How to Propagate Aloe

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Aloe is a succulent plant with offshoots that grow around its base. Propagating aloe from offshoots is a simple gardening technique that allows you to increase the number of aloe plants in your home.


What Exactly Is Aloe?

Aloe is a succulent plant genus with over 500 species. The aloe vera plant, also known as true aloe, is one of the most popular species. With its antibacterial properties, aloe vera is a medicinal plant that is sometimes used to treat sunburns. Aloe plants thrive in arid climates and can be grown as houseplants in colder, humid climates. Aloe plants have a rosette-like shape with leaves that can grow up to three feet tall.


How to Propagate Aloe

Aloe propagation is a simple process for both novice and experienced gardeners.

Keep an eye out for offshoots near the parent plant. Taking baby aloe offsets from a parent plant is the simplest way to propagate aloe. These offsets, also known as pups or offshoots, emerge from the soil around the plant's base.

Take your aloe plant out of its pot. When you see offshoots up to four inches tall growing around the base of your aloe plant, carefully remove it from its pot. Gently shake the plant or use gloved fingers to remove any existing potting soil. Repotting an aloe plant is best done during its peak growing season, which is late spring or early summer.

Your aloe plant should be divided. Examine the plant's base for offshoots with their own root systems. If possible, separate the offshoots from the main plant while preserving their new root systems. Use a clean knife to carefully remove offshoots that are strongly attached to their parent plant.

Allow your aloe plants to heal. Leave the parent plant and offshoots out of the soil for at least 24 hours in a dry, temperate location. To speed up healing, healthy aloe plants form calluses over wounds.

Your aloe plants should be replanted. When you notice calluses on your aloe plants, repot them in new pots, preferably clay pots with drainage holes. Apply a small amount of rooting hormone before repotting damaged offshoots with weak root systems. Use a well-draining soil mix, such as one made specifically for cacti. Cactus potting mix ingredients include coarse sand, perlite, pumice, crushed granite, gravel, and regular garden soil.

Take care of your new aloe plants. New aloe plants thrive in dry, indirect light. Plant your potted offshoots near a south-facing window that receives indirect sunlight. Water your new aloe plants sparingly until their roots have established themselves, which should take one to two weeks after planting. Overwatering can cause root rot.

Alternatively, leaf cuttings can be used to propagate the plant. Although propagating aloe with aloe leaf cuttings is less effective than the traditional method, it can be useful when you don't want to repot your parent plant. Remove a leaf near the plant's base with a clean, sharp knife and place it in its own pot with cactus potting soil. The chances are that the leaf will rot before developing roots, but this method can occasionally work.

Aloe can also be grown from seed. Harvesting the seeds from mature aloe plant pods is another method for growing new aloe plants. Plant the seeds in warm, moist soil until they sprout. Move the new growth to a pot filled with cactus soil once it has established itself.

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