How To Propagate Sansevieria or Snake Plant

This is a quick primer on how to propagate your Sansevieria or snake plant and grow your collection. Bonus: you get new plants. And without spending a lot of money or time!

The Snake Plant is also called Sansevieria. This is one of my favorite houseplants. I love them because they are so statuesque, growing straight to the sky.

There are 70 species of Sansevieria cultivated as houseplants. Sansevieria plants grow upright with sword-shaped leaves, in a variety of green colors. Several of the species have variegated or striped markings on their leaves.

I just found one that has its leaves braided, similar to the lucky bamboo. Sansevieria Cylindrica Dragon Fingers at Amazon.

You want these plants in your house not just for decor, but because they are excellent plants for purifying the air. Snake plants also release oxygen in the air at night, so you want them in your bedroom areas too to help you sleep better.

The Sanseveria prefers bright, filtered light. Water it when the top one inch of soil feels dry, then water the pot fully. Let it dry down again and repeat. Use a fast-draining cactus potting mix and plant in pots that are well-drained.

If you’re lucky to live in zones 10 and 11, you can grow snake plants outside.

Are You Ready to Propagate Some Sansevieria?

What is propagation anyway?

It’s an easy method of getting new plants from the plants you already have in your collection, without spending a lot of money. In scientific terms, this is an asexual means of reproduction that produces baby plants that are genetically identical to their parents.

There are several ways to propagate your houseplants, but they depend on the type of plant you have. These ways include dividing the plant, air layering, leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, water propagation, soil propagation and more.

Phew! How to choose the right method??

Each of the Sansaviera species propagates readily from cuttings and division.

You could propagate by seed, but Sansevieria is not usually grown from seed. This is because genetic variability might produce plants that are not what you had planned on.

Please note, if you are trying to propagate a variegated Sanseveria, the cutting propagation method will not result in variegated plants. The babies will revert to the non-variegated version with no stripes and be solid green.

What You’ll Need:

  • Sharp shears or knife
  • Small trowel or transplanting shovel
  • Jars or containers for water
  • Water
  • Small pots for planting later
  • Potting mix for later

Let’s Talk About Propagation by Cutting

sansevieria stem for cutting propogation on beige background
Sansevieria Leaf

Taking cuttings is the easiest way to propagate your sansevieria.

To do it, cut one or two healthy leaves at the base of the plant using clean scissors or hand-held pruners. Cut the stem off at a 45-degree angle about 1 inch above the soil line. Give it a good snip. Don’t worry, the plant will grow new babies!

Lay the stems on a flat surface. Using a clean knife or scissors, cut the clipped stems into 1- to 3-inch sections. Mark the tip end and the root end of each section to indicate which end pointed toward the top of the plant and which end pointed toward the root end.

It is important that you mark the ends somehow because you have to place each section with the root end in the soil. It will not grow if you have the tip end down in the soil. I used a permanent marker to mark the end.

Propagate Sansevieria in Soil

You can let the trimmed cuttings heal and close over in a dry area for a few days. Another way is that you can put it straight into a pot with half cactus soil and half potting soil. Either way will work, but I prefer to let the cuttings dry for a few days. This helps prevent rotting.

  • Insert the cuttings 1/3 into the soil, leaving 2/3 out. When putting them in soil, remember to place it tip up and root end down in the soil. Do not water for a few days while the plants get used to the soil and harden on the bottom.
  • Place the pots near a bright window with indirect sunlight. Water when the soil is nearly dry, wetting the soil down to 1 inch. Do not overwater them.
  • This method will not produce new growth for about 3 months. At that time, you will begin to see new sprouts and it’s ready to be planted into its own pot. This method works well with most sansevieria including the la Renta Sansevieria.

Please note, if you are trying to propagate a variegated Sanseveria, the cutting propagation method will not result in variegated plants. The babies will revert to the non-variegated version.

The wait is well worth it because it is the most satisfying thing to see these sprouts come out of the soil. Just remember, your snake plant will not be dying of thirst and can have root rot if overwatered. Make sure to water when the soil becomes dry but ensure your plant is in a pot that drains well.

I love this succulent and cactus soil mix at Amazon. It’s a premium blend that is pre-mixed and fast draining. Perfect for your newly propagated sansevieria.

