A Step-By-Step Guide To Propagating Aloe Plants, From Experts
Aloe is an unsung hero of the houseplant world. It's easy to care for, has a ton of uses, and is easily propagated. Simply remove offshoots or "pups" from the mother aloe plant, replant them, and watch them soon begin to grow. Here's a more detailed guide to propagating aloe plants and incorporating all that new gel into your well-being routine.
How to propagate aloe:
- Observe your aloe plant for healthy offshoots. If there is a small section of the plant growing disconnected from the main plant on the surface, that's a pup you can propagate. "I would also suggest waiting until the offset or pup is 2 to 3 inches before removing it from the mama plant," notes creator of Apartment Botanist Alessia Resta.
- Unpot your aloe and begin clearing the soil. "The key is to take the whole plant out of the pot and massage the rootball until you can feel the emerging root system of the baby," adds Maria Failla host of Bloom and Grow Radio. Gently shake the soil off your aloe's roots until you can identify that pup's personal root.
- Separate the pup. Using clean shears or a knife, make a horizontal cut to separate the pup from the rest of the plant, keeping as much of its stalk intact as you can to ensure a successful propagation.
- Place your baby aloe in well-draining soil. Fill a new pot (preferably one with a hole in it for drainage) with soil, and press your aloe baby in the middle of it so it's stalk is nice and nestled. "I would skip water propagation for aloe since it is more susceptible to rot this way," Resta adds.
- Give the offshoots a week before watering, so the area where it was cut can have a chance to get established.
- Continue its normal care schedule after a week. That's it! You should start to see growth within a few days or up to two weeks, depending on the pup's roots.
Tips to keep in mind:
Aloe doesn't need all that much water, as it's a succulent. And if you do overwater it, it can be hard to revive, Failla says. Also make sure it's getting enough bright light, Resta says, "and I would even consider some nutrients to help boost root growth."
What to do with your new aloe.
Now that you'll have newly propagated aloe plants, you might be wondering what to do with them.
Not only does aloe soothe sunburned skin, but it's a great moisturizer, works wonders for fading dark spots, and can help manage symptoms of a range of skin issues, like eczema and acne1. Whether you're looking for exfoliation, a dewy glow, or major moisture, there's an aloe vera face mask for it. It's also great for scalp health, especially if you deal with dandruff.
We could go on, but any of those uses are a good place to start to get the most out of your newly propagated pups. And since you may soon have an abundance of aloe—here's how to keep your aloe vera gel fresh longer.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Writer, as well as a registered yoga instructor. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from SUNY Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.