How to propagate Sansevieria ( aka Snake Plant) in water or in soil easily, by leaf cuttings or division of rhizomes. Pros & cons of 3 best rooting methods!
Sansevierias have many names: Snake Plant, Bowstring Hemp Plant, Mother In Law Tongue, or Devil’s Tongue. They are some of the easiest and most beautiful plants to grow, see Snake plant care tips here. Sansevieria plants are great for indoors and mild climate outdoors.
They are also incredibly easy to propagate, which means you can multiply your beautiful Sansevieria plants for your home and as gifts to share with friends!
Let’s look at how to propagate Sansevieria, and compare the pros and cons of 3 different propagation methods: by leaf cuttings in water, by leaf cuttings in soil, and by division of rhizomes.
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Sansevieria / Snake Plant propagation basics:
Keep snake plant cuttings and plants in bright light, but out of direct sunlight. Temperature should be above 45°F, best temperature range is between 65°F and 90°F .
This is actually very similar to the propagation of Fiddle Leaf Fig, another favorite indoor plant. Tutorial here!
How to propagate Sansevieria leaf cuttings in water.
Water propagation is easy and fast. Remember to keep the cuttings in a bright spot with indirect light.
Cut off a healthy Snake plant leaf near its base. Make a notched upside down V cut at the bottom, and let the cut end dry for 2-5 days. The V cut will lift up the cuttings, and in addition to the drying, will make the new leaf cuttings less prone to rotting. Place the leaf in a clean jar of water.
The water level should be slightly above the V cut end. Because root will grow from the cut tissue, this technique helps to lift up most of the cut surface so roots have room to grow.
After about 3 to 5 weeks, you will see roots growing from the bottom of the leaf cuttings. In another 2 to 3 weeks, tiny pups will start growing. You can transplant the rooted cuttings in soil or just let them keep growing in water.
Pros of propagating Snake Plants in water:
This method is super easy. It is really fun to watch roots and pups grow from the cuttings.
If you like to grow plants in water, you will love propagating and growing Sansevierias in water. You can just keep them in water, which is my favorite way to grow certain houseplants!
Many showy variegated snake plant varieties such as Sansevieria “Moonshine” with dark margins, or Sansevieria “Laurentii” or “Gold Flame” with yellow stripes etc, will not keep the variegation of the mother plants. The plant babies will most likely revert to the common green Sansevieria and lose the color margins when propagated from single leaf cuttings.
If you want to keep the unique patterns of the original variety, you will need to use method number 3: propagate by division.
You may also love: How to grow indoor plants easily in water!
How to propagate Sansevieria leaf cuttings in soil.
This process is very similar to propagating succulents. Cut off a healthy leaf near the base of a snake plant, let the cut surface dry and heal for 2-5 days.
Plant the cuttings in potting soil that contain perlite for good drainage and air flow. No need to use root hormone. Keep out of direct sunlight, water well and let drain.
Don’t let the soil get too dry or too wet. Cuttings can die from root rot in soggy soil. Check on the soil once every one to two weeks and water if the top 2″ of soil feels dry below the surface.
Like the cuttings in water, these leaf cuttings will also root and grow pups, which will become new plants. They take only a bit longer to root than the cuttings in water.
This is a one step method. If you place several cuttings in one pot, you can have an instant plant! I like to mix different varieties in a pot. They look like living sculptures. 🙂
Same as propagating leaf cuttings in water, the cuttings in soil may not grow true to the original plants if they have variegated margins or stripes.
How to propagate Snake Plant by division.
Division, in horticulture and gardening, is a method of plant propagation, where the root clump of a plant is broken up into two or more parts. Both the root and crown of each part is kept intact.
Take your plant out of the pot, or dig up a clump from the soil. Use clean and sharp knife or scissors to divide the root clump of the mother plants. Each division should have roots and some leafy top or pups attached.
Plant the divided new snake plants in their new pots with well draining potting mix such as succulent soil, or directly in the garden in warm climates. This method creates more room for new growth as your plant multiplies.
This is the method to use if you want the Sansevieria plant to be exactly like the parent plant, the only 100% successful way to multiply those varieties with colorful margins.
You will need a bigger plant in order to divide it.