Aloe plant propagation is not as hard as you may think. Discover how to propagate an aloe plant easily through a few different techniques.
The aloe vera is a celebrated succulent plant that belongs to a genus with over 500 species. Amid these species, the aloe vera (also called Aloe barbadensis or True Aloe) is decidedly one of the most popular.
It is a medicinal plant with antibacterial properties often used on sunburns. If you already have one, you may want more for your own home or to gift to friends and family.
Learn what you need to propagate an aloe plant and how to transplant them.
- Related article: Aloe Plant Care Guide
Equipment and Materials Needed to Propagate an Aloe Plant
To prepare for the propagation of an aloe plant, you will need:
- A healthy aloe vera plant
- Sterile gardening knife or clippers
- Individual containers with drainage holes
- Succulent or cacti potting mix
- A basin or bowl if also harvesting seeds to grow
- Optional rooting hormone
How to Propagate an Aloe Vera Plant Using the Division Method
The division method of aloe propagation is straightforward. It is a simple technique, whether you are a beginner or an experienced gardener.
The ideal time to repot and divide an aloe vera plant is at the height of its growing season at the end of spring or the beginning of summer.
Follow these steps to propagate an aloe plant using the division method:
Step 1 – Look for Aloe Vera Offshoots
The simplest propagation method is by removing baby aloe vera offshoots for transplanting. These aloe pups grow around the mother plant’s base and will sprout from the soil bed.
Step 2 – Remove the Mother Plant from its Container
Offshoots appear at the base of your aloe plant and reach a height of approximately 4 inches. Gently remove the entire plant from its container.
Carefully remove old potting soil from the roots. You don’t want to accidentally damage the roots.
Step 3 – Divide the Aloe Vera Plant Roots
Examine the base of the plant for the offshoots that have already formed their own root systems. Pull, if possible, the aloe offshoots away from the plant to separate them. Do so without damaging the offshoot’s root systems.
Offshoots and their roots should remain intact. It may prove difficult to separate these offshoots. They may be securely attached to the mother plant. Cut them off with a sterilized, sharp knife.
Make sure you have a clean knife to avoid introducing diseases to the aloe roots and plants.
Step 4 – Allow Aloe Plants to Heal After Separation
Once you have divided your plants, let them heal. Place the mother aloe plant and the offshoots out of the soil, in a temperate and dry environment for 24 hours.
A healthy aloe plant will form a type of callus over the separation wound, so the plant recovers more rapidly.
Step 5 – Repot the Aloe Parent Plant and Offshoots Individually
Once a callus has formed on the divided plants, proceed to repot them. We recommend you repot each plant individually in a clay pot with drainage holes to allow for excess water to flow out.
Should any of the offshoots appear damaged with root systems that appear weak, treat them with rooting hormone. After treatment, repot them in a well-draining succulent potting soil mix.
Succulent and cacti potting mixes will generally contain combinations of perlite, coarse sand, pumice, gravel, crushed granite, and basic potting soil.
Step 6 – Proper Care for Your New Aloe Plants
Place your new plants in bright indirect light in a dry location. Keep the baby aloe plant away from direct sunlight to avoid its leaves turning brown and killing the plant.
Wait to water your plants until the new root systems are established. This will take 1 to 2 weeks. Be careful not to overwater, as root rot will occur.
How to Propagate an Aloe Vera Plant Using Leaf Cuttings
Propagating with leaf cuttings can also be done, but it’s less effective than plant division. It is, nonetheless, a convenient method if you don’t need to or want to repot your aloe plant.
Step 1 – Take a Leaf Cutting
Use a sharp sterile knife to trim off a 3-inch or longer leaf near the base of the mother plant.
Step 2 – Allow the Leaf Cutting to Form a Callus
Leave the leaf cutting in a warm place long enough for it to form a callus over the wound.
Step 3 – Plant the Leaf Cutting
Prepare a container with cactus potting mix. Dampen the soil mix. Place the callused end of the leaf in the soil. At least one third of the leaf should be in the soil bed.
