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Snake Plant

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Sansevieria trifasciata. Snake plant is one of the most tolerant house plants. It tolerates most light exposures but may need some shade from direct sun. Use any well drained potting soil and allow the plants to dry between waterings, especially during the winter. Ideal temperatures are 62 to 65 degrees at night and up to 85 degrees during the day. Repot in early summer if needed. Sansevieria trifasciata is a species of Sansevieria, native to tropical west Africa from Nigeria east to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is commonly called the snake plant, because of the shape of its leaves, or mother-in-law's tongue because of their sharpness. It is an evergreen herbaceous perennial plant forming dense stands, spreading by way of its creeping rhizome, which is sometimes above ground, sometimes underground. Its stiff leaves grow vertically from a basal rosette. Mature leaves are dark green with light gray-green cross-banding and usually range between 70–90 cm in length and 5–6 cm in width.

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    6 Reviews
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      07.01.2012 15:42
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      A wonderful, easy to care for attractive house plant.

      If all else fails, grow Sanseviera." This is the helpful words that appear at the start of the entry for Sanseviera in the bible of house plants written by Dr D.G.Hessayon in "The House Plant Expert" Known as the Snake plant or Snakeskin Plant in the U.S. and Mother-in Law´s Tongue in Britain (what a great name!). I can vouch for the claim that it is amazingly easy to grow and almost indestructible and I hope that this simple review will inspire other people who have concrete fingers, or no money for fancy ornaments to have a try at growing this tough, yet attractive houseplant. We have recently just finished building a conservatory and had to put some inexpensive and low maitenance plants in it. We are not very skilled at looking after plants and often have to be away for quite a few days at a time and this attractive plant is just what we need. Mother-inLaw´s tongue is quite a spectacular plant with large, upright, sword shaped leaves. There are two main types, Sanseviera trifasciata laurentii which is the one that we have, and S. trifasciata. The former has the distinctive dark green leaves with a golden edge and can reach up to 3ft in growth. The latter does not have the golden edges. We bought a pot about six months ago and it contained 5 separate plants, I was confident enough ,with Dr Hessayons help, to up end the pot and divide up the plants by gentle pulling them apart and planted three in one big pot with broken up tiles in the base and ordinary potting compost, and two in another. I am happy to report that all of them are thriving and producing little snakes which are emerging through the soil next to their parents! A triumph! I water them about once a week because ours are in a sunny spot but if you forget or have to go away they really do not care and I have read that once a month in winter and a little more in spring and summer is sufficient but do try to avoid getting water into the heart of the plant.They like bright light but can thrive in the shade as well so you really have a classy looking plant that will add greenery to your house for very little effort and expense. They can get one or two problems, if they are over watered they can get rot at the base of the plant and the leaves go yellow and they do not like temperatures of below 50degrees C. We have never had any problems with ours and I occasionally feed them, when I remember with some Baby Bio plant food. My Opinion. If you need some inexpensive greenery to brighten up your home please try these plants they are so easy to grow and care for and inexpensive too. Ours cost about 4pounds for pot containing 5 plants, we could have spent more and bought bigger plants but we hoped that these would grow and thrive, they are now about 40 cm tall (just measured them my huband thinks I have gone daft,) so go on invite the Mother-in law to stay! 5 stars from me. Thanks for reading, this review may also appear on Ciao under splishsplash.

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        06.06.2011 23:25
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        A great house plant

