Mother-in-Law Plant


TheGardenLady received this question from Beverly.

I have a mother-in-law plant that has funny looking flowers that came up. It is sweet smelling. But it attracts wasps!! i have never heard or seen one bloom. Can you tell me where I can see a picture of the flower ?

Congratulations on your Sansevieria’s (mother-in-law’s tongue plant’s) blooming. You are treating your plant well to have it bloom.  A website that shows the flower is this.

The flower has so much nectar and sweetness, I would imagine that it would attract bees or wasps. I kept my plant indoors when it was in bloom so that my house benefited from the fragrance and no insect came near the flower.

18 Replies to “Mother-in-Law Plant”

  1. My mother-in-law is blooming. It is mid August. I just noticed the stem coming up, I didn’t know they did bloom!! I’m glad its happy:) And I must be doing something right!

  2. I have had this plant for almost 40 years and this is the first blooming year for this old thing. Love the bloom and will try for others.

    Gail Lloyd
    Foxanna Farm
    Rockville, Va. 23146

  3. I Googled this plant to check on this new first-time bloom I’ve noticed, and voila! I found this site and the answer to my question! Great. Thank you, Garden Lady. And yes, my plant is indoors and the picture is exactly as what I have.

    And, I think it’s nicknamed the “mother-in-law plant” because (my take): If you rub up on it the wrong way, those sharp tongue ‘blades” for leaves will CUT you! LOL. The edges of those blades are sharp, and it cut my arm one time.

  4. I have a plant that I thought was a mother-in-law tongue. It’s leaves are similar but it has a stem in the middle with a reddish, scaled flower about 4 ” high.
    I don’t know what it is or how to care for it. Leaves are darker green than I remember old plant I had but the ends of leaves are turning brown. Are you able to tell me from this description what this is and how to care for it. I bought it at church auction w/o instructions.

  5. Ours is blooming and it is October I noticed today it has sap droplets on the blooms I thought it was water at first
    we have had our plant for 15 years and it has never bloomed

  6. I have one that is just starting to bloom, but I just received it back from my mom, who was definitely not taking care of it. I don’t think she would be able to recall the last time it was watered, and it has not seen fertilizer once in it’s life… Of that I am sure. The bloom was coming up before I got it back, so I was pretty impressed that is was able to.

  7. I’m freaking out because my plant is blooming, too! I’ve never seen a Mother-in-Law’s Tongue bloom before. Both of my plants belonged to my mother, and I’m not sure how many years she had them. I keep both plants inside during the winter, then move them out to the deck after the danger of frost has passed. I was thinking possibly some drifting seeds had landed in the pot and something foreign was growing in there! There are about six flower stalks shooting up. I can’t wait until they bloom and I can check out the fragrance!

  8. My mother left me with all her house plants when she passed away. One of them was a Mother-in-law plant. We have had this plant for over 55 years and I have never seen it bloom. I thought some other seeds got dropped into the planter, but after some time noticed the flowers were actually part of the plant. My flowers have no smell but are a light lime green in color. Someone told me that it only bloomed when it was root bound. Is this true? I’d be interested in hereing from you.

  9. my mother in laws tongue is flowering for the first time. I recently repotted it when I noticed that the plant was pushing its original pot totally out of shape and it also had an offshot which I have repotteda s well. I totally neglect it and at times forget its is there.

  10. I moved to North dakota 2yrs ago and had to leave my plant behind, until earlier this summer. My b.f. brought it back with him on a visit. But he had to cut it down some to make room for it in the truck( it was too tall) Low and behold it started to bloom! She most of missed me or something.Lol! I didn’t know they could have flowers. It is so cool!

  11. We have had our mother inlaw since about 7 yrs now as long as our marriage. I named her Eva after my mother inlaw passed 3 yrs ago. It has grown so tall, big & healthy for yrs, but today my mother noticed while standing on my front porch, that Eva had a stalk with buds ready to bloom. Wow it was a surprise for me & my husband especially my mom who has a greem thumb. We had never seen one that bloomed. After looking through a lil more, I screamed with shocking excitement, it had about 5 more stalks also ready to bloom. Well, I guess my mother inlaw’s tongue could never stop talking, yet she is gone to heaven , she still has something to say. I Love my mother inlaw & also my beautiful mother inlaw plant named after her. ” Grow in, Eva, and don’t stop talking, we miss you 2.

  12. I have had my plant for about 10 years and was excited ti see a flower stalk growing and its got sap dripping off it carnt wait to see the buds open

  13. My sister gave me two pups from her mother n laws plant about 7 years ago. She passed away in 2014. Now my plant blooms in the same month (June) that she passed. I have never saw these plants bloom before.

  14. I have had a mil-tongue for years and this year alone it has had 3 off shoots which I left in the pot with the original plant but it was getting to full so repotted it into a bigger pot and low and behold it has flowered, it was a wonderful sight because I feel it was a message from my mum who had just passed away telling me she is OK and that makes me feel better.. I must be doing something right for it to bloom, the flower has now died so I an cutting it off. Is this the right thing to do?

  15. My Mother-in-law plant is blooming! And the scent, smell like a strong smell of sweet spice. I just love that scent! It makes my front porch smelling very nice.

  16. One of my babies has bloomed this year! My 73 year old plant loving mother had never seen a Mother in Law Tongue bloom. I started with one little tongue and I have divided and shared and kept upwards of 15 from her, I currently have seven of her babies. Every few years one of them will bloom! I decided to do some research to find out how and why and when. One source I just read said that they will only bloom when stressed??? I would hate to think that I am stressing her but these little dainty flowers that appear every few years are soooooo pretty and make me happy!

  17. Mine is blooming as well. But, I just moved it to a much bigger pot about 2 months ago. My mom just told me I have to cut the bloom off when it starts to wilt or it will kill my plant. Is this true or an old wives tale?

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