According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, aloe vera has been used for thousands of years to heal burns, cuts and skin irritations and is an effective home remedy for minor skin abrasions. This easy-to-grow succulent provides quick access for first-aid treatments and is an attractive plant as well. Part of its appeal is its unusual method of propagation. As the plant matures, young plants (called pups) sprout and grow from the base of the plant. Starting new plants from the pups is quick easy.
Remove the pups from the base of the aloe plant when they are 3 or 4 inches high. A slight tug usually dislodges the pup, but if it resists, cut with a sharp knife. Look for several young roots emerging from the base of the pup. These may be white nodules that look like buds or more developed nodes resembling mature roots. Each pup should have one or two roots to get it started.
Fill a plant pot with soil. Mix one part all-purpose potting soil, two parts perlite and one part coir or peat moss for a good blend of soil for succulents. You can also purchase cactus or succulent soil in the gardening section, if you prefer.
Plant the pups in the soil with the root buds slightly below the surface of the soil. Firm with your hands to provide support for the new plant and to remove air pockets. Water to moisten the soil.
Place in bright, filtered light. Do not water again for three weeks. Young plants may appear to be dying and leaves may turn brown or dull green. This is a sign that the new plant is developing a strong roots system.
Resume normal routine of watering when the soil dries and fertilize with ½-strength fertilizer in spring.
Things You Will Need
- All-purpose potting soil
- Peat moss/ coir
- Plant pot
- sharp knife (optional)