        ==Snake Plant (Sansevieria Trifasciata)== I am partial to a few plants around my house but more often than not within a year these are either destined for the plant hospital that is my mums house or if they are too past that, the bin. I can't really put my finger on what it is about me that doesn't seem to do well at looking after all sorts of different plants and it doesn't put me off keeping them. However I do tend to opt for plants that are easy to care for and don't need a large amount of light because of the flat in which we live. The Snake plant (or also known as Mother in Laws tongue) is a plant which is mainly kept indoors in the cooler climate of Britain and looks brilliant with its stiff upright leaves which grow to a fair size of around 8 or 9 inches in height. The leaves are thick and waxy with bright green inside and edged with a creamy yellow colour. I haven't often seen these plants in supermarkets like a lot of the more common house plants but they can be picked up relatively cheaply from garden centres and the like. They are also very easy to get cuttings of and this is how my plant started off as I was luckily enough that my mum took a few cuttings and grew it to a fair size (and strength for me not to kill off) before giving me it all potted up. It has grown surprisingly well even in the relative shade of my hallway and these house plants are generally very easy to keep as they are partial to the shade and don't need too much watering at all as they thrive in the dry soil. In winter you need only water the plant a couple of times otherwise they won't appreciate too much watering at all and end up rotting off. The thick long leaves continue to grown now and even though I haven't re-potted it into a large pot the thick leaves still keep coming from the soil and shooting up in the air. Mine hasn't flowered yet and I don't really expect it to as they say it mainly flowers in the warmer climates and not likely to happen when the plant is being kept in doors. The flower that does come is apparently tall, yellowish and spindly with a honeysuckle type look about it. I have had many comments about this plant as it stands product on the shelf above my radiator in the hall way (we tend to keep the radiator off so the heat doesn't affect the plant at all) as it is a really noticeable and striking plant. It is easy to care for and is doing really well with the little attention I have been paying it. My mum has her one in her bathroom and its probably doing a bit better than mine but then she is more green fingered than me so it should be. I can't find a reason not to like these plants as they are easy to have around the flat and pleasurable to look at so I feel a top score of 5 out of 5 stars and a high recommendation is well deserved! I do hope that this has been of some help/interest to you Many thanks for taking the time to read.

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          09.02.2011 13:33
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          Excellent pot plant

          Sansevieria or the snake plant is a member of a family of South African succulent plants that are specialized for growing in desert or arid regions. In Mediterranean regions where the winter temperature remains above freezing, it is quite often seen planted out in parks and municipal plantings as it's relatively problem-free, but in temperate regions such as Britain, it's usually grown indoors as a container-grown pot or conservatory plant as it's not frost-hardy. It's very long-lived and can survive a high degree of neglect from its owners - hence it's one of two plants I've heard of that have been given the 'cast iron plant' name (the other is the aspidistra). Sansevieria's main requirement as a pot plant is that it doesn't get over-watered. The plant is also known as 'Mother-in-law's-tongue, presumably a reference to the sharp-edged look of the long, tongue-shaped, strap-like leaves. The leaves, despite being flat and relatively thin is cross-section are tough and resilient, and though they are pointed and sharp-looking they're not of a toughness to be likely to cause anyone actual injury. The base colour is an attractive dark green, marked with wavy horizontal lines of lighter green. The stems are underground and horizontal, so that the leaves - which are extremely long-lasting - appear to grow up directly from the surface of the soil. New leaves appear from time to time as pointed shoots coming up from the surface of the soil; these grow taller to join the main standing crop of leaves as they mature, resulting in a plant with an overall mixed-length collection of leaves - the overall effect is very attractive. Sansevieria is a large plant, and though the leaves are only two to three inches wide in general, in a pot-grown plant they can be up to three feet long - more if the plant is in the ground. The little sprays of tiny white flowers come sporadically and are interesting enough to see, if fairly inconspicuous; the flower spikes are much shorter than the length of the leaves and tend to be overlooked amongst the foliage. The most commonly-encountered variety of Sansevieria has leaves edged in bright yellow; to my mind however the all-green variety is even more attractive. There is at least one cultivated type with a short-growing, 'rosette' type growth habit, in which the leaves are proportionately broad and shorter than in the more frequent 'tongue'-leaved type. Sansevierias are well known also for being very easy to propagate from leaf cuttings pushed base-side down into damp, sandy soil : a single, three foot long leaf, cut into maybe inch and a half long lengths will provide numerous progeny. Perhaps for this reason it's quite commonly encountered in small pot-plant from in second hand shops and car boot and jumble sales and so on, but I would say a larger plant is definitely worth getting hold of as they are quite spectacular looking when large. A large Sansevieria will be relatively expensive, upwards of £8 to £10 from a garden centre, but these plants are easy to grow, and effectively live forever and are well worthwhile.

