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How to Grow Snake Plant in Water? [Easy Steps]

Snake Plants cannot tolerate wet and water-logged conditions, but can certainly grow in water. 

You can grow Snake Plants by propagating leaf cuttings in water or replanting rooted ones into a hydroponics water container. This propagation process may take 2-3 months until roots get strong and healthy for transplantation. 

Using hydroponics, anyone can multiply Snake Plants; however, they can grow slower in water than in soil. 

Propagation via Leaf Cuttings

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

Collect some tools, including sharp scissors, water, a container and rooting hormone and follow the steps below.

Cut the Leaf

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.

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.

v cut on leaf
Cutting the Snake Plant in a “V” shape can also be effective for successful growth and has many uses.

Put the Cuttings in Water Container

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. 

Ensure you have covered the bottom 25% of the leaf in water. 

Care after Planting in Water

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.

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.

You may repeat this process until you have several pups 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.

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

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

Moreover, you may also grow Snake Plants from seeds.

Replanting Rooted Snake Plants into Water

Leaf cuttings are generally easiest to root in water, but rooted plants also work.  The best times to replant your Snake Plant are at the beginning of summer or the end of spring.

snake plant pups
Snake Plants have unique characters of making “pups” from the original plant.

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

Choosing a Container

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.

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 into Appropriate Size

You may divide your old and large Snake Plant to transfer it from soil to water.

Store the mother plant as a backup if the transplant does not work out, as older plants may get used to living in the soil.

You should water the plant for 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.

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 the 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 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 need to see root damage, if 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

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.

Care Tips for Snake Plants after Propagation 

Once you finish planting the cuttings, you must regularly check the water and light. 

Change the water regularly

Freshwater contains oxygen, and the plant slowly uses it up.

If you neglect the water for a while, pathogens start to grow in the 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.

Snake plant in water
If algae become an issue or water starts smelling funky, change it more frequently.

Offer the Quality 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, its molecules will evaporate into the air. After that, you can give the Snake Plant this water.

Clean the Container

Make sure you clean your roots and pots when you change the water. Doing this 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. 

Protect the Plant from Cold

Protect Snake Plants from the cold weather in winter to prevent them from wilting. If you have a 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.

Provide Temperature and Light

Your Snake Plant can survive temperatures between 50-85 degrees Fahrenheit in water. 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, there’s an alternative. A lamp’s scattered light will work just fine. Make sure the lamp is sufficiently bright.

Offer Nutrients

When choosing a fertilizer for a Snake Plant, you should use a soluble one that quickly dissolves in water.

You can opt for fertilizers in liquid or salt form, specially designed for hydroponics. 

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.

From Editorial Team

Snake Plants in Soil vs. Water 

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. On the other hand, 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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