How to Remove Agave Pups From the Mother Plant

There are more than 200 different types of agaves. This succulent has rosettes of leaves that start at the ground level. These leaves are thick and store water. It prefers to grow in well-draining sandy soil or cactus soil. Once an agave flowers, it begins to die back, but smaller new rosettes begin to develop around the base of the parent plant. Agaves are easy to propagate by removing the offsets or pups.

Things You'll Need

  • Plant pot
  • Soapy water
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Peat moss
  • Sand
  • Agave with pups
  • Hand shovel
  • Pruning shears

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Wash a gallon plant pot with soapy water. Rinse the container with 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Pups will live up to one year in a gallon container without having to be transplanted.

Fill the container with a half-and-half mixture of peat moss and sand. This gives the agave pup lots of drainage and a loose texture. Loose soil makes it easier for the roots to spread out.

Dig around the pups with a sharp-edged hand shovel. Check to see where the pup is connected to the parent plant. There should be a connection made of plant roots.

Cut the roots that connect the pup to the parent plant with the edge of the shovel. Leave at least 1/4 inch of roots on the pup. Remove any damaged roots with a pair of sharp pruning shears.

Push the agave pup into the soil of the gallon container. The pup will start to grow roots in a couple of weeks.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some agave species will produce their pups on top of a flower stalk. Remove the plantlets and place in a gallon container of soil. They will sprout roots in 2 to 3 weeks.
  • Agaves do not like cold weather. They need a minimum temperature of 41 degrees F. The blue-leaved varieties are hardier than the pale green-leaved varieties.
  • The sap in the leaves is poisonous. Exposure causes severe skin irritation with immediate burning, redness and blisters.


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