Garden Clippings for December 28, 2019
Two years ago, Fiddle Leaf Figs were the hot commodity, and nobody knows why. Maybe it was Oprah or Michelle Obama who endorsed them. Every supplier in Florida ran out and when all the mature Fiddle Leaf Figs were gone, growers could only sell small seedlings. And they fetched a hefty price.
Fiddle Leaf Figs continue to be a popular houseplant. The bold and lush plant becomes tree-like giving any room a tropical feel. Leaves are huge, about the size of a sheet of paper, large enough to cover Adam and Eve’s you know whats.
Last year it was Monstera, nicknamed Swiss Cheese Plant. Easy and quick to grow, Monstera is sure to dominate. Monster sized leaves on long stems can easily make the plant become 4 or 5 feet tall and wide.
This year’s favorite plant is Sansevieria or Snake Plant. Slow growth and low water requirements make Snake Plant the opposite of the former large plants.
Our Snake Plant has been sitting next to the piano for as long as I can remember. It loves our south facing window where it basks in the sun and warmth. I remember watering the Snake plant in June and then again in September. Its probably due for another drink before the New Year.
For those who want an easy care, well behaved tropical plant, look no further than Snake Plant. It does not have fussy growing requirements, doesn’t mind low light, doesn’t take up much space and doesn’t really need fertilizer.
If Snake Plant carries any cautionary notes, it would be that it hates to be overwatered. Put it in a pot only slightly bigger than the width of the plant stems. Use a specially prepared growing medium such as Pro-Mix and make sure the pot has a drainage hole so excess water drains away.
There are over 75 varieties of Snake plant, the most popular being Sansievieria ‘Trifasciata’, often known as Mother-in Law’s Tongue. Sword-like leaves are about 2 inches wide and upright growing to about 3 feet. Colour is mottled, between green and lime green.
Other Sansevieria varieties include ‘Black Gold’ with stiff, dark green leaves edged in off-white. ‘Cylindrica’ is an interesting on-trendy variety with round stems that mimic a drinking straw. ‘Moonshine’ has stunning silvery green leaves that contrast nicely within groupings of dark leaved indoor plants.
Snake Plant is easy to propagate. At the root zone, Snake Plant spreads in rhizomes that are easy to break off into new plants. Alternatively, cut Snake plant stems horizontally in 6 inch or longer sections and put the pieces in moist sand. Putting the stems in a half an inch of water will also do the trick. Change water every few days. When sufficient roots appear, put the new plant in well drained growing medium.