Propagating Aloe: A Step-by-Step Guide to Growing More of These Low-Maintenance Succulents

Aloe Vera is well known for its magical healing and rejuvenating properties on the skin.

Having several Aloe plants in the home garden benefits the environment aesthetically; its sap can also be applied as an effective healing ointment on skin burns owing to its antibacterial properties.

All the more reason, I’ll be providing insightful information on the most successful ways to propagate Aloe plants both for indoor and outdoor environments.

You can propagate Aloes primarily from almost any part of an older plant. You can grow a new younger Aloe Vera from the leaf cuttings, root cuttings, or the offsets growing on the selected parent Aloe plant.

Aloes can also be propagated from the mature seeds on a grown plant, and we’ll look into this in more detail shortly. First, let’s discuss how to propagate Aloes from cuttings.

Can I grow Aloe from Cuttings?

Aloe Cuttings

Aloes belong to the Cactus Family of garden plants, and what this means is they’re easily propagated from the rooted stem and leaf cuttings, as can be observed in most succulents.

Preparing the Leaf Cuttings

Most propagators shy away from propagating Aloes from leaf cuttings. That’s because the success rate is relatively low compared to other methods of Propagating Aloe plants.

However, I intend to learn from my mistakes continuously. I experimented quite a few times with Aloe leaf cuttings, and it’s effortless to get the leaves to root if you know what you’re doing.

Your chances of success will improve significantly if you follow my hacks.

  • First, use a sharp knife or gardening shears to make your cuttings.
  • Identify the most healthy-looking leaves that are at least 3 inches long.
  • Hold the leaf at the tip and make your cut at its base.
  • Your cutting scissors or knife should be angled 45° to the base of the Aloe plant.
  • Lastly, your cutting equipment should be disinfected before touching the plant to avoid bacterial or fungal infection.

Now we move to the most sensitive part of the process. You’ll need to find a place to set your Leaf cuttings, and they must be kept in a warm, dry environment, away from direct sunlight and moisture.

The Aloe leaves are naturally succulent and fleshy and often act as water and nutrient reservoirs for the plant. That’s why they rot quickly and usually don’t make it to the rooting stage.

Before continuing with the rooting process, you’ll need to wait a few days for the leaf to get calloused (healed from the cutting process).

You’ll know the cuttings are ready for rooting once you see a silky film covering the calloused edges. It usually takes a week or two for Aloe leaf cuttings to be prepared for rooting.

Rooting of Aloe Cuttings

Aloe proliferates in any soil mix potting enriched to grow succulents. Ensure you’ve punched holes at the bottom of the soil mix potting for proper aeration and drainage. The Aloe Cuttings will rot and die if allowed to lie in water for too long.

First, pour some of the soil mixes into the pot until it is almost full. Then insert the Aloe Cuttings with the cut edges directly into the soil; the cuttings should be dipped up to 3 inches.

Now fill up the remaining spaces with the leftover soil mix until the pot is filled. Some expert propagators advise newbies to first put in a few gravels at the base of the Potting before adding the first layer of soil; this should make it easier to keep the pot drained of excess water.

Once your Potting is set, it should be positioned where there’s sufficient indirect sunshine to speed up the rooting time.

Applying rooting hormones, honey or perlite may improve the chances of the rooted cuttings, especially if you observe that some cuttings got damaged while rooting.

What is the best way to Propagate Aloes?

Aloe Vera Plant in a Garden

The best way to Propagate Aloe plants is from their offsets and pups. This method also has the highest success rate in growing new Aloes.

Growing Aloe plants from pups is straightforward, and you must identify the best offsets to separate from the mother plant.

Offsets look like tiny plants attached to the main plant, usually with their own roots and leaves.

A good pup should have up to 3 leaves on it, with fine root hairs and about 3 inches in length.

Some offsets are easily removed from the mother plant. However, in some cases, you’ll need to use sharp equipment to cut them off.

Do this carefully while ensuring the roots are not damaged in the process. Pups with damaged roots are eventually good for nothing.

Once the pups are separated, allow their cuts to heal for a few days before planting them in the soil mix potting.

How to Propagate Aloes by Seeds

Aloe seeds can be collected from the pods growing on an older plant. Once these seeds are harvested, you can grow them directly in a nutrient-enriched soil mix potting.

If you’re propagating Aloe plants from the seeds, you’ll need a lot of patience before seeing some results because the Aloe seeds take some time to sprout and grow new roots and leaves.

You also have the option of rooting them first in a small container filled with earth. They can be transferred into a soil mix potting once you observe the development of roots on them.

How do you water Aloe Plants?

Once your offsets are planted, you should water them immediately. This is done by spraying water directly into the soil in the pot until all of the earth is well moistened and the excess water begins to drain out.

Since the Aloe plants like to keep their leaves fleshy and moist, it is advisable to water the plant once every few days or whenever you observe the upper soil layer appears dry and crispy.
Generally speaking, keep a regular watering calendar within 1-3 weeks.

When should I propagate an Aloe plant?

An Aloe plant is ready for propagation once you observe well-developed pups growing on the mother plant. The best growing season for Aloes falls between early summer and late spring.

Can Aloe be propagated in water?

Propagating Aloe plants in water has meager chances of success. In my experience, it’s a time-wasting experiment, one you should only embark on for the fun of the process.

I’m yet to propagate an aloe rooting in water successfully. I tried many times until I decided to focus on perfecting the other methods with a higher chance of success.

I think It’s possible, but it’ll require special growing conditions that aren’t available in traditional homes or gardens.

How long does it take an Aloe Pup to Root?

If the right conditions are provided, your Aloe pup should be rooted correctly in about 4-6 weeks. Note that the development speed depends on sufficient sunlight with a moderately humid and warm atmosphere.

Do I propagate Aloe with Normal gardening soil?

Propagating your Aloe plants doesn’t require a unique soil/nutrient mixture. The standard soil mix for succulents and Cactus plants will provide them with all the nutrients it needs to grow lush and fresh-looking leaves.

However, some grit, gravel, and perlite can be introduced just to improve the aeration and water drainage of the potting mix.

Do I remove the Aloe Pups from the mother?

Once the Aloe pups are grown enough to be propagated, you should remove them to develop new plants and multiply your Aloe garden.

Keeping them with their mother plant will eventually make your Potting look crowded, and available nutrients and space become insufficient for all to grow correctly.

Can I replant a broken aloe Vera leaf?

You can propagate a broken leaf from an Aloe plant like a leaf cutting.

Place the fractured leaf in a Soil mix potting and set it in a warm place with sufficient indirect sunlight. Watch it for a few weeks, and apply water only when necessary.

If the leaf is viable, it should grow a new network of roots after a few weeks.

How long do Aloes live?

Aloes are excellent conservators of nutrients and energy. It takes up to 3 years for a mature Aloe plant to reach its full height (which can be as high as 46 cm). A well-nurtured Aloe plant can live up to 12 years of viability.

Some signs to look out for in an aging Aloe plant include sagging and dropping leaves that look discolored; some old aloe plants may stop growing new pups.

Leave a comment