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21 Oct 2019

The Rare Mother In Law Tongue Flower


Snake plant (Sansevieria) is also known as mother-in-law’s tongue. 

Most people don’t realize this rugged, ubiquitous houseplant (Sansevieria trifasciata) can sometimes flower. 

This is a rare occasion and will never happen more often than once annually, usually in the springtime, and usually only with plants living outdoors year-round.

Does Anything Special Need To Be Done With The Flower Or Plant?

You’re sure to have seen Mother-in-Laws Tongue or Snake Plants in public settings and on your grandma’s windowsill. 

These plants multiply quickly and can withstand a great deal of neglect. 

Neglect is what can often spur the plant to bloom.

When these plants are left to their resources, with little water and plenty of light, they spread quickly and can very rapidly become root-bound. 

This is what often stimulates the plant to bloom.

The reason for this is neglect gives the plant the message it is going to die from drought. 

This motivates it to produce flowers (seeds) to spread and hopefully take root and thrive.

Favorite Snake Plant Varieties

What Does The Flower Look Like, And How Big Does It Get?

When it does bloom, the flowers grow along with tall flower spikes or stalks. 

These spikes grow as tall as 3’ feet high and are covered in small, honeysuckle-like greenish, cream, or white flowers. 

Does It Have A Fragrance?

The blossoms are richly fragrant at night and contain very sweet, sticky nectar, which appears as dew drops on the blossom stems. 

Blossoms close during the daytime and open after dark. 

How Long Do Snake Plants Flowers Last?

There is no information available regarding how long the blooms will last. When they do die back, be sure to prune the flower stalks off at the base to help the plant conserve energy and present a tidier appearance. 

Can The Flower Be Used In Flower Arrangements?

Although these flowers are showy, they are typically not sturdy enough to be used in flower arrangements. 

Enjoy them where they are. 

Does The Plant Die After Flowering? 

Sansevieria will not die after flowering. The blossoms transition into orange berries.

Here is a Snake Plant which surprised its keeper with blooms indoors. 

Here is Mother in Law tongue plant blooming abundantly outdoors in tropical India. 



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06 Oct 2019

5 Surprising Ways to Grow Potatoes


For years, I lived in an upstairs apartment with no garden. I wanted, no, I needed to be able to grow my own fresh veggies and herbs. While the space lacked a garden proper, it did have lots of exterior stairs that happened to be situated in full sun. So, as they say, ‘necessity is the mother of invention,’ and those stairs became my garden where I grew everything from tomatoes to potatoes. Yes, you heard me correctly, even potatoes. In fact, there are a number of surprising ways to grow potatoes and here are five of them.

1. Grow potatoes in containers. The traditional way to grow potatoes in the garden is by using the trench and hill method. This requires a good amount of garden space, but since I lacked that commodity, I thought what do potatoes really need? They need some depth…so why not container grow them in a fairly deep pot, but not one that is overwhelmingly huge – such as 5-gallon pickle bucket. Any large bucket will work, it just so happened that I worked in a restaurant at the time and it was free and readily available.

2. Grow potatoes in baskets or tires. Growing potatoes in a bucket is just one way to contain the plant. I have read of one person who grew potatoes in a laundry basket! They can be grown in vertically piled up old tires or even in a sheet of heavy black plastic that is rolled into a tube with holes cut along the sides. Old garbage cans also make great potato growing containers.

3. Grow potatoes in a bag. Potatoes can even be grown in sacks or grocery bags or grow bags. Just place the sprouted potatoes in amongst some nice light nutrient-rich soil. As the potatoes grow, continue to cover or hill them with more of the soil.

4. Grow potatoes in straw. Spuds can also be grown in straw, which eliminates digging them from the dirt. This method begets clean easily grown potatoes and the straw will just become mulch in the garden. The seed potatoes are planted on the soil’s surface and then covered with straw. As the plants grow, more straw is added to cover. A similar method can be employed with leaves too.

5. Grow potatoes vertically. The most amazing way to grow potatoes generates a double whammy – that is, you produce not only potatoes but tomatoes as well. Growing the TomTato is a great space saver. A TomTato is a grafting of the top of a cherry tomato to the bottom of a white potato plant. It is a single plant that produces two different crops and is a terrific space saver, as it can be grown vertically. Hands down the coolest idea I’ve seen for a while! You can also grow them vertically in a potato tower.



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