The Snake Plant, Sansevieria, surely doesn't hiss like snakes but is prized for its resiliency, versatility, and low-maintenance qualities. Did you know Snake Plants are uncomplicated to cultivate and easy to propagate? With its serpentine-studded leaves and innate elegance, mature Sansevieria can be a costly addition to your plant collection.
Before shelling out several bucks, take some time to read this blog and discover the main steps of reproducing Sansevieria. Grab your gardening tools and prepare your working space as we teach you the basics of how to propagate Snake Plant, Sansevieria.
Snake Plant Propagation Basic
Growing a Snake Plant does not require any special knowledge and skills. It is suitable for people not blessed with green thumbs. You will need a mature plant, a growing medium, and ideal growing conditions (virtually anything). The plant tolerates unfavorable conditions quite easily and quickly adapts to them. Snake Plant tolerates poor and irregular watering; withstands temperature drops; thrives in low light.
However, poor conditions can affect the state of the leaves of the Sansevieria. They remain dark green, but the drawing can fade significantly. In the beginning, young Snake Plants should be grown in small-sized pots. It will help them to settle down better, gain strength and start growing.
Transplantation of Sansevieria is carried out every 2-3 years when the pot already becomes too small for mature and overgrown shoots. Snake Plant does not require frequent watering. Pour your green pet a drink when the surface of the soil in the pot becomes completely dry. Persistent watering can not be allowed, as the flower will react to this by dropping the leaves (which will turn yellow before that). Soggy soils also favor the growth of soilborne pathogens that could be fatal to the entire plant. The reproduction of the Snake Plant flower is a separate issue, which has its subtleties.
Main Methods of Propagating Snake Plant
Various methods of asexually reproducing the Snake Plant exist. Each one has its pros and cons, but it is still worth trying at home when propagating this lovely green creature:
Method #1 Snake Plant Propagation in Water
Popular for being a smart house hack, the water-assisted method is compatible with Sansevieria. It allows fond growers to check the Snake Plant sprout from day 0 until the day it develops a substantial root system.
- This fun propagation technique brings you back to grade school science class. It permits see-through observation of the roots as it increases in size and number, making it a perfect project for people with kids!
- Because this is pre-rooted planting material, the odds of successfully reproducing the plant are relatively high.
- It is an uncomplicated and mess-free method of cloning Sansevierias (because you will not touch a grain of soil!)
- Although the method promises a higher success rate, the rooting can take an extended period, approximately 6-8 weeks.
- As new pups grow, the striking leaf pattern dulls over time, which signals the need for transplanting to actual soil.
- Since it is grown in plain water, Snake Plant must be lightly fertilized to supplement its required nutrients.
- Propagate Snake Plant in water free from impurities, like distilled one. While dipping it in tap water would still work, trace minerals could accumulate, and microorganisms can thrive and infect the roots.
- The plant can withstand stagnant water for a couple of weeks. But to be safe, replace it as frequently as possible, ideally every 2-3 days when you notice the water becomes slimy.
- Add 2-3 drops of liquid fertilizer to the water to add deficient nutrients and boost leaf growth.
Method #2 Propagating Snake Plant in Soil
The soil propagation in plants is the old-fashioned way of cloning Sansevierias. Like the water technique of producing baby Snake Plant, the cut leaves are directly planted in a suitable potting medium rather than stimulating the roots to grow in liquid.
- The method is less laborious and will only need one easy step.
- Unlike the water method, directly planting in the soil saves propagation time and cuts the growing waiting period.
- Multiple leaves can be planted in the same pot, growing many pups in a relatively small space.
- The rootless cuttings may fail to establish themselves, especially if they don't have good contact with the soil or if the potting medium becomes too dry.
- It doesn't allow you to check the roots and is not as fascinating as the water method.
- Needs constant dampness to ensure the roots grow properly.
- Cover the pot with perforated cling film or plastic wrap to preserve the humidity and soil moisture. In this manner, the roots are induced to grow in the cutting.
- Avoid touching the plant because they will know (kidding!). The delicate roots could get injured if the plant is constantly touched and disturbed in the soil, prolonging the recovery time.
Method #3 Propagating Snake Plant by Division
Dividing mature plant suckers is the traditional method of asexually propagating Sansevieria. The Snake Plant splitting technique needs a profusely growing mother plant to be planted directly into the soil–ready to sit indoors.
- If you want a ready-to-display plant, this method suits you the best.
- Several shoots can be planted at once, hiding the fact that it was previously produced.
- The method by division of shoots also has a high success rate because it basically has all the plant parts, the leaves, and the roots.
- It may injure the mother plant if detaching the shoots was incorrectly done.
- It needs a mature plant to obtain suckers for planting.
- Demands some effort to separate a sucker, primarily if the roots are anchored too deep into the soil.
- It is recommended to take out a pot that is overgrown with a mother plant and divide it delicately rather than driving a brutal force with a hand tool to remove a propagule.
- Place it in a guarded place, in a corner, for example, to prevent the constant moving of the young plant. Installing a support stake is recommended for tall varieties.
When to Propagate Snake Plant?
You can propagate Snake Plant at any time of the year. Especially if the reason for reproduction was emergency measures to save the dying Sansevieria: the root system began to rot, and the flower fell and broke. In spring, success rates are higher because the plant is active and the temperature is average. On the other hand, reproduction is discouraged in winter since it is difficult to provide a new plant with the necessary conditions for its rooting, and metabolic processes are slowed down. The Snake Plant will be sick for a long time and possibly will not take root.
Main Steps to Propagate Mother-in-Law Plant
- Choose the healthiest, averagely-aged, and spot-free leaf to propagate. Avoid choosing leaf blades that are too young, old, wrinkled, or thin.
- Using an alcohol sterilized pruning tool, cutting Snake Plant leaves requires at least 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) of the leaf segment, although you can still use the entire blade. Remember the right side up of the cut foliage before planting.
- For obtaining a planting material by division, you will need to take out the entire mother Snake Plant and divide it according to preferred plant sections. Use a sharp pruning tool to cut the tough rhizomes.
- Plant the cuttings in the desired medium (water or soil). It is recommended to choose a succulent or cactus mix for this plant to prevent root rot. Of course, fast-draining soil wouldn't function without a pot with drainage holes.
- Water Snake Plant to remove the large air pockets and place it in a semi- or fully shaded location.
What method is the best to propagate Snake Plants?
For beginners and curious plant enthusiasts, the best method of propagating Snake Plants is by water. Soaking the cuttings in water encourages root formation before planting, ensuring a higher chance of success than planting directly into the soil.
What are Snake Plant propagation problems?
The most common problems when propagating Snake Plants are rotting if a fungus infects the succulent flesh or the planting material fails to grow because of improper planting or poor conditions.
How long do Snake Plants take to grow?
Snake Plants usually take 6-8 weeks before an apparent sprout emerges from water or soil propagated plants. It will need another month to grow fully and shoot up new suckers.