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How to Get a Start Off of an Aloe Plant

aloe vera image by Yvonne Bogdanski from

Aloe is often grown as a potted kitchen plant because of the plant's ability to soothe burns and cuts. Breaking off the tip of one of the fleshy leaves produces the soothing sap. A healthy aloe plant will produce several starts, known as aloe pups, that can be potted up to grow additional plants. Planting the aloe starts is a simple way to reproduce your aloe plants. Grow these plants throughout your home or give them as gifts to friends and relatives.

Cut the start from the main plant. Slide a clean, sharp knife just beneath the soil's surface where the start emerges, cutting through it cleanly, then lift it from the pot. Select a start near the base of the main allow plant that is at least 2 inches tall.

Lay the start on a paper towel and place it in a warm, dry room away from light. This allows the cut end of the start to scab over, preventing disease.

Place a potting mix formulated for cacti in the pot, leaving ½ inch of space between the top of the mix and the rim of the pot. Water the mix until the excess moisture begins draining from the bottom of the pot, then allow it to sit and soak in the moisture for one to two hours before emptying the pot's drip tray.

Set the start in the new pot, cut-side down. Push it just deep enough into the soil so that the soil holds in upright. Set the start in a warm, brightly lit window.


Prepare a pot prior to removing the starts from the aloe. If you don't have cacti potting mix, add one part vermiculite or coarse sand to a commercial potting mix. Drainage is the most important element for aloes.


Aloe doesn't tolerate over-watering and too much water can lead to plant death. Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, then water until the excess moisture drains out.

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