Back in October, a friend asked if I could give a talk about gardening or plants to his men’s Sunday school class. I asked him for some hints about the level of garden or plant interest the group had. I never got a clue beyond “just talk about whatever you want to.”
I mentally groaned at the prospect of talking to a group that might not even care a thing about plants. The good thing was that the time limit I had was so brief – 15 minutes, that I could barely get started on much of a topic before having to end it. So if they were bored, it would not be for long. There was another 15 minutes for questions and answers.
I did not have a slide program on hand, and the class didn’t have a projection system anyway.
I really wanted to take some kind of visuals to generate interest. I decided to take a couple of pots of sansevieria plants I have. Sansevieria plants (also called mother-in-law’s tongue or snake plant) are easy care plants that are pretty much bug and disease free. They are fine with bright light or low light.
They do not have to be fussed over with trimming of stems to keep them looking good. They seldom flower, so there is no mess from spent flowers. The thick stems store water so they do not require frequent watering.
The look of the various types of sansevieria is a no-frills look with their straight leaves that develop around a central point, similar to the growth of yucca plants. The growth is upward. The look of the plants is ideal for those that like a modern, clean look. Leaves of sansevierias vary in color. They can be green with vertical stripes in off-white, greyish green with irregular horizontal stripes in dark green, or light grey/green. The mature heights vary from four inches to three feet or taller. I really like my little four-inch plant. And, if you want to class plants as looking feminine or masculine, sanseverias are masculine looking. Surely, I could convince the guys they needed one for their office or man cave.
Sansevierias are excellent for people with allergies. The smooth leaves of these plants do not put out irritants like some fuzzy leaves might. The leaves can be wiped down with a damp cloth to remove dust; great for people sensitive to dust particles. And, as already mentioned, they seldom flower, so no pollen problems. A study by NASA revealed that the plants remove toxins in the air, a concern for astronauts in space stations. Another plus is that they put out oxygen during the night, while most other plants put off oxygen only in the daytime.
Sansevierias are fairly slow growing in a pot. The problem with that is that if you damage the leaves, it takes a while for the plant to grow another nice set of undamaged leaves. In the summer, I plant some of my extra plants outdoors in a shady corner with horrible, root-filled soil. They don’t mind the location at all. In addition, it seems to me, the plants multiply faster in the ground, as I had several young plants at the end of summer. This is a great plant for someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time on plants.
I did manage to cover a few other garden topics for the Sunday school class in the brief time frame – oops, yes, I went a bit overtime. I was relieved that they had some questions for me. And my friend said that he had several positive comments about my presentation, and the wives of the men want me to speak to their Sunday school class someday. I was glad to know I had not bored the class.