- There are three useful ways that you can use to grow a new snake plant from an existing one.
- Using a high quality potting soil and pot are keys to successful propagation growth.
- Sprinkling some ground cinnamon will act as a natural anti-fungal and can help speed up the healing process.
Dracaena trifasciata commonly known as Snake plants are renowned for their hardy, virtually indestructible nature and long slender, tongue like leaves. This popular indoor plant can thrive in many light conditions, with limited water, and are relatively easy to propagate.
There are several ways to propagate the wonderful snake plant, each with its own distinct and unique care tips.
Handy tip: Snake plants are known to be rather resistant to pests, we always recommend inspecting the plant, its roots and soil for any fungus and/or insects before starting the propagation or repotting process, since any issue can carry on to the new plant.
What you will need:
- Sharp clean gardening shears or serrated knife
- Potting soil, best choice would be a cactus/succulent mix
- A glass of room temperature water or a small pot with drainage hole (preferably terracotta)
Use the right materials
Choosing the correct soil to us is key in successfully propagating and growing a healthy new snake plant. A good quality free-draining soil, such as a cactus or succulent mix with some added perlite is ideal. You want to make sure your choice of soil has plenty of aeration and drainage, only water the plants when the top 40-60mm of soil feels dry, you can just stick your finger in to test.
As for picking the right pot, we would recommend a small terracotta pot with a drainage hole. These are great for plants that are at risk of being overwatered. The terracotta will help wick away moisture and help prevent a variety of issues that come with too much water, like root rot.
Method 1: Propagating Snake Plants by Rhizome Division
If you’re looking at propagating a snake plant that is already amongst your indoor jungle or a friend wants to share their snake plant addiction with you, then you can easily divide it by splitting the rhizomes. These are the underground parts of the plant that look like thick whitish roots or pieces of ginger. Best method is to carefully pull the plant out of its pot. Using a pair of garden shears to cut the roots in half. Each half should have at least three rhizomes and they should be green and healthy. Too finish off, place each half into your choice of soil and water it until water begins to drains.
With this method, propagating in a jug of water is unnecessary, this would actually drown their roots. You will only need the water method to propagate a snake plant when there are no established roots yet.
Method 2: Propagating Snake Plants by Rooting a Leaf
If your snake plant is healthy and full of beautiful healthy leaves, try rooting a leaf. Using your shears cut a healthy leaf as close to the base as possible without damaging the original plant. Optionally you can then cut a small vee shape at the cutting to increase surface area. Next, place your new cutting in a glass or jar of room temperature water. The base of the leave should be in water no deeper than about 20-40mm. Once your cutting is in the jar, place it away from direct sunlight or under a small grow light. Make sure to change the water every few days. New roots should start growing from the bottom of the leaf within three to four weeks. Once the roots are about 30mm long, slip that new snake plant into your soil mix. Don’t forget to give it some water.
Method 3: Propagating Snake Plants by Rooting a Cutting
If your snake plant has plentiful leaves then you may be willing to take a quick cutting from a healthy leaf of your snake plant, you can try the final method of propagating, which is simply by rooting a cutting. Being essentially the same as the previous method above, just with one fewer steps. Cut your leaf near the base, you can cut this down further into multiple pieces. Plant each piece in some prepared soil. Make sure the soil doesn’t get too wet, and ensure optimum lighting. If all goes according to plan you will have multiple new plants starting to root.
Caring for a snake plant after propagation
For post-propagation care, finding the right lighting can be all the difference between a slow grower or stagnant snake plant and a growing, healthy one. Snake plants are known to be one of the more low-light tolerant plants, that doesn’t necessarily mean this is their ideal environment to grow and thrive, snake plants can actually thrive well in a very sunny, light flooded environment, so get your new plants into some bright areas with good indirect sunlight to get those plants blooming!
Handy tip: Add some common ground cinnamon from your pantry to the open end of your cuttings. Cinnamon helps with speeding up the plants healing process, It is also a natural anti-fungal, and as such with help prevent any disease starting before you plant roots.
If you’re wanting to split a snake plant and grow your collection, there are naturally several relatively simple growing techniques to try. If you choose to use rhizome division or taking a cutting to root in soil, it’s obviously crucial that you use the right type of potting soil that is nicely aerated and a suitable planter that ensures that it drains excess water well to ensure root rot prevention.
Repotting your snake plant every 2 to 3 years will ensure they stay around for a nice long life, this also gives you the perfect opportunity to propagate them again, plus they make great gifts to fellow plant loving friends.