Newly Registered
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri Apr 22, 2011 3:26 pm
Location: Oklahoma

Need Help Saving Mother in Law's Tongue

I need help saving a mother in law's tongue that was a gift from my mother. My sweet DH watered it to death I think. The leaves were either fallen over and dry and yellow or where they should've gone into the dirt were soft and mushy and gooey.

I plucked out the few green stalks/leaves remaining (though they were more yellow than green) and carefully cut off the gooey bits. They are sitting in the kitchen to 'heal' the cuts. I took the root ball out of the pot and gently rinsed it through to check it. All the root seems healthy. No mush or smell or slimey stuff. I repotted the roots with gravel in the bottom of a new same size pot, good dirt with a little of the small gravel mixed in and the perlite or vermiculite mixed in the soil. (I used african violet soil). I gently watered the dirt and set the roots/pot on the front porch as it is warm and sunny here today.

I hope to pot the leaves, or cuttings from them in a day or two after dipping in root powder using same gravel/dirt combination, but I realize plants from the cuttings won't have the wonderful coloration and stripes I had on the previous plant. I'm hoping the root system will send up new plants given time.

Is there anything I'm doing wrong? Is there anything else I can do to help insure success? This plant has a LOT of sentimental value as it was a wedding present from my mother. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

Greener Thumb
Posts: 716
Joined: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:01 am
Location: Jacksonville, FLZone 9A

Nope, you're doing good. As long as the pot has drainage! And gravel on the bottom of a pot with no holes is really not drainage. We all used to think it made sense, but it really doesn't help.

As long as those roots did not smell funky or feel like mush, you should be getting sprouts from it. I've had them frost back to green slime on the soil surface, had them shredded by hail and by hurricanes, mowed by an overzealous helper, and they still come back.

Just give them time and good drainage.

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