Aloe veras are favored for their medicinal properties. For this reason, Aloes are grown in most gardens and indoor spaces. If you want to have more plants without buying, you can always propagate them.
You can propagate Aloe vera from cuttings, offsets, and seeds. The offset propagation has a high chance of success than other methods. Separate the pups from the mother plant and transplant them to a new container with the ideal soil mix. You can even propagate these pups in the water.
For leaf cuttings, cut a healthy leaf, let it heal, and plant it in the soil. Don’t put the cuttings in water as that can result in rotting. Seed propagation takes a lot of time to show signs of success.
This guide will give you in-depth knowledge about the different ways of propagating Aloe Vera plants and how to take care of them properly. Read till the end to know everything about propagation.
How do you propagate aloe vera?
You can propagate Aloe Vera in five ways:
- Leaf cuttings
- Rhizome cuttings
- Stem cuttings
All the above procedures are easy once you get familiar with the process and correct steps.
The offset propagation is the easiest way to propagate Aloe Vera.
It is effective, and there is a high success rate.
Propagating from cuttings too will give positive results, but the probabilities of success are not as high as offset propagation.
Propagation from seeds will take a lot of time to show any results.
However, you can try this method just for the experience.
Aloes are again propagated in two ways:
- In soil: You can perform all the ways in soil.
- In water: Only offsets are propagated in water.
|Leaf-cutting||Cutting a leaf from the parent plant and allowing it to root|
|Offset division||Separating small plantlets from the parent plant and planting them separately|
|Seed propagation||Planting seeds from mature Aloe Vera plants|
When is the best time to propagate Aloe Veras?
The best time to propagate Aloe Veras is during the spring and summer.
They need a warm temperature to grow actively.
Propagating during the spring or summer will give them their ideal temperature.
As a result, Aloes will grow very well.
You should not propagate the Aloe Veras if the temperature crosses 80-90°F in the summer.
As it is their dormancy period, propagation won’t show any growth results.
Winter is also not the right time to propagate as Aloes slow down their growth due to the extreme cold weather.
Supplies required for propagating Aloe Vera
Propagation will be tough and confusing for the first time.
But it is the most fun part of gardening.
Propagation is also an economical way of growing more plants as you can get more plants without buying them.
Once you get all the supplies in place, you can start propagating your Aloe vera.
Now, let’s have a quick look at the supplies needed for propagating Aloes:
- A knife to separate the leaves or the pups from the main plant: Though you can use your hand to remove the offshoots, a knife can ensure a clear cut and avoid tearing and infection.
- Rubbing alcohol to disinfect the knife and prevent fungal and bacterial infection.
- A container with drainage holes ensures sound drainage: Aloes enjoy dry conditions. Use a pot that is wider, not deeper.
- A healthy plant for propagation from cuttings will ensure healthy growth and fast rooting.
- The babies of the mother plant
- Ideal soil mix. Make sure it is well-drained.
- Water to dampen the soil after propagation or mix slightly with the soil mix. It is also needed during water propagation.
- A transparent jar, in case you want to perform water propagation
- Rooting hormone to fasten the rooting process
How to propagate aloe pups?
Aloe Veras will only produce offsets once they are mature.
These offsets are copies of the mother plant.
As long as they don’t develop their roots, the babies would rely on the adult plant for water and nutrients.
Older and healthier plants have more chances of producing healthy pups.
Provide your aloe veras with lots of sunlight, sufficient water, and occasional fertilization to encourage them to deliver pups.
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Offset propagation in soil
|Identify offsets||Locate small plantlets growing from the base of the parent plant|
|Gently remove the offsets||Carefully separate the offsets from the parent plant|
|Allow the offsets to dry||Leave the offsets in a dry, shaded area for 1-2 days|
|Plant the offsets||Plant the offsets in a well-draining soil mix|
|Water the soil||Water the soil lightly, being careful not to overwater|
|Wait for roots to develop||Roots should develop in 2-3 weeks|
Step 1: Search for the babies near the stem.
They are small, at least 1/3rd the size of the mother plant. Some will even be at the base of the plant.
Take the whole plant out to collect all the pups available.
Use a trowel to loosen the soil and take the plant out.
Step 2: Detangle the roots.
You can even use a knife to cut the pups from the mother plant.
It will avoid tearing and injuring.
In the process, you can remove the damaged roots and cut off the long thin roots of the mother plant.
Step 3: Separate the pups.
Collect the pups that have their roots with minimal damage.
Dip the roots in the rooting hormone. It will help in faster rooting.
Let the pups and the mother plant form callous.
Place in a dry and shady area for some days.
Step 4: Prepare the pot and soil.
Now, prepare a container according to the size of the pups to plant each plant in one pot.
You can take a big one to plant multiple plants together.
Do this if the pups are clumped together and can’t be separated.
Fill it with the ideal soil mix.
You must ensure that the soil is well-drained.
Step 5: Plant the pups
Now plant the pups in it.
Don’t press the soil too much because the roots need breathing space.
Place the mother plant back to its place.
Here, you can also replace the old container with a big one to give the plant more space to spread and multiply.
Water after some days.
This will let the roots grow and spread faster to search for water.
When you water them after a few days, the plant will take up that water hungrily.
The pups will need more water to grow efficiently.
But make sure not to overwater.
Water them only when the growing medium is dry.
Depending on light, temperature, and soil, you can water the Aloes once a week to once after 3 weeks.
Note: It is better to plant the pups in containers at the beginning.
It will help you to control their growing conditions to keep them healthy.
Let them establish and grow big if you want to grow them in the ground.
