How to Start a New Aloe Vera Plant


Aloe vera is a succulent plant. The sap in the leaves is used to relieve minor burns and sunburns, making it a useful plant to grow in a windowsill indoors. A mature, healthy aloe vera plant produces offsets from the main plant. These small plants, or pups, are removed from the mother plant and replanted in new pots to propagate the aloe plant. This allows you to start a new aloe vera plant without the need to purchase one from a nursery.

Step 1

Fill a small plant pot with a well-draining soil-less mix or a potting mix designed for cactus plants. Choose a pot only one to two inches larger than the diameter of the aloe pup you are replanting in it.

Step 2

Cut the pup off the mother plant when the pup is two inches tall. The pup, or offset, resembles a small aloe plant growing at a short distance from the main plant. Use a sharp clean knife and slice it off cleanly at the soil surface.

Step 3

Lay the pup on a paper plate or paper towel in a dry room for two to three days. This allows the the cut area to cure, or heal over, preventing it from rotting once it is in the potting soil.

Step 4

Set the pup in the soil, with the cut side down. Plant it so one-third of the cutting is beneath the soil surface and place in a brightly lit window that isn't in direct sun. Don't water for the first week, as the plant is forming roots which will rot in overly moist conditions.

Step 5

Water the soil thoroughly five to seven days after planting the pup. Water until it begins draining out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot to ensure the soil is evenly soaked.

Step 6

Let the soil dry out completely between waterings. Water only when the soil is dry to the touch when you stick your finger in it. Thoroughly water until it drains out then allow it to dry out again each time.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use standard potting soil for aloe vera plants. Potting soil is too heavy and holds on to too much moisture, which will kill the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Pot
  • Potting mix
  • Knife
  • Paper plate or towel


  • University of Arizona Extension: Growing Aloe Vera
  • University of California Extension: Aloe Vera
Keywords: starting new aloe plants, propagating aloe vera, dividing aloe vera pups

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.