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Plant Pro Shares How to Propagate Aloe Plants in 3 Easy Steps!

It saves money and ensures you always have lots of healing aloe vera gel on hand!


Aloe plants are beloved for being low-maintenance houseplant wonders and their gel is a staple when it comes to soothing summertime sunburns. But did you know that you can grow entirely new plants from your existing aloe plant, otherwise known as propagating, and expand your plant collection for free? Here, plant pro Gene Caballero, co-founder of GreenPal, shares the easy steps for how to propagate aloe and help the new plants thrive.

Why learn how to propagate aloe?

How to propagate aloe: Woman replanting aloe vera plants by removing "pup" plants from a larger potted aloe plant

“Propagating aloe offers multiple benefits,” says Caballero. “First, it’s cost-effective and increases your plant collection.” What’s more? He says propagating new plants from your “mother plant” helps rejuvenate the mother by preventing “pups”, or baby plants that grow off the mother plant, from overcrowding the pot. Additionally, more plants means that you can gift some of the new baby plants to friends and family as thoughtful gifts. Plus, you can harvest more aloe vera gel to use for sunburns and DIY skincare recipes.

Related: Aloe Vera Gel Can Help Heal Scalp to Reverse Thinning Hair + Makes Skin Gorgeous — All For Pennies a Day!

How to propagate aloe from ‘pups’

How to propagate aloe: Top view of woman's hands with gloves on planting small aloe vera "pup" plant in a small black pot with other "pup" plants laying on table around it

The fastest and simplest way to propagate new aloe plants is by removing “pups” or baby aloe plants growing from your mother plant. Check your plant and look at its soil to see if you have any tiny aloe plants emerging from the soil. Once they are at least 5” tall and have a few leaves growing from them, Caballero says you can begin propagating them.

How to propagate aloe step 1: Remove mother aloe plant from its pot

Cover your work surface with a drop cloth or newspaper to catch any soil spills, then carefully remove your aloe plant from its pot. Use your fingers to gently remove any pups from the soil. If pups are attached to the mother plant, Caballero says to use a clean knife to cut off the pup from the mother plant stem, leaving roots attached to pup if there are any on it.

Related: Aloe Vera for Heartburn: Experts Agree It’s One of Nature’s Best Remedies

How to propagate aloe step 2: Repot mother aloe and pot pups with roots

Place the mother plant back into its soil-filled pot, then plant any pups that have roots into separate small pots filled with well-draining soil, advises Caballero. Then, water soil lightly, and place pots in indirect sunlight. “Typically, it takes about 2 to 4 weeks for aloe pups to establish their roots in their own pots,” he says.

How to propagate aloe step 3: Allow pups without roots to form a callus before potting

If any of your aloe pups don’t have roots, they will need to be left alone to form a callus that prevents the delicate ends of the plant from rotting. Lay the rootless pups on a tray out of sunlight for a day or two to allow the callus to form, then plant the bottom tip of the pups in small pots filled with well-draining soil. Water soil lightly and place pots in indirect sunlight.

Related: Grow Your Own Succulent Garden, Plus How To Grow New Succulents From Their Leaves!

How to care for your propagated plants as they grow

How to propagate aloe plants: Three small potted aloe vera plants sitting on a ledge outside and being watered from above by a watering can

“The above propagation can yield robust aloe plants that thrive with minimal care,” says Caballero. To help them thrive, avoid placing pots in direct sunlight. Aloe thrives in sun, but too many UV rays can turn leaves brown. Instead, use bright, indirect light. Also, water plants sparingly and avoid “drowning” your aloe plant by watering it about once a week. As plants grow larger, you can move them into bigger soil-filled pots that better accommodate their large root systems so they continue to grow and prosper.

For more gardening ideas, keep reading!

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Grow Your Own Succulent Garden, Plus How To Grow New Succulents From Their Leaves!

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