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Monday, February 10, 2014

Joshua Pups Can Be Transplanted

Q. I have a Joshua tree that is sending out what I've been told are "pups".  In other words, more trees are coming up around the main tree.  Can I transplant the pups to a new area and how do I do that.  Thanks for your help.

A.   Pups are produced normally from underground stems or rhizomes.
            Not all Joshuas will produce rhizomes that are usually three to ten feet long. If they are closer than this then they could be seedlings and not on rhizomes.
           Native Joshuas growing at higher elevations have a greater chance of producing rhizomes than those at lower elevations. I am not sure if this is due to the type of Joshua or the elevation since the research does not say but kind of suggests they are different types of Joshuas.
            As you probably know, a Joshua tree stand can be an interconnected web of plants connected by rhizomes or underground stems. Joshuas can also occur from seed.
This is not a Joshua but another agave, Agave americana. You can see its "pup" nestled next to the mother plant.
            They are difficult to move. Many people believe they must be oriented the same compass direction as they were in the wild to do well.
            I would wait about another month before I moved them in early spring. You could take a shovel between the mother plant and the pup and sever the rhizome now. It should not be very deep. Just slice the soil with the shovel as deep as you can in a swath between the two.
            Hand water the pup once only. Move the pup around mid-October by taking as much of the soil with it as you can. It does not have to be around the roots of the pup. You just want some of that soil from around the roots to “inoculate” the hole you are putting it into in case there are some beneficial organisms in it.
            Make sure the new spot drains easily of water. Water it thoroughly once after you plant it and don’t water it again until next spring and water it deeply again. Water two or three times a year from that point forward.
Collecting any Joshua from the wild is illegal and can result in a very stiff penalty.

1 comment:

  1. I have Joshua plant the state land sold me. It has pups, and I want to move 1 plant. should I do it in spring or fall.