Author Topic: Propagation of rosette succulents (Agave, Aloe)  (Read 26367 times)

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Propagation of rosette succulents (Agave, Aloe)
« on: March 15, 2011, 03:23:25 PM »
Agaves and Aloes, while in different families (Agavaceae and Asphodelaceae respectively) are in the same order (Aspargales) and have similar growth habits and their propagation is about the same.
Agave leaves are generally not as succulent as Aloe though, and do not produce as much of the gel/mucilage that Aloe vera is known for. They are also more sharp and can have a nasty point on the tip of the leaves. While it may not be terribly obvious upon first glance of some of these species, they indeed do have stems, and in order to get them to root out successfully the stem must be exposed.
Here are a few Agave americana cuttings, these were shoots from the bases of larger specimens.

This one has some dead stem and dead roots on it. You can also see some damage to the base of a few of the lower leaves. When the leaf connects tightly around the stem it is known as a sheath, this serves to protect the stem and the nodes which are very tightly tucked away inbeween the leaves.

The dead stem has to be removed. I cut until I see some fresh good stem. Then the bottom most leaves are carefully peeled away. The entire sheath should be removed to expose the stem. be careful not to damage the stem too much, but if you leave much of the sheath on it can rot and may end up infecting the cutting, it will also help roots grow more easily since they will not have to penetrate any extra layers of tissue.

Here is another cutting with kind of an awkward stem. I am cutting it to where it has already began to root itself

You can see that it has already began to root and you can see the roots penetrating the leaf sheath. This plant wants to grow!

Once the cuttings are prepared, they are planted about 1-1 1/2" deep, about to the level where the rosette is soil level. The mix I use is about the same for Kanna cutting and general succulent growth. I usually use about 2 parts rice hull mix or high porosity metromix950 and 1 part turface.
Plant the cuttings and I mist them down gently to moisten the soil. They should be watered in gently.

Since some of these cuttings have already started to root, they will go quickly. Generally these plants are naturally prone to rooting out well, so there is generally no need for hormone treatments. some people will like to treat the fresh cuts with sulfur dust to prevent infections. And now similar to Kanna cuttings, you want to allow the media in the pots to dry out in between mistings/waterings. This will help to induce the plants to throw out a lot of roots in search of water. Depending on the size of the pot and the cutting, they can be rooted out well in 2-4 weeks. Keep them in low light.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2011, 06:07:32 PM by Planter »
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