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How to Grow Snake Plant in Water?

I was pretty familiar with propagating snake plants pups in water and later growing them in soil. But growing those pups in clear water was a brand new idea for me.

To summarize, I had planted five new buds in water. I watched YouTube, Blogs, even asked friends.

Guess what? Four out of five survived. I assume it was an excellent result.

You can grow snake plants in water either by propagating leaf cuttings in water or by replanting rooted ones into a hydroponics container of water.

Snake Plant
Snake Plant (Source: Pexels)


I know, only a few sentences are not enough to get you the results. You may have to commit till the end of this post because commitments spark new ideas in your mind to grow it even better.

Believe me. The process isn’t that hard!

Growing Snake Plants by Propagating Leaf Cuttings in Water

I want to go from propagating leaf cuttings in water to grow them into a new plant eventually. If you already know this process, you can skip to the next sub-heading.

If your existing snake plants have off leaves that fall over and bend or break, they will be of great use.

Propagation is also a lovely way to utilize those extra leaves that you cut away when you wish to change the look of your snake plant.

Preparation for propagating Snake Plant Leaves on Water

Snake plants can grow in water and are propagated through leaf cuttings. Before jumping to the process, let’s discuss the materials that you will need for the process.

Materials Needed for the Propagation

  • A sharp scissor
  • Water
  • Container
  • Rooting hormone

Why wait? Let’s move on to the process.

Gently cut the snake plant leaves just above the soil. If your plant leaves are large, you can also cut them into 10 cm long pieces.

Remember! Use a clean and sharp knife; you will get a better result.

After cutting the leaves, soak the cuttings in root hormone because it will yield faster and better results.

Do not forget to put the cuttings into a water container in the right orientation. Snake plants are highly polar. That’s why they develop roots only from the bottom end. Otherwise, you won’t get the results.

Make sure you covered the bottom 25% of the leaf in water. This is vital!

Need an idea on how to cut the leaves?

Cutting the snake plant in a “V” shape can also be effective for successful growth and has many uses.

The “V” shape will increase the surface area of the cutting edge to the water. By doing so, the cut edge won’t press on the bottom of the glass or vase. You’ll be able to identify the bottom end of the leaf.

It would be best if you kept the snake leaves in a warm, indirect light-filled room.

I want to share with you an important tip, change the water in the glass or vase once a week or whenever the water appears cloudy. This little work will protect the plant from the attack of pathogens.

Now, you have to remain patient. Rooting from the bottom of leaves can take a month.

Once you see little rootings, you will see leaf pups gradually growing from the water in another month.

Separate and Repot the Buds into Water

After propagating your little pups in water, gently cut your snake plant leaves from the “Mother” plant.

As a next step, you should cut the pup off right where it emerged from the leaf-cutting with a pair of scissors.

Your pup is now free to go!

You may repeat this process until you have several pups that you used for your hydroponic creation.

Next, select a pot or vase with no drainage holes so your hydroponically-grown snake plants will stay stable. In my case, I used a shallow, narrow glass container.

Keep in mind that algae will eventually grow, primarily if you use a clear container. Meanwhile, I wanted to use glass to fill it with pebbles—these decorations look fantastic inside the vase.

Repot the buds in water, and then we are done.

Moreover, you may also grow snake plants from seeds.

Snake Plants

Replanting Rooted Snake Plants into Water

If you ask me, leaf cuttings are generally easiest to root in water, but rooted plants also work. Here are some directions on how to cultivate rooted snake plants in water.

I would suggest you do this at the beginning of summer or the end of spring. These are the best times to replant your snake plant. You will thank me!

As you would when you repot your snake plant in soil, remove the plant from its pot, clean the roots, and trim the damaged parts. After that, you can add water to the hydroponics container and plant it.

Let me describe the process briefly. This method works faster.

Choosing a Container

You can use any container that holds water. Don’t forget; no drainage hole this time!

Glass bottles are standard for growing plants, and they would look great paired with our beautiful plants.

Waterproof containers such as glass jars and plastic pots or even tall ceramic coffee mugs can be the best options.

To prevent algae growth, use dark, opaque containers. Copper, lead, and brass-lined pots should be avoided because liquid fertilizers may cause metals to corrode or damage your plants.

It would help if you chose a container that corresponds to the size of your plant. It is even wiser to select a pot that complements the snake plant variety.

Once you’ve chosen a suitable container, add some decorative stones to it. You can use many materials: gravel, pearl chips, pebbles, marbles, beads, or anything else that appeals to your fantasy.

Do not forget to add a pinch of powdered activated charcoal to the water to keep it clean and odor-free.

Divide Your Existing Plant to Appropriate Size

You may have to divide your old and large snake plant to transfer it from soil to water.

You’re likely to have trouble fitting your mature snake plant into your container. Likewise, be careful not to break your delicate pot while trying to fit in the plant.

You could store the mother plant as a backup if the transplant did not work out, as older plants may get used to living in the soil.

You should water the plant 1-2 days before removing it to loosen the soil. Pull your plant out of its pot and inspect the roots to see if you can naturally separate them.

Now, cut your plant into several smaller pieces with a sharp, sterilized knife. You can repot the remaining plant after taking as much as you need. The selected part must have a few leaves and roots to thrive.

