Multiply snake plants with one of these simple methods and gift ultra-easy-to-grow plant babies to friends.
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Snake plants are among the easiest houseplants to grow. Did you know they're also a cinch to propagate whenever you like? The sword-like leaves of this tropical houseplant root easily in water or soil and division is a great option for large plants. All you need to multiply your snake plant is time, a sharp knife or pair of pruners, potting soil, and water. A few simple tips will ensure the young plants thrive, providing plenty of new plants to add to your indoor jungle, or you can share with friends. Rooting new snake plants takes a couple of months, but the wait is worth it, especially when you start seeing new shoots appearing.

snake plant propagation
Credit: William N. Hopkins

Know what you're going to get

Unique foliage patterns, such as mottled leaves or gold leaf margins, are usually lost when snake plant is multiplied by cuttings. A variegated leaf cutting will root and then new shoots or pups that emerge are usually solid green. A solid green snake plant is great houseplant; simply know that a cutting will not produce a replica of the parent plant. To get a new plant that looks exactly like the parent plant, division is the way to go. Dividing your snake plant will give you new plants that will have the same leaf coloring as the original plant. 

1. Divide a snake plant.

Division involves breaking the plant into sections and is a useful method for multiplying larger snake plants. Begin by removing the entire snake plant from its pot, roots and all. Use a sharp knife or pruners to cut apart the tightly tangled root ball. Aim to create divisions with at least 3 leaves and accompanying roots.   

Plant each division in a container filled with houseplant potting mix. Water the divisions well, allowing them to drain thoroughly. Place the newly potted plants in bright but indirect light. Water when soil is dry to the touch.

2. Root cuttings in water

Rooting snake plant cuttings is as easy as placing a leaf into a jar of clean water. Begin by cutting a leaf off an established plant. The cut leaf should be at least 6 inches tall (taller leaves are even better). Place the cut end of the leaf in a jar or vase filled with 3 inches of water. Put the jar in a bright spot and refresh the water, rinsing out the jar, once a week. Roots should form at the base of the cutting in about two months. After roots form, plant the rooted cutting in a container filled with houseplant potting mix. 

snake plant leave clippings in dirt propagating
Credit: Dean Schoeppner

3. Start cuttings in soil.

Snake plant cuttings will root in moist potting mix, too. First, remove a leaf from an established plant, cutting the leaf at the base of the plant with pruners or a knife. You can maximize the number of new plants by cutting the leaf horizontally into 2-inch pieces. Make angled cuts or notch the leaf pieces to help you remember which end is the "bottom" and which is the "top."

To encourage rooting and prevent rot, dip the bottom end of each leaf cutting in rooting hormone ($10, Bloomscape). Place the cutting about a half-inch deep in moist potting mix and place the container in a bright spot. Keep the soil damp, but not wet. After about two months, try to gently lift the cutting out of the soil. If you feel resistance, the cutting is rooted and established in its new pot. If the cutting pops out of the soil, replant it, and continue to water when the soil is dry.

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