How to Divide Mother-In-Law Tongue Plant

How to Divide Mother-In-Law Tongue Plant

Mother-in-law tongue plant, also known as Sansevieria or snake plant, is a popular indoor plant due to its striking appearance and easy care requirements. Over time, these plants can outgrow their pots, leading to the need for division. Dividing a mother-in-law tongue plant not only helps control its size but also allows you to propagate new plants. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to divide your mother-in-law tongue plant.

Step 1: Choose the Right Time

The best time to divide a mother-in-law tongue plant is in the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. Avoid dividing during the dormant winter months, as the plant may not respond well to the process.

Step 2: Prepare the Tools

Gather the necessary tools, including a sharp knife or garden shears, a clean pot, well-draining potting mix, and a watering can. Ensure that the pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Step 3: Remove the Mother Plant

Carefully remove the mother plant from its pot, gently loosening the soil around the roots. Be cautious not to damage the roots during this process.

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Step 4: Inspect the Roots

Examine the roots for any signs of damage or disease. Trim off any dead or rotting roots using a sterilized cutting tool. This ensures that the plant remains healthy after division.

Step 5: Divide the Plant

Identify natural divisions in the plant or separate it into sections with at least two to three leaves each. Use a sharp knife or garden shears to cut through the rhizomes. Ensure that each division has a healthy root system attached.

Step 6: Pot the Divisions

Fill the clean pot with well-draining potting mix. Create a hole in the center and gently place the division in it, ensuring that the roots are spread out evenly. Add more soil around the plant, pressing it lightly to secure it in place.

Step 7: Water the Divisions

After potting, water the divisions thoroughly until the excess water drains out from the bottom of the pot. Keep the soil slightly moist but not overly wet during the initial weeks to promote healthy root development.

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Step 8: Provide Adequate Care

Place the newly divided plants in a bright location with indirect sunlight. Mother-in-law tongue plants are known for their ability to tolerate low light conditions, but they thrive in bright, indirect light. Water the plants only when the top inch of soil feels dry, as they are susceptible to root rot if overwatered.


1. Will dividing a mother-in-law tongue plant harm the plant?
No, dividing a mother-in-law tongue plant is a common practice and helps promote healthy growth.

2. How do I know when it’s time to divide my mother-in-law tongue plant?
If the plant has outgrown its pot or the roots are overcrowded, it’s time to consider dividing it.

3. Can I divide a mother-in-law tongue plant during the winter months?
It’s best to avoid dividing during the winter months when the plant is dormant.

4. How many divisions should I aim for?
Each division should have at least two to three leaves and a healthy root system.

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5. Can I use regular potting soil for my mother-in-law tongue plant?
It’s recommended to use well-draining potting mix specifically formulated for succulent plants.

6. How often should I water the divided plants?
Water the plants when the top inch of soil feels dry, typically once every two to three weeks.

7. Can I place the divided plants in direct sunlight?
While mother-in-law tongue plants can tolerate some direct sunlight, it’s best to provide them with bright, indirect light.

8. How long does it take for the divided plants to establish roots?
It can take a few weeks for the divisions to establish roots and start growing.

9. Can I propagate new plants from the divided sections?
Yes, the divided sections can be potted separately and treated as new plants.