Clean Your Plant

It is crucial to clean the roots of snake plants before transferring them from soil culture to hydroponics. Organic material in soil is susceptible to pests and diseases.

Hydroponics success is dependent on the following fundamental aspect.

  1. Tap and shake the plant gently to remove the soil and expose all the roots.
  2. Next, soak it for 15 to 20 minutes in clean water.
  3. After that, gently wash the roots 2-3 times with water until the water runs clean and transparent with no silt.
  4. Make sure you clean out the gaps between the roots so that they are free of soil.
  5. It might be necessary to dig out the soil stuck in crevices with bamboo or wooden sticks. Be sure to remove all soil.
  6. It would help if you also cleaned the leaves with water.

Remove Old Roots and Dead Leaves

You can see root damage if there is any after removing all soil from the roots. Make sure you remove the old and diseased root parts.

Keep only healthy, white roots. You should also remove any yellow, drooping, or curling leaves. Again, thoroughly wash the plant with water to avoid contamination from cutting tools.

Repot the Plant into Water

Then you can directly put it in the container once the plant is cleaned and dried. Add clean tap water and submerge the roots in water.

How to Care Snake Plants?

Change the water regularly

It is very crucial to replace the water in the pot regularly. You will be doing this so that the roots get enough oxygen to make their food.

Freshwater contains oxygen, and the plant slowly uses it up. If you neglect the water for a while, pathogens start to grow in water. Consequently, snake plants may develop soft rot caused by several types of bacteria.

A general water replacement schedule is once every 5-10 days in spring and fall, once every 5 days in summer, and once every 10-15 days in winter.

However, if algae become an issue or water starts smelling funky, change it more frequently.

Clean the Container

Make sure you clean your roots and pots every time you change the water. By doing this, you will ensure that no bacteria or fungi remain on the container, and you can re-fill the water.

Whenever you see rotten roots or leaves, cut them off and wash the plant afterward. Roots won’t rot if you change the water frequently.

Protect the Plant from Cold

Protect snake plants from the cold weather in winter to prevent them from wilting. If you have hydroponics grow room, ensure it is properly ventilated to have a constant temperature.

It is ideal for placing your snake plant near your heater at night. Also, you can arrange to have an aquarium heater installed if necessary.

Growing Environment


Hydroponic systems depend most heavily on the quality of their water. You should use plain drinking water or water directly from the tap. As long as your tap water meets specific safety requirements, you can use it for hydroponics.

Chlorine in tap water can cause some plants to react badly. You can avoid this by filling another container with tap water and leaving it standing overnight.

Because at room temperature, chlorine is gas, so its molecules will evaporate into the air. After that, you can give the snake plant this water.

Temperature and Light

In water, your snake plant can survive temperatures between 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it is a tropical plant, it prefers warmer temperatures around 70 degrees or higher.

Furthermore, snake plants require bright light regardless of whether they are grown in soil or water. Place your plants on the window sill to get moderate to bright filtered sunlight.

However, here’s an alternative. Snake plants do not require sunlight to thrive. A lamp’s scattered light will work just fine. Make sure the lamp is sufficiently bright.


To grow and thrive, snake plants need a variety of elements and inorganic compounds. It doesn’t matter whether these compounds are derived from soil or water.

Artificially added macronutrients like Nitrogen are important for the new growth of the plant. To supply snake plants with these nutrients, you can use fertilizers.

When choosing a fertilizer for a snake plant, you should use a soluble one that quickly dissolves in water. We can find them in liquid or salt form, specially designed for hydroponics. Consequently, the roots will absorb it.

Dilute the water and fertilizer using one-fourth the amount recommended on the package and pour the mixture into the container.

After a week, replace the mixture with plain water. Although the plant will grow slower than in soil, you did enough to keep it growing.

However, it would help if you only fertilized your snake plants once a month during the summer and spring.

If you are thinking of using organic fertilizers, I don’t recommend them because organic fertilizers don’t dissolve properly in water.

Moreover, You will not be able to track the number of nutrients supplied to the plant. These fertilizers can also attract pests.

Why do snake plants rot in wet soil but not in just water?

We can see people complaining a lot about overwatering snake plants. It can cause root rot and fungal infection.

Even though this plant cannot tolerate wet and water-logged soil for long, it can still grow in 100 percent water. It is both confusing and true at the same time.

Basically, it relates to the amount of oxygen at the root zone. These plants’ roots absorb oxygen from the moisture present in the soil.

Aerated soil will allow the water around the roots to capture oxygen from the air. Waterlogged soil will, on the other hand, make it harder for the air to reach the roots.

There aren’t enough air pockets in wet soil, so your plants won’t be able to breathe, resulting in stress. Therefore, the soil must be loose and not too dense.

In addition, adding perlite to the soil will reduce your chances of root rot since it will introduce air pockets to your soil!

Furthermore, soil contains a large number of microorganisms, which creates competition for oxygen. If oxygen levels are low, fungi will start to grow. Once weakened roots become infected, fungi cause them to rot.

However, in just plain water, snake plants won’t have as much competition for oxygen, so your plant won’t rot.

You can buy the plant on Amazon.

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