How to Propagate Sansevieria Cuttings
Sansevieria is a genus of succulent plants native to tropical areas of Africa and parts of Asia. Many of the 70 species of sansevieria are cultivated as houseplants and as outdoor ornamental plants in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 10 and 11. The sword-shaped, upright leaves come in a variety of shades of green and many include variegated or striped markings that exposure to moderate levels of light enhance. All sansevieria species propagate readily from cuttings, so reproducing plants with favorable traits is very easy and highly successful.
Select one or two healthy leaves from an established sansevieria plant in late spring. Look for leaves with thick flesh and good coloring.
Cut the leaves near their base using scissors or hand-held pruners. Cut it at a 45-degree angle approximately 1 inch above the top of the soil.
Lay the leaves on a flat surface. Cut them into 1- to 3-inch-long sections. Mark the tip and end of each section to indicate which end points toward the top of the plant and which end points toward the roots. It is vitally important to mark the leaves so they are placed in the pot with the root end in the soil.
Place the sansevieria cuttings in a warm, dry area with good air circulation for five to seven days to allow the cut ends to heal and callous over. Check the cuttings for toughened areas on each end, as well as small white nodules indicating root production.
Fill a 1-gallon plastic pot with succulent potting soil or a mix of equal parts pumice, coarse river sand and potting soil. Pour 5 cups of water into the soil and allow it to drain for 10 minutes before potting the cuttings.
Place up to five cuttings into the 1-gallon pot. Insert the cuttings one-third their length into the soil. Arrange the cuttings so there is one inch of space between each one.
Place the pot near a bright window with good air circulation, indirect sunlight and temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Water the cuttings every seven days, applying only enough water to wet the top 1 inch of the soil. Do not overwater sansevieria cuttings during rooting.
Check for root production after 30 days by gently digging around the base of each cutting with your finger or the tip of a pencil. Tugging on the cuttings to test for resistance is another way of checking for roots.
Repot the new plants into individual 6-inch plastic pots filled with succulent potting soil once roots have developed. Place the new plants under the same light and moisture conditions as the mother sansevieria.
- "Tempting Tropicals: 175 Irresistible Indoor Plants"; Ellen Zachos; 2005
Samantha McMullen began writing professionally in 2001. Her nearly 20 years of experience in horticulture informs her work, which has appeared in publications such as Mother Earth News.