A Foolproof Propagating Guide: Snake Plant
More than 90 species of sansevieria exist, making it one of the most popular house plants around the world. It is sure that there is a species of snake plant to please everyone. After you grow a snake plant, you might want to keep more around the house, or even share them with your family and friends. The easiest and cheapest way to grow more snake plants is to propagate them.
Snake plants can be propagated in three ways. One method is to take a leaf cutting and put it in water as a growing medium. The second method is to put it in soil for growing. The third method of propagation is root division. All three methods are effective, however, one thing to keep in mind is that Sansevieria varieties with colorations cannot be propagated using leaf cuttings. They have stable variegation, but will revert if propagated through leaf cuttings; in these cases, divide the leaves to retain their coloration.
While water propagation is a fun and easy way to get snake plants into large numbers, it can allow the plants to remain in water longer instead of returning to soil. When the plant is exposed to water, it becomes accustomed to it, and then when it is forced to move to soil, it has a higher magnitude of failure than a cutting grown in soil.
Cut the leaf at its base
It’s important to sanitize your shears and scissors before cutting snake plants. Since these plants are vulnerable to bacterial rot, you should wash them every time. After you have found the leaf you wish to trim, follow it down until you reach its base so you can cut as close as possible to the soil with clean scissors or shears.
Whole leaf or sections?
Afterwards, you have two options. You can propagate the whole leaf in water or you can chop it into sections of 2 to 3 inches to try and grow multiple plants. Using this method will also increase the likelihood of successful propagation. Just make sure the bottoms of the leaf sections go into the water. Otherwise, no roots will develop.
Allow the cuts to callous over
Before placing the cuttings in water, you will need to allow them to callous over for three or four days. The chances of the cutting rotting are significantly higher if this step is skipped.
Place into a vase with clean water
Whenever the cuttings root, they must be placed in a jar or case with clean water. Make sure this water is changed every week so fresh nutrients can be supplied. A plastic bag tent can keep moisture in the pot and ensure that the plant has enough water to hold up until its roots begin to grow.
After all the hard work, we now have to wait. Roots can grow for up to three or four months before they’re ready for soil.
Watch and wait
The cutting should appear with small white nubs about 21 days or 3 weeks after getting it. Your cuttings should have tiny roots as this indicates they are healthy and will eventually grow into newborn plants.
Ready for soil
After the roots have reached a length of approximately 2 inches, we will plant them in soil so they may grow out to be big and beautiful snake plants.
Growing snake plants in soil is another easy method to create babies. It is also easier to pot up these plants because the cuttings have already been rooted in soil when they are eventually ready to be potted up.
Cut the leaf at its base
As you have done before, start by cutting as close to the base of the leaf as possible with clean shears.
Whole leaf or sections?
In fact, you can leave the leaf as a whole and pot it in the soil, or cut it into 2-inch sections and pot them in soil. This will help it grow healthier and more vigorously.
Allow the cuttings to callous over and plant
The cuttings may be left to calluses for a three to four day period. Alternatively, they may be placed in dry soil and watered after three to four days. Whatever the case, now the cuttings have been planted in soil and are ready to grow. Use a plastic bag to create a little tent to help keep moisture in the pot and ensure that the plant can retain water until the roots begin to grow.
Watch and wait
Soil propagation is more difficult than water propagation for checking the roots. Checking the roots carefully is important when handling the cuttings. The act of removing them and putting them in again can result in breaking off the new roots.
Ready for their own home
If you would like to dig up your newly-grown roots, wait until they are about 2 inches in length, then move them into their own soil by mixing cactus soil with standard soil that drains well.
The fastest way to get multiple snake plants is to divide the snake plant. It is a great way to keep your plants at a manageable size while getting more plants in the process if they become too large for their pots.
Remove the plant from its pot and massage
It’s best to get a feel for the roots by lightly massaging them after removing the plant from the pot. Remove as much soil as possible to assess the health of the roots. A plant that is divided with as little root damage as possible is much more likely to be successful. Keeping the roots intact will ensure a higher success rate.
Work with the roots
By gently massaging the roots with your fingers, you will be able to feel where the roots are growing. This will help you find where the roots really are. Despite your efforts to preserve as many roots as possible, you are bound to lose some over time.
After you have removed the soil and taken a look at the roots, it’s time to start dividing. This can be heartbreaking because some root breakage will be inevitable. In order to make a greater number of new plants or a smaller mother plant, you will have to divide the plants more often.
Watch for pups
Another version of division is removing the pups as they pop up. Pups are baby plants that shoot off and grow from the mother plant. They are typically near the outside of the pot and are tiny versions of the mother plant. These adorable pups have their own root systems and can easily be removed and replanted into a new pot.
No matter which way you choose, propagation is a fun and inexpensive way to get more plants for your own home or to gift others! Remember to always use clean tools, and keep a close eye on those plant babies. For cuttings in water, allow the cuttings to callous, and change the water every week. For cuttings in soil, you still need to allow them to be calloused over, but they can do that within dry soil for three or four days before you water. Lastly, division propagation is down and dirty but the fastest way to gain new plants and it seldom fails!