Allissa Rook

Allissa Rook

Modified & Updated: 08 Sep 2023


When it comes to indoor plants, one species that stands out for its unique beauty and resilience is the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. Also known as Snake Plant or Sansevieria, this plant is widely recognized for its long, sharp-edged leaves that resemble a tongue. But there’s more to this fascinating plant than meets the eye.

In this article, we will uncover 19 captivating facts about Mother-in-Law’s Tongue that will leave you amazed and eager to learn more. From its origin and history to its environmental benefits and care tips, we’ll delve into the world of this popular houseplant.

So, whether you’re a plant enthusiast looking to expand your knowledge or someone considering adding a Mother-in-Law’s Tongue to your indoor garden, get ready to be captivated by these intriguing facts that make this plant a standout choice among plant lovers worldwide.

Table of Contents

Ancient Roots

Believe it or not, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue has been around for centuries! It was first cultivated in West Africa and has since spread to different parts of the world.

Striking Appearance

One of the most notable features of this plant is its long, upright leaves that resemble a sharp tongue. Hence, the intriguing name “Mother-in-Law’s Tongue.”

Air Purifier

Did you know that Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is a fantastic air purifier? It is known for effectively removing toxins like formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene from the air, making it a perfect plant for improving indoor air quality.

Low Maintenance

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is the answer. It can thrive in a wide range of conditions and requires minimal care, making it an excellent choice for busy plant enthusiasts.

Drought Tolerant

One of the reasons why Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is so resilient is its ability to withstand drought. It stores water in its thick leaves, allowing it to survive in dry conditions where other plants struggle.

Varied Species

There are over 70 known species of Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, each with its unique leaf patterns and sizes. From the tall Sansevieria trifasciata to the compact Sansevieria cylindrica, there’s a diverse range to choose from!

Easy Propagation

Propagating Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is a breeze! You can easily divide the plant into smaller sections or take leaf cuttings to cultivate new plants. It’s a great way to share this beautiful plant with friends and family.

Oxygen Generator

During the day, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue releases oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide. This makes it an ideal plant to have in bedrooms or any area where fresh air is essential.

Snake Plant Alias

In addition to Mother-in-Law’s Tongue, the plant is also commonly known as Snake Plant due to the long, serpent-like leaves. So, if you come across the name Snake Plant, know that it refers to the same impressive species.

Feng Shui Favorite

In the practice of Feng Shui, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is often used to bring positive energy and good luck. It is believed to promote harmony and improve the flow of chi in a space.

NASA’s Seal of Approval

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is one of the few plants that has been included in NASA’s Clean Air Study. Its ability to remove toxins from the air has made it a trusted companion for astronauts in their space stations.

Upgraded Immune System

Studies have shown that being around Mother-in-Law’s Tongue may boost your immune system. The plant releases chemicals that can increase white blood cell count, enhancing your body’s ability to fight off illnesses.

Pet-Friendly Plant

Good news for pet owners – Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is non-toxic to cats and dogs! You can enjoy the benefits of this majestic plant without worrying about the safety of your furry friends.

Stress Buster

Bringing some Mother-in-Law’s Tongue into your living space can have a calming effect on your mind and body. Its presence can help reduce stress, anxiety, and even improve sleep quality.

Medicinal Uses

In traditional medicine, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue has been used to treat various ailments, including respiratory infections, skin conditions, and even digestive problems. However, it’s always best to consult a medical professional before using plants for medicinal purposes.

Symbol of Good Fortune

In many cultures, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is considered a symbol of good fortune and prosperity. It is often given as a gift to celebrate new beginnings, such as moving into a new home or starting a new job.

Longevity Champion

With proper care, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue can live for decades! It’s not uncommon for these plants to thrive and flourish for 10 to 20 years, making them a wise investment for any plant enthusiast.

Indoor and Outdoor Plant

Whether you have limited space indoors or a sprawling garden outdoors, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue can adapt to both environments. It can be grown as a striking houseplant or used to create beautiful landscape arrangements.

Aesthetically Pleasing Decor

Last but not least, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue adds a touch of elegance and grace to any interior design. Its tall, architectural presence and striking foliage make it a popular choice for those seeking a visually appealing plant.

So there you have it, 19 captivating facts about Mother-in-Law’s Tongue. This remarkable plant is not only visually stunning but also brings a multitude of benefits to any space it inhabits. Whether you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast or just starting your green journey, adding Mother-in-Law’s Tongue to your collection is definitely a wise choice!


In conclusion, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is not just a beautiful houseplant, but also a fascinating species with a rich history and numerous benefits. Its ability to purify the air, adapt to different environments, and its low maintenance requirements make it a popular choice among plant enthusiasts.Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced plant lover, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is an excellent addition to any indoor or outdoor space. Its striking appearance, resilience, and air-purifying qualities make it a versatile and captivating plant.So, if you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant that brings both beauty and benefits to your surroundings, consider adding Mother-in-Law’s Tongue to your collection. You won’t be disappointed!


1. How often should I water my Mother-in-Law’s Tongue?

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is a drought-tolerant plant and should be watered sparingly. It is best to let the soil dry out between waterings. In general, water the plant every 2-3 weeks, depending on the humidity levels and the season.

2. Can Mother-in-Law’s Tongue survive in low light conditions?

Yes, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is known for its ability to thrive in low light conditions. It can tolerate indirect sunlight or even shady corners of your home. However, for optimal growth and leaf color, it is advisable to place the plant in a spot with bright, indirect light.

3. How tall can Mother-in-Law’s Tongue grow?

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue can grow up to 2-4 feet tall, depending on the variety. Some varieties, like the “Cylindrical Snake Plant,” can reach heights of up to 5-6 feet with proper care and conditions.

4. Is Mother-in-Law’s Tongue toxic to pets?

Yes, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue contains toxins that can be harmful to pets if ingested. The plant contains saponins, which can cause gastrointestinal issues in cats and dogs. It is best to keep the plant out of reach or opt for pet-friendly alternatives if you have pets at home.

5. How do I propagate Mother-in-Law’s Tongue?

Mother-in-Law’s Tongue can be easily propagated through division or leaf cuttings. For division, carefully separate the plant’s underground rhizomes and plant them in separate pots. Leaf cuttings can be taken by cutting a healthy leaf into sections and planting them in well-draining soil.

6. Can I place Mother-in-Law’s Tongue outdoors?

Yes, Mother-in-Law’s Tongue can be placed outdoors in moderate climates. It is suitable for planting in gardens, provided the temperature does not drop below 50°F (10°C). Ensure the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, as it can scorch the leaves.