How To Separate Snake Plants? Exploration Of The Easy Process!

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How to separate the snake plants?- I know how much trickier it can seem, especially when you are new in the journey with your snake plants.

At that time, I felt like the process was nothing more than a herculean matter.

But as the years have gone by, earning experience is not like that.

How To Separate Snake Plants

Of course, it’s not enough to make things clear. That’s why here I have brought a comprehensive guide to you to clarify things in the easiest possible way.

Main Facts:

  • Root-bound conditions, overcrowding or quickly drying out soil are the signs of transplantation. 
  • Mid to late spring and late fall are the ideal times for transplanting snake plants.
  • With proper tools and knowledge, transplanting the snake plants is an easy process.

Reasons To Separate Snake Plants

Now that you have decided to split your snake plants, it is worth exploring first what the solid reasons are for your need to do so. Well, here are a few factors I personally found as fundamental causes to separate and repot my snake plants– 

  1. Root Bound
  2. Overcrowding
  3. Promote New Growth
  4. Better Inspection

1. Root Bound

If you notice that your snake plant is root-bound, be sure it is the time when you need to separate them to ensure a study place for proper growth. Root bound is the stage when plants have outgrown the pot and become densely tangled in the inner side of the pot due to lower space. 

Reasons To Separate Snake Plants

If you leave it unchecked, it will affect its normal growth and may cause nutrient deficiencies. So, this is the absolute time to repot it into a larger container with fresh soil. 

2. Overcrowding

Generally, snake plants tend to send out pups, or new little plants, especially around the base of the mother plants.

But when it becomes too crowded, in its pot, and the pups are pushing against the sides, separating them is the best course of action to allow more space for them to grow.

Overcrowding

3. Promote New Growth  

If you desire to propagate your snake plants faster, division of the whole would be the right choice for you instead of propagating from your snake plant cuttings. When you divide a mature snake plant, each section or offset already has an established root system.

Promote New Growth

This will allow the new plants to grow quickly as cuttings may fail to develop roots or struggle initially.

4. Better Inspection

Division is the most effective tip that you can include in your regular maintenance routine. Whenever you separate your plants, you can better visualize the problem in the root system.

By treating the roots well, you can save your plant and even promote healthier growth. 

Better Inspection

Right Time To Separate Snake Plants

As a general rule of thumb, it is better to divide any plants in order to promote growth during its active growing season. So, mid-to-late spring to early summer is the ideal growing season for the snake plants to divide your snake plants. 

That’s because,

During this time, the snake plants come out from the dormant winter stage and actively want themselves to put out new growth. So, dividing and repotting during this active growing period will allow them to grow more quickly as they can take the best advantage of the warmer temperature and longer daylight hours.

It even helps your divided snake plant pups to have enough time to become well-rooted and settled in their new pots before the plants go dormant again. 

In most cases, 

I don’t wait for the ideal season to divide my snake plants. I check my new snake plant pups’ size and if it reaches about 4-6 inches tall, I don’t hesitate to separate them into their pots.

This is why the pups likely have their own robust root systems developed. And if you leave them unchecked, it could cause overcrowding. So, separation would be your best decision then. 

How To Separate Snake Plants?

Alright, here I’m going to walk you through how to divide snake plants in two ways tailored to my experience. But before that you will need some common tools including-

How To Separate Snake Plants

Tools you need:

  • A clean sharp knife.
  • A Pruning shear.
  • A hard surface. A table or chopping board will do. 
  • Repotting materials. (We will talk about this later in this guide)

Methods:

Method 1: Separating Snake Plant Pups

I had the snake plants for quite a while now and in the time I’ve had it, it had got two pups, or shoots, whatever you call it. The way I separate the pups, I am going to share with you here. 

How To Do:

First, take the snake plant that you want to unpack. To do this, just take it out of the pot. If the plant is not coming out, just tap around the pot with your fingers, and it will come out. 

Gently remove the soil from the root balls. Remove the dirt as much as you can to expose the rhizomes [the swollen underground stems that are attached to feeder roots]. The rhizomes are where you are going to cut.

After removing the soil, you can see pups. In my case, as I said there were two pups, one was quite big, about 5 or 7 inches long, and the other little one. 

What you are going to do is gently cut the rhizome from the mother plant and that’s it!

No need to complicate things. Just keep in mind this thing.

Tips: While cutting, make sure that the cutting has multiple leaves and roots attached. 

When I separated my pups, the little one had no roots, and there was only a tiny little guy. That’s why I cut off the bigger one and repotted that one, leaving the little one just like that. 

For a practical video tutorial, you can watch the below video. 

Method 2: Separating Snake Plant Roots

As I have experienced, you may want to separate your snake plant from its roots when the snake plant is overgrown. Sometimes, separating the plants from the roots is quite a good way to address the root-bound condition of the snake plants. 

