Propagate Sansevieria (Snake Plant): 3 Easy Ways!
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.
Now that you propagated Sansevierias, check out these tips on how to grow healthy Snake Plants easily! Happy growing! See you next week!
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I have a question. What is the first indication that the water method isnt working and the clippings are rotting? Mine dried and healed for 5 days and I put them in water and it looks like the v cut is getting water logged and the water is getting cloudy. It’s only been 1 day in the water. Should I start over again immediately?
Thanks for the detailed instructions. I opted to plant cuttings directly back into the plant I took them from, to increase the density of it. The cuttings took root, but it’s been a year now and still no pups. The mother plant has produced new growth and is healthy. Any tips on how to spur the cuttings along? Thanks!
Hey! Im really new to plants as it was a gift and I overwatered it. Well that led to me repotting it and I accidentally broke, so now there are two parts, 2 healthy leaves but with slightly wet base and the roots. If I cut up those leaves in a v shape and put it in the soil, will they grow the roots?
Also it is pretty humid due to monsoon season so I don’t know if I will be able to dry out the leaves.
Please help me it’s something reaply important for me
Hi my problem is I have cuttings of a snake plant and I have put it in a plastic cup but I didn’t know you had to cut it in a v and they started to get mushy could I still cut it in a V and put it back in water was left of the plant and will it route thank you so much
Justneed a bit of help, I have a potted healthy snake plant which fell from my hand and rolled on its side. Most leaves are intact but it broke from base so only has very minimal roots attached. Roots part of it along with one leaf seperated. What should I do, I’m so upset at myself and need help in saving the plant
Hi there –
A friend of mine recently passed away and I have some of the cuttings from her plant rooting in water. I have cut the “V” shapes in each of the leaves and I assume in a week or two I should begin to see some new roots.
When is it safe to plant them into a pot and should I use a sand mix (as for a succulent) at that point or could I just keep them in a clear jar that I add some glass globs to the bottom for stability?
Lastly, at any point do I need to fertilize with a plant food? Thanks.
Silly question perhaps, but how come these plants seem highly intolerant of overwatering when growing normally, yet seem perfectly happy growing in a glass of water when propagating?! Very curious…
I divided mine but most of them have died. There’s one w tiny roots that has been in the dirt for weeks but not doing well. Can I put it in water to help develop roots?
So much useful information – thanks a bunch!
Hi. I’ve had the mushy problem too. Will try again. So let them sort of dry out with the v cut. Then rooting hormone? Then in water? Or in dirt? Great post. Thank you.
Hi I. Never knew about the v cut.
One of my stems on my plant came out I put the stem in water and did not do the V cut.
I am seeing small white roots coming out.
Can I plant it this way and will it grow?
Hi! I love these tips! Thanks for sharing this useful propagate Sansevieria leaf cuttings in the water post. All the details you described in your post about leaf cutting were very useful to me.
Hi! I love these tips! I have 4 cuttings that I placed in water after letting their cuts dry for 2 days. (I cut straight across and not in a v) they have thick roots about 1” long but no pups yet and it’s been about 5 months, should I move them to soil? I don’t want to be impatient but it’s been so long! Thank you!
Hi, I have one snake plant that’s almost 40 years old (various methods of propagation). It’s obviously healthy, but can you tell me how long the thing will bloom? Every summer it shoots of the most beautiful flower stalks (my mom compared them to fireworks) – that smell HORRENDOUS! The sap is a sticky consistency with a sickly sweet, rotten odor. Is there a time limit on blooming, or a way to stop it? We thought it might be light related, and moved it out of strong sunlight – but nope, sometime between June and August the kitchen smells like something died and started to rot. The flowers are worth seeing, but sometimes not at the cost of the gagging when you miss a stalk. Any tips (even to minimize the “fragrance”)?
I love plants and want to grow some. We get very little sunlight in the place I live. Heard about snake plant and will try with water. Is it ok about less light for the plant.
I have a ROUND leaf coming from the base of my snake plant! What??????
Thanks so much for the clear instructions which I’ve followed. HOWEVER, my sansevieria cuttings keep rotting in water. This has happened after a week in the water. I’ve had to cut the rotted portion and try again. After the third try, I started changing the water every 3 days instead of every week. Please help! My cuttings are getting shorter and shorter. I’m into my fifth attempt. Thanks, Lucile
Hello there, when I had cut one of the snake plant leaves I had cut it the just straight but in 4 cuts. Most post I have seen shows that. It’s been a week and a half propagation started. I’ll take one out and cut the V to see which one will propagate first.
Hi Ananda. Is it normal for the original cutting to die after the new leaves appeared?
You mentioned to let cuts dry before propagating in soil. Do the cuts need to dry before rooting them in water?
It’s been 8 weeks since I put my snake cuttings in water to propagate. 3 of the 4 cuttings have tiny little roots coming out, but no pups yet. I was changing out the water weekly even though it’s been clear. Is there any way to speed up this process? Your post says 3-5 for rotting, and another 2 before pups start forming? Thanks for these great articles!
Thanks for sharing this helpful propagate Sansevieria leaf cuttings in water post its very informative. All details you describe in your blog post about leaf cuttings is very informative for me.
Awesome post. I’m curious, can you make multiple cuttings from one leaf? Iv tried this but always find the top roots fastest and the middle cuts seem to rot. I wasn’t sure if it’s possible or what’s going on. Also I have never seen the V cut before but I’m going to try that. How did you come to make that cut ?
Thank you in advance
Hello. I would like to ask if it is possible for a black gold sansevieria to grow a shoot that is not the same pattern. I’ve had this one-leaf black gold and when the shoot grew, it has the regular snake plant pattern instead. I hope someone can reply. Thanks!
This is so helpful. I will definitely give this a try.
Could you also give insights on propagating a cactus plant pls. Kind regards.
Hello! I am trying to propagate my snake plant in water but the ends in water keep getting mushy. Is this normal? I left the cut leaf out for 2 days to callus over. I put 2-3 cuttings in each glass with 1-2 inches of water. Im changing the water if it looks cloudy. Help!
Thank you………..that answers my question! Am off to give it all a try. Happy Spring…..soon!
I am excited to have come across this post! I have a few large plants and am ready to dive into propagating.
How cool is this!! Just what I have been looking for, thank you! Question: when cutting leaf of snake plant to propagate in water what becomes of the part of the original part of the plant left in the pot??
Appreciate your comments………..
How often do you change the water?
Can I cut a longer leaf into multiples or do they have to have the original point in order to grow roots?