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How to Grow Snake Plant New Shoot (And Propagation By Pups)

There’s nothing better than the striking spikes of a well-cared-for Snake Plant – except perhaps lots of baby Snake Plants!

These easy-to-tend superstars will readily multiply in the correct settings, giving you an almost endless source of spectacular greenery.

With a few little tricks, you’ll have a veritable forest of them with no effort.

What Are New Shoots on a Snake Plant?

Any varieties of snake plants produce thick, juicy roots, known as rhizomes.

Everything a Snake Plant needs to survive is stored in the mother plant’s tubers.

As a result, the Snake Plant can quickly and easily re-establish itself in the event of a fire, drought, or any other disaster.

Depending on the environment, rhizomes can produce new plants.

The Snake Plant has no use for its emergency supply of water and sugar and instead uses it to grow new plants.

These adorable puppies are brand new and ready to launch their spears into the sky.

9 Tips To Grow Snake Plant New Shoot

[1] Place The Plant In Full Sun

It takes a lot of energy to stock a rhizome, and the best way to ensure your Snake Plant is up to the challenge is to provide a lot of good quality light.

So bring your plant out into the light! However, you should take a few precautions when growing these hardy desert plants in strong sunlight.

First, you’ll need to get your Snake Plant used to its new sunny lifestyle by gradually increasing its light levels for a few days or a week.

Then, allow it to get used to the new environment by moving it to a new location each day.

I’d also recommend making sure it’s well-shaded during the hottest parts of the day, between 11 am and 1 pm. Midday is when the sun’s ultraviolet rays are most dangerous.

Finally, keep an eye on your water levels. You’ll need to water your Snake more frequently if it’s in full sun to keep it hydrated.

Water in the mornings so that moisture is available when most needed.

[2] Feed It Every Four To Six Weeks During Spring And Summer

Soil enrichment during the growing season is essential because a rhizome is more than just water; it is a nutrient reservoir.

The best approach is to use a general-purpose liquid fertilizer and water it only once a month. (You can see the Amazon prices here)

If you have a small pot, you should water it every six to eight weeks.

This provides just the right amount of nourishment for the Snake Plant without overfeeding it.

They don’t need much and overfeeding the soil can lead to nitrogen burn or mineral salt buildup in the growing medium.

[3] Plant In A Well-Draining Potting Medium

I can’t stress enough how critical a suitable potting medium is to promote new growth enough.

The pups will push their way through the soil to the light if the soil has good drainage and a loose medium.

If the growing medium is soggy, water will collect around the young plants, encouraging rot instead of growth.

In contrast, the pups will struggle to break through a compacted and dense medium.

To make my potting soil, I use two parts standard potting soil, one part perlite, one part coarse sand, and a few handfuls of gravel.

This promotes good drainage and keeps roots in good condition. And yet, it’s not too heavy to encourage new growth.

If you don’t want to dirty your hands, a commercially available mix formulated for succulents and cacti will do the trick. (Check out the prices on Amazon here)

[4] Avoid Over-watering

The Snake Plant is a demanding customer, a desert specialist that requires very little water to thrive.

However, too much water in the growing medium can encourage pathogens that will eat your pups as they emerge and stress the mother plant to the point where it will not be able to pup.

I go into great detail about watering Snake Plants here, but in a nutshell, only water when the top two inches of growing medium are completely dry.

This could be once or twice a week; in the winter, it could be once or twice a month or even longer.

I use a disposable chopstick or popsicle stick to poke around in the growing medium, but if you’d prefer to avoid dirtying your fingers, that would work too.

Put your tool of choice two or three inches into the medium. If the instrument is clean and dry everywhere but the tip, it’s time to water.

This article will help you save your snake plant if you’ve overwatered it.

[5] Enough Container Space

Even though Snake Plants prefer a small pot, it’s good to leave enough room for the new pups to emerge.

But, on the other hand, a crowded pot means no room for new plants!

Check the root mass first to see if you have enough space for new shoots. Then, remove the plant from the pot by gently tapping it.

Your Snake has enough room to sprout if there are no signs of root binding and plenty of free soil that isn’t already occupied by roots.

If your Snake is giant and cannot be easily tapped free of its pot, you can instead poke around in the medium with a finger or a small stick, just as you would when checking moisture levels.

The more room you have to dig, the more pups you can have!

A slightly larger pot will suffice if your Snake is root-bound.

They only need an inch or two of clearance around the root mass, and it’s an excellent opportunity to refresh the soil and ensure good drainage.

To help regulate water levels more deep in the soil, choose a pot with at least three drainage holes, preferably made of a porous material like terracotta.

Make sure the soil is loose, sandy, and free-draining.

[6] Remove Dead Or Dying Leaves

The Snake will not produce new shoots if its leaves die, as all plants need the energy to survive.