How To Do:

First, gently remove the snake plant from its container. If the plant feels stuck in the pot, use your fingers to tap around the pot to loosen the soil. 

Once you remove the plant, clean up the soil as much as you can. Inspect the root system of your snake plant and try to identify whether there is any natural separation between them. That will be where you will separate your plants from their roots. 

Now make cuts between each division point. I generally suggest trimming away any overgrown leaves, dead roots, or foliage from the divided halves as required. 

One more important thing, 

While cutting, you must ensure that you do not damage or make a deep cut on any healthy part in either of the snake plant sections. 

For having clean cuts, here are some of my tips for you-

  1. While cutting, you should do it at an angle instead of a straight cut. You know it will offer more surface area for the growth of the roots of each division of your snake plant.
  2. Ensure that each divided part of the snake plant has enough healthy roots and foliage attached. It will optimize the success rate and the chance of the survival of the parts when they are divided.
  3. If you want, although not necessary, you can try to keep both halves of the snake plant symmetrical so that they look good in their new homes.  

You can also take a look at the below video for this matter. 

Care Guidance Of Separated Snake Plants

Do you think that just dividing your snake plant and replanting them into another pot will be enough to get the perfect result that you want?

Obviously no! 

In that case, you will need to ensure proper care and maintenance of your tiny lovely plant. Just follow these-

  1. Ensure The Right Environment
  2. Choose The Right Potting
  3. Avoid Overwatering
  4. Fertilization

Ensure The Right Environment 

Generally, snake plants need fast-draining soil, and bright and indirect light to thrive in. So, after separating your snake plant, you need to ensure the right environment for them. 

For instance, I always prefer window areas that receive bright, indirect light when placing my newly separated snake plant pups. But in case you lack the proper light in your room, you can even use grow lights or artificial lighting to provide the need as an alternative. 

[Tips: Avoid harsh afternoon sun and cold drafts that can scorch your leaves

Choose The Right Potting 

This is the most essential factor you need to consider to ensure the best growth of your snake plant cuttings after separation. 

Always try to choose pots with enough drainage holes to allow excess water to drain out freely. Even with the proper drainage holes,  if your pot is too small for the root mass, it won’t allow proper drainage, leading to your soil being overly moist which causes root rot. 

So, make sure the size of the pot is larger than the root ball of each separated plant. 

 Avoid Overwatering

Avoid overwatering your snake plants. Snake plants, like many succulent and drought-tolerant plants, are highly prone to root rot and other issues just due to overwatering. It makes your soil soggy and ultimately leads to root rot. 

So, be cautious about deep watering your separated snake plant. Before you plan to water your plant, check your soil and if it feels completely dry or crumbly to touch, only then water it but in a delicate amount. 

To prevent water logging conditions, must choose a pot with hole on the bottom or with modern drainage system.

Fertilization

Not just sunlight and water will be enough for your snake plants to thrive faster. Your snake plant pups will get more benefit from fertilization, especially during their active growing season. I scheduled to fertilize my snake plants at least once or better twice a month. 

For instance, I always prefer to use dilute liquid fertilizer and mix it with water in an even ratio. This ensures my plants are receiving nutrients at all sides. 

You should also think about these-

  • Apply pesticides if you see any pest infestation. 
  • Keep the pot clean and in a sunny place. 
  • Apply banana peel or crushed egg shell for some additional nutrients.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What Does It Mean To Separate Snake Plants?

Snake plant separation is a simple process of separating the plant into sections or parts with their leaves and roots. The snake plant is separated to propagate new plants from it and offer them more space to grow. 

Can You Separate Into Two Snake Plants?

Yes, you can separate a snake plant into two snake plants. You just need to divide the root ball with a sharp knife. Ensure to establish roots for each part you have divided. After dividing, replant each part of the snake plant in a new soil. 

How Much Soil Do I Need To Add To The New Pot?

You need to add that much soil to the pot so that the level is the same as the previous pot. If you are not sure, before replanting, take note of where the soil level is by checking the plant carefully. Then add soil to that level. 

Conclusion

How to separate snake plants?- Let’s hope you get everything about the query easy and clear.  The process can feel tricky, but with proper knowledge and patience, you can surely do it successfully. Just take your time and prepare carefully for each step of separation. Want more info like this? Then stay with planttrick.

Raina Trick

Written by

Raina Trick

Meet Rayna Trick: Your Indoor Plant Whisperer! With her roots in environmental science and a passion for exotic succulents, she’s the Green Thumb of the Year. Rayna’s here to be your plant companion, sharing her expertise and nurturing your green oasis at PlantTrick. Let’s make your indoor space bloom, one leaf at a time, together!

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