Sansevieria trifasciata (Snake plant) cuttings

Hey folks, today we are going to learn how to propagate snake plants from leaf cuttings.

The snake plant, or “Mother-in-laws-tongue” as it is often called is definitely one of the easiest houseplants to care for. The require minimal light and water, and can be pretty much left alone during the cooler winter months. This house plant is a succulent, which means that it’s fleshy leaves store water, similar to a cactus. It is very difficult to kill a Snake plant by under-watering it. More often than not if you’ve killed your Snake plant you’ve over-watered it, causing it to rot from the roots up.

The good news is that Snake plants are very easy to propagate from leaf cuttings, so you still may be able to salvage your plant after all!

First of all, leaf cuttings are different than stem cuttings that we have talked about before when propagating such plants as Pothos (devil’s ivy). A leaf cutting is basically a section of leaf, without stem, from which a new plant will grow. Jade plants are also able to be propagated from leaf cuttings, as well as many other succulents.

Start by cutting 4-5″ sections of healthy leaves (well above the rotten roots, if you are using this method to salvage a rotten snake plant) and then let them sit over night is a well-ventilated area. In about 24 hours the wounds will have calloused over and are ready for planting. It is very important that you remember which end of your leaf cutting is the top and which is the bottom, as they must be planted top-end up or else the cutting will fail.

I like to use a 50/50 mix of perlite and vermiculite for lots of cuttings, and it works especially well for Snake plant cuttings. Fill a container of your choice with 50% perlite and 50% vermiculite, mix it until you have an even consistency, then carefully place your Snake plant cuttings into the mix.

The 50/50 mix is really easy to work with when it is wet. It provides good stability and aeration, which allows new roots to grow with ease. The vermiculite helps retain water, but will not allow your cuttings to become water-logged.

Once the cuttings have been planted place them in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. A north-facing window will work fine, but at this point heat is more important than light, since your Snake plant cuttings have not developed roots yet. It will take several weeks for roots to grow, and you can test the cuttings by gently pulling on them to see if they have rooted. Water these cuttings consistently, but be careful not to let them sit in a pool of leachate.

After the cuttings have grown roots it may take a couple months for the new plants to grow. At this point you can re-pot them into a nice cactus soil. Look for updates as these cuttings root and mature.

Have questions about Snake plants, Sansevieria trifasciata, Mother-in-law’s tongue? Email dave@housplantblog.com. Thanks for reading!

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