The leaf will shrink and shrivel as it develops its roots, so don’t be shocked.
Step 4 – Caring for an Aloe Leaf Cutting
Place the leaf cutting in a warm place and keep the soil moist for at least 4 weeks.
When the leaf has developed roots, care for it as you would a mature aloe plant.
One drawback of leaf cutting propagation is that there is a higher risk the leaf may rot before it is able to develop new roots. Even if there is a lower chance of success, it does still work sometimes.
How to Propagate an Aloe Vera Plant from Seed
Another alternative is to use aloe seeds for aloe propagation. Growing aloe from seed is the slowest way out of all the propagation methods, but it can also be the most fun and fulfilling.
Step 1 – Harvest the Seeds
Your aloe plant will need to be 4 years or older for successful seed harvesting. The exact plant age will depend on the specific aloe species, as some may need longer to mature.
When your aloe plant flowers, it can produce seeds. That is when you know you can start harvesting seeds from this popular houseplant.
Once the flowers are spent, they will turn brown and lose its petals. That’s when you will see the seeds in the blooms.
Look for aloe seeds that are flat, and black to grayish brown. White or light-colored seeds are not sufficiently mature. They will not germinate.
Place a bowl underneath the dried pods. Split the pods open to extract seeds.
Step 2 – Prepare the Soil Bed
Prepare a flat container with succulent or cacti potting mix. Lightly moisten the potting soil mixture.
Step 3 – Sow the Seeds
Spread the aloe seeds approximately 1 inch apart on the soil. Cover them lightly with a dusting of sand or potting mixture.
Seeds can be sown directly outdoors if you’re in a consistently warm climate.
Step 4 – Position Your Container and Seeds
For indoor cultivation, place the container in a warm location with indirect bright light. Keep the soil mixture moderately moist throughout.
Step 5 – Care for Seed Propagation
Mist the soil surface regularly until sprouts appear. The sprouting of new plants may take 2 to 4 weeks.
Seedlings will need to remain warm for their first 2 weeks of life. Water seedlings from underneath the plant. This allows roots to absorb the amount of moisture they need.
When a seedling develops 4 or more leaves, transplant each aloe seedling into an individual container.
Care for these baby plants as you would an adult aloe plant.
Aloe Vera Propagation Final Thoughts
Aloe propagation and growing more aloe plants takes patience and time, but it is worth the effort. You’ll have more beautiful aloe plants growing in no time!
To learn more about aloe vera plants, here are other articles that may interest you:
Aloe Vera Propagation FAQs
Can you grow aloe vera from a cutting?
Yes, you can grow aloe vera from a leaf cutting by removing a leaf from a mature aloe plant. It’s an easy propagation method, but can also be more difficult in achieving success than other methods. The most successful aloe propagation method is the plant root division method by using aloe vera pups or offshoots.
Can aloe vera be propagated in water?
No, aloe vera cannot be propagated in water. If you attempt aloe propagation by placing a cutting in water, the leaf cutting will rot before it is able to develop roots.
Can you replant a broken aloe leaf?
Yes, you can replant a broken aloe leaf. Place the broken leaf with the broken side into the soil bed. The damaged leaf should be inserted one third of its length into the soil. Moisten the soil and keep it moist for the first month. The leaf will shrivel and shrink as it develops its root system.
Where do you cut aloe vera to propagate?
Look at the base of the aloe plants for offshoots to cut off. You can either cut offshoots with roots from the mother plant or cut a 3-inch or longer leaf from the plant’s base.
Can you replant aloe vera without roots?
Yes, you can replant aloe vera leaf cuttings. Plant cuttings and damaged broken leaves will not have roots, but can be planted in soil for successful propagation.
How long does it take for aloe cuttings to root?
An aloe cutting that is healthy can successfully root in about 4 to 6 weeks. If your aloe cutting does not have plenty of light or warmth, it will take longer to root. Give it a good environment for healthy root development.