Sansevierias, also called snake plants (or Dracaena), can be propagated just as easily as any other succulent. To give to friends and family as gifts or to add to your collection, learn how to propagate a snake plant!
Sansevierias can be propagated by means of offsets or leaf cuttings, which can be then planted in the soil.
A leaf cutting is a very effective way of propagating Sansevieria
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The succulent plant has a pretty amazing ability. It can grow copies of itself from just a leaf! In addition, snake plants take this even further. A new snake plant only requires a part of an original snake plant leaf.
- When propagating snake plants from a healthy mother plant by leaf cuttings, don’t worry about losing some foliage; they’ll grow new leaves when they’re ready.
- You can choose one or several sturdy leaves to sacrifice, depending on how many new plants you want.
- Cut the leaves just above the base, using a sterilized knife or scissors (rubbing some alcohol on them works fine).
- Cut the leaf into 2-3′′ (5-7.5 cm) sections. You MUST remember which side is up and which side is down, as your cutting will ONLY root from the upward end. You’re 50% more likely to lose a snake plant if you forget that segment.
- It’s great you took Sansevieria leaf cuttings! I’ve provided instructions below for growing a new plant from these cuttings either using water or soil.
Propagation of snake plants by division
When you have a luscious snake plant that has been growing happily for a time, you can use division to break it down into smaller, easier to manage snake plants! Whenever you were planning on repotting anyway, this is a good time because you will be removing the plant from its planter.
- Begin by carefully separating the individual stems and root systems from their pots.
- Be sure to allow each stem to have roots as you do this. You don’t need to panic if they don’t, since you can re-root them. It just takes a bit longer.
- Look for the little offshoots of your plant instead of hacking away at the entire plant or system. Taken shoots are an excellent method for folks who don’t want a lot of new plants, but only a couple of smaller ones.
- It is possible to see offshoots around the mother plant beneath the soil. However, others might be hiding under the dirt!
- It is acceptable to separate the offshoots from the parent plant if they are far enough away from it. Those are all easy words to say, but in practice they are not so easy.
- The parent plant may need to be taken out of the pot in unlucky cases so you have easier access.
How to propagate a snake plant in soil
Assuming everything went well, you should now have your cuttings (leaves or offsets)! What can you do with them? If your cutting has roots already, you would generally want to propagate them directly into soil.
First of all, you will need to prepare your soil mixture. Sansevierias are succulents that need plenty of drainage, making an airy mix ideal. You can use a prepared succulent growing medium or make a very simple one by mixing 60% potting soil with 40% perlite.
Choosing a planter is the next step. Make sure to consider drainage here as well. You must have drainage holes to let excess water escape or your Sansevieria will drown and rot! Terracotta is a favorite among succulent growers because it is porous and permits evaporation.
The soil mixture is then placed into the planter and the leaves are buried several inches deep directly into the substrate.
You need to make sure that the leaves are arranged with their cut ends down. Do not place this pot directly in the sun as direct sun is too harsh on these new cuttings.
The cuttings may appear dry, but it’s important to wait three days before watering them in order for the roots to settle down a bit. Taking the cuttings out after 3 days will help to prevent rotting. Maintaining regular watering can be done after 3 days.
With roots established in 4-5 weeks, you’ll likely start seeing the first signs of growth. Congratulations, you now have a brand new snake plant.
How to propagate a snake plant in water
The Sansevieria propagation method is very simple and fun, especially if you want to watch the roots grow. Since the cuttings can be observed in real-time, you no longer have to wonder whether or not it has taken root.
- A bowl or container is all that is needed to propagate snake plants in water.
- Cut the leaves above the soil line and then optionally divide them into smaller sections just like with propagating Sansevieria leaves in soil.
- The cuttings should be placed into the water-filled container, then in an indirect sunlight area. You will only need to change the water every week.
- When you cut the leaves about 3 weeks later, roots will soon appear on the cut edges. That means you’re doing it right!
- You can technically repot within 4-5 weeks, providing the roots have grown long enough.
Some people prefer to keep their cuttings in water, and that is no problem. A snake plant can grow in water for long periods of time and add a nice touch to any shelf with a nice vase filled with a happy green plant.
Caring for your new snake plants
You want your snake plant to thrive after you have put the time and effort into propagating it. Luckily, these plants are not demanding at all, and anyone can grow them successfully even if they are a beginner.
Even though snake plants are often hailed as plants that need little light, they actually prefer medium light. In low-light environments, their growth is slowed, and they cease to thrive. They slowly wither as time passes, leading to their death.
Sansevierias would benefit greatly from a spot near a window if at all possible. Indirect light works best for these hardy succulents, but direct sun is not a problem as long as they are acclimated slowly.
Snake plants can tolerate temperatures ranging from pretty low to quite high. Anything between 50 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (10-30 °C) works well. Don’t let them get too hot or too cold. These guys require a steadier environment, which is why they do well in shady spots.
They also do well in places with higher humidity, such as bathrooms, but don’t mind dry, stale air.
A succulent like this one, which is called a snake plant, cannot handle being overwatered, as it is mentioned in the section for propagating a snake plant. Because of that, it’s crucial that you mix an airy mixture with a well-draining structure.
When your mixture becomes too dense or heavy, you can throw in some perlite or pumice. Even a handful of fine orchid bark chips can help.
In fact, snake plants actually like a little moisture, so they require very little water between waterings.
Based on how dry and hot your household is it may only be necessary to water your Sansevierias once or twice a week during the growing season. Make sure the soil is completely dry before giving the plant a drink.
You may be able to go 4 weeks without watering your plants in the winter. Despite handling a lot of dry conditions, snake plants are perfect for people who suffer from forgetfulness or travel extensively!
A few gardeners don’t fertilize snake plants at all, instead deciding that a little compost will add nutrients.
If you use a fertilizer, make sure to use a reduced strength all-purpose food during the growing season, and use it at least once.
Are snake plants toxic to cats and dogs?
Dogs and cats can be poisoned by snake plants according to the ASPCA. Children and pets should be kept clear of the plants since they can cause problems such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting if ingested.
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