A rhizome is a horizontally growing underground stem. This rhizome in snake plants produces pups, which are new branches. You can utilize the rhizome to grow new snake plants even if you don’t have pups to mature into new plants. Rhizomes are stems that grow horizontally rather than vertically, as most plants do. These horizontal stems are usually found below ground, but certain iris species develop them at the soil surface, making them visible. Sansevieria, often known as snakeplant, gets its name from the snake-like rhizomes that cling to the plant when it’s found in the wild.
Plant of the Week: Rhizome
The majority of us simply think of plants in terms of what we perceive when we see them. We don’t think about the portion of the plant that we can’t see growing beneath the ground. While roots are a plant’s principal underground characteristic, the plant world has a plethora of underground alterations to aid in avoiding stressful situations or improving a plant’s spread. Consider the rhizome, which is one of these adaptations.
Sansevieria, often known as snakeplant, gets its name from the snake-like rhizomes that surround the plant when it is discovered in the wild.
True roots lack nodes, but rhizomes have nodes, internodes, and a dominant, terminal developing bud because they are stem tissue. Roots develop from the bottom of the stem, while shoots might sprout from the top of the node. Rhizomatous plants, like above-ground stems, have different branching tendencies. Iris, for example, is meticulous in her approach.
Each spring, the rhizome terminal bud produces a set of leaves and a flowering stem, while two axillary branches form at the base of the rhizome, forming daughter rhizomes that will flower the following spring.
Polygonatum odoratum (variegated Solomon’s seal) is a rhizomatous plant that forms a mass of finger-sized rhizomes just beneath the soil surface. One fall, I dug up and divided an established bed of these plants in order to propagate them. I cut the rhizomes into 3-inch parts, ensuring that each piece had a terminal growth point. These I put in flower pots, and the next spring, they all grew a healthy flowering stem.
However, after planting the “excellent” rhizome pieces, I ended up with a number of “blind” rhizome pieces that showed no evidence of active bud growth. I placed them in pots, but nothing grew the following year. These “blind” rhizomes all generated shoots and flourished properly the following spring. Trilliums, a notoriously difficult wildflower to transplant, have rhizomes as well. After being transplanted, they frequently miss a year of growth as new axillary buds sprout from the small rhizome.
However, many plants with rhizomes have a thuggish personality. If the soil is good and there is plenty of light, bamboo, blackberries, bermudagrass, and trumpet creeper will all spread rapidly in the garden. Others, like nandina, many clump-forming grasses, and a slew of garden perennials, have smaller rhizomes and are more or less confined to a single location in the garden.
Some plants, like my beloved Epimediums, have species with extremely low rhizome growth and never spread, whilst others spread freely and occupy a larger area, eventually producing colonies several feet across. Slide your snake plant out of the pot by carefully laying it on its side. Look for rhizomes in the root section of the plant. They have a whiteish stem that mimics garlic cloves in appearance.
Cut the rhizome from the plant’s base with a clean, sharp knife. Take care not to damage the roots in the area. Allow a few days for the rhizome to callous over, exactly as you would with soil cuttings. You can plant the rhizome in a fresh container once a callous has formed. Keep an eye on the area for fresh growth.
Propagating Snake Plants by Rhizome Cuttings
Rhizome propagation is one method for propagating snake plants. Rhizomes are white, root-like stem structures that connect the mother plant to her offspring. Rhizomes sprout new plants and spread above or below ground. (In my potted snake plants, no rhizome has ever grown above the soil.) Use a clean knife to cut the rhizome from the plant it’s growing off of to propagate a snake plant via its rhizome. Try to stay away from the roots, but it’s not a big issue if you cut a few. This is a plant with a lot of tenacity!
Allow the rhizome to dry for a day or two before planting it to help the cut region harden and control water intake. For a few weeks, keep the newly planted rhizome cutting moist until you observe new growth!
I snapped a couple photos of a little rhizome sprouting from the mother plant down below. They’re starting to resemble garlic at this point. To propagate a snake plant by rhizome, remove the rhizome from the parent plant with a clean, sharp knife. Allowing the rhizome to callus for a few days before planting is the best approach.