How to Propagate Snake Plants (Essential Tips)

With serpent-like leaves and a carefree growth habit, snake plants are easy to love. Fortunately, it’s easy to propagate these symbolic plants so you can share them with your friends and family. We’re going to cover some of the most popular snake plant propagation methods as well as provide you with some helpful tips.

How to Propagate Snake Plants (Essential Tips)

How to Propagate Snake Plants – The Essentials

Propagating snake plants is easy to do at home. You may propagate snake plants by leaf cuttings, rhizome cuttings, or division. Successful propagation can take anywhere from a few days to multiple months, depending on what method you use.

Can You Propagate All Snake Plants?

Can You Propagate All Snake Plants?

Yes, it is possible to propagate all types of snake plants. This includes the popular mother-in-law’s tongue (Dracaena trifasciata) as well as the cylindrical snake plant (Dracaena angolensis).

While you can propagate small snake plants, larger plants offer more material to propagate new plants.

Key Considerations When Propagating a Snake Plant

Key Considerations When Propagating a Snake Plant

Level of Difficulty

Snake plants are easy to propagate, as long as you know what to do. You should also start with a healthy plant, as this will increase the likelihood of successful propagation.

Can Snake Plants Grow in Water and Soil?

One of the big debates in plant propagation is whether you should root cuttings in soil or water. The truth is that both methods can work, and it’s often a matter of personal preference.

If you place snake plant cuttings in water, you’ll be able to watch the roots form. It’s also easy to regularly change the water, so the cutting doesn’t develop a disease.

Placing cuttings in soil removes the steps of changing water and planting the rooted cuttings in soil. However, you have to keep the soil moisture just right.

If the soil is too wet, the cutting will rot. If the soil is too dry, the plant will not form roots. This is a key consideration when repotting snake plants as well.

In general, it’s easier and faster to propagate snake plants in water rather than soil. Under ideal growing conditions, you may even notice your snake plant producing flowers.

Can You Propagate Snake Plants From Just a Leaf?

Yes! It’s easy to propagate snake plants from a leaf.

However, keep in mind that you should start with a healthy leaf if you want to end up with a healthy plant.

Snake Plant Propagation Options & Techniques 

When it comes time to propagate your snake plant, you can choose from numerous options. All of the following are proper ways to propagate a snake plant, but you may find that some methods are easier than others.

Snake Plant Propagation Via Leaf Cutting in Water

Snake Plant Propagation Via Leaf Cutting in Water

One of the easiest ways to propagate snake plants is via leaf cutting. You can utilize this method if you’re starting with a large or small mother plant.

To propagate using this method, follow these steps.

  1. Use a clean and sharp knife or pair of scissors to cut a healthy snake plant leaf. It doesn’t matter where you cut the leaf, but cutting at the base leads to a larger cutting.
  2. Set the cuttings somewhere dry for a few days. This will allow the cut to form a callus.
  3. Place the cuttings in a glass container filled with water. The water should only cover the bottom inch or so of the cutting.
  4. Set the container somewhere warm that receives indirect light. Avoid any direct light.
  5. Change the water every two to three days.
  6. After a month or two, you should see roots beginning to form. Then, you will see small offsets, aka pups.
  7. Once the roots are an inch long, separate the pups from the cuttings. Plant the cuttings and the pups in well-draining potting soil.

Note: Some people recommend cutting leaves using a v-shape to increase the cut surface area.

Snake Plant Propagation Via Leaf Cutting in Soil

Snake Plant Propagation Via Leaf Cutting in Soil

Propagating snake plants in soil is much like propagating them in water. The major difference is that you skip placing the cuttings in water.

To propagate via leaf cuttings in soil, follow these steps.

  1. Select a healthy leaf. Use a sharp pair of scissors or shears to take a cutting that is at least two inches long.
  2. Place the cutting somewhere dry so the wound can callus over.
  3. Once a callus has formed, place the callused side of the cutting in a container filled with a well-draining potting mix. One half to one inch of the cutting should be under the soil.
  4. Place the container in a warm area with indirect light.
  5. Since it may take the cutting a few months to form roots, it’s important to keep the soil slightly moist. However, avoid saturated soil.

