I think I can safely say that no one on has ever surprised Mom on Mother’s Day with a nice breakfast in bed and a tall bouquet of mother-in-law’s tongue. Which is too bad, because being the landscape designer that I am, I have a special affinity for any plant with “mother” in its name, especially when it doesn’t get the respect it deserves (like my mom sometimes).

Mother-in-law’s tongue, or Sansevieria, has numerous qualities to put you in a rosy mood:

  • Lower growers make a nice dense groundcover in contained spaces.
  • Tall growers add visual interest and texture to flower beds.
  • Under good growing conditions, the flowers will produce clusters of berries.
  • They’re easy to propagate by using leaf cuttings or dividing them from suckers around the mother plant.
  • They come in endless colors and patterns ranging from deep grayish-greens to being delicately edged in creamy yellows or banded in bright shades of golds.

If I may use one more “mom” metaphor, mother-in-law tongues are forgiving. They don’t mind if you forget to water them and survive in sun or shade (despite the misperception that they’re just a common houseplant). Placed in your landscape, they can create a breathtaking effect.

So the question you’re dying to ask: Am I getting mother-in-law’s tongue for my mom or mother-in-law this Mother’s Day?

Are you kidding me? We’ll probably just do cards again!


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