Propagate Sansevieria in Water

Next, let’s talk about propagate sansevieria using water as the growing medium. This is one of my favorite ways of propagating as it allows you to see the root growth during the process.

You have to be careful though because plants do not do well transferring from water to soil if started in water. They can dry up when placed into the soil after sprouting in water, so you will need to monitor the soil dryness level.

By far, though, water propagation is the easiest way to get baby plants if you’re careful!

  • You can use a whole leaf or you can take a cutting of a sansevieria plant as we outlined above.
  • If you want, cut the leaf into sections and put them – root end down – in a shallow bowl with water.
  • Place the whole leaves, or segments, in a jar with at least an inch of water in it.
  • You don’t want them resting on the bottom of the jar. Use small clips to hold them securely off the bottom, allowing the roots to grow.


It might be easier to tie your cuttings together when putting them in water.

  • Make sure to move them around so that the roots do not grow together.
  • Change the water frequently, once or twice a week.
  • Place the jar by a window with bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Be patient! The water method is faster than the soil method but it will still take about two months before you see any roots emerging from the cuttings.

After the roots form, you’ll start to see the little pups growing. When the roots are about 1-2 inches, you can transplant the babies into pots filled with succulent-type potting soil.

Please note, if you are trying to propagate a variegated Sanseveria, the cutting propagation method will not result in variegated plants. The babies will revert to the non-variegated version.

One final tip! If the bottom of the root begins to rot simply cut the bad part off and stick the section back in the water.

Propagate Sanseveria by Division

Sansevieria plant and roots with dirt

Let’s talk about division propagation. If you are dividing an existing plant, examine the root structure to determine the best place to divide the plant.

  • Pull the roots apart carefully, dividing them into your desired sections.
  • Use a sharp gardening knife to cut them apart or two gardening forks to pry them apart if they’re difficult to separate.
  • If there is a root ball or bulb-like section, make sure to divide the roots evenly.
  • Try not to damage the roots too much.
  • This method can be done to divide into single sprouts or bushels of Sansevieria.
  • If you are not into destroying the root system, you can sometimes find a pup or offshoot of your sansevieria.
  • Split the baby from the parent plant and begin a new sansevieria this way too.

Take Your Time!

Try to rip a section off the mother plant while it’s still in the pot, but I recommend that you take the full plant out of the pot when beginning to divide a sansevieria. You want to keep the baby roots attached while not damaging your parent sansevieria.

If your baby is attached to another root sprout, that’s ok! Try to detach roots as much as possible. I have taken baby sansevieria with a bigger piece of the parent plant for the overall transplant. This way, I still got two Sansevieria plants out of the transplant process but didn’t damage the baby by separating it from the parent.

Woman in gloves transplant Sansevieria to new pot

Replant the divided sansevieria plants in pots, placing the roots at the depth they were originally growing at. Water the plants with a weak fertilizer solution and place in an area that received bright filtered sunlight.

Please note, if you are trying to propagate a variegated Sanseveria, the division propagation method will result in variegated plants that are exactly like the original mother plant.

Sansevieria Propagation by Seed

Finally, we have come to seed propagation for the sansevieria. They are not usually grown from seed because of genetic variability in the babies.

Blooming Sansevieria with purple background

Every once in a while, the sansevieria will go to flower! This is an exciting time for any plant owner to see their hard work come to “fruition” with a healthy plant. Maybe the flowers will yield up some seeds that can be used to propagate the sansevieria.

  • Normally you will dry out the flower once it has gone to seed.
  • Gather the seeds and plant in a well-draining cactus potting soil.
  • Water lightly.
  • Keep the pots in an area that is warm with bright, indirect light.
  • Be patient and pretty soon, you’ll see the baby plants start to emerge from the soil.

I have a few of my Sansevierias going to seed as I am writing this. Once we get there, I will post updates on my progress with any tips or tricks I find!

Propagate Sansevieria and Grow A Collection for Free

Sansevieria or Snake Plants are fabulous plants to have around.

You want them in your house because they are excellent plants for purifying the air. They release oxygen in the air at night so you want them in your bedroom areas too to help you sleep better.

What better way to add more of them to your collection than by propagation? It’s such an easy way to add more Sansevieria without spending much money.

Have you tried to propagate yours yet?

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