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Propagate bow hemp: How to successfully propagate the houseplant by division and leaf cuttings.

Hardly any other houseplant is as pretty and easy to care for as the bow hemp. A sufficient reason why you want to have more of it. If you have a well-established plant at home, you can try one of the following methods and propagate your bow hemp!

How can you propagate bow hemp? The methods at a glance

Mother-in-law tongue propagate by cuttings instructions

Bow hemp (Sansevieria) or mother-in-law’s tongue is one of the easiest houseplants to grow and is still a good air purifier. Did you know it’s also easy to propagate whenever you want? The sword-like leaves of this tropical houseplant root easily in water or soil, and division is also a good option for large plants. All you need to propagate your plant is time, a sharp knife or secateurs, potting soil and water. A few simple tips will ensure that young plants thrive and you’ll have plenty of new plants for your plant oasis or to share with friends. Rooting new bow hemp plants takes a few months, but it’s worth the wait, especially when you see new shoots forming.

Choosing the right substrate

Not everyone knows that the bow hemp belongs to the family of succulents. Therefore, the soil in which it grows, should be well-drained and low in nutrients. When choosing, you can choose between cactus or succulent soil and a mixture of green plant soil and sand in a ratio of 3:1. Both options work well for mother-in-law’s tongue and ensure that the cuttings take strong roots.

Divide and propagate Sansevieria

Divide bow hemp tips for propagation of Sansevieria

Dividing divides the plant into sections, which is a useful method for propagating larger plants. First, remove the entire Sansevieria from the pot, including the roots. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the tightly tangled root ball. Be sure to form divisions with at least 3 leaves and associated roots.

Plant each division in a container filled with cactus soil. Water the divisions well and allow them to drain well. Place the newly potted plants in bright but indirect light. Water when the soil feels dry to the touch.

Cut off runners and propagate bow hemp.

With proper care and under the right conditions, your bow hemp will likely do all the hard work for you. These succulents often form runners next to the parent plant. This is how they naturally reproduce.

Depending on the height of the soil and the depth of the runner, you can simply cut into the plant from above without having to remove it from the pot. However, if you want to see where the root growth begins and ensure a clean removal, you should repot the Sansevieria.

Follow the same steps as dividing and determine any offshoots that are suitable for repotting. They should have a few leaves and some roots to grow on their own. You can clip these off the mother plant or cut them with a sharp knife, leaving as many roots as possible with the plant.

Take a small container and plant the young plant on its own, leaving enough space for it to spread.

Propagate bow hemp by cuttings

Bow hemp cut leaf cuttings for propagation

Sansevieria is easy to propagate by cuttings. For this you need only one leaf from the mother plant. For rooting, you can then either put the leaf in water or let it take root in soil. We will now summarize the two methods.

Rooting cuttings in water

Rooting bow hemp cuttings is as simple as placing a leaf in a glass of clear water. First, cut a leaf from an established plant. The cut leaf should be at least 15 inches tall (larger leaves are even better). Place the cut end of the leaf in a jar or vase filled with 5 cm of water. Place the jar in a bright place and renew the water by rinsing the jar once a week. In about two months, roots should form at the base of the cutting. After roots have formed, plant the rooted cutting in a container filled with soil.

Divide leaf cuttings and root in soil.

Sansevieria cuttings will also root in moist potting soil. First, remove a leaf from an established plant by cutting it off at the base of the plant with pruning shears or a sharp knife. You can maximize the number of new plants by cutting the leaf horizontally into several 5 cm pieces. Cut the leaf pieces at an angle or notch them so you can remember which end is the “bottom” and which is the “top”.

Rooting Sansevieria cuttings in soil


To encourage rooting and prevent rotting, first dip the bottom end of each leaf piece in rooting powder . Then place the cutting about an inch deep in moist substrate and place the container in a bright spot. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. After about two months, try gently lifting the cutting out of the soil. If you feel resistance, the cutting is rooted and has established itself in its new pot. If the cutting pops out of the soil, transplant it and continue watering when the soil is dry.

Propagate bow hemp: How to care for the plant after propagation.

When you are finished planting, water thoroughly to keep the soil moist. This will encourage new root growth and prevent the cuttings or offshoots from drying out. Place the pot in a warm, bright location to encourage new growth and shorten the acclimation period the plants need after all the stress.

If you have propagated from leaf cuttings, keep the soil moist until roots form. After a few weeks, limit watering until the individual cuttings can be transplanted.

Offshoots and separate plants can be treated much like a regular bow hemp. They have roots to facilitate growth, so they are quite susceptible to root rot. If they are in the right spot, growth should resume within a few weeks.

Please note: Waterlogging is a real enemy of this houseplant and must be avoided at all costs. Useful tips on when and how often to water the bow hemp, you can get in this article .

Avoid fertilizing immediately after planting, as this can lead to burning of the roots and leaves. The fresh soil in which the plants are placed should be enough to keep them alive for a while. After about two months, you can apply a suitable fertilizer if growth is slow.