Snake Plant Propagation [Tips and Explanation]

Snake Plant Propagation [Tips and Explanation]

Short Answer: Snake plant propagation is a simple and rewarding process, allowing gardeners to create new plants from existing ones. One common method is division, which involves separating the plant’s rhizomes or root clumps. Carefully remove the plant from its pot, identify the natural divisions, and use a clean, sharp knife to separate them, ensuring each new section has roots attached. Another popular method is leaf cuttings; simply cut a healthy leaf near the base and place it in water or directly into the soil, making sure the cut end is submerged. It’s important to note that leaf-cutting propagation will produce a plant that may not retain the variegation of the parent plant. With patience and proper care, these methods can successfully increase your snake plant collection.

Snake plants are one of the easiest houseplants to grow. Learning how to propagate a snake plant is simple and allows you to add new plants to your collection at no cost or share them with others. The sword-like leaves of this tropical houseplant can be rooted easily in water or soil, and division is an excellent option for large plants.

To multiply your snake plant, all you need is time, a sharp knife or pair of pruners, potting soil, and water. A few simple tips will ensure the young plants thrive, providing plenty of new plants to add to your indoor jungle or share with friends. Rooting new snake plants takes a couple of months, but the wait is worth it, especially when you start seeing new shoots appearing.

potted snake plant

Know what you’re going to get

If you want to propagate a snake plant that looks exactly like the parent plant, division is the way to go. Although a variegated leaf cutting will root, new shoots (or pups) that emerge are generally solid green, which means that unique foliage patterns, such as mottled leaves or gold leaf margins, are usually lost when a snake plant is multiplied by cuttings. While a solid green snake plant makes a great houseplant, it won’t produce a replica of the parent plant. Dividing your snake plant is the best way to create new plants with the same leaf coloring as the original plant.

1. Divide a snake plant.

To propagate snake plants that have grown too big, the best way is to divide them into smaller sections. Firstly, remove the entire plant from its pot, including the roots. Next, use a sharp knife or pruner to cut the tangled root ball into several divisions. Ensure each division has at least three leaves and accompanying roots.

Plant each division in moist potting mix in a container with drainage holes. Water the divisions well, allowing them to drain thoroughly. Place the newly potted plants in bright but indirect light. Water when soil is dry to the touch.

 6-inch cut leaf set, cut end, in a jar filled with 3 inches of water

2. Root cuttings in water

To propagate snake plants, follow these simple steps. Cut a mature-sized leaf from an established plant. Place the cut end of the leaf in a jar or vase filled with a few inches of clean water. Keep the jar in a bright spot and replace the water, cleaning the jar once a week. The cutting should form roots at the base in about two months. Once roots have formed, transfer the cutting to a pot filled with houseplant potting mix.

3. Start cuttings in soil.

To propagate snake plants from cuttings, you can follow these steps. Start by selecting a mature plant and removing a leaf from it using pruners or a knife. Cut the leaf at the base of the plant. To increase the chances of growing new plants, you can cut the leaf into small 2-inch pieces. Mark the ends of the cuttings by making angled cuts or notching the leaf pieces to differentiate the “bottom” and “top” of each piece. Finally, plant these cuttings in moist potting soil and wait for them to take root.

Dip the bottom end of each leaf cutting in rooting hormone to encourage rooting and prevent rot. Place the cutting about a half-inch deep in moist potting mix in a shallow container with drainage holes. Once your cuttings are planted (cut side down), check the soil regularly to ensure it’s moist. Be sure to empty any excess water that drains out of the container after watering to prevent root rot. After about two months, gently lift the cutting out of the soil. If you feel resistance, the cutting is rooted and established in its new pot. If the cutting pops out of the soil, replant it and continue to water when dry.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it easier to use soil or water to propagate snake plants?

    Propagating snake plants in water is, perhaps, more accessible because you only need snake plant cuttings, a jar of water, and sunlight to begin. However, this method comes with a slightly higher risk of rot. To avoid developing the dreaded rot, keep your cutting in a sunny spot and change the water regularly (we recommend once a week) for at least two months.

