Propagating snake plants is a fun way to expand your collection, or share your favorites with friends. In this post I’ll show you exactly how to root cuttings in soil or water, step by step.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn that it’s not difficult to propagate a snake plant, it just takes some time and patience.
In this step by step guide I’ve shared information on how to propagate Sansevieria (aka mother-in-law’s tongue) through three different methods.
The tips and instructions below will help you easily multiply your snake plants, and have plenty to share with friends and family too.
Snake Plant Propagation Methods
There are actually several easy methods for propagating snake plants. Individual leaves or even sections of them can be rooted, or mature ones can be divided to produce new babies for you to enjoy.
It’s very simple to root Sansevieria leaf cuttings in either water or soil. You can use a whole leaf, or cut it into sections.
This method takes a long time, and won’t transfer any colored margins on to the babies.
The original cutting won’t grow at all, but each can root and sprout a new pup.
Mature snake plants are great candidates for division. Each rhizome can be split into an individual start. This is the best way to enjoy several larger ones more quickly.
It’s also the only way of propagating Sansevieria that will pass the exact appearance of the mother on to the babies.
Though it is possible to grow a mother-in-law’s tongue from seed, they’re hard to find, and take a very long time. Most gardeners and even nurseries rely on cuttings or division to multiply them instead.
When To Propagate Sansevieria
The best time to propagate your snake plant by cuttings is during the spring and summer. They rest during the colder months, which can delay rooting.
Propagating Snake Plants From Leaves
When you’re ready, use these tips to take snake plant cuttings correctly. Choose healthy, hydrated leaves for the quickest, most successful rooting.
How To Take Cuttings From A Snake Plant
Snake plant leaves can be rooted whole or as segments. You can cut a single leaf into several 3-4” sections, and each one can become a new baby.
Use sharp, clean pruners, shears, or a knife to remove the leaf as close to the soil as possible. They are very thick, so be careful.
The remaining segment left behind on the mother will eventually die off, and can then be removed.
Preparing Mother-In-Law’s Tongue Leaves For Propagation
If you choose to cut a leaf into sections, keep track of which side was originally facing down (toward the soil). They won’t root if planted upside down.
You may find it helpful to make a V shaped notch or a slight angle across the bottom so you can keep track of the proper end.
Then allow them to callous for several days somewhere warm and dry, but out of direct sunlight. This will cure the cut edge and help prevent rot.
How Long Does It Take To Propagate Snake Plant?
Despite being very simple to propagate, snake plants can take up to three months to root, and even longer to start producing new pups.
The leaf itself won’t grow, and soil propagated cuttings will appear to be doing nothing until a new pup begins to pop up through the dirt.
You can give them a light tug after a month or two. If there’s resistance, then you know the roots have begun to form.
Why Won’t My Sansevieria Propagate?
There are several reasons why your snake plant won’t propagate. Cold temperatures, lack of light, not enough time, and incorrect placement could all be culprits.
Another reason is that they may have been planted upside down. Roots can only develop from the side of the leaf that was originally facing down.
But it could also be that you haven’t given them enough time. They can take up to three months to root, and even longer before you see new pups forming.
How To Care For Snake Plant Babies
Caring for your snake plant cuttings during rooting is very easy. Simply keep the soil lightly moist but never more than damp, until you see a pup a baby start to pop up.
Once they have, you can pot them up in a well-draining soil mix. Choose a container that has drainage holes, and replant them at the same depth.
Once leaves sprout from the new pup, you can trim the original cutting down to the soil line. Learn exactly how to care for your new babies here.
FAQs About Propagating Sansevieria
Here I’ve answered some of the most commonly asked questions about propagating snake plants. If yours isn’t listed, please add it to the comments section below.
Can you grow a snake plant from a broken leaf?
Yes, you can grow a snake plant from a broken leaf as long as it’s healthy and you know which end was originally pointing downward.
Are snake plants hard to propagate?
Snake plants are not hard to propagate, in fact it’s pretty easy. Even beginners can successfully root the cuttings with good results.
How long does it take for snake plant pups to grow?
It can take several months for snake plant pups to grow. Look for them to emerge from the soil between 2-4 months after starting your cuttings.
Can I propagate snake plant in water?
Yes you can propagate snake plants in water. But it can take a long time, lead to rot, and the babies tend to have a harder time transitioning back to soil.
Propagating snake plants may take a long time, but it’s very easy to do. You can enjoy several new Sansevierias from a single leaf, and create plenty to share with friends and family.
More About Plant Propagation
- How To Propagate Pothos (Devil’s Ivy) Cuttings In Water Or Soil
- How To Grow Spider Plants: The Ultimate Care Guide
- Plant Propagation: A Detailed Guide For Beginners
- The Best Plant Propagation Tools, Equipment & Supplies
Share your tips for how to propagate snake plants in the comments section below.