By Bonnie L. Grant
Snake plants bring to mind visions of Medusa and are also called mother-in-laws tongue. The plant features sword shaped leaves, smooth and almost waxy. The easy nature of snake plant care makes it perfect for almost any interior situation and a visually striking and tenacious specimen. The plants are perfect gifts to share with the garden challenged, as they thrive on neglect and rise above abuse. Learn how to propagate snake plants so you can share this amazing and versatile houseplant.
Basic Snake Plant Care
The snake plant is flexible about lighting and humidity but it is fussy about the amount of water it gets. About the only thing that will kill a mother-in-law tongue is overwatering. It thrives in small pots with crowded rhizomes and has few pest or disease problems.
It is not necessary to fertilize, but if you feel like doing something nice for the plant, use a half dilution of houseplant food once a month during the growing season. These invaluable plants clean the air and enhance the home with tropical beauty. Spread the love by propagating snake plants and give your friends and neighbors a special treat.
How to Propagate Snake Plants
Learning how to propagate snake plants is easy. It is true that too much water can kill your plant, but rooting a snake plant in water is one of the most foolproof methods. You can also root the plant from cuttings. But the fastest way to get a new snake plant is to divide it. The plant grows out from rhizomes which mass together and multiply as the plant gets older. This method is no different than the one you use on your old perennials in the garden. Pick a method of snake plant propagation and let’s get to making babies.
Rooting a Snake Plant in Water
Choose a container that is tall enough to hold the leaf. Select a healthy leaf that is not too old and use clean, sharp shears to cut it off. Put the cut end of the leaf in just enough water to cover the bottom quarter of tissue. Place the container in an indirect light situation and change the water every couple of days. Soon you will see little roots. Plant the rooted leaf in sand or peat moss and follow usual snake plant care.
Propagating Snake Plants with Cuttings
This method is really no different than the water method, but it skips a step. You can let the cut leaf callus over for a day or two. Then insert the cut end into lightly moist sand in a container. Wait a couple of weeks and the plant will root on its own.
Snake Plant Propagation from Division
The mother-in-law tongue plant rises from thick, under-the-soil organs called rhizomes. These house the energy for leaf and stem growth. Pull the plant from its pot and use sharp shears or a hand saw to cut the base apart into sections. Usually just cut it in half unless the plant is really old and has masses of rhizomes. A good rule of thumb is at least 3 rhizomes plus healthy leaf per new plant. Plant each new section in fresh potting medium.