How to Propagate a Zebra Plant?

Zebra plants are as popular for their foliage as they are for the delightful babies that hang from them. With the right care and a little patience, you can easily grow your own zebra plant babies and enjoy this pretty houseplant for years to come.
A zebra plant on a white pot.

Also known as Haworthia Attenuata, zebra plants have evolved to become incredible houseplants common in North America and other parts of the world. Gardeners enjoy adding this succulent to their plant collection since it does not require much care and is quite resilient. If you have a few zebra plants, you might be looking for ways of multiplying them to increase their number in your home. Fortunately, you can always propagate your zebra plant if you know what you are doing.

So, how can I propagate a zebra plant? Propagating zebra plants usually involves breaking off pieces of the plant and planting them in well-draining soil. There are two ways to do this: by leaf propagation or stem propagation. Leaf propagation involves taking a single leaf from the zebra plant and burying it in a pot of soil. Stem propagation involves cutting off the stem with some leaves attached and burying it in moist soil. Both methods are relatively easy but can take time to yield results.

This blog post discusses everything you need to know about zebra plant propagation. Read on to learn more.

Why Should I Propagate My Zebra Plant?

The truth is that propagating a zebra plant is not essential. You can just leave it alone and enjoy the beautiful foliage, flowers, and fruits that it produces throughout the year.

But many gardeners opt to propagate their plants for one simple reason: it enables them to increase their collection of zebra plants without having to buy new plants from nurseries.

Zebra plant in a white pot.
You will feel proud that you have managed to nurture it successfully.

Moreover, propagating your zebra plant can help you keep it healthy and happy. Removing diseased or dead leaves or stems plays a critical role in curbing the spread of diseases and pests to the other parts of the parent plant.

The art of propagating your zebra plant is also satisfying and fulfilling since it gives you a sense of accomplishment.

When your propagated plant starts to produce new shoots and leaves, you will feel proud that you have managed to nurture it successfully.

How to Propagate Zebra Plant

Now that you know why propagating zebra plants is essential, let’s look at the steps involved in this process.

Step 1: Identify a Healthy Leaf/Stem from the Mother Plant

The first step in propagating a zebra plant is to identify a healthy leaf or stem from your parent that you will use in the propagation process. Take time to identify a leaf or stem that is healthy for cutting.

Make sure you use a sharp and sterile knife to avoid causing unnecessary infections. You can sterilize your knife using bleach or rubbing alcohol. Simply wipe it with alcohol or bleach before you take the cutting.

As long as your knife is well sterilized, feel free to take a clean cutting without any worries. Once you take a clean cutting of a healthy leaf or stem from your zebra plant, you will be ready to move to the next step.

Step 2: Choose an Appropriate Container

The next thing you need to do is find a suitable container for your cutting. Ideally, you should use a plastic or glass container with plenty of drainage holes at the bottom that is large enough to accommodate your cutting.

A small zebra plant in a pot.
You should use a plastic or glass container with plenty of drainage holes at the bottom.

Avoid using metal containers as they are more likely to cause root rot. You should also pay close attention to your container size.

You don’t want the container to be too tall because your cutting will move around too much, interfering with root formation.

It is recommended that you scrub the container with some soap and hot water and rinse it thoroughly to get rid of soap traces.

Don’t rush the process because a single mistake may be catastrophic. Let the container dry completely before you fill it with clean water or soil.

Once you have found a suitable container and prepared it, fill it up with potting soil or a mixture of soil and organic matter. Ensure it is not too compact or dry; otherwise, your cuttings will have difficulty taking root.

Step 3: Rooting the Leaf/Stem Cutting

Rooting your leaf/stem cutting is the most vital step in propagating your zebra plant. You must do it correctly for successful propagation.

The best way to root your cutting is by submerging it in a glass of water for 2-3 weeks. Ensure the part of the leaf or stem you cut from the mother plant is completely submerged underwater, and keep the water level consistent.

