Ask a Question forum: Agave plant

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Clermont, Florida
annie4888
May 23, 2018 2:42 PM CST
I would like some advice. I purchased an agave plant for my lani. It's been approximately a year or so and it has been doing very well. My problem is that it been so well that I now have 8 off shoots. Since the plant is in a very large pot, transplanting will be a problem. Can the shoots be removed and transplanted elsewhere?
I have attached a photo.
Thumb of 2018-05-23/annie4888/633f44

Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
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Baja_Costero
May 23, 2018 5:36 PM CST
Yes. For best results take the plant out of the pot with all the offsets attached, and remove them on a platform or table so you can work from below. That gives you the best odds of getting them with some roots attached for the fastest possible start. Wait a week after separation to water the mother and the offsets.
Clermont, Florida
annie4888
May 23, 2018 5:58 PM CST
Thank you your advice, however, since it is large, without a suit of armore, that will be quit a task. If I just cut some of the smaller ones, would that damage the original plant? Thank You!
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Foliage Fan Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder
Native Plants and Wildflowers Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator
Image
Baja_Costero
May 23, 2018 6:12 PM CST
No, it would not. But first, some explanation...

A well-rooted agave is surprisingly easy to remove from its pot, provided it hasn't been there long enough, like years and years, to lock itself into place (which does not appear to be the case here). Try rolling the container on its side and then allowing the plant to fall forward out of the pot by slowly lifting the bottom of the pot upward. I sometimes lay down a few towels and invert the pot right over them so the plant has a bit of a cushion when it falls (other than human skin, which you want to keep well out of the way).

Once the agave is out of its pot, it's much easier to handle because you can get ahold of the root ball and maneuver that. It makes a big difference if you elevate the plant once you've removed it (something I usually do on the floor, to make it easy to clean up). Just lift it up from below with one hand on either side of the root ball. No blood lost. Once it's on a table you can avoid most of the danger from the spines by keeping your arms and hands at or below soil level (working from below). Often you can just drop the mother plant back in her pot afterwards, root ball intact, without having to do anything else.

You can certainly remove the offsets without unpotting the mother plant. They originate from rhizomes, which are special modified roots coming from the mother plant. Depending on how far along the offsets are, they may still have this umbilical cord (which is usually fatter than an average root, about the width of the base of the stem). Once you cut the rhizome (leaving the regular roots attached at the base of the offset, if there are any) you can usually just tug at the offset to release some amount of root with it. The older offsets may not still have a thick attachment to the mother plant.

If you don't want to keep the offsets, you can use regular garden pruners and snip each one off at the base, just below soil level. Wiggle them a little, loosen the soil around the base with a chopstick or long screwdriver (no blood lost), and snip at the lowest point you have revealed without too much effort.
[Last edited by Baja_Costero - May 23, 2018 7:30 PM (+)]
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Clermont, Florida
annie4888
May 23, 2018 6:32 PM CST
Thank you so much. I really do appreciate your help! Crossing Fingers!

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