Making More Plants To Love: Propagation by Offsets

by Barbara-


I previously posted about propagating succulents with leaves. This time, I want to share propagating by offsets. Sometimes plants form new plants called pups or offsets at the base of the plant. You can try removing these pups by cutting close to the base of the plant with a clean knife or shears. Using a knife and cutting down increases the probability of getting some roots on the offset. I am more successful at this when I pull the cut stem from the mother plant and gently work the offset out of the soil with its roots intact.

haworthia and pup
This huge Haworthia had 3 offsets. I was able to separate two of them. This picture shows the mother plant and one offset removed
Offsets separated from the mother

 I managed to get roots on one but not the other because of how it was positioned. I set them both down for about 3 weeks until the stem had callused over. The callus creates a barrier protecting the offset from invading diseases. If you plant the offset without waiting for a callus to form, more often than not the stem will rot. The plant may look fine, but then in a few days after watering the stem will become soft and mushy. This has happened to me twice. The first time was because I did not know I had to let it callus and the second time, I did not leave it out long enough for it to callus completely.

Once the callus formed, I planted the young plants in their new home. I put the smaller one in a 2 inch pot. I placed the bigger offset with other succulents that followed me home the other day  in an underwater-themed succulent arrangement. I think it came together quite well.

Any luck propagating by offsets? Which plant or succulent can’t you seem to propagate successfully?

sign off


Hi, I’m Barbara and I’m a little obsessed with house plants. I share my house plant adventures in the hopes of inspiring you to continue to enjoy the greens in your home. And if you have no plants (yet!) I hope this blog inspires you to add some green to your home. So go on! Try it! I think you might quite like it. And who knows? You may end up being … obsessed too.

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