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How to Grow Snake Plants in Water? [Easy Steps & Aftercare Tips]

Potted Snake Plants cannot endure waterlogged conditions but can surprisingly grow only in a water medium if you consider foolproof precautions. 

To grow Snake Plants in water, either use leaf cuttings to let them root in hormonal water or transplant pre-rooted plants in water to let them thrive hydroponically. These methods may take 1-4 months until the roots get sturdy for soil transplant. 

Using hydroponics, anyone can multiply Snake Plants, but they grow weaker roots in water than in soil. 

Can Snake Plant Grow From Leaf in Water?

Snake Plants can easily grow from healthy leaf cuttings, making them easy to propagate even without potting mix.

In fact, they are among a few houseplants that can grow smoothly without soil and display much faster growth in water.

This is because the leaves of Snake Plants arise topically from a thick horizontal underground rhizome.
Image represents rooted Snake Plant cuttings in water
You can root the Snake Plant leaves in water and transplant them in well-draining soil.

Hence, their leaves are vital, showing quick regenerative ability and budding off new roots.

Also, water propagation gives a headstart for growing new plantlets without fuss about collecting, germinating, and growing Snake Plants from seeds.

However, Snake Plant cuttings may take 4-16 weeks to grow and establish a healthy root system.

Additionally, water-propagated Snake Plants have weaker roots than the plants that grow in the soil.

Snake Plants can survive only in water alone, but you must restock the water periodically to prevent fungal growth.

How to Grow Snake Plant from Leaf Cuttings?

If your existing Snake Plants have healthy leaves bent or broken accidentally, they can be used for propagation.

Gather sterilized pruners, a clean glass jar or vase, and rooting hormone, and follow the steps below.

1. Procuring Snake Plant Leaf Cuttings

  • Select a healthy leaf and cut it just above the soil.
  • You can also chop a single leaf into 4-5 inches long pieces.
  • At one end, make a V-shaped cut to increase the surface area for the roots.
  • Additionally, the cut edge won’t press on the bottom of the glass or vase.
  • Let the cuttings scab for 2-5 days before plunging them in water.
Image represents a 'V' cut on Snake Plant leaf
Cutting the Snake Plant in a “V” shape can also be effective for successful growth and has many uses.

2. Moving Snake Plant Leaf Cuttings to Water

  • Fill a glass jar with rooting hormone solution.
  • Then, plop the cuttings with the cut ends inside the water.

Snake Plants are highly polar. That’s why they develop roots only from the bottom end.

  • Ensure you have doused about 25% of the leaf in the water. 

3. Care for Snake Plant Cuttings

  • Switch the water with a fresh one every 2-3 days to prevent pathogen attacks.
  • Always use distillate or rainwater for propagation to avoid mineral build-up.
  • Place the cuttings near a screened east-facing window for 6-10 hours to meet the daily light needs.
  • Further, cover the cuttings with a zip-lock bag with perforations to guarantee humidity and moisture.
  • Use dark opaque containers to prevent algal growth.
  • Add a pinch of activated charcoal to the water to prevent unwanted odor.

Cuttings may take between 4 and 16 weeks to grow the first cluster of roots.

Moreover, small pups will gradually grow near the rooting end in the following month.

4. Separate and Transplant Snake Plant Pups in Water

  • Gently cut the Snake Plant pups right where they emerged from the leaf-cutting with a sterilized knife.
  • Repeat this process until several pups are used for your hydroponic creation.
  • Next, select a pot to grow the pups hydroponically in a distillate water medium. 
  • Meanwhile, fill it with pebbles, as these decorations look fantastic inside the vase.

How to Propagate Rooted Snake Plants in Water?

Leaf cuttings are generally easiest to root in water, but rooted plants thrive indefinitely with proper care.

Additionally, spring or early summer is the best time for replanting rooted Snake Plants in water.
Image represents Snake Plant leaf cuttings with 'pup'
Snake Plants have unique characters of making “pups” from the original plant.

You may divide the pups while repotting the Mother Snake Plant, but water it 1-2 days before repotting.

Clear all the attached debris from the roots by washing the rhizome in distilled water for 15-20 minutes and trimming the damaged parts.

Also, remove any yellow, curly or rolled-up, or droopy leaves using sterilized pruners to deter fungal infection

  • To transplant the pups, cut the plant’s rhizome into smaller pieces with a sterilized knife.
  • Ensure that each section has at least 1-2 leaves intact.
  • Fill an open dark opaque jar with rooting hormone solution, and douse the pups in the water.
  • Add a pinch of horticultural charcoal to the water to prevent foul odor.
  • Change the water every 5-10 days in spring and fall, every 5 days in summer, and every 10-15 days in winter.
Image represents a Snake Plant in water
If algae become an issue or water starts smelling funky, change it more frequently.
  • Clean the roots and the container every time you refill the water for the plant.
  • Wash the slime off the roots and remove the damaged ones by keeping healthy roots unharmed.
  • Protect the plant from cold stresses and keep it away from drafty windows.
  • Maintain a surrounding temperature of 50-85°F with 6-10 hours of bright indirect light.
  • Add one-fourth of diluted water-soluble feed formula monthly throughout spring and summer.

Check out the following video for more creative ideas to grow and propagate Snake Plants in water. 

From Editorial Team

Snake Plants in Soil vs. Water 

Aerated soil will allow the water around the roots to capture oxygen from the air.

However, waterlogged soil will 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. 

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

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