How to Grow a Snake Plant in Water (Our Failproof Method)

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Snake plants, also known as Sansevieria, are one of the easiest plants to care for.

They are low-maintenance and can thrive in a variety of conditions, making them a popular choice for both experienced and novice gardeners.

One of the most interesting ways to grow a snake plant is in water, which is a simple and effective method that can produce beautiful results.

Growing a snake plant in water is a great way to propagate new plants from cuttings or to revive an unhealthy plant.

This method involves placing the plant’s cuttings in a container filled with water and allowing them to grow roots.

Once the roots are established, the plant can be transferred to soil or kept in water as a decorative display.

This process is easy to follow and can be done with minimal effort and supplies.

In this post we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about growing a snake plant in water.

And if you’ve already attempted it but seem to be having problems, we’ve got troubleshooting tips at the end of the article. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Choosing a Container or Vase

Snake Plant, Viper’s bowstring hemp and Water bottle

When growing a snake plant in water, choosing the right container is important. Here are a few things to consider:


The container should be big enough to hold the plant and allow room for growth.

A container that is too small can stunt the growth of the plant. You also want to ensure it’s got room to breathe.

Roots need oxygen! 


Choose a container made of glass or plastic.

Avoid containers made of metal, as they can react with the water and harm the plant.


A container with a narrow neck and wide base is ideal for a snake plant. This will prevent the plant from tipping over as it grows taller.

When selecting your vase, keep in mind that the roots of a snake plant are relatively shallow.

If it’s too deep it can cause the roots to rot.

It is also important to choose a container that can be easily cleaned.

Over time, algae and other debris can build up in the water.

Something with a wide mouth or removable top can make cleaning easier.

This shape of vase is what I use.

Preparing the Water

Before you start growing your snake plant in water, it is important to prepare the water properly.

Here are a few steps you should follow:

Start with clean water

The water you use should be free from any impurities, such as chlorine or fluoride.

You can use filtered or distilled water, or you can let tap water sit out for 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate.

Use room temperature water

Avoid using cold water as it can shock the roots of the plant.

Room temperature water is ideal for growing snake plants.

Add a rooting hormone

You can add a rooting hormone to the water to encourage root growth.

This is especially useful if you are propagating a snake plant.

You can also add some nutrients to the water to help the plant grow.

Here are a few options:

  • Compost tea: 1 cup per gallon of water

Adding nutrients to the water can help the snake plant grow faster and healthier.

However, be careful not to overdo it as too much nutrients can harm the plant.

Preparing the Plant

Before you start growing your snake plant in water, you need to prepare the plant properly.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

Choose a healthy snake plant

Select a healthy snake plant that has no signs of damage or disease.

Healthy plants have bright green stems and firm roots.

Ideally you’ll want to take cuttings from a mother plant that has at least 5 or more stems. 

Cut the stems

Using a sharp, clean knife, cut a few healthy leaves from the plant.

Make sure each stem is at least 4 to 6 inches long.

Trim the bottoms

Different varieties of snake plant leaves on white background high angle view

Once you have cut the stems, trim the bottom of each leaf at a 45-degree angle.

This will help the stem absorb water more easily.

You can also cut them in an upside down triangle shape, too.

Let the cuttings dry

Allow the cuttings to dry for a few days so that the cuts can callus over.

This will prevent the cuttings from rotting when you place them in water.

Once you have prepared the plant, you are ready to start growing your snake plant in water.

In the next section, we will discuss how to propagate the plant in water.

Planting the Snake Plant in Water

Fill a jar or vase with water, making sure it’s deep enough to submerge the bottom 2 inches of the stem.

Place the stem in the water, making sure the leaves are above the water line. 

Change the water every 1-2 weeks to prevent the growth of algae and bacteria.

Another reason you should also change the water is to introduce fresh oxygen to the new cutting as it’s trying to grow roots. 

I also like to add a couple drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide to the water every once in a while.

This helps ward off rot and gives an additional boost of oxygen.  

Over time, the plant will develop roots and can be transplanted into soil if desired.

Keep the plant in a bright, indirect light and avoid placing it in direct sunlight or in a drafty area.

With proper care, your snake plant will thrive in water and add a touch of green to your home.

Caring for the Snake Plant in Water

Once your snake plant has started growing in water, it is important to take proper care of it to ensure its continued growth and health.

Here are some tips to help you care for your snake plant:

Keep the water level consistent

The water level in which the snake plant is growing should be kept consistent.

This means that the water level should be maintained at the same height, and not allowed to fluctuate too much.

Use filtered water

Snake plants are sensitive to chemicals found in tap water, so it is best to use filtered water to keep them healthy.

Alternatively, you can use tap water that has been sitting out for at least 24 hours to allow the chlorine to evaporate. 

Provide adequate light

Snake plants require bright, indirect light to thrive.

Be sure to place your plant in a location where it will receive plenty of light, but not direct sunlight.

Fertilize sparingly

Snake plants do not require a lot of fertilizer, and too much can actually harm them, especially when they’re at a very young age. 

Once roots are established, use a balanced fertilizer sparingly, and only during the growing season.

How Long Does it Take for a Snake Plant to Root in Water?

It typically takes several weeks to several months for a snake plant to root in water.

The exact amount of time can depend on several factors, including the size of the cutting, the quality of the water, and the environmental conditions.

Most often trough, you won’t see signs of new roots for at least 8 to 10 weeks. 

Why is my snake plant not growing roots in water?

Poor water quality: If you’re using tap water that has high levels of chlorine or fluoride, it can inhibit root growth. Consider using filtered or distilled water instead.

Lack of light: Snake plants need bright, indirect light to grow, and a lack of light can slow down or even halt root growth. Make sure your plant is placed in a location with adequate light.

Temperature: Snake plants prefer warmer temperatures and may not grow roots in water if the temperature is too low.

Overwatering: While snake plants can tolerate some moisture, overwatering can cause the roots to rot and prevent new root growth.

Lack of nutrients: Snake plants need nutrients to grow, and if the water does not contain enough nutrients, it can prevent root growth. Consider adding a small amount of liquid fertilizer to the water every 2-3 months.

Transplant shock: If you recently transplanted your snake plant to water, it may take some time for the plant to adjust to its new environment and start growing roots.

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