On My Oasis – Old Seeds and Mother in Laws

From that title you might think I’m having issues with my husband’s mother. Luckily, they live abroad so I’ve managed to escape having awful in-laws (though, to be honest, I’d quite like having the extended family). The Mother-In-Law I’m actually talking about is Sansevieria trifasciata, commonly called the Snake Plant, Saint George’s sword or Mother-In-Law’s Tongue.

As I mentioned in last week’s ‘On My Oasis‘, I’ve become quite involved with house plants lately; which is no bad thing seeing as it’ll soon be winter and I can happy myself with greenery inside. However, I think I might’ve have also alluded to the fact that I was rather neglectful, if they survive my lack of care, my house plants can pretty much live through anything. It seems, though, that my has been of benefit in this case. My Mother-In-Law’s Tongue was bought about three years ago, has never been repotted, has hardly been watered and has been knocked off the windowsill so many times by the cat that the bone dry soil’s scattered away and left half the root ball showing. This stress on the plant has obviously caused it biology to think the end is nigh, and in a last effort, it’s thrown up a flowering stem. At first it was nothing more than a green protrusion with EXTREMELY sticky sap (like, glue-your-fingers-together sticky). Then, after a weekend away, I drew back and the curtains and flowering had happened! From such an unassuming plant, the flowers are simply wonderful. They fade fast though; lasting only about a day. But seriously – it might be worth neglecting your plants a little. 😉

Mother-In-Law's Tongue flowersSnake Plant flowers

My other discovery this week whilst tidying was an entire stack of VERY out of date seeds. Being a hoarder by nature (I’ll never throw anything away if it could have a purpose next week, next month, next year…) I’m attempting to utilise a few. I never get ahead with my annuals, so I’ve pulled a few sweet pea, California poppy and cornflower packets and sown them. The germination rate’s not likely to be good, but even if a few grow, I can overwinter them and ensure I’ve got some early colour next spring.

Finally, we’re still on hibiscus watch. It’s almost open now – I almost expected it to burst alive whilst we were away this weekend. I’m not entirely sure it is red as expected; it looks a darker orange to me. But, you know, that gives me an excuse to go buy another one.






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I'm Geoff, and I'm a plant hoarder.

Like magpies collect bright shiny things, I can't resist plants. An exquisite flower, soft ferny foliage or a beautiful majestic tree - I love them all!

Here, I'll indulge in all things flora and share my passion. Join me as I develop my garden and hoard more plants without apology.