  • What is the fastest way to propagate a snake plant?

    Snake plant cuttings take one to four months to develop new roots (and even longer before new leaf growth is created). If you want to propagate a snake plant faster, divide it instead of propagating from cuttings. (Propagation via division will also allow you to keep any variegated coloring your plant may have.)

  • When is the best time to propagate a snake plant?

    You can propagate snake plant cuttings any time of year so long as you provide them with bright light (but keep them out of direct sunlight) as they grow. House them where temperatures remain above 45°F (ideally between 65°F and 80°F) for best results.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in the USA

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
Northeast (e.g., New York, Massachusetts)Rose, Purple Lilac, Mountain LaurelSugar Maple, American Elm, White Pine
Southeast (e.g., Florida, Georgia)Orange Blossom, Cherokee Rose, Southern MagnoliaLive Oak, Spanish Moss, Saw Palmetto
Midwest (e.g., Ohio, Illinois)Carnation, Violet, Purple ConeflowerBur Oak, Prairie Grasses, Wild Bergamot
Southwest (e.g., Texas, Arizona)Bluebonnet, Saguaro Cactus Flower, Indian PaintbrushJoshua Tree, Agave, Mesquite
West (e.g., California, Washington)California Poppy, Coast Rhododendron, BitterrootGiant Sequoia, Redwood, Manzanita
Rocky Mountain (e.g., Colorado, Montana)Rocky Mountain Columbine, Bitterroot, Indian PaintbrushBlue Spruce, Aspen, Sagebrush
Great Plains (e.g., Kansas, Nebraska)Sunflower, Goldenrod, Purple ConeflowerCottonwood, Bluestem Grasses, Buffalo Grass
Pacific Northwest (e.g., Oregon, Alaska)Oregon Grape, Forget-me-not, Pacific RhododendronDouglas Fir, Western Hemlock, Ferns

This table includes the most popular flowers and plants in the USA by region, which considers a range of botanical species, including native and widely cultivated varieties.

Most Popular Flowers & Plants in Australia

RegionPopular FlowersPopular Plants
New South WalesWaratah, Bottlebrush, Flannel FlowerEucalyptus, Acacia, Banksia
VictoriaCommon Heath, Waxflower, Pink HeathMountain Ash, Silver Wattle, Victorian Blue Gum
QueenslandCooktown Orchid, Golden Penda, Umbrella Tree FlowerMoreton Bay Fig, Macadamia Nut, Queensland Bottle Tree
South AustraliaSturt's Desert Pea, Kangaroo Paw, Eucalyptus BlossomAdelaide Blue Gum, South Australian Blue Gum, Saltbush
Western AustraliaRed and Green Kangaroo Paw, Mangles Kangaroo Paw, Swan River DaisyJarrah, Marri, Karri
TasmaniaTasmanian Blue Gum, Leatherwood Flower, Tasmanian WaratahHuon Pine, Tasmanian Oak, Myrtle Beech
Northern TerritorySturt's Desert Rose, Frangipani, Desert RoseBoab, Gidgee, Spinifex
Australian Capital TerritoryRoyal Bluebell, Australian Daisy, CorreaSnow Gum, River Red Gum, Black Mountain

This table offers a basic overview of popular flowers and plants in each Australian region, focusing on a combination of state flowers, native species, and other characteristic plants. It's important to note that specific species' popularity and prevalence can vary. This table is a simplified representation. Consulting local botanical gardens or regional horticultural societies in Australia would be ideal for more detailed and accurate information.

Charlotte Gammon

By Charlotte Gammon

Meet Charlotte Gammon, our expert and author. She's our true treasure, as she has got 20+ years of experience in gardening, winery and house design. In early 2000s, she worked for magazine and was in charge of the gaardening section. Later on, Charlotte opened her own designer agency and worked as a designer and decorator. We are happy to have Charlotte with us, as she is our good friend. We value her experience and we're sure you will love the articles she created for our blog.