How To Propagate a Snake Plant In Water

I’m a huge fan of snake plants (Dracaena trifasciata) — you might know them by some of their other names; mother-in-law’s tongue, Saint George’s sword or viper’s bowstring hemp. Whatever you choose to call, it’s a great indoor plant to grow! It’s one of those hardy plants that even if you’re scared of growing house plants, you’ll be able to grow this one! No green-fingers required!

Luckily for us snake plant lovers, this is a plant that can easily be propagated (meaning that you can use one of your plants to make many plants!). There are two really simple propagation methods for snake plants. One involves splitting your existing plant and then propagating in water until roots appear, the other requires you to cut your leaves (a little bit scarier) and then also propagating in water until roots appear.

My favourite thing about both of these snake plant propagation methods is that it involves leaving the plant in water to grow roots. This not only looks cool in your house, it also means that you can watch clearly how the progress is going.

Method 1 – Split (or divide) your plant

  1. Find yourself a snake plant that looks like it has multiple plants growing in the same pot. Snake plants grow from rhizomes. Rhizomes are basically a big root that sends up multiple shoots, and so you get lots of individual looking plants, that are all connected by one big root system. You can divide these plants up to make multiple separate snake plants!
  2. There are two ways you can divide the plant — the “safer” way to do this is to remove the whole contents of the pot, and then divide the plants, or what I do, which is kind of a cheating way to do it, is I just wiggle one of the shoots free. Up to you what you feel more comfortable doing!
  3. Place your new snake plant into a container or jar and add water until it covers about an inch up the stem, and leave in a warm sunny spot until roots appear. This could take some time, so be patient. Make sure you keep the water topped up and clean during this period too!
  1. Once you have some roots about an inch long, transfer your new plant to some good soil and give it a nice watering too. And now you have another snake plant!

Method 2 – Cut your leaves

  1. Choose a nice big leaf from a healthy snake plant with plenty of other leaves.
  2. Generally, each snake plant leaf could be cut into three sections, and then you will have three cuttings to propagate. Use clean, sharp scissors to make the cuts.
  1. Make sure you keep the snake plant pieces in the same upright position that you cut them from (e.g. the bottom cut side needs to stay as the bottom side, the top needs to stay as the top).
  2. Place the snake plant pieces into a container or jar and add water until the bottom 2 centimeters are covered.
  1. Place in a sunny spot and leave until roots appear, making sure to keep enough water in the jar.
  1. Once roots appear, transfer to a nice pot of soil, or you can leave it in the water until some new shoots appear, and then plant it.

Both of these methods and simple, and really fool-proof! Even if you aren’t a confident gardener, you can definitely use these techniques. Just be patient, keep your water clean and enjoy the process! And if it all sounds too much for you, just buy a new snake plant instead.

Have fun!

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