When to Repot My Aloe Vera Plant?

Overview

Aloe vera is a hardy succulent that grows well indoors in any region and outdoors in warm regions. Native to the Mediterranean, aloe vera plants don't need a lot of care and quickly suffer from over-watering. Their leaves contain a healing gel that is helpful for soothing burns, minor cuts and bug bites.

When To Repot

Unlike many other potted plants, aloe vera can survive being root bound, which means the roots can fill up the pot without causing any damage to the plant. You should put the plant in a wider, deeper pot when it becomes very top-heavy and seems like it will tip over, or when the leaves start growing horizontally instead of vertically.

How To Repot

Aloe vera is not very picky about soil, but it prefers a sandy, well-draining environment. Make sure the new pot has a drainage hole so the plant doesn't sit in standing water. Fill the new pot with a few inches of soil so that the plant's base will be near the top rim of the pot when you put it in. To remove the plant from the old pot, tap all around the pot to loosen the soil from the sides. Hold the plant at the base and gently work it out of the pot by giving it small twists and tipping it from side to side. Place it in the new pot and cover the root ball with soil. Tamp the soil down around the base of the plant and water it in.

Taking Cuttings

An aloe vera plant that is becoming root bound will start sending out offshoots of baby plants. These baby plants can be cut off the mother plant and potted separately, and removing these baby plants is necessary for the health of the mother plant. Find where the offshoot is attached to the main plant and slice it off with a sharp knife. Lay the cuttings on a piece of paper towel or newspaper to dry for a few days so the open cuts can seal off. Place the cut ends of the offshoots into damp soil and don't water it for a week. The cuttings may brown slightly, but refraining from watering them encourages them to send out stronger roots. When the aloe vera cuttings have established themselves, give them away as gifts or place them in a sunny widow with your other plants.

Keywords: repot aloe vera, root bound aloe vera, aloe vera cuttings

About this Author

Sarah Metzker Erdemir is an expat writer and ESL teacher living in Istanbul since 2002. A fiction writer for more than 25 years, she began freelance writing and editing in 2000. Ms. Metzker Erdemir holds Bachelor of Arts degrees in Romance languages and linguistics as well as a TESOL Master of Arts degree. She has written articles for eHow, Garden Guides, and ConnectEd.

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