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How to Propagate Snake Plants in Water With 100% Success

No more rotted cuttings with this simple trick!

Snake plants are awesome houseplants that are low-maintenance, air-purifying, and great for low light. Plus, propagating snake plants in water is super easy which means you can share your plant with friends and family (or just create more plants for your personal home jungle).

While they are easy to propagate, I’d be lying if I said I’ve always been successful. It takes knowing exactly how to do it. So if you’re here because you too have been watching your cuttings waste away before your eyes, I get it, and hopefully once you’re finished this article you won’t have it happen again.

I have had way too many snake plant cuttings rot in water to count before I finally figured out what I was missing. It all comes down to the way the leaf is cut. In order to guarantee success with your cuttings, you should be cutting the leaf diagonally both ways rather than straight across. Check out the photo below to get an idea of what I mean.

RELATED: How to Propagate Pothos in 3 Steps

Snake plant propagated cuttings with roots and small pups against a white background.
Photo by Cori Sears on plantandgrow

This seriously makes all the difference in the world. If I’m being honest, I’m not 100% sure why, I’m assuming it provides more surface area for roots to sprout but that’s just a guess (if you know why, feel free to let me know in the comments below!). All I really care about is the fact that it works and I haven’t had a cutting rot since.

Here’s how to propagate snake plants in water in just a few easy steps.

What You’ll Need

To get started propagating your snake plant in water you’ll need a healthy snake plant (no pests or root rot here please), sterilized pruning shears or scissors, a small glass jar or vase, and water. Down the line, you will also need some well-draining potting mix as well as a small pot with drainage holes.

Propagating Steps

Propagate snake plants in water with roots and a small pup.
Photo by Cori Sears on plantandgrow
  1. Using your pruning shears or scissors, cut a healthy leaf from your snake plant.
  2. Cut the leaf into several 3 to 4 inch sections – ensuring that the bottom of each cutting is cut upwards into a triangular shape.
  3. Place the cuttings in a jar of water. Ensure that each cutting is facing ‘upwards,’ meaning that the pointed end is up.
  4. Place the jar in a location that receives bright, indirect light. Roots should begin to appear within several weeks. Once the cutting has started growing pups and has established roots it can be planted in soil.
  5. Prepare a small container with well-draining potting mix.
  6. Plant the rooted cutting in the pot and water well, allowing the excess water to drain from the soil. Keep the soil evenly moist for the first 1-2 weeks to allow the roots to acclimate to soil.
  7. Place your new snake plant in a location that receives bright, indirect light.
  8. Enjoy your new snake plant!

Growing Tips

While the process of propagating snake plants is quite simple, it does require some patience and there are a few things that can help increase your chances of success. First, while it can seem daunting to cut off an entire snake plant leaf (especially if your plant is large) I like to root several cuttings at once in case some of them take longer than others. Second, ensure that you refresh the water once every couple of weeks to keep it fresh for your cuttings.

Snake plant cuttings that have been propagated in water sitting on a white background with roots and pups.
Photo by Cori Sears on plantandgrow

READ NEXT: Top 10 Hard-to-Kill Houseplants

FAQ

How long does it take to propagate snake plants in water?

Propagating snake plants is simple but it does require some patience. Unlike other plants like pothos that root within a couple of weeks, snake plants can take a couple of months to fully root and begin growing pups.

Why is my snake plant cutting not rooting?

Sometimes certain cuttings root more easily than others, but usually if your cutting isn’t rooting in water it just needs more time. Especially if you aren’t seeing any signs of rot (brown, mushy stems). Sometimes, it can take a few months for any substantial roots to grow, so just be patient!

Is it better to propagate snake plants in water or soil?

Personally, I prefer to root my snake plants in water. I find it easier to monitor the growth of the roots when they are rooting in water versus soil. However, there is a greater chance of your cuttings rotting when they are rooted in water versus soil which is why some growers prefer the soil method. It’s totally up to you!

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