Can You Cut Off a Piece of Snake Plant and Plant It?

The snake plant, also known as mother-in-law's tongue, is a great houseplant for beginners. It's pretty tolerant of issues like under-watering and few hours of sunlight. If you cut off a piece of this vining plant, there are some simple steps to take in order to successfully propagate it.

You probably want more snake plants in your home because they are easy to grow and require little maintenance to thrive. In fact, a snake plant can survive on its own as long as you water it appropriately. Unlike other plants, you don’t have to go out and purchase new snake plants because it is relatively easy to propagate new plants from cuttings, leaves, and rhizomes.

So, can you cut off a piece of snake plant and plant it? The simple answer is “yes.” Propagating a snake plant from a cutting is relatively simple, and rooting the cutting in water is almost foolproof.  All you need to do is treat the cutoff part and root it in water or soil. Other than cuttings, you can also propagate a snake plant by division or from a rhizome. As long as you follow the correct procedure, you will have more snake plants in no time.

This blog post discusses everything you need to know about propagating snake plants, including how to propagate cuttings in soil and water. So, let us get started right away.

Why Do You Need to Propagate a Snake Plant?

There are many reasons why you would want to propagate a snake plant. First, you may be looking to reuse a damaged leaf or stem with sunburn marks. When exposed to direct sunlight, these plants tend to suffer sunburns. So, instead of cutting off the sunburn sections and throwing them away, you can turn them into new plants.

Instead of throwing away your damaged Snake Plant, consider propagating it to grow a new one.

Sometimes, you may want to propagate your snake plant because you have accidentally overwatered it, and now it is showing clear signs of root rot. If the root rot hasn’t spread too much, you can still save your plant. Unfortunately, many gardeners only notice the signs of root rot when it is too late.

You may also choose to cut off a section of your snake plant and propagate it because you just want to adjust the overall look of your existing plant a bit by removing some sections. You can even propagate prune leaves into new plants.

How Long Does It Take to Propagate a Snake Plant?

From our many years of experience, it usually takes between one and three months to propagate a snake plant. However, rooting your snake plant cutting in water might take some time. Some people choose to root their cutting in LECA over water to avoid rot on cuttings.

The cutting may also take a while to root in the soil. It may be almost the same time, but rooting in the soil might seem like a little longer because you can’t see anything happening.

You can always see the roots sprouting in water, especially if you are using a transparent container. Seeing the progress physically is motivating.

Propagating a Snake Plant takes somewhere between one and three months.

Propagating a snake plant from the division is pretty quick. All you have to do is cut off the baby plants from the mother plants at the rhizome and transfer them to new pots.

One thing you must keep in mind is that snake plants are generally slow growers. Therefore, you will be forced to wait for some time before the plant is mature enough to handle division.

You should also be wary of the time of the year you conduct propagation. Typically, propagation takes much longer in winter. The process is faster during spring or summer when the growing conditions are right. So, this is the best time to propagate your snake plant.

Different Ways of Propagating Snake Plant

Now that you understand why it is essential to propagate a snake plant and how long it takes, let us highlight the different ways of doing it right.

1. Propagating Snake Plants in Water

One of the easiest ways of propagating a snake plant is rooting the cutting in clean water. This is the best way to grow broken or bend parts into new plants. It is also an excellent way to turn the extra leaves into new plants instead of throwing them away.

To root your cuttings in the water, you will require a sharp pair of scissors or knife, water, a heavy glass/vase, and rooting hormone, which is optional.

Using the knife or scissors, carefully cut off the leaf you want to propagate. Ensure the cutting is done near the soil and is as clean and sharp as possible. You can dip the cutting into a rooting hormone if you like.

Now place the bottom of the leaf into a vase containing water. Ensure the leaf is covered halfway. If the leaf is too large, cut it into sections and root each section differently.

It is critical to keep the cut leaf in the same orientation it was when it was in the soil. Keep in mind that snake plant leaves are highly polar and will only develop roots if the edge of the leaf closest to the potting mix is put in the water.

If you interchange the orientation, the leaf won’t grow roots.  You can always go for a V-shape cutting for the best results.

2. Rooting Snake Plant Cuttings in LECA

Sometimes, rooting snake plant cuttings in water can be problematic. This is because snake plant cuttings are prone to rot when exposed to water for an extended period.

This is why many people choose to root the cuttings in LECA (Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate) or vermiculite and perlite instead of water.

LECA is an excellent medium to use for snake plants. It doesn’t promote rot, and you can easily monitor the progress of the cutting.

To root your cuttings in LECA, you will need an empty pot, a prepared mix of LECA, perlite, and vermiculite, and, obviously, a snake plant cutting.

