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#369516 May 9th, 2013 at 03:42 AM
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I recently acquired a Mother in law tongue and the leaves seem to be too long to stand straight up so I was wondering if I could trim them or if I should propagate them.

JoeNoble #369570 May 10th, 2013 at 09:20 AM
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The leave do get very long . Take some twine wrap high in the leaves to keep them upright I have never trimmed any of the leaves of Mother in law Tongue


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JoeNoble #369574 May 10th, 2013 at 10:35 AM
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I've seen some mother in law tongues reach to 5+feet. IF they are not standing rigid it could be because they were over watered. MIL tongues take quite a bit of neglect.However they don't like a lot of water.It could be also that it may need repotting. I have always used 1/2 cactus mix 1/2 potting soil.


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JoeNoble #369965 May 18th, 2013 at 02:55 AM
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Ditto the overwatering suggestion. There's a good chance the plant is already too far gone to save, but you can try. Don't water until it is dry all the way to the bottom of the pot. Use a wooden skewer to stick into the soil as if testing a cake.
You can cut the leaves with scissors, but they will get brown along the cut edges, and not grow anymore. If you cut, do it so as to preserve the natural shape of the leaf.

JoeNoble #372107 Jun 27th, 2013 at 10:22 PM
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Hi all

I thought I'd put my problem into this thread instead of starting a new one if that's ok?

I recently purchased 2 mother-in-law's tongue plants from eBay but they were badly packaged and ended up splitting apart so I now have 4 or 5 of them.

Being new to indoor house plants I didn't realise the mother-in-law's tongue do not require a lot of watering and therefore over watered them. I re-potted the plants in new soil which wasn't soaking wet but one eventually died. However, I cut off the leaves off this plant and planted the bulb again so we'll see what happens there.

On one of the other plants, I peeled off a couple of leaves and re-planted them but the colour of the leaves seems to be fading and possibly dying as you can see from the attached photo.

Can you start a new plant this way? Is the smaller plant/leaf dead?

Thanks in advance!

Mother-In-LawTongue.jpg (415.8 KB, 7 downloads)
JoeNoble #372129 Jun 28th, 2013 at 09:43 AM
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John I can't view your picture but from your description I would say they have root rot, boohoo I don't think I would have repotted any of them. I probably would have just let them lay out and dry up a bit.
MILTongues hold their water in their leaves,, as why one can neglect them for so long and they will be okay.
The seller from Ebay should have packed them in only newspaper bare rooted. I hope you can find some more in a nursery or garden center where you live. They are slow growers but will get very tall if taken care of properly: indirect light , cactus soil mixed with houseplant soil is what I've always used for their soil. Good luck and keep us updated please.


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angelblossom #372669 Jul 8th, 2013 at 03:20 AM
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Thanks angelblossom.

Three of the five seem to be doing ok, there's no discolouration anyway.

The other two had to go though, here's a photo I took of one of them...
http://picpaste.com/photo-VxQZvmlq.JPG

I thought I could just peel one of the leaves off and re-pot it? Evidently not.

JoeNoble #372683 Jul 8th, 2013 at 07:39 AM
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John You can propagate MIL Tongues. However you have to start with a very healthy leaf.
Cut any discolored soft part off, what remains must be firm and healthy and let it lay out for a couple of days, to semi callous over.
Using a small sterile pot with 1/2 cactus soil and 1/2 houseplant soil, place the cut end down in the soil, and spray the soil with a water mister. You don't want the soil to be too wet as that will cause the leaf to rot. It will take a while for roots to develop so don't get discouraged. Every 2-3 days spray the soil and set in indirect light. Again it will take time to get roots, as this plant is a slow grower.


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