how to prune snake plants(Step-By-Step Make Over Guide)

Trimming a snake plant can be difficult, but as long as you follow these steps, your plant will thrive. Let us find out how to prune snake plants step by step here.

Snake plants can grow over 4 feet tall if given the right care. The plant grows new leaves from below the soil during this time, spreading outwards.

Due to this, it becomes vital to trim snake plant, especially if you want your yard to look neat and tidy and your plant to be happy and healthy.

Before you trim a snake plant, look for signs of poor health or damage. Trim the plant to:

  • Reduce its size
  • Fix its shape
  • Fix its appearance.

We recommend using sterile scissors or a sharp knife to trim the snake plant. However, instead of trimming new leaves, try trimming mature or damaged leaves.

What is the Best Time to Trim a Snake Plant?

Snake plants are not the easiest plants to grow- they require the perfect conditions and grow painfully slow.

This means you can trim the plant whenever you want, depending on why you want to trim it.

We recommend doing any trimming or pruning in the spring and summer months as the snake plant is actively growing during this time.

Keep in mind that pruning or trimming a snake plant stresses it out, which is why you should try improving its overall care if your plant is not doing too well.

Once you see new growth, feel free to trim the snake plant. This will boost recovery and help the plant grow faster.

Use this table as a quick recap on when to trim your snake plant:


Why Should You Prune a Snake Plant?

While it is not vital to trim some plants, others need to be trimmed for three reasons:

how to trim snake plants
Mother-in-law tongue plant pruning

1. To Maintain the Size of the Plant

When snake plants grow, they spread out from a rhizome beneath the soil. This causes new leaves to grow and spread around the plant.

Soon, the leaves will fill the entire pot as the plant starts to grow rapidly.

If you do not trim the snake plant during this time, it can become root bound, which will cause interrupt the growth of the plant, leading to stunted growth in the future.

Usually, snake plant roots are much bigger than the entire plant. On the outside, you might think that the plant is doing okay, but inside, the roots will be struggling to make a place for each other.

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If you want your plant to maintain its size and do not want to repot it into another pot, you can simply trim the snake plant.

Here are some things to remember about maintaining a snake plant’s height:

  • A snake plant’s leaves continue to increase in height for a long time.
  • Even if you buy a tiny snake plant, you will find that the leaves become tall after some years.
  • If the height of the plant starts to bother you, you can trim the tallest leaves. Not only will this ensure that the plant is healthy, but it will also help it maintain a standard height.

2. To Get Rid of Old or Damaged Leaves

A snake plant’s leaves are a fascinating thing about the plant, as they last for many years. However, if the leaves get damaged, they stay damaged for a long time.

This can happen because of some errors in care, such as too much sunlight, a pest infestation, or overwatering the plant.

The good news is that all you need to do is trim the leaves of your snake plant to nurse it back to health.

Get rid of the unhealthy-looking leaves; within no time, you will find perfect leaves sprouting up to replace the damaged leaves.

3. To Give the Plant a Better Shape

Even though snake plants are not too easy to kill, they are difficult to care for. The leaves curl, bend, and droop easily, making the plant look unhealthy.

If your snake plant’s leaves are not uniform, trimming them is a great way to tidy up the entire plant and restore symmetry.

Also read- How To Repot A Snake Plant That Thrives All Year

Equipment Needed to Prun a Snake Plant

The good news is that trimming a snake plant does not require too many tools. Here is all the equipment you will need:

1. Scissors or a Sharp Knife

We recommend keeping sharp pruners or scissors and a knife for times you want to trim a snake plant.

The knife helps cut leaves from the soil line, while the pruners are used to trim the leaves at the center of the plant.

2. Sterilize the Tools with Boiling Water or Rubbing Alcohol

It doesn’t matter how clean your tools look- make sure to sterilize them to control the spread of diseases from one plant to another.

3. Pick a Clean and Spacious Surface

Trim your snake plant on a clean surface.

Trimming the plant may be a little messy since the plant will be disrupted by the soil, but when using a clean kitchen counter or spacious surface, you will not be too worried about the mess you make.

Make sure to use sheets of newspaper to trim the plant so that no surface gets scratched in the process.

how to prune snake plants

Before you trim a snake plant, look at the shape, health, and size of the plant. Then, decide what size and shape you want it to have.

Here is how to trim a snake plant:

how to prune snake plants

1. Trimming to Control the Spread of the Plant

Start trimming the snake plant around the edges, especially if you want to reduce its size.

Use a pair of sharp scissors to cut each leaf- make sure to cut it close to the soil line.

Then, remove the leaves from the base so your plant continues to look aesthetic. After all, leaf stumps do not look good.

  • The easiest way to trim a snake plant to control its spread is to hold the leaf from the top while using upward pressure as the knife cuts into the soil and creates a sharp horizontal cut through the leaf.
  • Keep in mind that snake plants can be difficult to trim, so you might take a little getting used to.

The cut needs to be as clean as possible so try not to cut haphazardly across the plant. This will increase the risk of disease spreading throughout the plant.

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2. Trimming to Reduce the Height of the Plant

After you have trimmed the outer leaves of your snake plant, it is time to pay attention to the plant’s height.

