A Simple Guide for Snake Plant Propagation

  • How to propagate snake plant? 
  • What are all the possible propagation methods? 
  • Which one should you choose? 

These are the most frequently asked questions about snake plant propagation I often come across. 

The snake plant, Sansevieria trifasciata, or notoriously known by its common name Mother-in-law’s tongue, is the most tolerant and the least maintenance-seeking plant there is.

snake plant propagation in watersnake plant propagation in water

This evergreen perennial is one of my absolute favorites due to its sword-like, streaked leaves which rise up to 2’ feet and form a handsome, upright, and showy display. 

These beautiful houseplants are everything you could ask for: they are versatile, drought-tolerant, low light-tolerant, purify the air for you, and thrive without fertilizer.

Since everyone, including forgetful owners, amateur gardeners, enthusiasts, botanists, and gardening experts, love these low-maintenance plants for their potential as indoor and outdoor plants, an effective guide for snake plant propagation would be quite valuable and writing one would be worth it!


An easy-growing plant like the Bowstring hemp plant requires a simple yet effective propagation guide. 

Thus, I am going to present step-by-step instructions for propagating the snake plant in 2 different ways: by Leaf Cuttings and by Rhizomes.

Before delving into the propagation methods, there are a few things that you must keep in mind.

Sansevieria plants might not bother you much with their lighting and humidity needs, but they are a bit particular when it comes to watering.  

Like almost every other cacti succulent, when it comes to water, snake plants believe “too much of a good thing is harmful”. 

Watering the plant excessively can lead to root rot and eventually kill the plant. 

However, propagating a snake plant in the water is a promising option. 

Snake plant cuttings are effective, but if you wish to grow a snake plant faster, the best way is to use rhizomes. 

The older the snake plant, the more the rhizomes it produces.

Choose any of the snake plant propagation methods detailed below and welcome new growth.

Ways to DIY Propagate Snake Plants

#1 – Propagation by Leaf Cuttings

As the name suggests, the first method uses leaf cuttings from one of your snake plants. 

Make sure you choose a piece from a healthy snake plant with a solid leaf color.

Remember this method is recommended for people with patience!

Things You Need

  • A pot with slightly moist, well-draining soil or a tall container with water (based on the variation you choose to use)
  • A fully grown Sansevieria plant
  • A sharp knife
  • A pair of gloves

What to Do

Choose a healthy leaf from the mother plant and use a clean, sharp knife or sheaths to cut a section. 

There are two things you must ensure while doing so.

The knife should be very clean and sharp and you should cut in the direction in which the leaf has been growing.

It is important to root the correct end of the leaf cutting as this is what determines whether your plant will grow or not. 

If you cut a bigger piece and then divided it further, you must remember the end which was facing the roots.

Let the leaf cuttings rest for a couple of days prior to planting them so the cuts would heal properly. 

Once the cuttings are ready for rooting, choose any one of the following variations.

Variation 1: Rooting in Water

Take the tall container or vase and place the leaf in it. 

The cut-end of the leaf should face downwards. 

Fill it with water until one-quarter of the leaf is immersed in it. 

Place this container in part-shade, preferably at a place with indirect light. 

Keep changing the water every couple of days.

It could take a while but as soon as the roots of the new growth begin to sprout, plant the snake plant cutting in the pot with slightly moist soil.

Variation 2: Rooting in Soil

In this variation, you have to plant the leaf cuttings directly to the planting pot with soil. 

Insert the cut-end of the lead into slightly moist, well-draining soil. 

The plant can take about 2 to 4 weeks to sprout roots and then another month or so to produce young new leaves.

#2 – Propagation by Rhizomes

Rhizomes, also known as root stalks, are the thick, underground parts of a plant with the nodes which produce roots and shoots. 

It is white in color. 

To propagate a snake plant, you need a mother plant with rhizomes.

This method of snake plant propagation is faster and easier than the first one. 

It could be highly rewarding if you are all set to get your hands a bit dirty!

Things You Need

  • At least 2 pots with fresh potting mix (number of pots depends on the number of sections you make)
  • A fully grown Sansevieria plant
  • A sharp knife
  • A pair of gloves

What to Do

Extract the rhizomes by digging up the mother plant from the soil and then gently cutting through and dividing them along with the roots. 

Make sure the knife or shears are clean and sharp or you’ll end up harming the healthy plant.

Usually, the plant is divided into two parts only, but if your mother plant is old and has numerous rhizomes, make more sections.

Once the sections are ready, let the rhizomes callous for a couple of days and then replant them into separate pots to get your mother in law tongue plant. 

As an ideal practice, place three or more rhizomes attached to at least one healthy leaf for the new plant to grow.

When repotting, repot each new section in a new pot with fresh potting soil.

Snake Plant Uses

Now you know what to do, go on and grow some baby Sansevierias. 

Use them as ornamental houseplants or grow them in your garden. 

Or send them as a gift to your friends and loved ones. 

For snake plant care, remember to refrain from overwatering as too much water can kill your baby plants.

2 thoughts on “A Simple Guide for Snake Plant Propagation”

  1. I really like your writing style, superb information, thanks for putting up :D. “God save me from my friends. I can protect myself from my enemies.” by Claude Louis Hector de Villars.

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