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How To Propagate Snake Plant? (A Step-by-Step Guide+Tips)

Snake plants are impossible to fail with and are recommended for all beginners. Whether you want to share these fantastic plants with your friends or have some more for your home, you can propagate them with ease.

We will find different types of snake plants. However, the propagation technique and the care that is required for the plant remains the same.

Being a succulent, this plant has different needs than regular tropical plants. One of the most crucial things is the watering of the plant. The snake plant can go days without water, but overwatering can be fatal for them. However, we should not neglect the plant.

The plant needs to be watered every 14-15 days and must be kept in a well-lit place. With snake plants, the propagation can be carried out from an entire leaf, or we can choose to divide the leaf into halves and propagate them.

Let us understand the propagation technique of this beautiful succulent plant in more detail.


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Best time to propagate snake plant

The snake plants are propagated through the creeping rhizome. Rhizome means that the plant has stems that grow the roots and shoots through its nodes.

The best time for propagating the snake plant is during the spring. Summer and fall are also fine for the propagation of this plant. Please avoid winters for the propagation.

During fall, we should avoid keeping the plant outside in the garden as the plant takes excess water and is a succulent, the plant may rot. Hence, keep it indoors.

In this guide, the propagation technique shared applies to all the varieties of the Snake plant.

The snake plants are tolerant of low light and water conditions and are also tolerant to extreme light conditions. However, the water condition should be made right.

If we overwater the snake plants, the plant might develop a root rot as these plants are succulent.

We also need to remember never to propagate an unhealthy plant as these might only create issues later on. Always try to revive the plant first and then choose to propagate.

Supplies required for propagating snake plant

We will get into the snake propagation process in detail. Before we start, I will list out all the items that will be required during the process of propagation.  

  • A pair of clean scissors/pruners/scissors
  • Disinfectant or rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls
  • Water that will be required during the procedure
  • A container to keep the leaves
  • Garden soil (standard potting soil) and Cactus Soil
  • Some pots for the propagation
  • Vermicompost

Presently, we have the rundown of things that are required for the cycle.

I want to discuss about a portion of the things mentioned above, and for the rest, we will see it in the propagation process.

There is one golden rule of propagation, which all of our readers must remember by now. Let us recall the same for our new users.

The initial three things on the rundown ought to be typical for all the pruning and the propagation process.

The items were a couple of scissors/scissors/pruners, disinfectants, and cotton balls. You may inquire as to why the disinfectant?

The straightforward response to this inquiry is that we don’t need any diseases or pests to be moved from the mother plant to our new plants or any illnesses to be moved from the scissors to the mother plant.

To keep away from the odds of exchanging ailments, we will first clean everything. So, apply the disinfectant on the cotton balls and clean the pruners with the rubbing alcohol.

We will understand the use of the rest of the items while following the propagation method.



Propagating snake plant

The snake plants are straightforward to propagate and can be propagated in four of the following ways:

  1. Cutting from the rhizome
  2. Cutting from the whole leaf
  3. Growing from the cutting of the leaves
  4. Propagating the Snake Plant by division    

Let us move to the propagation technique, and we will get into the details of each of these techniques.

Cutting from the rhizome

To understand this process, we must first understand what rhizomes are in the snake plant. The rhizome is the stem in plants that grows the roots and shoots from the node.

In the case of the snake plant, if we pull out a leaf, we will notice that roots are growing from the end of the node.

So, for this process, we will need to take the rhizome out from the soil and choose to propagate.

But before we start propagating our snake plant, we need to remember the golden rule, which is cleaning our clippers and other tools.

Apply some disinfectant on the pruners using the cotton ball and clean the pruners well.

This avoids the chances of transferring any diseases or pests from the mother plant to the new plant that we choose to grow.

Else there might be another possibility that the pruners are infected with diseases and bacteria that might get transferred to the mother plant.

Once the pruners are disinfected, take the pruners/clippers and dig into the soil to cut the plant from the rhizome.

For the snake plant, the rhizome will have a root at the end, and this rhizome cutting will be used for the propagation into a new plant.

We will be able to identify the roots that grow from the node. The node will be white, and we can see multiple roots oozing out from the nodes.

Remember, the plant is very delicate in case of root rot, so check for the same before clipping.

Keep aside two such rhizome cuttings for the propagation process.

Take two such pots for the process as we have two rhizome cuttings. We need to fill the pots with a mixture of three parts of soil and one part of vermicompost. We can also use half part potting soil and half part of cactus soil as well. (Learn all about mixing soil for snake plant from our in-depth guide)

Once the pot is half-filled with soil, keep the rhizome cutting and add the rest of the soil to the pot. Give a slight tap and press gently.

Water the plant and make sure that the pot has a good drainage system to oozed out of the pot.

The placement of the plant is crucial. These succulents love bright to medium light but not direct sunlight. So, keep it indoors or under shade if kept outside.

The snake plant is prone to root rot as it is a common nature of the succulents. Hence, look out for the watering regime and only water if necessary. If overwatered, the roots of these plants might develop root rot.

The soil needs to be slightly moist but not wet. Once these conditions are met, there is no stopping the snake plant.

This cutting will take around two months to grow completely. Check the watering conditions and, if possible, create a water regime so that the plant is not overwatered.

