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How to Remove Offsets From a Zebra Plant

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Haworthiopsis attenuata, formerly known as Haworthia attenuata and commonly called Zebra Plant, is a cold-sensitive succulent species grown for its eye-catching, green and white textured leaves. It is hardy within USDA hardiness zones 10 and above and will produce an abundance of offsets or pups, once established in a sunny bed. The offsets provide a simple and highly effective means of propagating new Zebra Plants if they are carefully removed and potted in a suitable growing mix. However, they should only be removed in spring or fall when the plant is not actively growing, to reduce stress to both the offshoots and the parent plant.

1. Locate the rooted offsets around the base of the plant. Carefully scrape away the soil from around the base of the offsets and look for small, pale pink or white roots.

2. Insert the blade of a gardening knife into the soil midway between the parent plant and the rooted offset. Slide the blade through the soil to sever the connecting root.

3. Etch out a 2-inch (5 cm) radius in the soil around the base of the rooted offset using the tip of your gardening knife. Dig down along the radial line to a 5-inch (12.5 cm) depth using a small handheld spade.

4. Insert the blade of the handheld spade at an angle underneath the rooted offset. Carefully pry it loose from the soil and remove it. Fill in the hole left by the offset to protect the parent plant's roots.

5. Crumble off half the soil from around the offset's rootball. Pot it in a small, 3- to 4-inch (7.5 to 10 cm) nursery container. Use a potting mix made up of 2 parts perlite, 2 parts coarse sand and 1 part sterile compost.

6. Place the potted Zebra Plant offset where it will receive bright, diffuse light and temperatures above 68 °F (20 °), such as in a glasshouse, cold frame or indoors near a south-facing window.

7. Withhold watering for the first 3 days. Water only until the soil feels barely moist in the top inch (2.5 cm). Maintain light, even moisture in the soil mixture, but allow it to dry out for a day or so once a week.

Tip

Unrooted Zebra Plant offsets can be rooted in pure perlite or coarse sand before planting, but they are subject to a high rate of die-off.

Source: sfgate.com

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