  • Trim each leaf to the length you want till the plant looks uniform.
  • If you want to trim leaves that are growing towards the interior part of the plant, use scissors instead of a knife, as it will be easier to cut the leaf from the base.
  • Since leaf stumps will not be visible from the interior part of the plant, you have nothing to worry about.

3. Trimming to Remove Damaged Leaves

Once you have trimmed the snake plant to your ideal size, get rid of any deformed or damaged leaves to boost the plant’s aesthetic appeal.

This will not make your plant look sparse or lopsided, so don’t worry. Your houseplant does not always have to look perfect.

  • When trimming the plant, do not reduce its size by more than a third in one go.
  • After all, trimming is a painful process that leaves the plant more vulnerable to diseases. Hence, give your snake plant some time to recover after you trim it.
  • We recommend against trimming parts of the plant’s leaves. You might want to get rid of the brown tips of the plant while leaving the rest of it intact, but this will not work.

In fact, you will slowly notice the entire leaf turning brown as the plant becomes more vulnerable.

How Often Should Snake Plants be Trimmed?

  • If you have trimmed your snake plant by one-third or less, the next best time to trim the plant is in two to three years.
  • Since snake plants don’t grow too fast, you cannot prune their leaves any time sooner. Some snake plants may take more time to grow if they are placed in dim lights.

There is no set rule about when you can trim a snake plant, but we recommend allowing the plant to grow to its full maximum, repotting it in a different pot, and then deciding whether it needs to be trimmed or not.

Should I cut drooping snake plant leaves?

Many people think that cutting off drooping snake plant leaves is a good way to reduce the size of the plants.

However, there are a few concerns that should be taken into account before making this decision.

  • First, it is important to know that cutting off drooping snake plant leaves will not kill the drooping snake plants but it will reduce their production.
  • Second, it is also important to make sure that the cuts are made in a direct line toward the center of the plant.
  • Third, it is also necessary to clean and dry the cuts before making them again.
  • Finally, it is important to ensure that the drooping snake plant leaves are not being used for food or fertilizer and should be placed in a separate area from other plants.

Can you cut a snake plant leaf in half?

Yes, if you want to propagate your snake plant from a leaf, then you cut your leaf.

Just make sure you have some basic knife skills and know how to hold the blade correctly, and you’re good to go. Here’s how:

1) Start by cutting off one end of the snake plant leaf. This will be your upper surface. Make sure your knife is held horizontally, so the blade is pointed toward the ground.

2) Next, start slicing downwards from this end, making sure to keep your blade moving until it meets the lower surface of the snake plant leaf at its base.

3) Keep an eye on this as you go–if it starts to move too much, or if there are any sharp edges involved, then you’ll need to stop and fix things before continuing.

Snake Plant Trimming FAQS

Q: Do Snake Plants Repel Bugs?

Yes, snake plants contain a chemical known as Saponin. This chemical repels mosquitoes and bugs.

Q: Is It Necessary To Water A Snake Plant After You Repot It?

Watering the plant after repotting it is important as this helps settle the roots and soil.

Q: Can I Grow A Snake Plant In My Bedroom?

Even though snake plants are known to filter air, they need to be given a sufficient amount of sunlight.

If you can provide the plant with its ideal conditions, it is a great plant to grow indoors.

Q: Can I cut the tips of my snake plant

There are a few things you can do to increase the survivability of your snake plant.

One is to cut off the tips of the plants when they reach a certain length, as this will decrease the likelihood of them being killed by disease or other pests.

Additionally, water them regularly and keep them close to a light, so that they can easily receive the necessary nutrients.

Q: What do I do if my snake plant is too tall?

If your snake plant is too tall, watering it regularly may help maintain its height.

You can also cut off the top of the plant with a sharp knife so that less water falls on the ground and roots.

Q: How tall should a snake plant get?

Sansevieria plants can grow up to four or five feet tall but the height of a snake plant will vary depending on its specific environment and requirements.

However, some general tips on how to Height a Snake Plant can include considering the size of your pot.

Whether or not you have a light or dark area in your garden, and whether or not you want your snake plant to come up close to other plants.

Q: How to cut snake plants for propagation?

There are a few things that you need to do in order to propagate snake plants.

One is to cut the plant into small pieces so that you can more easily transport it.

Another is to add some rooting material to the bottom of a pot or vase so that the plant can start growing from its roots.

And finally, you may want to put some water and fertilizer in the pot or vase in order to help the plant grow and produce more flowers.

All of these things will help you get your snake plants up and running for propagation.

Q: do snake plant leaves grow back?

During trimming your plant, if you damaged it then it will stay damaged.

So you need to wait until new shoots start to appear in fair growth and care conditions.

Q: Can I cut the tips of my snake plant?

Cutting the snake plant tips is a great way to promote new growth fast, as they regrow fast after trimming.

But don’t trim all the leaves at once, start slow, and otherwise, the plant may get stressed.

Q: How to clean snake plant leaves?

Cleaning your plant is crucial for healthy growth.

In order to clean your snake plant take a wet cloth or damp tissue paper and gently clean the leaves.

Note– Do not use any chemical spray, as this may lead to damage the leaves.


As long as you trim a snake plant properly and do not stress it out, your plant should be able to grow fast and into the best, most beautiful version of itself within no time.