Propagation Via Division

Propagation Via Division

If you have a large snake plant on your hands, division is one of the best ways to propagate it. This method not only gives you new snake plants but also makes the large mother plant a bit more manageable.

  1. Remove the mother plant from its container and shake off excess soil. You’ll want to do this over a tarp or towel to contain the mess.
  2. Once you’ve removed the soil, you should see different leaf sections held together by rhizomes.
  3. At this point, identify how you would like to propagate your plant. You can separate your plant into as many sections as you’d like, as long as each section has a leaf and rhizome.
  4. Once you’ve identified your ideal divisions, use a sharp knife or pair of pruning shears to cut the rhizomes.
  5. Set the divisions in a dry place for a few days so they can scab over.
  6. After the cut rhizome has healed, plant the divisions in potting soil. Ta-da, instant new plants!

Propagation Via Rhizome

Propagation Via Rhizome

While you may not know it, snake plants have underground stems known as rhizomes. These rhizomes produce the snake plant leaves we know and love.

Propagating via rhizomes is a great option to propagate a large plant. To use this method, follow these steps:

  1. Remove your snake plant from its container. Shake off any excess dirt.
  2. At this point, you should see the rhizomes. These are the stem-like structures that slightly resemble ginger.
  3. Use a sharp knife to cut your rhizome into the desired number of pieces. Each piece will form a new snake plant. These rhizome sections do not need leaves.
  4. Set the rhizome cuttings somewhere dry for a few days. This will allow the cut edges to heal.
  5. After the cuttings are healed, place them in a container filled with a well-draining potting mix.
  6. Keep the soil slightly moist for the next few weeks. Eventually, you should see the rhizome pushing up new growth. In due course, you may even notice your snake plant producing flowers.

Common Snake Plant Propagation Problems, Questions, and Remedies: 

How Long Does it Take a Snake Plant to Root in Water?

While snake plant leaf cuttings will form roots in water, you’ll need to be patient. Leaves will take at least a month to form roots. However, it may be three or four months before you see roots.

The key to successful root formation is keeping the water clean. This means regular water changes as well as cleaning the glass vessel if it looks dirty.

Can a Snake Plant Live in Water Forever?

While these plants can live in water for a long time, you’ll need to perform regular water changes and keep the container clean. Planting your rooted snake plant in soil tends to be a better option.

How Long Does It Take Snake Plants to Propagate?

The time it takes to propagate a snake plant depends on the method you use.

If you propagate via leaf cuttings, you can expect cuttings to form roots in a few months. That means you’ll have to monitor your cutting before you can treat it as a regular plant.

If you propagate your snake plant via division, you have another plant almost instantly. While you should allow any cuts to callus over before planting, this process only takes a few days.

Are Snake Plants Hard to Propagate?

Fortunately, snake plants are quite easy to propagate. And since you can choose from a variety of propagation methods, you can find one that works for you.

While these plants are easy to propagate, you’ll need a bit of patience if you’re propagating by leaf cutting.

Can you grow a snake plant from a broken leaf?

Yes, as long as the leaf is healthy and big enough.

If you’ve found yourself with a broken snake plant leaf, give the damaged end a fresh, clean cut. Next, allow this to callus over.

From this point, you can treat the leaf just like any other leaf-cutting.

Can a snake plant grow from one leaf?

Yes, as long as you treat the leaf properly. Remember that a snake plant leaf will take at least a month to form roots.

Why is my snake plant not rooting?

Snake plants take a long time to form roots. You can expect to wait anywhere from one to four months before you see roots.

Remember to change the water frequently to avoid the buildup of diseases. You should also keep your cutting in a warm area with indirect light.

How to Propagate Snake Plants – The Final Word

Now that you know how to propagate these lovely plants, it’s time to test out the methods. Once you find a propagation method you love, it will be easy to share your snake plants with friends.

For more, see our in-depth guide on whether snake plants are pet friendly.

Snake Plant Care at Home:

For everything you need to know about growing and caring for Snake Plants at home, see our essential guides to:

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