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Divide Sansevieria Snake Plant

How to divide Sansevieria or Snake Plant.  Sansevieria is a slow-growing plant but it can become overgrown, this is a great way to keep your snake plants healthy and propagate them too!

Sansevieria is a popular house plant also known as Snake Plant or the politically incorrect Mother in Law’s Tongue plant. 

It is one of the house plants I have listed in my Clear the Air with House Plants post as an excellent indoor plant for low light conditions.

In this article, I show you how to easily divide and propagate Sansevieria or Snake Plant to get more of this powerhouse oxygen producer!

For an article on easy care for Snake Plant visit here

Benefits of Sansevieria – Snake Plant In Your Home

There are many on the list of wonderful air-cleaning plants but the plus with Snake Plant is it releases oxygen into the air at night making it a perfect candidate for the bedroom.

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Recently I had the privilege of seeing these beautiful plants used in the landscape of a mall in Southern California. I had to take a photo and obviously by the response I got to it on Instagram and Facebook many of you loved them too.

Related: Grow in the Dark, best plants for low light conditions!

Divide Snake plant

Not only were they in the ground but in the potted displays as well.  Don’t they pair beautifully with other succulents?

potted-sansevieria-trifisciata with other plants

Now I can’t keep mine outdoors in the winter but after seeing them used in the landscape I will remember to use them on my deck in the Summer.

Why Divide Sansevieria aka Snake Plant

This plant was struggling and the owner wanted me to find out what was wrong. I removed it from its pot and found this. There was not any soil left in the pot. When your root ball looks like this it is time to divide. (dividing should have been done way before it started to look like this)

Being the roots were so shallow and the top was heavy it kept trying to topple. This is definitely in need of dividing.

root mass of sansevieria that needs dividing

Dividing Snake Plant – Sansevieria – Mother in Law Plant

Gently pull apart by grabbing a section of the thick leaves close to the base and gently tug as much as you can. 

Pulling it apart will help give you a good visual of where you can cut apart some of the thicker roots.

How to Divide Sansevieria or Snake Plant

Once you have pulled the roots apart so that you can see then you can get in to cut through the thick roots also known as rhizomes to divide.

How to Divide Sansevieria or Snake Plant

Have a sharp garden knife or pruners ready to sever the section from its neighbor.   Go ahead, you won’t hurt it.

Propagating Snake Plant

Do this to more sections, I prefer to have several leaves per new clump so it looks fuller from the start. Next, you will repot each of these sections into its own container or pot.

Some folks like to take leaf cuttings to propagate them but not all sansevieria varieties will come true with that method. The only way to get a clone of the parent plant when propagating snake plant is to make these root divisions.

mother in law plant division

Repotting snake plant

Put your new sections into clean pots (I use the one-gallon size reused nursery cans for the plants I give away). The best soil for the snake plant is a well-draining potting mix. Personally, I like a custom mix of 50% regular potting soil and 50% Cactus potting soil.

The best pots for snake plants are terra cotta since they allow the soil to dry out more easily than plastic pots. Always make sure there is a drainage hole in the bottom and it does not get clogged.

When repotting the snake plant babies do not plant them too deep.

How to Divide Sansevieria or Snake Plant

Give Snake Plant Divisions Support

The new sections on mine are so large and top-heavy that it is difficult to keep them upright without staking. You can use pieces of bamboo, small stakes, or anything that will serve as support.  Tie them up with strips of pantyhose, wire or twine.

I place them in a crock for more bottom weight but you can just plant them up in ceramic or terracotta pots that have more weight to them than the plastic I used here.  I also use some decorative stones on top of the soil for added weight, plus it just looks prettier.

How to Divide Sansevieria or Snake Plant

Groom your Snake Plant

The brown tips I will cut off at an angle and before I know it these new plants are putting out babies..

new growth, How to Divide Sansevieria or Snake Plant

So that is one way to get more plants for free.  I ended up with 5 plants from the one and they all are filling in wonderfully.

What is your favorite house plant?

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