If you want a fun plant project to do, this may just be the one for you. Sansevieria care is always in the top 3 most popular posts on our website, so I know you love them too. This is all about propagating Snake Plants by leaf cuttings in soil including when, how, what you need, the time it takes, and care.
I propagate Snake Plants in 2 ways: by division and by leaf cuttings. Division is a fast method of propagation. Snake Plants like to grow slightly tight in their pots so I leave mine be for long periods of time before dividing.
I propagate by leaf cuttings more often. This method takes time but it isn’t hard to do. No worries though, once the leaf cuttings have been planted, they’re on the way and there’s not much to do.
Other names for Snake Plant: Sansevieria (this is the genus), Mother in Law’s Tongue, Viper’s Bowstring Hemp.
The Snake Plant you see me propagating here is a Sansevieria trifasciata.
More on Snake Plants
- Snake Plant Houseplant Care
- Snake Plant Care Guide (a round up of our posts)
- Snake Plant Repotting
- Snake Plant Leaves Falling Over
The propagation process over 8 months time. Watch the video below!
Reasons for propagating Snake Plants
The taller growing Snake plants have leaves that may pinch at the base over time. This is the most common reason I propagate Snake Plants by leaf cuttings. Or, you may simply want more Snake Plants!
When to prune & propagate
Spring and summer are the best time to propagate indoor plants. If you live in a climate with temperate winters like me (Tucson, AZ), then early fall is fine too.
If for some reason you have to propagate your Snake Plant in winter, no worries. Just know it’s not the optimum time. For the most part, I leave my houseplants be in the colder months.
What you’ll need
- pruning tool – snips, pruners, or scissors
- small pot with at least one drainage hole
- a light mix
What soil mix to use
The best soil for Snake Plant propagation is light and well-aerated mix. You want the roots to easily form and grow and the excess water to drain out.
Here’s the DIY succulent and cactus mix recipe I have used for over 2 years for the propagation in soil method. It’s light and chunky so those baby roots can easily grow. You can also use a potting soil formulated for houseplants with pumice, perlite, coco chips, etc added in to lighten it.
Important to know
I used my Fiskar Nips in the video because my Felcos were in the garage. Very sharp scissors or a sharp knife would work too.
Where to cut Snake Plant leaves
Make sure you use a healthy leaf or leaves. How many leaves you prune and propagate is up to you. I propagated 2 fasciata leaf cuttings this go round and currently have 4 Laurentii leaves in the process of propagating.
I cut them down to the base (an inch or 2 above the soil line) because it looks better that way. When that portion dies over time, I pull or cut it out.
I make clean cuts straight across the leaf by the way.
What size leaf cuttings
The size is up to you. You can propagate the whole leaf or sections of the leaf.
I propagate the whole leaf but usually cut it down a bit more after making the initial cut. If you choose to cut and propagate sections of the leaf, it’s important to plant the part of the leaf that’s facing down in the soil. Otherwise, if you plant the part of the leaf that was facing towards the tip in the soil, it won’t root.
Let the leaf heal off
Snake Plant leaves are slightly fleshy because they store water. Just like other succulents, it’s best to let the ends heal off (exposing to air, just like we do with a wound) before planting to prevent any chance of rotting out.
I let my Snake Plant leaves heal off for a couple of days here in Tucson (the Arizona desert). When I lived in Santa Barbara (coastal California), it was up to 10 days.
Just be sure to keep them out of direct sunlight during this time.
Steps to take when propagating Snake Plant leaf cuttings
Gather your materials.
Fill the pot to almost full with the mix. Snake Plants don’t need a big pot for propagation.
Position the leaves in the mix pressing them slightly into the mix. I don’t plant the leaves too deep – anywhere from 1-3″ down. You can see this in the 2nd half of the video.
Fill in with the mix.
If a single leaf is too tall or too heavy, I stake it.
Where to put the cuttings
Put them in a bright spot. My leaf cuttings rooted in the kitchen near but not in a south-facing window. They received lots of bright indirect light.
If in too much direct sunlight, they’ll burn. If not receiving enough light, the foliage will become stunted and the Snake Plant cuttings will be weaker.
How to maintain the cuttings
It’s easy. I’ll tell you how I maintained mine in the small terra cotta pot and you can adjust for yours for size, soil, and growing conditions.
I don’t water them for 3-7 days after the initial planting so they can settle in dry. After that time of settling in has passed, I water them thoroughly.
In the cooler months, I watered them every 2-3 weeks. In the warm months, it was every week.
Snake Plants can go dry. When it comes to leaf cuttings, I try not to let them dry out. Conversely, don’t keep them too wet or they could rot out. This is where the light soil mix comes into play when propagating Snake Plants.
When new growth appears
The 1st baby in this pot appeared after approximately 3 months. The others followed in the next couple of months. I divided them into plants in early November and planted them in with all the other cuttings and the mother plant.
In case you’re wondering, the leaves that you propagate don’t grow, they stay as-is. The Snake Plant rhizomes are what produce all the new growth and send up the Snake Plants babies. You see more and more new growth as the plant ages.
In short, rhizomes are stems that grow underground. As they grow and spread, babies are produced and the plant grows and spreads. They can cause a Snake Plant to break its pot if left in for a long period of time.
What to do once they’ve rooted & new plants have grown
You have a few choices. Let them be as-is for a while, plant them into a bigger pot (1 size up) if need be, or plant them in with another Snake Plant. The latter is what I did.
I watered both the bigger plant and the baby plant 3 days before I planted them together. After a week or so has passed, I resume the usual Snake Plant care.
Snake Plant Propagation FAQs
I’ve never done it this way, always by division or soil. There are many online sources that show the water method.
Yes, you see it in this post and video. This is my preferred method along with division.
You propagate in soil with leaf cuttings or by dividing the plant.
I always let the ends heal off before planting.
I say it’s a matter of preference. I root most of my houseplants in water but prefer the potting mix method for succulents including Snake Plants.
A common reason is that you’ve planted the wrong end of the leaf. The process of rooting a Snake Plant leaf takes time, so be patient. It doesn’t happen fast!
Yes. Babies, or new shoots, grow off the underground rhizomes as they spread.
You can either leave it be in the pot it’s in, or cut it off and start a new plant. The offshoots are also called babies or pups.
It depends on the method. If you divide a Snake Plant, that’s the fastest because you’ll get 2 or 3 plants on the spot. Propagating Snake Plants, by leaf cuttings either in soil or water, takes longer. New plants will appear but it takes months.
I cut and propagated my Snake Plant leaves at the end of February and the 1st baby poked up in mid-June.
Some Of Our General Houseplant Guides For Your Reference:
- Guide To Watering Indoor Plants
- Beginner’s Guide To Repotting Plants
- 3 Ways To Successfully Fertilize Indoor Plants
- How to Clean Houseplants
- Winter Houseplant Care Guide
- Plant Humidity: How I Increase Humidity For Houseplants
- Buying Houseplants: 14 Tips For Indoor Gardening Newbies
- 11 Pet-Friendly Houseplants
Propagating Sansevierias this way is easy so give it a go. Be patient, those new Snake Plants will eventually appear!
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