Proper care of mother in law's tongue

blessedbe(7)January 5, 2011

Hi there...I have a mother in law's tongue I inherited from a neighbor. I haven't been actively trying to kill it, but I might as well have been. I ignored it for so long, I can't believe it's still alive. I gave it some water and the thing has gone crazy. It's gotten so tall that the stalks (?) are bending over. Should I cut those back to a height where they can stand on their own? Should they be staked? Should it be repotted if it's looking crowded? I'm wondering if I can put it in the ground in zone 7a. It's in a pot now and I'd love to have it out in the garden. Thanks!

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You've gotten yourself one of the toughest plants known to mankind, congratulations! These plants thrive under just about any conditions you throw at it. I had one recently put out a pup after moving it to a very dimly lit location; this after about a year of sitting in a well lit window! You could stake the floppy leaves; if you cut them back, the plant will not produce new growth from the cut point, leaving you with, well, chopped leaves. Sans loves to be crowded; they are known to be pot breakers because of it. If you choose to repot, go no larger than 1-2 inches bigger than the pot it is currently in. Sans seem to like to bloom when crowded, so I wouldn't separate the grouping.
I'll leave it to someone else to answer your question about planting outdoors.


    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 6:39PM
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7a - probably too cold in the winter.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2011 at 8:08PM
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7a is MUCH too cold - I live in Europe in a similar zone. You need at least 9, better 10. The plant does not stand freezing temperatures and thrives only above 60ðF.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2011 at 8:14AM
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I live in zone 9-10 International zone 19-20.
San Fernendo Valley 2-3 year ago we had temperatures down into the 20 F 5 nights in a row. They held up fine. They were faceing east against a cement wall, about 20 ft of them. Some leave damage was seen, and they cut them down half way they have looked beautiful ever since. I think if they have protection against a house or a large rock that facing the morning sun they just might do well. They will need a fast draing mix, little water after the first rain of winter then left alone. If you know what you are doing they will make it, and over hang of either plastic, canvas, roofing patio, etc may make the difference. These plants were of the green variety with the yellow edges. They grow well undertrees at the Huntington and no damage, they are up on a hill, Norma

    Bookmark   May 12, 2011 at 4:09AM
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