How to Propagate Aloe Vera Plants

Overview

Aloe vera plants, also called medicinal aloe plants, make attractive landscape plants in warm climates and interesting houseplants in cool areas. The succulent foliage of the aloe vera plant forms a circular rosette of sharply pointed, upright leaves. These plants reproduce through seed formation and vegetative cuttings. Because blossoms seldom form on potted aloe vera plants, increase your number of plants through cuttings. These cuttings keep your parent plant from outgrowing its pot while supplying friends and neighbors with small plants to enjoy in their own homes.

Step 1

Examine the area near the base of your mature aloe vera plant. Look for the appearance of small shoots near the outside edges of the main rosette. These small shoots appear as miniature versions of the larger, inner leaves on your plant, but have their own, small root system.

Step 2

Prepare your pot for your new aloe vera plant. Select a pot with drainage holes on the bottom. Cover the bottom of your pot with a thin layer of gravel to promote drainage. Mix equal amounts of potting soil and sand. Combine well to form a smooth mixture. Fill your pot with your potting soil to a level just below the inside of the rim.

Step 3

Remove the small shoots from the parent plant with a sharp knife. Insert the knife between the small shoots and the edge of the large rosette. Press the knife downwards, through the soil below this section. Wiggle your knife blade up and down to slice through the underground roots. Avoid slicing beyond the edges of the small shoot to minimize damage to the roots of the parent plant. Gently lift the detached segment by the rootball by wedging your knife under the soil and prying upwards to allow you to grasp the edges of it.

Step 4

Scoop out a small indentation in the surface of your potting soil. Set the small roots in the hole and spread the soil over the roots. Fill in with enough soil to allow your small aloe vera plant to sit at the same level it did before removing it from the parent plant. Apply a gentle stream of water over the soil until the water begins to drip from the drainage holes. Set the plant in a bright area and allow the surface of the soil to dry between watering sessions.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Sand
  • Knife
  • Water

References

  • Texas A&M University: Aloe
  • Aloe Vera Plant: Propagation
  • "Botanica's Gardening Encyclopedia", Susan Page, 2001

Who Can Help

  • University of Missouri: Home Propagation of Houseplants
Keywords: propagate aloe vera, aloe vera plants, succulent propagation

About this Author

Laura Dee is a writer, artist, and the co-owner of Wallace & Wallace Copywriting,an online business which specializes in providing marketing materials and copy to various companies. She has written for Demand Studios since 2008 and is currently working on a series of childrens' picture books.