Producing offsets (of leaves or portions of plants) is interesting in several cases :
•  to propagate a single plant in order to obtain one or more identical specimens : nice hybrids, selected cultivars…
•  to increase the chances to produce seeds of rare plants or that are difficult to obtain : indeed if one has only two clones of a same species the simultaneous flowering doesn’t always occur and having to wait for the next year may be disastrous (for example loss of one of the plants for one reason or another)
•  to propagate plants that are refusing to offset (solitary plants)
•  to rescue a seriously damaged plant (fungus attack for example).

Leaf offsets :
The chosen leaves need to be strong (swollen). The results with dried leaves or those with a thin base are not good as they generally dry too quickly.
With some plants, it is sometimes possible to remove a leaf to which a small root is attached. Good results are also obtained when a little piece of stem tissue is cut together with the leaf.

Root offsets :
We tested it accidentally when we depotted one Haworthia truncata : a nice white root broke at the base and we decided to plant it again (leaving the broken point out of the soil) to see what could result. We were very surprised that it produced several new plants in a few months. We have tested it with other fat roots (‘young’ ones) and it works very well.

For both offsetting techniques, we respect the following :
•  The taken portions are allowed to dry out a for a few hours to heal. In case the cutting is not neat, we apply a little powder fungicide on it with a small paintbrush.
•  The plants potions are pulled 2-3 mm deep in a light and dry soil mix to which about 10% of coir is added (only for offsets).
•  The soil is moistened only 2 days after ‘planting’’ and is always maintained slightly humid in a shady place at temperatures ranging between 20 and 28°C.
•  When the first roots and/or little offsets begin to appear (after a few weeks), the soil is allowed to dry a little but not completely before we moisten it again.

When the offsets have developed good small roots, it is possible de withdraw them from the ‘mother part’ (leaf or root) and to reuse it again for further offset production. For example we obtained about 20 offsets from a fat broad leaf of H. comptoniana.

The small new plants are placed in their groups when they have reached a size allowing them to face the light and growing conditions of the collection plants.

Head-removing offsets:
Another propagation method consists in removing the head a plant. It is an interesting technique to propagate solitary species with thin leaves like lockwoodii or semiviva for example.
The central part of the plant (rosette) is cut away up to the stem, leaving a few side leaves. The head is allowed to heal and is placed on soil to produce new roots.
Some new plants will appear and develop on and/or around the hurt part. When they are big enough (2-3 cm in diameter), they are taken and treated like offsets.
We didn’t test this technique of propagation yet but will try it one day. At present we don’t cut heads ! The photo illustrating it comes from Cok Grootscholten who gave it to us for the site purpose. Thank you Cok !

As our glasshouse is not indefinitely extensible, we can sometimes propose plants that we have propagated or seedlings. If you are interested, just ask us by e-mail !