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Mother-in-law's tongue

Beverly Erlebacher bae at cs.toronto.edu
Mon Nov 26 19:42:19 EST 2001

In article <irUL7.10780$2i.5929706 at news3.rdc1.on.home.com>,
David White <dynasty.white at NOSPAMhome.com> wrote:
>There is one plant however that I'm not sure how to start.
>We have a neglected Mother-in-law's tongue
>at work and I would like to take a cutting from it and start my own plant at
>Leaf cuttings of variegated forms generally revert to the non variegated
>Use 4 inch segments of leaves (10 cm) for leaf cutting.
><<<< (Can someone explain what this is telling me please. I was going to
>just chop off
>a piece of the plant and stick it some water till the roots started to grow
>and then pot it.) >>>>

This plant has long strap-like leaves.  They are telling you to cut pieces
of leaf 10cm (about 4") long.  You can get many pieces per leaf.

>Make sure to keep track of which side of the cutting is the top and which is
>the bottom.
><<<< (Am I missing something here? Cut the plant and the tip of the plant
>would be the top. Sick the
>cut part in the water.)??? >>>>

Once you cut the leaf into pieces, it's not so easy to figure out which
end of a piece is which, so keep track when you cut them!

>Insert the leaf cutting 1 to 1.5 inches (3-4 cm) in rooting medium.
>If the top side of the cutting is mistakenly inserted in the medium, it will
>not grow.
><<<< (Again, I think I'm missing something here. Why would anyone stick the
>leaf in up-side-down???) >>>>

See above...

>The medium should be moist, but not wet, and the temperature should be
>around 75°F (24°F).
>If the medium is too cold or too wet, the cutting will probably rot.
>Roots start forming in 3 to 4 weeks, and a couple of months are needed to
>see the first leaves.
>Each cuttings might produce several plantlets.
><<<< Maybe I should go out and buy one that is already started, but then
>that wouldn't be the same as
>starting one from the begining and I wouldn't be able to boost about my
>plant as much. : ) >>>>

No, go ahead, it's easy.  You just have to be a bit patient.  You can put
a plastic bag over the pot of cuttings so it won't dry out as fast, and
then you can neglect it more. :-)  You can check and see if the roots are
developing by gently digging up some cuttings.  Once substantial plants
develop, you can separate them and put the cuttings back to get more plantlets.

Just be sure to use a very loose, airy but water retaining medium, and don't
let it get soggy.  I've had good results lately with coconut fibre (coir).

Sansevierias need a lot of light to grow.  They will tolerate poorly lighted
conditions, but won't grow without good light.  I put mine outdoors for the
summer and they do almost all their growth then.

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