If you can’t satiate your snake plant desire with one or two plants, and you are a do-it-yourselfer, then grab your garden scissors, a vase of water, and a soil-filled planter because we are going to make many sansevierias from one plant! Of course, you will have to sacrifice a snake plant in this process, or at least a few of its leaves, but your plant’s offering will (fingers crossed) generate a multitude of new snake plants!
There are four ways to propagate your snake plants: Leaf cuttings in water, leaf cuttings in potting soil, root division, and from seed. You can propagate every type of snake plant using these methods. Let’s begin with a list of items you will need to propagate your snake plants!
- Snake plant(s) of your choice. Make sure you choose a healthy plant or healthy leaves!
- Garden sheers, pruners, or sharp knives. Sterilize your cutting tool with alcohol beforehand.
- A water-tight vessel (for water propagating)
- A plant pot(s) or planter(s) with drainage holes
- Potting soil
- Snake plant seeds (for the seed method)
- Slow-release fertilizer or organic compost to mix into the potting soil
- Glass dome to cover your pot/vase to create a mini greenhouse to increase humidity
- Tarp, towel, or drop cloth
Propagating in Water
The easiest and possibly prettiest method of propagating your snake plants is placing leaf cuttings into a vase filled with fresh water! Not only will your snake plants eventually grow roots, but the foliage arrangement will look gorgeous during the process!
- Remove the leaves from the snake plant from about ½ “ above the soil line. (take as many cuttings as you can as some of the cuttings may not survive.)
- Make a clean cut at the widest part of the leaf.
- Place the cuttings in a vase filled with room temperature water.
- Replace the water weekly with fresh water to help prevent the cuttings from rotting and provide oxygen to the leaves.
- Keep the cuttings in a room with bright indirect light.
- It may take up to 6 weeks before you see any root development if the temperature is below 65°F and the light levels are low.
- Increase the humidity by placing a glass dome over the vase to help speed up root development.
- Plant the rooted cuttings into a pot or planter once the roots have grown to 1-2” long. (you can plant them all in one pot or plant each cutting in individual pots!)
- Alternatively, you can keep your rooted cuttings in water for a long time, but add a drop of liquid fertilizer in the water once a week to provide nutrition to your new snake plants!
Propagating in Soil
Soil propagating is almost as easy as water propagating, but not as aesthetically pleasing at first! This method works well during the spring and summer as the roots will develop faster than in the cold, dark winter months.
- Cut the leaves into 1-2” sections (depending on the type and size plant you choose)
- Mark the bottoms of each cutting as you will be planting the bottom side into the soil.
- You can let the cuts become callous over a few days before you plant them into soil, but it is not a critical step.
- Fill up a planter with fresh potting soil (add slow-release fertilizer), water it, and push the cuttings into the soil until they stand up on their own.
- Place the pot in bright indirect light.
- Water the soil lightly after it becomes dry. (water frequently, but do not soak the soil as this can cause the cuttings to rot)
- It may take months to see any new foliage, but warm temperatures, bright indirect light, and high humidity levels will help the roots and foliage grow faster!
Propagating by Root Division
This is a very fast way to propagate your overgrown and root-bound snake plants, but it is also the messiest method! The best time to divide your snake plants is in the spring and early summer. This will give the roots plenty of time to grow and settle in their new pots!
- Remove the sansevieria from the pot and lay it on a tarp, towel, or drop cloth.
- Take a sharp cutting tool (sterilize it with alcohol), and slice down the middle of the root ball.
- You can cut as many sections as possible, but ensure you have enough healthy roots to support the foliage.
- Add potting soil mixed with slow-release fertilizer into planters with drainage holes.
- Plant each section into its pot to cover the roots and lightly pack down the soil to support the weight of the plant.
Propagating from Seed
This method is for the very patient gardener and not a reliable way to propagate the true species you collected or purchased the seeds from. That said, why the heck not try it!
- Harvest or purchase the seeds
- Germinate them! Place the seeds and a wet piece of towel in a jelly jar, and close the lid. Give the seeds plenty of indirect light to help the seeds germinate. It may take a day or two before they have sprouted little roots.
- Fill a pot with drainage holes with fresh potting soil mixed with a slow-release fertilizer.
- Gently place the seeds on the soil. You may need to push the germinated seeds just under the soil line.
- Place the pot in bright indirect light.
- Water the soil lightly after it becomes dry. (water frequently, but do not soak the soil as this can cause the seeds to rot)
- Place a clear glass dome over the pot to increase the humidity.
- It may take a month to see any growth, but warm temperatures of 75°F+, bright indirect light, and high humidity levels will help the roots and foliage grow faster!
Each of these methods will create new, gorgeous snake plants for you to enjoy, or to pass on to your friends and family! Have fun with your plants!