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How to Divide Agave

As your agave plants grow, they will start to produce new baby agave plants called “pups.” These look exactly like miniature versions of the parent agave plants. Whether you want to share them with friends and family or simply transplant them to another area of your yard, you will likely want to divide them to keep all your agave plants healthy. It is not difficult to divide them, and you can plant them in the ground or in pots with equal rates of success.

Feel with the edge of your shovel or spade where the root system for the whole unit (parent plant and pups) is. Do not cut into it with your shovel or spade. Instead, dig around it to loosen the soil and loosen the plant.

Pry the pup out of its hole and gently pull it apart from the roots of its parent. Ideally, you want to disentangle the roots of the pup and the parent plant with as little damage as possible. If you are going to tear any of the roots, try to make it the parent plant’s, as it can likely sustain more damage and still be healthy than a pup can. If you will be planting your agave pups in the ground, proceed to Step 3. If you will be planting them in pots, proceed to Step 4.

Dig a hole in your garden for the pup that is at least 8 to 10 inches deep and 8 inches in circumference. This will give your agave pup plenty of room to grow and develop healthy roots. Place the pup in the hole and cover all the roots with the dirt you just dug out of the hole. Finish with a layer of topsoil around the base of the plant.

Or, place the pup’s roots into the pot where you will be planting it. Pour potting soil around the roots, patting it into place gently. Do not compact the soil. Stop filling the pot with dirt after you have covered all the roots.

Water your newly divided and transplanted agave plants and repeat with the remaining pups as necessary.


The root systems of agave plants are tough and resilient, but that does not mean that you should handle them roughly when you are trying to divide and transplant them. Take a little extra time to untangle the roots when you are separating the pups from their parent plant. It will be worth the effort when your agave plants are healthy, happy and beautiful.

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