How to grow Mother in Law’s Tongue (Snake Plant)

Mother in Law’s Tongue (Snake Plant)

Mother in Law’s Tongue, also known as Snake Plant, is a popular plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors. It can look stunning placed in a pot on a desk, as a centrepiece for a table, or on the ground next to an entertainment unit. Its love of humidity means it can also grow well in the bathroom if you’re looking for a plant to add some greenery to the space. This plant can also be grown outside, either directly in the ground or arranged in pots.

Want to learn more about growing Mother in Law’s Tongue? Read on!

About Mother in Law’s Tongue

Mother in Law’s Tongue is a super hardy plant, making it ideal for beginner gardeners looking to start their houseplant collection. Funnily enough, this plant is actually a relative of the asparagus, but don’t eat this plant! Snake Plant is toxic to both humans and pets if ingested. As such, if you have curious small children or animals in your home, you might want to pick a more pet and human friendly plant.  

A truly eye-catching plant, Mother in Law’s Tongue can grow up to eight feet tall in the right conditions. The plant’s dark green pointed leaves protrude from the ground and feature a yellow outline on each leaf.

An Air-Filtering Plant

A 1989 study by NASA found the Variegated Snake Plant to be an indoor plant capable of filtering harmful toxins and pollutants from the air. The toxins the Variegated Snake Plant is able to filter include trichloroethylene, formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene. If you’re looking for a plant that can help filter the indoor air, why not consider the Variegated Snake Plant?!

Propagating Mother in Law’s Tongue

The steps for propagating Mother in Law’s Tongue can be pretty simple. This plant can be easily propagated as each plant is a collection of rhizomes. If you have a friend or family member with a plant, you can ask them nicely to separate one of their shoots from the collection of others, so you can start your very own Snake Plant. You can either root the new little plant in water, or plant it directly into soil. As Mother in Law’s Tongue is so simple to propagate and grow, they make for wonderful plants to begin your growing journey with!

Snake Plant Placement

One beautiful thing about Snake Plants is that they are happy in both low light locations, and spots with plenty of sunlight. This means you can place them in a range of different spots, without having to worry too much about their placement. Place them on a sunny windowsill if you like, or on a shelf in a bathroom. As long as they are not completely forgotten, you should have a beautiful, thriving plant.

Indoors or Outdoors?

The hardy nature of the Mother in Law’s Tongue plant means it can thrive in both indoor and outdoor environments. 


Place this plant in a space with indirect, bright sunlight, or in a spot with no windows (such as a bathroom). Its love of humidity means you can grow it in the bathroom and let it enjoy the steam from showers. This plant can also look wonderful on the desk of a home office, and be moved to a larger pot on the ground once it grows bigger.


These plants can be grown directly in the ground, or grown in a pot outside. While they enjoy the sunlight, too much direct sunlight can cause their leaves to burn, so keep an eye on this plant if it’s in a particularly sunny spot. If you’re finding your plant is struggling with the amount of direct sunlight it’s receiving, move it to a position with indirect sunlight, instead, and see how it goes.

Watering Requirements

Mother in Law’s Tongue is a plant that can thrive on neglect. Due to this, it’s great for people who love plants but tend to forget to water them often. In fact, this plant does better with infrequent watering, with the soil left to dry between each time. 

Some Different Varieties of Snake Plants

When the Snake Plant is mentioned, most people probably think of the Variegated Snake Plant, with its tall, straight green leaves, often with yellow outlining… but that’s not the only type of Snake Plant available.

Twisted Sister Snake Plant

Similar to the Variegated Snake Plant, but with a bit of a twist… literally! This plant bends and twists, creating a unique arrangement of leaves, making it the perfect plant for a table centrepiece or a work desk.

Cleopatra Snake Plant

A super cute variety, this type of Snake Plant is small and compact, ideal for a bathroom counter or bedside table. Its leaves grow in a rosette, and feature a light and dark green crisscross pattern. 

Cylindrical Snake Plant

This variety of Snake Plant has long, skinny leaves with stripes. These leaves grow in a rosette, with the plant growing up to 60cms tall, in the right conditions. 

Mother in Law’s Tongue can make a great addition to your indoor plant collection. It can also be grown outside, either in pots or in the ground. The hardy nature of this plant makes it great for beginners, plus those who have busy lives, or a tendency to forget to water their plants frequently. The Variegated Snake Plant has been shown to help filter the air, too! Place your Mother in Law’s Tongue in the bathroom, on a balcony, on a work desk, or on the kitchen table to brighten up your space!

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