My Mother-In-Law’s Tongue Sits In A Low Light Corner

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Right where she belongs? Perhaps. Some of us are kept in the dark where our married children are concerned. All joking aside, it is the Mother-In-Law’s Tongue house plant I am talking here, my easy-to-care-for succulent.

Mother-In-Law’s Tongue or Snake Plant

I grew up in a household where my mother called them Snake Plants. In fact, it was my mother-in-law who first told me they are also called MIL’s Tongue. I prefer the Snake to the MIL, it just seems a bit nicer.

All closely related, there are dozens of varieties of the houseplant most commonly known as a snake plant or MIL’s tongue. Interestingly, their common names, dependent upon that part of the world in which they live, are as numerous as variety of the plants themselves.

Low Maintenance Houseplant

Seriously, my thumb is darker than dirt, not a speck of green to be seen, and even I can keep my snake plants alive! These plants really are robust and nearly impossible to kill.

When I moved from the north to the south a year or so ago, I had to leave all of my indoor and outdoor plants behind. Slowly I have found those houseplants that I really cannot kill and this is my “chosen one” so to speak.

My MIL’s Tongue has been in a low light corner of the living room for a year and just keeps on growing. I have also taken a few leaf cuttings and have one plant in the bathroom where there is no light at all except when I turn the room light switch on. My roommate also has one in his bedroom. They are all thriving!

Indoor Air Quality Plant

The Snake Plant is ideal for the bedroom; in fact, the more plants the better! This is one houseplant that is oxygen producing, removing carbon dioxide at night while you lay sleeping. Interestingly, this MIL’s Tongue joins other houseplants in being one of the secrets of longevity in humans!

Warning: These plants are poisonous when ingested. Keep out of the reach of small children and pets.

Ruthi's MIL's Tongue in a Corner

Mother-In-Law in the Corner

Here is my Mother-In-Law’s Tongue in the corner of my living room – Alive and well!

If you have easy care house plant suggestions for me, please share! And be sure to check out TomMaybrier‘s article on his 10 easy houseplants to grow, too!

While I was in the midst of writing about my houseplant, creating the background image for this page, I was inspired to create a MIL throw pillow and wrapped canvas for my Zazzle shop. I think they’ll look great on my small sofa and wall near my plant!

My readers will be happy to know that 10% of web page earnings are automatically donated to Friends Of The Park through the Squidoo Charity program. Who knows, we may find snake plants growing wild in the grass at Veterans Park in Pendleton, South Carolina!

Note: This article was awarded Product Review Of The Day by Squidoo on March 18, 2014!

All About the Sansevieria

Watching these videos will show you how easy it is to care for the snake plants. Be sure to listen to Dr. Allan Armitage to learn why it is called the Mother-In-Law’s Tongue!

Liz Keehan tells us all about the Snake Plant.

Protoleaf gives us hints on the care of Sansevieria

TheWeekendgardener shows us how to propgate the mother-in-law's tongue by leaf cuttings.

Along with the outdoor ornamental value of the plant, Dr. Allan Armitage also tells us how the snake plant got its MIL's Tongue name!

Amazing Plant Prices at Amazon

I was absolutely amazed when I discovered how inexpensive plants are through Amazon! This made me so very happy, as the nearest place to me to buy plants is nearly an hour away. Besides that, not only do I not like to drive, I am also a bit of a recluse and much prefer to do my shopping online.

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When it comes to growing things, do you have a green thumb or is yours as dark as gardening dirt like mine? Share your easy-to-grow indoor plant suggestions with me, please and thank you!

