Snake plants, also known as mother-in-law’s tongue or sansevieria, are a common houseplant, great for beginners because of their ease of growth and low maintenance requirements.
If you feel like you need more snake plants around you, you do not have to go and buy new ones because its propagation is easy and has a high chance of success.
One of the key things you have to do is have patience because snake plants are slow-growing. It might take 6-8 weeks after propagation for you to see root growth. However, if you keep your propagations in a low-light area, it might take as long as 2-3 months before you see solid root growth.
After the roots start growing, you might wait another 4-8 weeks to see growth over the soil line.
There are four methods you can choose from when you decide to propagate your snake plant:
1. Propagating in water
This is the easiest way to propagate your plant and a good use for the "off" leaves that bend, break, or fall over. It is also a good way to reuse the leaves you cut off after pruning the parent snake plant. To propagate, you need:
Snake plants are very polar, meaning that they will only develop roots if you put the edge closest to the soil in the water. Therefore, you have to dip the leaves in the water in the same orientation they were in the soil.
To avoid getting mixed up, make V-shaped cuts at the bottom of the leaf. That type of cut also helps increase the surface area of the leaf that comes into contact with water, which increases the chances of rooting. It also prevents the leaf's edge from pressing on the bottom of the jar.
This method is the easiest but also takes the longest time, especially if your leaves do not get ample light.
2. Propagating in soil
For this method, you will need:
3. Propagation by division
This is the fastest method of propagation as it involves splitting the parent plant to become several new plants. Your requirements are:
4. Propagation by rhizomes
Rhizomes are stems that grow horizontally under the soil. In snake plants, rhizomes develop new shoots known as pups. Even if there are no pups on the rhizomes of your snake plants, you could still develop new plants from those rhizomes.
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Best Conditions For Propagating Snake Plants
Not all your plant cuttings will survive the process of propagation. Sometimes you might lose a cutting for an unknown reason. However, there are some conditions you can focus on to help increase the chances of your cuttings surviving.
The Perfect Growing Medium
Snake plants, just like other succulents, do not enjoy a lot of water. That results in mushiness and rot in the leaves and roots. Therefore, you need to use a growing medium that drains perfectly and dries out thoroughly between watering sessions.
The best thing to do is buy succulent soil or make yours by adding perlite to regular potting soil. Alternatively, you can use a soilless potting mix containing vermiculite, perlite, and coarse sand.
Bright, Indirect Lighting
Full-grown snake plants can tolerate a lot of different conditions. However, cuttings require extra care for them to grow into big plants. To promote the growth of your cuttings, place them in a place that receives bright but indirect light. That helps increase the rate of root growth.
Clean Pots and Materials
Every time you want to make a cutting to your snake plant, sterilize your blade. That minimizes the chances of you transferring bacteria and infections to your plant. Also, ensure that the pots you plant them in are also clean.
The Right Pots
Terracotta is the best type of pot to plant your snake plant cuttings in because of their porous nature, which allows the escape of excess water, making sure the soil dries out thoroughly. You should also have a drainage hole in the pot to let out excess water.
Since snake plants become top-heavy when they mature, choose large pots with a big base for support.
The Correct Amount of Water
Only water your snake plant when the top 3 inches of the soil are dry or when you notice that the leaves have started to wilt.
The best temperatures for snake plants are between 60 and 80 degrees F. Temperatures below 50 degrees F cause the plant to be yellow and die, or the leaves’ edges and tips become brown.
What If There Is No Growth?
“If it is not broken, don’t fix it.” In short, just because you do not see any growth with your snake plant cuttings does not mean it is dead. Remember that snake plants are slow-growers. Also, the cuttings could enter into a dormant period, which could last for months.
If you have provided the cutting with all the right conditions, and you see that it is not rotting, do not throw it out just yet. Snake plants might also need to develop a large root network for them to start growing over the soil.
Some of the problems you might encounter that could inhibit the growth of your cuttings include root rot, fungal disease, mealybugs, and spider mites.