Fill the pot with the prepared mix and position it near a window or light. Gently insert the cutting into the pot and make sure that it is in an upright position. Water regularly to keep the LECA moist but not wet.

You’ll need to wait for some time before seeing any signs of growth, but once the leaves appear, you’re good to go.

3. Propagating Snake Plant Cuttings in Soil

If you don’t want to propagate the cutting in water, you can do it in soil. The first thing you need to do is carefully cut off the section of a healthy leaf near the base of the plant.

Let the cutting dry and heal for one or two days, then plant it in a clean potting mix. Water it well and let the excess water drain completely. Don’t let the potting mix get too dry or wet because the cuttings can easily rot in soggy soil.

Check on your soil once every two weeks and only water when the topsoil is completely dry. Just like rooting in water, the cutting will take some time to root and grow into new plants. However, rooting in soil takes a little bit longer compared to rooting in water.

4. Propagating from Rhizome Division

If you are looking to propagate a snake plant easily, you can split the rhizomes and root them as new plants. Rhizomes are the underground parts of a snake plant that look like pieces of ginger or thick roots.

Carefully pull your plant out of the container and use a pair of sharp shears or serrated knife to cut the mass of roots and soil in half. Each half will have at least three rhizomes and should be healthy.

Once you are done with the separation, put each new plant in the soil and water it properly until the water drains out through the bottom of the container.

Keep in mind that with the rhizome division method, you can’t propagate the rhizomes in water because it isn’t necessary. You should only consider propagating a snake plant cutting in water when there are no roots yet.

5. Propagating Snake Plants Using Offsets

Another way of propagating snake plants is by using offsets. These parts of the mother plant grow separately from it and need to be cut off and placed into their own pot.

Offsets are easily identified because they have distinct root systems. To propagate them, you will need a sharp knife/scissors, potting mix, and an empty pot for transplanting.

Using the scissors or knife, gently cut off the offsets from the mother plant and separate them from the rhizome.

Place these offsets into an empty pot filled with the potting mix. Water and keep the plant in a warm and bright location away from direct sunlight.

It is essential to be careful while cutting off offsets as they are prone to rot once exposed to water or sunlight.

6. Seed Germination

You can also propagate snake plants from seed if you are patient and do everything right. Snake plants usually produce flowers during spring or summer. These flowers can be pollinated to produce seeds.

You can collect the seeds and try your luck germinating them into seedlings.

To germinate the seeds, fill a container with potting mix and lightly press down each seed into the soil. Cover the entire container with plastic wrap and place it in a warm spot away from direct sunlight.

Check the soil every couple of days to ensure it is moist but not wet. In a few months, you should start seeing the seedlings emerge from the soil.

Once they have grown into young plants, transfer them to larger pots filled with fresh potting mix and keep watering regularly until they are established enough to be moved outdoors.

What Are Some of the Common Snake Plant Propagation Problems?

Even though propagating snake plants is almost foolproof, some things may still not go according to plan.

One of the common problems you will most likely encounter is your cutting failing to root on time. It happens most of the time because not every piece of cutting is the same. Some cuttings might not root as well as others.

Sometimes, the cutting from a Snake Plant does not root on time.

In most cases, the solution to delayed rooting is just to give your cutting more time.  As long as your cutting isn’t showing signs of rotting and you keep the water fresh, roots will soon start to appear.

To speed up the healing process and prevent a wide range of other issues that may arise, consider adding ground cinnamon to the ends of your cutting before you start the propagation process.

Caring for a Snake Plant after Propagation

For post-propagation care, the most important thing you need to do is find the right lighting for your plant. In fact, this can be the only difference between a stagnant and growing snake plant.

Although snake plants are one of the few low-light tolerant succulents, it doesn’t mean that this is the ideal environment for them. These plants generally thrive in a relatively sunny environment and can even bloom if you are lucky.

After propagating your Snake Plant, place it in a sunny area for it to thrive or even bloom.

So, you need to find a good spot inside your house where you will position the propagated plant. Ensure the spot receives plenty of natural light but don’t expose your young plant to direct sunlight to avoid causing sunburns.

If you are propagating the cutting in soil, make sure the soil is well-draining and has plenty of organic nutrients. This will help your plant to root faster and stay healthy.


Now that you know the different ways to propagate a snake plant and how to take care of propagated plants, it is time to fill your home with new plants for free.

The most important thing to remember is that different propagation methods require different maintenance routines. For instance, if you use rhizome division or rooting a cutting, it is critical to use the right potting mix and a container with plenty of drainage holes to prevent root rot.

To keep your snake plants healthy for many years, you should consider repotting them every two to three years. This is also the best time to propagate them.

Last update on 2024-02-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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