Snake Plant Propogation

Snake Plant Propogation

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.

Snake Plant Propogation

Propagation Methods

There are four methods you can choose from when you decide to propagate your snake plant:

  • Propagation in water
  • Propagation in soil
  • Propagation by division
  • Propagation from rhizomes

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:

  • Sharp scissors or a knife
  • Heavy glass vase or jar
  • Water
  • Rooting hormone (optional)
Snake Plant Propogation


  • Carefully cut your leaf near the soil. Ensure you use sharp scissors or a knife to get the best and cleanest cut. If you have a rooting hormone, dip the leaf in it for some time.
  • Dip the leaf into a jar with water, ensuring you submerge around 25% of the leaf. If it is too large, you can cut it into sections and dip all of them in the rooting hormone and into the water.
  • Once you see the roots sprout, which might take around two months or longer, plant the leaf in the soil. Burry the leaf as deep as it was in the water, and don’t worry about small shoots because they will shoot through the soil eventually.

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:

  • Sharp knife or scissors
  • Succulent soil or any other proper potting mixture
  • Pot
  • Root hormone (optional)
Snake Plant Propogation


  • Cut the leaf you want to use as close to the soil as possible, and ensure you make the cut clean and neat.
  • If you want several new plants, cut the leaf into different pieces, with each piece being around 2 inches long.
  • Leave the leaf pieces for a few days, and let them callous over. That creates a barrier that prevents bacteria in the soil from entering the plant and causing rot.
  • Just like in water propagation, ensure you remember which part of the leaf was closest to the soil and plant it in the right orientation. You can dip your leaf into a rooting hormone.
  • Fill your pot with succulent soil or any other potting mixture you get. It will take about a month for your leaves to develop roots and about another month for new growth to appear.

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:

  • Clean handsaw or knife
  • Space outdoor or newspaper
  • Pots for the new plants
  • A potting mixture or succulent soil
Snake Plant Propogation


  • Carefully lay the parent plant on its side while still in its pot. If you are indoors, lay put some newspaper to avoid soiling your furniture.
  • Gently slide the parent plant out of the pot. You might need to gently tap the side and bottom of the pot.
  • Inspect the roots of the plant, and identify where the rhizomes are.
  • Using your handsaw or knife, cut the parent plant into the desired pieces, ensuring that you have at least three rhizomes, roots, and one healthy leaf in every new plant. The number of new plants you get depends on the size of the parent plant.
  • Repot each of the new plants into their pots. Water each of them generously immediately after repotting, but do not water again until the soil completely dries out.

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.


  • Outdoor space or newspaper
  • Sharp shears or knife
  • Succulent soil or any good potting mixture
  • New pots
Snake Plant Propogation


  • Gently lay the parent plant on its side and carefully remove it from its pot. Be careful not to damage any roots in the process.
  • Look for rhizomes around the roots. They are whiteish-looking stems that almost resemble garlic cloves.
  • Using your clean and sharp knife or shears, cut them off from the base of the snake plant, and be careful not to harm the roots around.
  • Just like in the method of propagating in soil, leave the rhizomes for a few days for them to callous over. That helps prevent the spread of bacteria and disease into the new plant.
  • After the formation of the callous, plant the rhizomes in their new pots, and wait for new growth.
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Snake Plant Propogation

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.

Correct Temperature

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.

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