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  • JaguarJulie May 10, 2014 @ 6:02 pm
    I didn't realize that was the name of this plant! How curious a name. There was quite a bit of the mother in law in my ex's back yard. Thus far, I have seen none.
  • dellgirl Mar 29, 2014 @ 5:08 pm
    This is very nice, thanks for sharing it. We called them snake plants to.
  • marsha32 Mar 29, 2014 @ 4:05 pm
    I've seen this plant a lot and never knew it's name.
    Funny thing is that my daughter was given one of these just recently by her mother in law!
  • rienie-venter Mar 27, 2014 @ 6:06 am
    Love your video, very interesting. I live in a cottage on a farm, with heavy clay, spent a fortune planting a garden, finding a month or 4 later very dead plants left. The clay is very close to the surface. So I started potting. Too hot and humid here. Unless you water daily, and we have restrictions, not recommended. So now I have many many empty containers. Any ideas?
  • Piper950 Mar 25, 2014 @ 6:09 am
    Love plants whether indoor or outdoor. Great lens, Well done.
  • Graceonline Mar 20, 2014 @ 7:23 pm
    Like you I prefer to call it snake plant rather than Mother-in-Law's tongue, which I always thought to be pejorative. Another plant that requires little light and not much in the way of care is ficus. The mistletoe fig (ficus diversifolia) is particularly attractive, and makes for a nice conversation piece, because it has two kinds of leaves, one small, roundish and almost heart shaped, and the other a rather long, narrow oval with a point at the end. They also have lovely berries that eventually turn red before they fall off, rarely all at the same time.
  • katiesnow Mar 20, 2014 @ 11:28 am
    Congrats on being Review of the Day!
  • happynutritionist Mar 19, 2014 @ 4:11 pm
    Well that is a funny title...I have a snake plant that needs to be put in a nicer was being discarded and only had one "leave" when I brought it home. It's divided and doing well now.
  • Mommie-Moola Mar 19, 2014 @ 2:06 pm
    I always called them snake plants but they're great for people who don't have a lot of gardening experience.
  • vallain Mar 18, 2014 @ 9:37 pm
    I'm a green thumb and have loads of plants in pots on my patio.
  • Ruthi Mar 19, 2014 @ 3:19 pm
    Happy to hear you have the thumb for greenery!
  • Peppermint24 Mar 19, 2014 @ 5:40 pm
    Thats fine - my green thumb only works with plastic plants :(
  • kg241191 Mar 18, 2014 @ 2:25 pm
    i do good for a while but then just get to busy lol
  • Ruthi Mar 18, 2014 @ 7:57 pm
    Precisely why I prefer low maintenance plants!
  • Wednesday_Elf Mar 18, 2014 @ 1:44 pm
    Well, I'm not surprised this lens was given special attention as Review of the Day today. It's very deserving. Well done, Ruthi.
  • holisticwriter Mar 18, 2014 @ 12:50 pm
    I don't try very often. From my experience with indoor plants, I'd say I have a brown thumb. Hilarious lens title!
  • CherylFay Mar 18, 2014 @ 11:49 am
    Congrats on Review of the Day! It's a great review. My love low maintenance plants.
  • LiteraryMind Mar 18, 2014 @ 11:40 am
    I had a snake plant a long time ago. i left it behind when I moved. Mine even bloomed with white flowers which is a rare occurrence
  • RenaissanceWoman2010 Mar 18, 2014 @ 11:10 am
    Congrats on Review of the Day! So pleased to see you featured.
  • rconnor111 Mar 18, 2014 @ 9:34 am
    That's what we need plants that grow themselves!
  • stylishimo Mar 18, 2014 @ 8:51 am
    I wanted to like this lens but must have missed something, I don't see the button I am used to seeing for liking a lens, I clicked the heart button, I hope that was the squidoo like button. Have been offline a few months so not sure if things have changed.
  • stylishimo Mar 18, 2014 @ 8:48 am
    I have a huge Sanseiveria, it is in full sun at the moment, but I want to move it as it is in the way (on my telephone table) and every time I bend to use the telephone I get spiked in the eye by a leaf, glad to know I can keep it in a shadier place.

    I call them Mil's, had not heard of the snake plant name, they do have snake like markings, I prefer the name Snake Plant, all of my potential Mother-In-Laws have been amazing, bar one!