So you’ll have to get rid of them so the snake plant can focus on new growth.

Remove any dead or dying leaves from the soil.

There’s no point in snipping off a small portion of a snake plant’s leaf because it stops growing once it’s been trimmed.

[7] Allow Your Plant To Mature

Be patient; it takes time for a Snake Plant to produce a rhizome. Most Snake plant varieties will require six to eight mature leaves before considering sprouting a pup.

It may only take six months for Sansevieria zeylanica pups to reach this point after propagation, but other varieties can take up to a year to mature.

Before producing pups, the mother plant must mature. Propagation from leaf cuttings is an option if you need to get your plants going quickly.

To learn about other ways to grow new Snake Plants, click here.

[8] Maintain Good Plant Hygiene

Snake Plant shoots, like all new babies, are delicate. To keep them free of disease and pests, you must maintain good hygiene.

Use only clean, new soil and clean tools when repotting plants. Ensure that the water it receives is clean and that the growing area is well-ventilated.

Finally, keep the mother plant free of diseased or infected plants, as a pup is a delicacy for pests and disease-causing bacteria and fungi.

[9] Don’t Stress The Mum

It is critical to support the mother plant if you want healthy baby shoots.

However, don’t overthink it and keep the growing environment as stable as possible.

It is critical to maintaining an even temperature, consistent lighting, and regular watering.

Temperatures of 70-90°F (21-32°C) are ideal for snake plants.

While they can tolerate temperatures outside of this range, it is difficult for them to adjust, slowing the development of any new pups lurking beneath the soil.

As previously stated, good bright lighting is also essential.

However, once you’ve acclimatized the Snake Plant to a few hours of direct sun, it’s critical not to exceed that amount or risk sun damage and heat stress.

While lowering their light levels is less dangerous, it will still slow the development of those valuable new shoots.

Propagation by Snake Plant Pups Without Roots

Even the best-laid plans can go awry, and it’s not uncommon for new Snake Plant shoots to lose their root.

Maybe you rescued a pup from a root-bound mass and snapped it off to free it from compacted soil.

Unfortunately, a rough-and-tumble child or animal may have broken the pot, or the roots may have become infected with rot.

Fortunately, Snake Plant pups are just as tough as their parent plants.

So even if the rhizome is damaged or lost, it’ll be fine without it. Here’s how to get them to grow.

Step 1: Pick the best offshoots

A healthy Snake Plant pup is a tight coil of new leaves. They often look like rigid little spears that can’t be broken.

Look for firm, brightly colored pups with a lot of green. If they have started to unfurl a few leaves, any pup with good color and a firm texture is healthy.

Step 2: Separate offshoots from the parent plant

Remove the pup with caution from the parent. Keep some rhizome around to add to the pup – it will look like a thick, pale root that’s about the same size as your pup.

The less you harm the parent plant and the pup, the better.

It will take time for an injury to heal, so you’ll want to keep it at a minimum to encourage new root growth.

Step 3: Pick an appropriate pot

Small pots are ideal for small pups. Choose a pot no more than two or three inches across for new shoots.

Even though it may not seem like much, they don’t require a lot of space to get started.

First, check to see if it has a sufficient number of drain holes.

Small terracotta pots with a diameter of two to three inches are ideal, but any small container with two or three drainage holes will work.

Growing snake plant pups in recycled yogurt pots have been an excellent success for me.

In pots without drainage holes, water and nutrients can accumulate far from the new roots of the plant, which can lead to root rot and other problems.

You can move the pup to a larger pot once it has established itself.

Step 4: Prepare the potting mix

As described above, fill your pot with a high-quality cactus and succulent mix. Then, water it thoroughly and allow it to drain completely.

Step 5: Plant the Offshoots

Finally, plant your new shoots. Put the bottoms down in the growing medium, no more than a quarter of an inch below the surface.

With larger pups, I’d recommend using a chopstick to stabilize them.

Step 6: Support New Growth

All you have to do is make sure they get enough water and are adequately lit. As their roots grow, young pups do best in bright but indirect light.

Keep the medium moist, but not wet, as they require more frequent watering than their parents. It’s best to water in the mornings to avoid the risk of rot.

Do Snake Plants Like To Be Crowded?

Snake Plants, unlike most houseplants, enjoy being crowded.

If you want the Snake Plant to bloom, you must allow it to become completely root-bound.

There is no need to repot as long as the leaves are good.

However, if you want new shoots, you must allow them to develop.

You won’t see pups if the medium isn’t large enough to accommodate a juicy fresh rhizome.

How Often Do Snake Plants Make Pups?

Most snake plants are enthusiastic producers of new shoots, regardless of the variety.

It’s possible to expect a steady supply of fresh sprouts for as long as the pot is full.

If you give a Snake Plant enough room to spread out, it will quickly fill its pot to overflow with new babies for you to enjoy.