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In botany an offset is a branch plant that grows directly on the stem or at the foot of the plant itself (sometimes even from the root). The multiplication by offset is very used in the nurseries to produce easily and quickly adult plants in a shorter time compared to sowing. As well as in the case of propagation by cuttings, also in this case the genetic heritage of the plants obtained for offset plant will be identical to one of the mother plant. The method is also called "division of clumps".
Recommanded for: [Agave] [Aloe] [Echinocereus] [Haworthia] [Sempervivium] [Sansevieria] [Sedum]


Many succulents, at a certain stage of development, begin to produce basal offsets. They are true seedlings growing on the lower part of the plant and give it a caespitose appearance. These basal offsets can be easily detached from the mother plant and, after waiting a few days (preferably a week) for the formation of callus scar, can be put to root: the probability of engraftment are very high. Very often the basal shoots develop own roots own when they are still attached to the mother plant: the seedling is pretty self-sufficient and can be planted immediately, taking care to avoid wetting in the early days.

Basal offset
Cut of a basal offset from an Aloe



Some succulent offset in the upper part of the stem, often at an apex cut, dry or wrinkled. These offsets, in a similar way to the previous case, can be removed carefully from the mother plant and places to root. The production of aerial offsets is also a technique used by many growers to get new specimens: if a plant grows and produces no broken branches, cutting the apex stimulates to produce offsets: once they reach a certain size, can be removed and planted as new plants.

Aerial offset
Aerial offsets of a vegetative Notocactus apex main damaged by frost.

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There are no special precautions in detachment and rooting of basal or aerial offsets. A good practice is to use a sharp and sterilized blade to cut shoots from the mother plant; the point of the cut should be left to heal for a few days. The same caution should be applied to the already independent shoots with some roots partly in common with those of the parent plant: the point of detachment of the root must have produced the callus before the sowing.






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