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          15.01.2008 15:44
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          A popular easy house plant for begniners to grow

          The "Snake plant" (Sansevieria) formerly more affectionately known as 'Mother-in-Law's Tongue' is an easy plant to maintain and a member of the Lily family. The plant originates in West Africa and has been cultivated as an ornamental plant for hundreds of years. Snake plants will thrive in almost any conditions provided they are not over-watered. Although they prefer a dry atmosphere, in full sun they will lose some of their colouring. A popular variety is the Laurentii that has a yellow stripe down the side of its long sword-like leaves that can grow up to 3 foot tall. These plants will flower and produce a tall yellow flowering spike with small yellow flowers. If you make a purchase make sure that the leaves are healthy and not damaged and that they are absent from brown patches. These plants tend to be top heavy and can easily fall over unless they are well-anchored by a healthy root system. Diseased and damaged leaves however, can be cut out. They should be watered weekly and the top soil can be allowed to dry out between watering. They should be potted in a loam-based soil. You can feed the plant twice a month with a suitable houseplant feed. The plants can be propagated by simple division. They should not be repotted too often as the plant flourishes when pot-bound. An easy house plant for beginners.

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            13.02.2006 22:53
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            wonderful easy to look after plant

            i love this plant, the mother in laws tongue..why is that? well, i bought my plant which is sitting in front of me now, 6 years ago and it's still alive! and no kidding, that is amazing. Literally every other plant i have ever had has died, either from my neglecting it or over nurturing it. This plant is great because you can just forget bout it and it will still be fine, i don't water mine for months on end and still it lives and gets bigger. The only other bit of advice is that the plant can get dusty, so use a cotton cloth and water to gently clean the leaves and help keep the plant healthy. So, it's a great plant for dozy idiots like me who forget about their plants! Plus i like the way it looks, it's quite structural. I'm now editing ths review as i have just been told off by another member for not being thorough enough. Regarding how to propergate the plant, it's simple..you just take a leaf off the plant from the base and place it in new soil(my mother did just that and it worked fine and has grown well) Soil type, i honestly don't know as i bought the plant already potted. But i guess if you pop down to your nearest local nursery and ask i'm sure you will be correctly advised. Plus as i'm sure is pretty obvious in my review, i don't know much about plants..which is why most die on me! Which is also why i love this one.

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              29.12.2002 05:37
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              These are not what I would call a pretty plant, and because of their looks they are not as popular as they could perhaps be. They are fairly tough plants and quite tolerant of neglect, all they really ask for is a drink now and then but preferably not to often and not in winter time. They should only be repotted when they burst out of their pot, yes they really do, and then only put into a pot just big enough to hold the roots as I have found that putting them into a pot that is too big for them is a sure fire recipe for disaster along the lines of root rot or leaf rot, as is overwatering. I normally water mine between the months of April and early September and feed every other watering with a weak houseplant fertiliser, either powder or liquid. I usually water every couple of weeks. These plants vary in size and leaf colour, I have seen some with leaves of 2 to 3 feet tall these leaves being very broad or fairly thin and sword shaped.Also there are varieties which form low growing rosettes of between 9 and 18 inches ( sorry for the inches I do not do metric very well). They range in colour with some having a dark glossy green leaf with a bright yellow edge, there are others which have green mottled leaves with an edge ranging in colour from yellow to cream. For propagating they are reasonably easy, just cut a strong healthy leaf off just below soil level, being careful not to damage any others, cut each leaf into pieces about 4 to 5 inches long remembering which is the top and which is the bottom, and insert them into a pot of well drained compost, rooting compound can be used if you prefer, but I have never found any noticeable difference. I have had nine or ten cuttings in a ten inch pot, place them in the pot about a third of their length in, water in and then wait. Only water again when the compost is dry, I usually keep them in a conservatory which is heated in winter. Do not cover with plastic as this will cause rot. You can tell w hen they have successfully rooted by the appearance of small leaves around the base of the cutting, this can take a long time, when they are large enough to handle safely they can be removed cutting and new leaves together and potted in a small pot of well drained compost water in and again leave until they are dry before watering again. I have found that plants propagated by cuttings do not have the coloured leaf edges. If you want you can also propagate by division. In Spring/early Summer take a healthy, strongly growing large plant, knock it out of its pot and pull apart where you can see natural divisions of the plant, cutting the roots apart is not advised and care should be taken not to damage the roots too much. Put each division into a pot just large enough for the plant in the same compost it was growing in, water and leave. You can tell if the division is successful when you see fresh growth, this can take quite a while. These are slow growing plants fairly tolerant of neglect and lend themselves well to mixed displays where their sword shaped leaves look good when placed with lower growing plants with leaves of a contrasting shape. I have heard that they will flower when very happy and have a low growing white flower, although I have never seen one myself. All in all a nice easy, fairly indestructable plant that likes indirect sun or quite low levels of light. And although they have sharp looking leaves they are not as sharp as some mother-in laws tongues.

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