Take time to pull any leaves from the bottom part of the cutting if you are using a stem cutting. Feel free to use a wire mesh to hold the stem cutting in place. You can use a rubber band to secure the wire mesh.

A zbra plant with a pruner besied.
Rooting your leaf/stem cutting is the most vital step in propagating your zebra plant.

You can also root your cutting directly in the potting soil or a mixture of soil and organic matter, but this is more prone to failure. Once you have rooted your cutting successfully, you can transplant it into a new spot.

Step 4: Transplanting and Caring for Your Cutting

Once your cutting has taken root, it is time to transfer it to your preferred spot. Choose a location that provides plenty of sunlight and water the soil moderately. Watering should be done only when the top layer of soil feels dry.

Zebra plant exposed to sunlight.
Choose a location that provides plenty of sunlight and water the soil moderately.

Watch out for any pests and diseases while caring for your cutting, and act immediately if you notice something.

Once your plant is established and starts to grow, you will feel proud that you have managed to nurture it successfully.

How Do You Propagate a Zebra Plant in Water?

Although succulents are highly sensitive to excessive water, rooting a zebra plant in a glass of water is quite simple and risk-free.

In fact, many gardeners prefer water propagation because it is an easy way of monitoring rooting progress. However, it might take relatively longer for roots to form in water.

If you choose to root your zebra plant cutting in water, ensure you choose a relatively narrow glass to help keep the cutting in position. You can dip the cutting in a rooting hormone before you place it in the container.

Carefully fill the container with distilled water while ensuring the bottom of the stem cutting is completely submerged.

Place the container in an area with indirect sunlight and change the water every other day for a few weeks to keep it fresh.

You will know that your cutting is rooted when you spot tiny white root hairs on the stem or a few tiny roots protruding from the stem base. Once you see these signs, proceed to transplant the cutting into its new home.

One thing you must be careful with when rooting your stem cutting in water is the type of water you use. Distilled water is the best because it has no added chemicals, but you can still use rainwater.

Avoid using tap water because it contains harmful chemicals that may interfere with the rooting process. If you must use tap water, ensure it is well-aerated for at least 24 hours before you use it.

Air Layering a Zebra Plant

Air layering is a unique form of propagation that involves getting a zebra plant to produce new roots before you cut the stem off the parent plant.

Air layering takes a little longer, but it is less risky and more successful than propagating cuttings directly.

The process of air layering involves laying a moss or sphagnum-wrapped stem, cutting in moist soil, and allowing it to root for some time before severing it from the parent plant.

Choose a healthy, relatively thick stem and wrap it with wet moss or sphagnum. Secure the moss with a plastic film and ensure it does not dry out. You can also mist the stem occasionally to keep it moist for faster rooting.

Once you start spotting root hairs, separate the rooted cutting from the parent plant and transplant it. Water moderately and provide enough sunlight to help the cutting establish itself over time.

When Is the Best Time to Propagate Zebra Plant?

If you choose to propagate your zebra plant by stem cutting, the best time to do so is during spring or summer, when the stem cuttings are easiest to work with. This is because they are more pliable and less likely to suffer from shock after propagation.

A person repotting a zebra plant.
The best time to do so is during spring or summer, when the stem cuttings are easiest to work with.

In terms of air layering, the best time to do this is during the summer months when the conditions are favorable for rooting.


Propagating a zebra plant is easy as long as you have patience and pay attention to detail. Start by choosing the right container for your cutting and filling it with soil or a mixture of soil and organic matter.

You can then root your cutting directly into the potting medium or submerge it in a glass of water for 2-3 weeks.

Once your cutting has taken root, transplant it elsewhere. Choose a location that provides plenty of indirect sunlight and water the soil moderately.

Monitor your plant closely for any diseases or pests while caring for it, and act quickly if you notice anything wrong.

With a little effort, your cutting will grow into a healthy and vibrant houseplant.

Last update on 2023-07-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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