Funny names: from Asparagus of Civil Servants to Mother-in-Law's Tongue
The long, pointed leaves have given the Sansevieria many trivial names. For example, Bowstring Hemp or Mother-in-Law's Tongue. Bowstring Hemp, because bowstrings are made of the stable plant fibers. How «Mother-in-Law's Tongue» came about is of course a mystery to us. But seriously. The Sansevieria has other funny names. For example, in German-speaking areas Asparagus of Civil Servants, Bayonet Plant and Butcher's Plant. In English-speaking areas, it is also called Saint George Sword and in French-speaking countries Snake Plant. In China it is known as Tiger Tail Orchid, in Turkey as Pasha Sword, in the Netherlands and Flanders as Female Tongue and in Russia as Pike Tail. But anyway: Sansevieria are very trendy. This also applies to our plant for men «Harry».
Location: Sansevieria «Harry» likes it bright, sunny and dry
Since Sansevieria «Harry» is a desert plant from West Africa, it loves a bright, sunny location. It can also cope with a shadier place, but grows much more slowly there. Watch out for air draft. This can cause the plant problems, especially in winter.
It is therefore better not to place «Harry» behind leaky windows and those that are often used for ventilation. If you keep the plant in a less sunny place for some time, you should take care not to put it in the sun immediately when you move it, but to get it used to it slowly.
In addition: as a desert plant, the Sansevieria prefers low humidity and needs a minimum room temperature of 15 degrees.
Sansevieria «Harry» is rather water-shy
Good news for all who have NO green thumbs. Because there is hardly a more easy-care indoor plant than Sansevieria «Harry». It forgives almost every care mistake and is therefore extremely popular. Since it belongs to the succulent plants and stores a lot of water in its leaves, it may only be watered very sparingly. And if you do, you should always water it directly on the ground. If the water gets between the leaves, the plant starts to rot. The ideal temperature is between 21 and 24 degrees, but the Sansevieria can tolerate up to 30 degrees. Then it needs a little more water. But be careful: water only when the soil is completely dry. The plant survives long dry periods better than too much watering. So, it is no problem if you forget «Harry» completely or go on holiday for two weeks.
Sansevieria «Harry» - staged individually or in groups
Sansevieria - planted in attractive containers - are among the current trend plants. They were already popular in 1950-1970. Then the interest waned. But with the rise of the retro look, they are back again. Not just as a single plant, by the way.
Because with several Sansevieria pots next to each other you can also create a green privacy shield - e.g. at the workplace.
But Sansevieria are not only decorative. Because their hemp-like plant fibers proved to be so stable that they were cultivated as useful plants.
Today, these fibers are still used as a raw material for twines, cords or ropes, for mats, hats and clothing - and even for bowstrings. The latter also explains how the name Bowstring hemp came about.