3 Ways To Propagate Sansevierias Aka Snake Plants

Joy Us garden
by Joy Us garden
Snake plants are very easy to propagate. Let me show you 3 easy ways.
I love Sansevierias and I know I say that about a lot of plants but these spiky numbers really have a place in my heart. I grow them in the garden and in my house in both pots and in the ground. They have quite a few common names so you may know them as Snake Plants, Mother In Law Tongue, Snake’s Tongue, Bowstring Hemp Plant and Devil’s Tongue. Whatever you choose to call it, just know that they’re so very easy to propagate. Today I want to share with you not 1 but 3 ways to do it.

Sansevierias grow from rhizomes which eventually root, and in my garden, they like to travel like crazy. You can also grow them from seed (if you can find it) but it’s not nearly as easy to do or as fast as these other methods. Even though these plants are native to the subtropics and the tropics, they thrive in our dry homes which lack that humidity. They make one mighty fine houseplant!

Want to see how I do it? Then click on the video above.
This is you need for successful Sansevieria propagation:

Soil: A nice light medium which drains well is idea. I always use an organic succulent & cactus mix but a good potting soil will do too.

Light: Make sure it’s bright but just know that direct, hot sun is not good.

Water: You don’t want to keep your cuttings or divided plants wet because they will rot out. So, lightly moist but not wet is the ticket. Propagation is best done indoors or on a covered porch so rain won’t mush them out either.

Timing: Propagation is best done in spring but summer & fall are fine too. Just avoid doing it in winter when the plants are resting.
1- By The Rhizomes Which Spread

As you can see in the picture, the single Sansevieria plant in the foreground is creeping through my garden. It’s attached to the mother plant in the back by that “whiteish-grey” rhizome and there’s another smaller plant forming to the right of it. By the way, I often call them rhizomatic roots but a rhizome is actually a modified stem which grows under or very close to the ground. There, I stand corrected … by myself!

What I do is cut them off very close to the plant itself & then let the rhizome heal off for 2-3 days before I plant it. Sometimes the rhizome will have roots already formed & sometimes they’re just starting to bulge out. Use a knife or pruners to do this – just make sure whatever you’re using is clean and sharp.
I took these out of my garden which you’ll see in the video. The cut rhizome is in the foreground. The plant on the left only has roots starting to swell at the bottom whereas the 1 on the right has roots already formed. These 2 were growing side by side but you never know with plants!
2 -By Division

This is the plant in the video which I dug up and divided. It fell into pieces on it’s own but I’ve divided Sansevierias which have given me a much harder time. For those, I used a clean trowel, knife, pruners and/or a hand fork. How many plants you get of course depends on the size of the 1 that you’re dividing.

By the way, Sansevierias love to be potbound so don’t rush to divide it.
3- By Leaf Cuttings

For some reason we missed a picture of this 1 but you can clearly see it in the video. This isn’t my preferred method of propagation but it’s worth a mention. It’s not as easy, fast or successful as the other 2 mentioned above. It’s best done on the Sansevierias with solid leaf color because any variation (especially those margins) will be lost.

If you’re game to try it, once again make sure your knife is very clean and sharp. It’s also very important to plant those cut leaf sections in the direction that the leaf has been growing. You’ll see clearly se what I mean and the trick I use to make sure the proper end is planted in the video. If you don’t plant the right end, it won’t grow. By the way, it’s best to let the leaf sections heal off for a couple of days before you plant them.

The plant was so heavy & the soil so light that I have to use a stake to get it to stay up straight!

Whatever method of propagation you choose, having more Sansevierias is a very good thing. I moving to a new home soon and can’t wait to get many more varieties of Snake Plants. They’re so easy to care for that there’s never too many!

Happy gardening,

Joy Us garden
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  1 question
  • Colleen Colleen on Apr 29, 2016
    I always find your posts so interesting and informative. You mention being heavy and needing help to stay upright. Is this typical of this plant? Mine is very tall and falls every which way if I don't corral it with a plant ring. I was of the mind that over watering was causing the problem, but it still wants to fall even after addressing that.

Join the conversation
  • Hannah V Hannah V on Apr 29, 2016
    I looove snake plants and want some for my apt badly!

    • Joy Us garden Joy Us garden on May 02, 2016
      @Hannah V They're about as easy a houseplant that you can get Hannah. Plus, they're great in low light conditions. Nell