5 Unique Methods for Successful Sansevieria Propagation

If you’re a plant enthusiast, you’ve likely come across the popular houseplant known as Sansevieria.

Also referred to as snake plant, mother-in-law’s tongue, bowstring hemp plant, or devil’s tongue, Sansevieria is a versatile and resilient plant that can thrive in various conditions.

One fascinating aspect of Sansevieria is its ability to be propagated through different methods. In this article, we will explore five unique and effective ways to propagate Sansevieria successfully.

1. Crown Division of an Existing Plant

One of the simplest and most reliable methods of Sansevieria propagation is through crown division. This method involves separating an existing plant into multiple sections and potting them individually.

To perform crown division, carefully remove the Sansevieria plant from its pot and gently divide the plant at its roots into as many sections as desired. It’s crucial to ensure that each section has sufficient roots for successful growth.

Once the divisions are made, plant them in separate pots using a well-draining potting mix. A recommended mix is two parts Miracle-Gro Cactus, Palm & Citrus Mix and one part 1/4″ pumice for enhanced aeration and drainage.

It’s essential to choose appropriately sized pots, as Sansevieria prefers slightly smaller pots that allow the soil to dry out quickly. Over time, each divided section will grow into a new Sansevieria plant.

Pros of Crown Division:

  • Instantly produces new plants that are identical to the parent plant.
  • Ideal for preserving variegated varieties, as they will stay true to their unique patterns.
  • No waiting period for new plants to emerge.

Cons of Crown Division:

  • Requires a plant with multiple crowns or growths.
  • May cause temporary stress to the parent plant.

2. Leaf Cuttings in Water

Another popular method of Sansevieria propagation is through leaf cuttings in water. This method involves selecting mature and healthy leaves, cutting them into segments, and allowing them to root in water before potting them.

To start, choose a leaf or leaves and either leave them intact or cut them into multiple segments. Each segment has the potential to develop roots and produce new growth.

After making the cuttings, allow them to dry and callous over for at least 1-2 days. This step helps prevent rotting. Submerge the cuttings in water, making sure the entire V-shaped cut is underwater.

It’s essential to change the water frequently and clean off any slime that accumulates on the cuttings. This prevents rotting and promotes healthy root development.

Once the cuttings have rooted, they can be planted in a well-draining potting mix. Regular watering and appropriate lighting conditions will help the new plants thrive and grow into mature Sansevieria specimens.

Pros of Leaf Cuttings in Water:

  • Allows for easy observation of root and pup development.
  • No need to worry about overwatering, as the water level can be monitored.
  • Provides an opportunity to witness the fascinating process of root and pup formation.

Cons of Leaf Cuttings in Water:

  • Requires frequent water changes and slime removal to prevent rotting.
  • Can be a slower method compared to other propagation techniques.

3. Leaf Cuttings in Soil

Similar to leaf cuttings in water, leaf cuttings in soil offer an alternative propagation method that skips the water-rooting stage.

This method involves taking leaf cuttings, allowing them to dry and callous over, and inserting them into a well-draining potting mix.

The cuttings should be planted with the same orientation as they were when attached to the parent plant.

After planting, it’s essential to maintain proper watering practices. Allow the top inch of the potting mix to dry out before watering again, as Sansevieria prefers slightly drier conditions.

Placing the pot on a propagation heating mat can expedite the rooting process and promote faster growth.

Pros of Leaf Cuttings in Soil:

  • Eliminates the need to root cuttings in water before transferring to soil.
  • Saves time by combining the rooting and soil stages into one step.

Cons of Leaf Cuttings in Soil:

  • Some Sansevieria varieties may not come true from leaf cuttings, resulting in different characteristics than the parent plant.
  • Progress and root development cannot be easily observed without disturbing the cuttings.

4. Rhizome Cuttings

Rhizome cuttings offer an additional method of propagating Sansevieria. Rhizomes are underground stems that Sansevieria plants produce, and even sections without leaves can grow into new plants.

To perform rhizome cuttings, carefully remove the plant from its pot and select a suitable piece of rhizome. Alternatively, if a rhizome naturally breaks during routine repotting, it can be used for propagation.

Allow the chosen rhizome to air dry for a few days to callous over the cut ends. This step helps prevent rotting.

There are two options for rhizome propagation: placing the rhizome on moist sphagnum moss and enclosing it in a clear plastic bag or burying the rhizome directly in soil.

Both methods have the potential to produce new Sansevieria plants, but the progress will not be visible until new growth emerges.

Pros of Rhizome Cuttings:

  • Offers a faster propagation method compared to leaf cuttings.
  • Results in new plants that closely resemble the parent plant, including variegated varieties.

Cons of Rhizome Cuttings:

  • Requires removing the plant from its pot to access the rhizome.
  • Progress and growth cannot be observed without disturbing the rhizome.

5. Seed Propagation

Although less common and more time-consuming, Sansevieria can be propagated from seeds. However, seed propagation is not widely practiced due to the availability of faster and more reliable methods.

Sansevieria plants produce flowers that are pollinated by moths, but successful pollination and fruiting can be unpredictable.

If you’re interested in seed propagation, collect the seeds from a mature Sansevieria plant. The seeds are small, hard, and slightly transparent.

It’s recommended to soak them to achieve a tapioca-like consistency before sowing. Germination can be slow and may take several months, depending on the conditions.

Using a propagation heating mat and maintaining a humid environment can expedite the germination process.

Pros of Seed Propagation:

  • Provides an opportunity to grow Sansevieria plants with unique characteristics.
  • Allows for a deeper understanding of the plant’s life cycle and reproductive process.

Cons of Seed Propagation:

  • Requires patience and time due to slow germination and growth.
  • Results may vary, and seedlings may exhibit different characteristics from the parent plant.


Sansevieria propagation offers plant enthusiasts a rewarding and fascinating process of creating new plants. Whether you choose crown division, leaf cuttings in water or soil, rhizome cuttings, or seed propagation, each method has its pros and cons.

Experimenting with different techniques can help you expand your collection of Sansevieria plants and explore the many unique varieties available.

Remember to provide proper care and attention to your propagated Sansevieria plants, ensuring they have adequate light, well-draining soil, and appropriate watering practices.

With patience and a little experimentation, you’ll enjoy a thriving collection of Sansevieria plants in your home. Happy propagating!

Additional Information:

  • It’s important to note that certain Sansevieria varieties may not come true from leaf cuttings and may require other methods, such as crown division or rhizome cuttings, to preserve their unique characteristics.
  • Sansevieria propagation can be an excellent way to share plants with friends and family, as well as expand your own collection.

Leave a Comment