    I got my large MIL when I Iived in Amsterdam years and years ago, it has travelled back from there to the UK with me, I am very fond of it.
  • mbgphoto Mar 18, 2014 @ 8:38 am
    Stopping back by to give you a big CONGRATUALATions for your Review of the Day! Well deserved.
  • Susan52 Mar 18, 2014 @ 8:32 am
    Congratulations on your Review Lens of the Day honors today for this informative and very well-titled lens! I have a low light corner that needs something, so maybe a snake plant is the solution I've been looking for.
  • mel-kav Mar 16, 2014 @ 7:58 pm
    My plants seem to stay alive, but they don't necessarily flourish and grow healthy.
  • Ruthi May 09, 2014 @ 5:23 pm
    Alive is better than the alternative for your plants, Eileen!
  • kiwinana71 Mar 16, 2014 @ 7:22 pm
    Yes I do have a green thumb, but I don't have this one. I like it must look for a plant next time in town.
  • Ruthi Mar 18, 2014 @ 11:11 am
    Good for you with the green thumb! If you cannot find the plant in town, it can be found at Amazon!
  • Mar 16, 2014 @ 3:23 pm
    If this were my mother-in-law, she'd be dead! Only philodendrons survive my houseplant care. Yet, I grow beautiful outdoor thumb must brown when I step out of the sunlight!
  • Ruthi Mar 18, 2014 @ 10:09 am
    Well then, Charli, stay in the light! But seriously, you should give this plant a go, as I do think this is one you can grow.
  • Sylvestermouse Mar 16, 2014 @ 1:43 pm
    I have always thought the Mother in Laws Tongue is a beautiful plant. Ironically, I have never heard it called a snake plant :)
  • Ruthi Mar 18, 2014 @ 9:51 am
    It is indeed a beauty, Ms. Mouse, as a MIL or a Snake!
  • susan-zutautas Mar 16, 2014 @ 11:26 am
    I do alright with indoor plants it's the outdoor ones I wish I'd have better luck with. My step brother had a Snake plant that was huge. I never knew the name of it before now though.
  • Ruthi Mar 17, 2014 @ 7:56 pm
    Great to hear you do well with indoor plants, Susan, and since this is also an outdoor plant, give it a try for both! Also, glad we enlightened you on its name.
  • RenaissanceWoman2010 Mar 16, 2014 @ 11:21 am
    I do pretty well with my plants as long as I can keep my cats away from them. They, the felines, tend to dig in the dirt and "prune" the leaves. I like to buy plants that purify the air in my home. I can see that your snake plants are thriving.
  • Ruthi Mar 17, 2014 @ 3:04 pm
    Yes, when I had a cat she did the same thing. This plant is dangerous to animals, so if you have or buy one, keep it out of the cats' reach.
  • Wednesday_Elf Mar 16, 2014 @ 10:00 am
    Me & plants haven't always seen eye-to-eye. I currently have 'one' that has survived for 7 years despite my incompetence. LOL. A 'low-maintenance' plant sounds perfect for me. BTW, love your Zazzle products.
  • Ruthi Mar 17, 2014 @ 11:03 am
    Seven years? I am impressed! I can do that with easy-care plants so I'm looking forward to six more years with the snake plant! Thank you, Ms. Elf, for taking a look at my Zazzle items!
  • CherylFay Mar 16, 2014 @ 9:37 am
    I don't have much of a green thumb for inside so low maintenance is the key for me. I have one plant. I hardly water it but it keeps growing. I could go for this plant tho.
  • Ruthi Mar 16, 2014 @ 8:23 pm
    I think you would do well with this house plant, just like me, CherylFay. It needs very little care and gives back so much for so little.
  • ibidii Mar 16, 2014 @ 8:10 am
    I added the Dwarf Sansevierias to my wish list. I will order it this week with my Squidoo earnings! Great plant. I remember Mom had one when I was a child. I am getting the small one so that I can carry it from the window to the bathroom when the cats are in my room. Then as soon as I can get the ceiling hangers installed I will hang it so the cats won't get it. :) Awesome story/lens!
  • Ruthi Mar 16, 2014 @ 6:01 pm
    Yes, with the Mother-In-Law's Tongue being poisonous, it is a good idea to keep it out of your cats' reach.
  • Treasures-By-Brenda Mar 16, 2014 @ 7:58 am
    Sorry, no green words of advice from me. I have a couple of Christmas' cactus that I manage to keep alive but that's all! No mother-in-law tongues in my corners!
  • Ruthi Mar 16, 2014 @ 12:17 pm
    Brenda, I've had a Christmas cactus since December that is still alive, yay!
  • OhMe Mar 16, 2014 @ 6:22 am
    I have a Mother-In-Law's Tongue in the corner of my porch and she is quite content there. I sure enjoyed this visit and appreciate your continued support of Friends of the Park. Thank you. Love your background!
  • Ruthi Mar 16, 2014 @ 9:49 am
    Good to hear your MIL is happy on your porch! I'm glad you love the background, Nancy, and a version of that is what I turned into a pillow and wrapped canvas wall hanging. As for FOTP, I so enjoy being a friend of your park and doing what little I can to help.