How to Propagate Aloe Vera

Aloe vera offsetsAloe vera is one of the easiest container plants to grow in a balcony garden, and it is also easy to propagate. Propagating aloe vera from seed is difficult (many aloe-keepers have never seen their aloe flower). Most container gardeners find it easiest to propagate an aloe vera’s offsets. If your aloe vera plant is doing well, it will send out offsets or “pups.” These small clones can be found around your plant or even coming out of the drainage holes of its container. An aloe vera can fill an entire plant container with its pups, and it can even send offshoots beyond its plant container and try to settle down in the dirt belonging to a neighboring container plant.

If you want to propagate your garden's aloe plants through their offsets, all you have to do is gently pull the pup out of the potting soil. First, check around your aloe vera plant to see if it has any pups that are mature enough (at least 3 to 5 inches tall). If the pup is still attached to the parent plant, make sure you are getting a rooted pup, and cut it from the parent plant with a sharp, disinfected knife. When removing the pup from the soil, keep its white roots intact as much as possible (the roots of this succulent plant are so shallow that this shouldn’t be difficult).

Aloe vera pupOnce you’ve carefully pulled out the aloe vera pup, you can put it directly into its new plant container, or you can let it sit in the garden for a couple of days so that it builds a callus (heals from any damage) before planting.

The new plant container can be small (but stable enough so it doesn’t tip over), and filled three-fourths of the way with non-compact and easily drained potting soil. Good soil for aloe can be a mixture of garden soil and sand. Don’t bury any part of the aloe vera leaves in the garden soil. Any aloe leaf that is in the potting soil will become a dark green and begin to “melt.” Because it is top-heavy and has shallow roots, you may need to prop up the aloe vera pup.



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