How to Propagate Aloe Vera: Tips and Tricks

how to propagate aloe vera
Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Bstad

Learning how to propagate aloe vera is easy: we’ll show you two methods to grow aloe vera from leaf cuttings or offshoots.

Aloe vera is a popular houseplant. It brightens up any room, and it filters toxins out of the air. But aloe vera isn’t only good for decoration: the gel that is produced in its leaves can be used as a natural remedy. And despite being native to warm and dry climates, the plant is easy to care for and requires very little attention. We’ll show you how to propagate aloe vera at home.

How to Propagate Aloe Vera: Offshoots

how to grow aloe vera from leaf
Want to learn how to propagate aloe vera? The first thing you’ll need is a mature aloe vera plant. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay – Marc Egaral)

To start, you’ll need an aloe vera plant that is already a few years old. Mature aloe vera plants produce pups, also called offshoots or offsets, which are clones that grow from the parent plant.

Here’s how to propagate aloe vera using plant offshoots:

  1. Search for an offshoot that has at least four leaves and is at least one and a half inches high.
  2. Gently separate the pup from the parent plant, being extra careful not to damage the roots. In most cases, you can simply pull the offshoot off, but if necessary, use a sharp, sterilized knife to cut it away from the main stem. Allow the site where the cut was made to dry in the sun for two to three days, to prevent infection. 
  3. Cover the bottom of a small flower pot with clay shards or gravel.
  4. Fill the pot with succulent or cactus potting mix.
  5. Plant the aloe vera offset in the pot, making sure to cover the roots.
  6. Place the pot in a warm, sunny place.
  7. Water your aloe vera plant sparingly; only when the soil feels dry to the touch.

How to Grow Aloe Vera from Leaf Cuttings

how to propagate aloe
Propagating aloe vera using leaf cuttings is a bit tricky. Make several cuttings to increase your chances of success.

Like many other plants, aloe vera can be grown from leaf cuttings. It’s best to take the cutting from one of the thicker leaves. This method is especially good for bringing new life to tired old plants. The chances of the leaf actually taking root vary, so it’s a good idea to make several cuttings at once. The best time to do this is in March. 

Here’s how to propagate aloe vera using leaf cuttings:

  1. With a sharpened, sterilized knife, cut off one of the healthiest outer leaves. Cut as close as possible to the main stem.
  2. Let the leaf air-dry for several days in a warm place, so that a protective layer can form on the site of the cut. 
  3. Cover the bottom of a planter pot with gravel or clay shards, to promote better drainage later. Fill the pot with a mixture of cactus potting mix (or normal potting soil) and sand. The mixture should be 1:1.
  4. Pour water over the soil so that it is moist.
  5. Embed the aloe vera leaf lengthwise in the soil, so that about two-thirds of the leaf is visible.
  6. Place the pot in a warm, sunny spot. For about four weeks, make sure the soil remains constantly moist. 
  7. After the leaf takes root, wait until the soil is completely dry before watering. 

This article has been translated from German to English by Christie Sacco. You can read the original version here: Aloe-Vera-Ableger: Selber ziehen und einpflanze

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