How to Propagate a Snake Plant: Simple Methods That Work

Published January 27, 2021
Snake Plant

Learning how to propagate a snake plant is easy when you choose one of three methods. The snake plant can be propagated through leaf cuttings using two methods or by the division method.

How to Propagate Snake Plant Through Leaf Cuttings

If you choose to propagate a snake plant (Dracaena trifasciata) through leaf cuttings, you can select one of two methods. The first method of propagating with leaf cuttings is done by water and the other method is propagation through soil. Both methods of propagation require several leaf cuttings. You will cut the leaves free, individually, at soil level.

planting the snake plant

Propagate Snake Plant in Water

Propagating cut leaves with water is the preferred method of most gardeners. You will need to collect your supplies and tools before setting out to create new plants.


  • 2-3 100% cotton balls
  • Rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol)
  • Sharp pair of scissors
  • Tall drinking glass or tall vase to keep leaf erect
  • Water (distilled or filtered)


  1. With rubbing alcohol, moisten a cotton ball and wipe down the scissor blades.
  2. Allow the scissor blades to dry before using.
  3. Select healthy leaves and cut them individually.
  4. Cut the leaves near the soil level.
  5. Place the leaf on a sheet of paper towel where it won't be disturbed.
  6. Allow the leaf to dry and cut to form a callous (about 1-2 days).
  7. Once the cut has a callous, place the cut end down in a tall glass or vase.
  8. Add about 4"-6" of water so the cut end of the leaf is completely submerged, and the water level is several inches above the cut end.
  9. Set the glass or vase with the leaf where it will receive abundant indirect light.
  10. You'll need to change out the water every 2 days.
  11. When the roots are about 2" long, remove the leaf from the water.
  12. Plant the leaf in a soilless potting mixture.
Sansevieria trifasciata leaves

Propagate a Snake Plant in Soil

To propagate a snake plant in soil, you'll first follow the same instructions for cutting leaves to propagate. You will need to first gather your supplies and tools.


  • 2-3 100% cotton balls
  • Pair of gardening gloves
  • Paper towel
  • Pot for planting leaf cutting
  • Rooting hormone (optional)
  • Rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol)
  • Sharp pair of scissors
  • Small gardening trowel
  • Soilless potting mixture


  1. Place the cut leaves on a sheet of paper towel or however many sheets needed.
  2. Allow cut leaves to remain undisturbed for 2-3 days until each cut has developed a callous.
  3. If you wish to use a rooting hormone to stimulate root growth, you can pour a liquid hormone into a small dish.
  4. Dip the cut end of the calloused leaf into root hormone and plant.
  5. If you don't wish to use a rooting hormone, skip steps 3 and 4.
  6. Once the leaf has calloused, you can plant it.
  7. Fill the pot half-way with the soilless mixture.
  8. Place the cut end of the leaf into the soil and center.
  9. Hold the leaf in place as you use the gardening trowel to spoon in the soilless mixture around the plant, stopping about 1" from the rim of the container.
  10. Pat the soil firm around the leaf.
  11. Let the leaf rest for 2 days before watering.
  12. Place the plant in a bright area, but not in direct sunlight.
  13. You want to water just enough to moisten the soil, never over water.
  14. The leaf won't grow any further, and the plant stem will send out rhizomes that will produce new leaves that will emerge from the soil.
  15. You can cut away the original leaf cutting when the first new leaf pops up from the soil.
  16. Reduce the amount of water, since the snake plant is a succulent and doesn't require a great deal of water.
planting the snake plant in the pot

Propagate a Snake Plant by Division

The easiest method of propagation is by division. This is the preferred method for anyone with a variegated snake plant to preserve the coloring.


  • Gardening gloves
  • Large snake plant that can be divided
  • Pot
  • Soilless mix


  1. Don a pair a gardening gloves.
  2. Separate a clump of leaves and its roots from the main roots of the plant. This division will give you a clump of leaves with its own rooting system.
  3. Pot the separated clump, careful to cover all of the roots with a soilless mix.
Snake Plant leaves

How Long Does It Take to Propagate Snake Plant?

Propagation of a snake plant can take as much as 1-3 months. Some conditions may stimulate faster growth, such as temperature of the room and the amount of indirect sunlight the leave cuttings receive.

Learn How to Propagate a Snake Plant Using Three Methods

You can learn how to propagate a snake plant using three methods. You can choose which method works best to meet your goals in propagating a snake plant.

How to Propagate a Snake Plant: Simple Methods That Work