propagate snake plants

Snake plants are beautiful indoor houseplants and are generally easy to keep. There are different varieties though. If you want to add more snake plants to your home or gift one to someone, why not propagate your snake plants?

While there are many ways to propagate snake plants, propagating in water is often the easiest way. 

This is how to propagate snake plants in water:

1. Gather All The Necessary Equipment

Before you can start the process of propagating a new snake plant, you must first gather all the equipment needed. Fortunately, you probably already have everything you need to propagate a snake plant in water. Here is what you will need:

  • A healthy established snake plant
  • Clean cutting sheers or scissors
  • A flat tray for drying the leaves
  • A container to propagate the snake plant in
  • Clean water

All the equipment you use when cutting and propagating a snake plant must be clean. If the equipment isn’t clean, it may lead to the plants getting sick or diseased. You can start the propagating process when you have all your equipment gathered. 

propagate snake plants

2. Cut The Leaves Off An Established Plant 

When propagating a snake plant, it’s essential to use the leaves of a well-established and healthy plant. Select leaves that are at least 6 inches long and aren’t too old. The longer the leaves, the better the chances of the propagation working. 

It’s important to know that propagating it isn’t the best way to replicate a snake plant’s unique colors or patterns. More often than not, propagated snake plants will create solid green leaves, and the mutation is lost during the propagating process. 

If you want to replicate leaf mutations, the best way to multiply the snake plant is by division. However, if you have an ordinary snake plant, propagating it with water is the perfect way to increase your plants. 

When you have selected the leaves, you want to use, cut them off at the base of the plant using sharp, clean cutting shears or scissors. Make a straight cut across the leaf’s base, taking care not to tear it if possible. While you can remove more than one leaf from a snake plant, don’t over-prune it to prevent it from going into shock or getting sick. 

propagate snake plants

3. Make A V-Cut At The Base Of Each Leaf

If you have all the leaves you want to propagate, you can make a V-shaped cut in the middle of the leaf’s base. Then, cut a triangle out of the base of the leaf to increase the roots that form when propagated. It also helps to lift the leaves out of the water so they don’t drown. 

Once you have made the v-cuts in each leaf, lay the leaves on a flat tray and place them in a dry, cool place to dry out for two to five days. Drying the leaves out will help prevent the cut ends from starting to rot when you place them in water. Don’t expose the leaves to direct sunlight or pesticides or chemicals while drying out.

Monitor the leaves to ensure they don’t dry out too much. Depending on your home’s humidity and temperature, the leaves will be ready for propagation in about 2 to 5 days after cutting them. You can propagate your snake plant leaves when the V-shaped cut is no longer wet. 

propagate snake plants

4. Put The Leaves In A Container With Water

You can pour a few inches of water into a mason jar or other container when your leaves are dry. A mason jar works well because it keeps the leaves upright. Ensure the container is clean and free of chemicals or soap suds. You can use any water, but purified water works best for propagating plants because there are fewer chemicals and hard minerals in it.

Only fill the jar with enough water to cover the entire V-shaped cut in the leaf. Then, place your leaves in the container and ensure they have the correct amount of water. Place the jars in a sunny room with indirect light. Don’t place the mason jars in front of an air conditioner or draft, as this can cause the leaves to dry out and may prohibit them from propagating.

Check on your leaves regularly to ensure they are still doing well, and remove any leaves as soon as you notice that they are wilting or the bottoms are starting to rot. However, with the correct care, the leaves shouldn’t cause any problems and will eventually produce roots. 

propagate snake plants

5. Change The Water Out Every 2 To Three Days

While you wait for your snake plant leaves to sprout roots, it’s essential to keep the water clean and fresh. This means changing out the snake plant’s water every two or three days. Pour out the water and add new water to the mason jar or container, reaching the same level as the previous water. 

Once a week, take the leaves out of the jar and give the jar a thorough cleaning with warm water and mild detergent to remove any bacteria or sludge buildup. Rinse the jar well to remove soap suds and let it air dry before adding clean water and the leaves. 

Use purified or distilled water where possible to prevent the leaves from going into shock from the minerals, and ensure you don’t expose the leaves to any pesticides or chemicals while they are propagating. 

6. Wait For Roots And Pups To Appear

The final thing to do when propagating your snake plant in water is to wait for roots and pups to appear. You should notice tiny roots forming at the base of the leaf within a few weeks. Then, in about two to three months, the plant will start making pups, at which time you can consider replanting it. 

Suppose you don’t see any roots forming within a month after propagating the snake plant. In that case, it may be because of your home’s temperature or water conditions. Move the plant to a warmer room with more indirect sunlight, and ensure the containers aren’t in a drafty area. 

If you’re using tap water to propagate the snake plant in and notice no roots forming, try switching to filtered water, as the water may be too hard for the new roots. Also, don’t add liquid fertilizer to the water while propagating the plant; this can also burn the new roots and pups. You should have a new snake plant within three months if all goes well. 

propagate snake plants

Frequently Asked Questions

Suppose you’re new to propagating snake plants in water. In that case, it’s only natural that you will have many more questions about the process. To help you understand what propagating snake plants means, we’ve answered some of the most frequently asked questions below.

What Should You Do After Your Snake Plant Propagates?

When your snake plant leaves have sprouted roots and pups, and the pups are strong and big enough, you can replant the snake plant into a pot with potting soil. Potting soil or cactus soil works perfectly well for snake plants.

Place the new snake plant in a sunny area of the home where it gets sufficient indirect sunlight, and water it once a week or when the soil is completely dry.

Now that you have a new snake plant, you can move it to another room in the house or gift it to a friend. Once replanted, follow the same steps for watering and fertilizing as you do with your established snake plants. 

Is It Easy To Propagate A Snake Plant In Water?

Propagating a snake plant in water is easy, and you should have great success if you follow all the above steps. While snake plants take longer to propagate in water, you can monitor their root growth more carefully to ensure they are healthy.

As you can see, propagating a snake plant is easy, and you don’t need a lot of houseplant knowledge to successfully propagate a snake plant in water. Ensure that the water and temperature conditions are met (snake plants prefer temperatures between 65°F and 90°F) to ensure your snake plants propagate successfully in water. 

What Is The Best Way To Propagate A Snake Plant?

There are five ways to propagate a snake plant: division, water propagation, soil propagation, propagating the leaves, and propagating the rhizomes. All these methods are excellent for propagating snake plants, depending on how fast you want them to propagate and your expectations. 

As mentioned, if you want your new snake plants to have the same leaf characteristics as the mother plant, division is the best way to go. If not, you can try any of these methods to propagate a snake plant. Propagating by water is one of the easiest and most foolproof ways to propagate a snake plant. 


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