Growth brings changes and often the need for more space. If your plant has outgrown its container, you can move the entire plant to a larger pot or separate the plant at its roots to create new, smaller plants.

Maybe your plant grew little pups or offshoots at its base that are growing bigger. Once the baby plants have reached two-to-three inches in size, you can gently remove them from the parent plant. It may sound difficult, scary, or even a little sad, but separation is best for both the parent and baby plants. Follow the steps below to protect their roots as you give them more space to grow.

Steps for Separating Plants.

  1. Select a plant that is pot-bound or has baby plants at its base.

This Haworthia Zebra plant has made two pup plants and is frequently getting brown tips due to overcrowded roots. Its round plastic pot is stretched into an oval from the growth of the new plants.

2. Remove the plant from its pot.

Dry roots are easier to separate so wait until the plant’s soil is completely dry. Then, use a small shovel or an old butter knife to carefully loosen the plant’s roots around the inside of the pot. Hold or lay the pot on its side and slide the plant out horizontally. Do not try to pull it upwards or dump it out on its head.

3. Gently shake out the soil and loosen its roots.

Dry soil should shake free from the plants’ roots, making it easy to uncoil tightly wound roots.

4. Decide which roots belong to each plant and untangle them.

Starting at the base of a pup plant, gently pull it away from the parent plant, untangling its roots to separate them. You can use a small gardening fork but bare fingers work best.

5. Measure the new plants’ roots to find the right sized pots.

The parent plant will have more established roots than the newly removed baby plants. It is best to choose a container that is only slightly larger than the plant’s root base. Fill the bottom of the container with loose gravel before adding soil to help with drainage.

6. Enjoy new healthier, happier plants.

All settled into their new homes and ready to grow bigger and more beautiful. Stop by a market soon and take one home with you. Grow Earthy Event Schedule