How To Propagate your Aloe Vera Plant

Once you have mastered growing your now adolescent aloe vera plant, you may want to start raising another. The good news: you do not have to go to the store to get an additional one of these wonderful succulents. Breeding new baby aloe veras from your original plant is simple and inexpensive. By separating and replanting the bulbs of the plant, you can keep growing aloe veras. Let’s take a look at how you should propagate your aloe vera plant.

The Unique Structure of the Aloe Vera Plant: 

Most plants in the succulent family, like cactuses, are best propagated in the traditional method: rooting. The process of rooting involves taking cuttings from a plant and placing the branches in new soil to develop its own roots and become an independent plant. However, due to the aloe vera’s unique anatomy, it needs to be reproduced in a different way.

High moisture content: Because of its high moisture content, aloe vera plants are not built to be breed from cuttings. When trying to reproduce an aloe vera, you leave the main plant alone, instead focusing on the outlying bulbs at the base of the plant. Taking a leaf of an aloe vera plant to root would only result in a dead or rotten leaf. When it come to aloe vera plants, just remember: rooting = rotting.

Rhizome root system: Luckily, biology has equipped the aloe vera plant with a rhizome root system that allows for an alternative way of propagation. Growing horizontally and shallowly, the rhizome is an underground stem that has multiple nodes from which shoots and roots grow. Although not ideal for cuttings, aloe vera plants can be reproduced by separating these bulbs, detaching the offshoots from the main plant. Simply put, instead of rooting an aloe vera leaf, you take the root of the aloe vera plant.

When to Propagate Your Plant 

It is important to wait for your aloe vera plant to mature before you can use it to breed additional plants. As a general guideline, when the bulbs are 1/5 the size of your main plant, you can split up and replant them. Waiting until the bulbs grow to this size gives your replanted bulb the best chance at survival.

A Tutorial: How to Separate Aloe Vera Bulbs 

Although broken off from the aloe vera plant, the bulbs are not broken. If you follow the steps outlined below, your aloe vera bulbs will develop into healthy, independent plants:

Things you will need: Make sure you have the following supplies on hand when propagating your aloe vera plant: (1) a clean, sharp knife or pruning shears; (2) potting soil; and (3) a new pot for the transplanted bulb.

1. Begin by familiarizing yourself with the structure of your aloe vera plant, working on identifying its bulbs. Remove the dirt around the base of the plant to get a better look. Also, remember that the bulb should have several shoots and an entire root system of its own when removed;

2. Once you have identified it bulbs and signaled one out for cutting,  take out your knife or pruning shears and cut the bulb away from the main plant. Make sure the tool you have chosen is clean to avoid exposing your bulb–and future new aloe vera plant–to any diseases or contaminants;

3. After splitting up the bulb and the main plant, replant the detached bulb in a new pot with potting soil. You may want to make a mixture of half potting soil, half sand to mimic the dry desert conditions the aloe vera plant thrives in in its natural environment;

If your pot not does have a drainage system (i.e. hole in the bottom of the container), you will want to line the bottom with rocks to prevent any extra water from rotting or drowning your plant;

4. Press down the soil firmly around the roots; and

5. Water and take care of your bulb as you would a normal aloe vera plant. Sit back, and watch as your plant grows.

 

Happy rooting!

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Comments

  1. D J Wotton says

    Could you please send the appropriate information that would get me on my way. I was given a plant trough which have over 20 plants in it. They are looking quite sick on it and apart from getting all the dead leaves from them, I don’t know what my next move is for the best is for the plants.

    Kindest regards
    Delma Wotton

  2. says

    my Aloe Vera plant has gone mad. Its falling over the side of the pot. The leaves are breaking.

    How can I have a nice tidy plant and have it standing up. I love my plant but it is getting on my nerves….
    Yours
    Frustrated…….

  3. Gwyne says

    I have the same problem as Dee above, except worse. It got to the point that the tops fell over so much that the roots actually came up out of the pot. I’m hoping to replant them all, but I’m wondering if there’s still enough roots attached. Do I put them down low in the soil so the brown stems are under the soil. On some, that’s about all there is besides the leaves. Will new roots grow if I just plant the brown stems below the soil??

  4. Nicole Sochen says

    Hi – are you able to grow aloes inside as a decor feature in a glass vase and water, ie. no soil (I know they’ll eventually need to be replaced). Can you recommend how I should make the cutting from the plant? thanks.

  5. Debbie Alexander says

    I found a huge aloe vera plant on the side of the road out for garbage. It is healthy however is broken off of it’s roots. Question… is there a way to save it? Rooti g hormone and peat moss?

  6. says

    I was reading the info on how to re root an aloe plant. I got one last year and it was planted in soil with a lot of peat moss in it. I didn’t realize that, that was why it was dying, until I read the info on your sight. My problem is that my aloe does not yet have bulbs on the root; so, what can I do to save it. It was a mother’s day present from my 16 year old.
    Please help if you can.
    Thank you.

  7. Sally fedorenko says

    Hi
    I have taken bulb cuttings from my aloe Vera plants .. There is lots of new shoots .
    Seperated and re potted , I think I watered them , should I have left them to root first for a week or so ?
    They look like there dying , lost colour ?
    I don’t know if to give them a good water or leave to root longer .
    When I first got my plant it was discoloured , pinkish , I fed it and now it’s lovely , producing lots of shoots …
    So shall I feed the baby’s or leave to root longer
    Thank you for any advise
    Sally

  8. Ginger says

    I have an aloe plant that has completely lost it’s root. Is there a way to save it? Should I try to root it in water, or just plant it in soil and hope for the best?

    • Nicola says

      Hi ginger what did you do with your plant in the end? My plant has done exactly the same and I don’t know what to do with it to save it. All the plant has fallen apart and there is no root system but yet the leaves are still lovely and green and firm.

    • Jeremy Porter says

      If it’s still all in one piece, I recommend leaving it by the window out of the pot. Succulents are pretty fiesty things and when they realise they aren’t getting water, if the plant is still alive, they tend to grow new roots to look for more. If/when it does this is when you’ll want to repot, as having it sit in a pot with water but no roots to use it will just lead to rot.

  9. Tasha says

    I was recently given an adult aloe Vera plant that was in an awful condition. The pot it was in was far too small and it have many pups growing in the same pot. I’ve re-potted it and removed all but one pup. The one pup I didn’t remove had already attached itself to the mother plant and was fairly big compared to the other pups. Am I still able to remove this pup and repot it, as I’m aware it’s taking a lot of energy from the mother plant.

    Please help!
    Tasha xoxo

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