hydraulic water-pumping device, and it is said he even attempted to create an eternal flame.

Medicinal properties
The sap of the Sansevieria can be used as an antiseptic and is traditionally used in herbal medicine. Since the leaves are durable and waterproof, they are used to make bandages for first aid kits.

Welcome token
In Asian countries, these plants are used as a welcome offering for businesses or events. This signifies a strong relationship that can endure all difficulties.

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Air purifier and health aid
They are renowned for their air purifying quality, as they remove toxins such as formaldehyde and xylene from the atmosphere. They make very good bedroom plants too as they remove carbon dioxide and produce oxygen mostly at night times. For over 20 years, NASA has used the plants in their space shuttles.Some experts believe that having Sansevieria plants near children in school environments can reduce abrasive behavior.

Soil mixture
The soil for Sansevierias needs to be leaning toward a dry or a more coarse texture. You can mix garden soil with 30-50% perlite or volcanic cinder.

How to care for Sansevieria indoors
Perfect for beginner gardeners or as a first houseplant, Sansevieria plants are quite hardy and can sustain a large amount of sun, but they prefer bright light with a bit of sun. Be wary of over-watering them and make sure the soil is well drained and watered lightly. Allow soil to dry out in between watering. Sansevieria will tolerate low humidity very well.

How to care for Sansevieria outdoors
Outdoors, you won’t encounter any burning or drought for this plant because it can withstand even the harshest sun. Keeping them in a sunny area will make some reproduce and grow faster. Just remember that the more sun exposure, the more watering. They do not get overwatered, so go ahead and hose it through! The plant will love it.

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