With their upright, sword-shaped leaves and nearly indestructible nature, snake plants are extremely popular houseplants. Propagating snake plants is an easy and effective way to make more of these fantastic plants for free. Here’s a step-by-step guide to propagating snake plants.
Gather Snake Plant Cuttings
Start by taking cuttings from a mature, healthy mother plant that is at least 2 years old. Look for shoots coming up next to the main plant, known as pups or offsets, which are perfect for propagation.
Using clean scissors or garden shears, cut the pup off as close to the main plant’s base as possible. Try to keep as much of the attached root system intact as you can. This gives the cutting the best chance to root successfully.
Let Cut Ends Callus
After removing the pup, place the cutting on a dry surface out of direct sun and allow the cut end to callus over for 1-2 days. This helps prevent rotting after you put the cutting in soil or water to root.
You can dust the cut surface with a rooting hormone powder to spur root growth, but this is optional. Snake plants root fairly easily without it.
Root in Water or Soil
Snake plants can be propagated by rooting the cuttings in either water or a light soil mix. Water propagation is simpler and prevents soil-borne diseases. But soil rooting has a slightly better success rate.
Fill a small container with room temperature water. Use clean, filtered or distilled water.
Put the cutting in the water so the cut end sits just above the waterline.
Place in indirect sunlight. Change water weekly.
Roots will emerge from the cut end in 2-6 weeks. Plant in soil once roots are 1-2 inches long.
Use a sterile, well-draining soil mix. Rooting hormone can help but is optional.
Insert the cutting in the soil with the cut end just below the surface.
Water gently to settle the soil without saturating it.
New roots should develop in 4-8 weeks. Keep soil barely moist, not soggy.
Pot Up the Propagated Plant
Once the cutting has developed a robust root system about 2 inches long it can be repotted into a container with fresh potting mix.
Gently remove the propagated baby snake plant from the water or soil it has been rooting in. Rinse off any debris.
Repot into a small container using a standard well-draining houseplant soil mixed with added perlite for drainage. Firm the soil gently around the roots and water thoroughly after potting.
Place in a sunny location but avoid direct hot sunlight while the plant establishes. In a few weeks, it will resume active growth and can be treated like an adult snake plant.
Care for Propagated Snake Plants
With the right care, propagated snake plants thrive. Provide yours with:
- Bright, indirect light
- Well-draining porous soil
- Infrequent but deep watering; allow soil to dry between
- Temperatures between 65-80°F
- Dilute liquid fertilizer every 2-3 months during growing season
- Repotting every 2-3 years into slightly larger containers
- Separation of clustered pups to allow room for growth
Snake plants require minimal care when given suitable conditions. The propagated plants are just as tough and easy to grow as the original mother plant.
Tips for Snake Plant Propagation Success
Follow these tips to ensure your snake plant cuttings root successfully:
- Use a sharp, clean knife or shears to prevent damage and disease transmission.
- Change water frequently if using water propagation method.
- Apply rooting hormone to the cut end to stimulate growth (optional).
- Keep newly propagated plants slightly shaded until established.
- Don’t over water – snake plants are prone to rot if overwatered.
- Allow at least 2-3 months for a cutting to form mature roots before repotting.
- Propagate in spring or summer when the plant is actively growing for best results.
The simple process of rooting snake plant cuttings allows you to easily multiply your plant collection. Propagating snake plants is fun, free, and effective!