We highly recommend using a moisture meter for these plants to avoid overwatering issues.

Cutting from the whole leaf

As discussed earlier, these succulents are very easy to grow and propagate. The snake plant can also be propagated from the cutting of the whole leaves.

All we need for the cutting of the leaves is the white portion below the leaf. We need not cut from the rhizome. Just take the clean pruners and cut the leaf from the bottom.

Cut around two or three leaves for the process as all of the leaves might not survive during the process.

We have two options once we have the whole leaves. Either we can take the whole leaves and keep them in a container filled with water, or we can choose to pot the whole leaves in soil.

It is your choice of how you want to do it. If you are impatient, I suggest keeping the whole leaf in the water for a couple of weeks until it develops roots, and then we can transfer.

For keeping the leaf in water, first, take a container and fill it with water. Keep the leaf cuttings and place them inside.

After 2-3 weeks, we will see little roots developing from the bottom of the leaves. As mentioned earlier, these plants are prone to root rot, so if there is any root rot, just snip off the end of the leaf with root rot.

Keep in mind to change the water every week, as the container might form algae build up. Also, plants suck up nutrients from the water, so changing water provides ample nutrients.

Once the roots have been developed on the leaf cuttings, remove the leaves from the water container, and plant it into the soil.

If we want, we can directly keep the leaf cuttings into the soil without keeping them in water first. Either way, the whole leaf cutting will grow to form a new Snake plant.

These plants are tolerable to extreme temperatures and climate conditions. For potting the whole leaf cutting into soil, we will follow the same process that was used in rhizome plantation.

Take a pot, fill it with a mixture of garden soil and cactus soil in a 50:50 ratio, or we can take three parts of potting soil and one part of vermicompost for the process.

Take the whole leaf and plant it into the pot. Taking multiple leaves will help us plant multiple plants as all the leaves might not survive the process.

After the leaves are planted into their respective pots, water them to the brim for the first time and from the next water wisely.

During the summer, water these plants once a week, and during winters, they should go for a month without water.

Growing from the cutting of the leaves

For this process of propagation, we will need the cutting of the leaves. To start, take your disinfected pruners/scissors and cut around two leaves from the mother snake plant.

This process is a relatively simple way of propagation and requires a simple technique of marking the leaves.

We will need to cut about 3 inches from a single leaf. By doing this, we will have about 4-5 pieces of the leaf cuttings.

We were talking about a simple technique, and that technique is the marking of the leaves. Once we cut the leaves, we will need to mark the upper portion of the leaf cuttings.

The reason behind the marking is that we will need to plant the cuttings in the same manner, that being, the upper should be on the upper side and the lower on the lower side.

Marking the leaf cuttings with a pen marker should be sufficient so that we do not mix up with the leaf-cutting portions.

Now, after we are through with the cuttings, we have two options. We can either keep the cuttings in the water first and then we can transfer the cuttings to the soil or directly transfer the cuttings into soil.

It is totally at your discretion which process you want to opt for.

If you are impatient, I would suggest keeping the cuttings in water for about two weeks until we see new roots arising from the cuttings.

We might face difficulties while keeping the cuttings in water, as the cutting might not stand still on the water.

For this, we can use a small rope or rubber bands to wrap the container and make compartments on the container so that the leaves standstill.

If we choose to keep the cuttings in water first, then make sure to change the water frequently.

The snake plant is succulent and is prone to root rot, and hence some leaf cuttings might develop root rot. So, if you see any, just clip off the leaf clippings from the bottom.

If we choose to develop the plant in soil, we can directly plant the upper portion of the leaf into the soil. The mix should remain the same as above.

We can use 3 portions of garden potting soil and one portion of vermicompost, or we can use garden soil and cactus soil in a ratio of 50:50.

Plant the upper portion of the leaf cuttings into the soil. Add some water into the pot.

This process will take around 2-3 months to grow. We need not add any fertilizer. Just plain water will be sufficient.

Make sure that we do not overwater the plant as the cuttings might develop root rot. Once the plant has developed roots, it will be ready for a repot.

We will repot the plant using the same process above. Remember that the snake plants love to be pot bound. Choose the size of the pot accordingly.


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Propagating the Snake Plant by division 

The snake plant can be propagated in another way, which is by the division of the root ball. Yes, that’s correct.

We can separate the root ball from the pot and divide the root ball into halves.

Let us check how we can achieve this.

For propagating the snake plant by division, we will need to remove the root ball gently from the pot.

Now check if the plant is rootbound or needs to be developed completely.
If your snake plant is large, then you can divide the root ball into many halves. Else we can choose to divide the root ball into two halves.

But is the snake plant ready?

You will need to make sure that there are ample roots underneath each half that you plan to separate.

There should be rhizomes and roots available. Only then will the snake plant thrive.

Now, we can plant the different cuttings of the root ball into news pots. Use garden soil and a mixture of succulent soil or cactus soil. We can also add some compost to the mixture.

This way, we can quickly multiply the Snake plants. However, make sure to cut the root ball using disinfected shears.

The only thing needed now is a bit of attention, care, and a bit of watering. Do not overwater the snake plants.

By following these simple processes, it will help you multiply the snake plants. For any queries, feel free to contact us. Happy propagating!


Source: The University of Arkansas Division of AgricultureUniversity of Minnesota, Snake plant profile.