Once the offshoots are strong and well-established, you can transfer them to your garden yard.
Offset propagation in water
From taking the plant out to forming callous, the steps are the same as soil propagation.
For water propagation, follow the steps below:
- Take a transparent jar. It must be clean. You can use any container of your choice. But, a transparent jar allows you to see the conditions of the roots and the water.
- Fill it with fresh, pure water. Avoid using tap water as it contains very harmful chemicals. Use rainwater or distilled water. However, you can let the tap water sit overnight and use it.
- Now, place the plant in it. To ensure the plant’s balance, you can use a bud vase. Or, seal the mouth of the jar with plastic. Make a hole at the center in the size of the roots and place the plant in it.
- The roots must partially emerge in water. The other half must be exposed to the air. It will let the plant have enough oxygen. Keep the jar near a sunny window, but not too close.
- Change the water after every 2-3 days. Feed the plant slightly with a liquid hydroponic fertilizer.
Which is better? – Water or soil propagation?
Aloe Vera plants grow well in soil than in water.
They grow in desert areas naturally, where the soil is mostly dry.
Growing in the soil allows the plant to grow faster.
Though there are chances of rotting in the soil if you overwater, there is more chance of rotting if they grow in water.
It is because Aloes don’t enjoy prolonged moisture levels.
However, the Aloe Veras can still grow well in water if you follow the steps correctly.
But, you should not keep the plant in water for a long time.
You can keep them in water for 1-1.5 months.
Can you propagate aloe from a leaf?
|Select a healthy leaf||Choose a mature leaf from the parent plant|
|Cut the leaf||Cut the leaf at the base using a clean, sharp knife|
|Allow the leaf to dry||Leave the leaf in a dry, shaded area for 2-3 days|
|Plant the leaf||Plant the leaf in a well-draining soil mix|
|Water the soil||Water the soil lightly, being careful not to overwater|
|Wait for roots to develop||Roots should develop in 2-3 weeks|
The success rates of propagating Aloe Vera from leaf cuttings are not as high as the offset propagation.
Very few people had witnessed positive results in this process.
The leaves have a lot of moisture. They will rot most of the time.
Now, let’s look at the steps:
- Find a healthy plant. A leaf from a healthy plant will have a high possibility of fast rooting. If your plant has recently recovered any stress, wait for some more weeks to let it gets strong.
- Take a disinfected knife and cut an 8 centimeters long healthy leaf. Cut the plant base at a downward angle near the main stem.
- Now, it is time to let it heal. Keep the leaf in a relatively warm and shady area for 14 days. It will protect the wound and prevent infection. Placing it directly in the soil will rot the leaf.
- After the leaf has formed callous, take a container with drainage holes. Fill the container with the right soil. You can go through the Aloe Vera soil articles to know the best mix. The pH level should stay within 6.0 and 8.0.
- Now, dip the cut portion of the leaf in a rooting hormone and bury it in the soil. 1/3rd of the leaf should be in the soil.
- Instead of rooting hormones, you can also dip the cut portion in honey or cinnamon.
- Mist the cutting with water instead of directly pouring it. Soak the soil only after they have developed new leaves and roots. After that, you can adjust the watering schedule.
- Place the container at a location that receives partial sunlight. Once they are well-established, let them have adequate sunlight. It will take 6 to 8 weeks to see new growth.
Note: There might not be chances of success in leaf cuttings. In most cases, the leaves may become wrinkled.
Can you grow aloe vera from a cutting?
- When you take the plant out of the container to check the roots, cut off some short sizes of stems, around 2-4 inches. You can plant the cut plants again in the soil. It will develop roots and stay healthy.
- Let the cuts dry out and form callous for at least 7-10 days. Keep them under indirect sunlight. It will help to avoid infections.
- Now, take a clean container. You can use any container of your choice. Ensure the drainage system. Fill it with equal parts of perlite, coarse sand, and peat. Dampen a soil a bit but not too much. Let the soil sit for at least 10-15 minutes.
- Now place the stem cuttings. Place the cut-down inside the soil. Don’t bury the complete stem. Half of the cutting should be in the soil, and the other half should be outside.
- Now press the surrounding soil to hold the stem securely.
- Maintain a temperature of at least 70°F. Keep the cuttings away from direct sunlight.
- Water only when the top 2 inches get dry. Don’t make the soil soggy, or else the stems will rot.
- If you want to shift the plants outside, first expose them to filtered sunlight. Then slowly place them in direct sunlight for small hours. Gradually increase the full sun exposure timing.
- Transfer the Aloes to the soil only when they have become mature.
How much time will the Aloe Vera take to grow roots from the cuttings?
The leaf and stem cuttings will generally take one month to sprout new plants.
But, if they are kept under low light and temperature to prevent stress or burning, they will take at least 6 weeks or more to root.
The leaf cuttings will take more time than the stem cuttings.
Let the cuttings have sufficient sunlight and temperature and suitable soil mixes for fast rooting.
Propagating from rhizome cutting
You can propagate a big Aloe Vera plant by rhizome cutting. Below are the steps to perform the propagation:
- Dig the big Aloe Vera plant out of the soil. You will see a thick clump of underground stem. It is called a rhizome.
- Remove the leaves from the stem, if any.
- Now place the stem in the soil.
- The stem will develop 1-2 new Aloe Vera plants.
- Place the container under filtered sunlight for some weeks.
- Once they have become well-established, gradually shift them to direct sunlight and follow the routine watering. Don’t forget to acclimatize.
Merits and demerits of asexual reproduction
|Since the offsets, leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, and rhizome cuttings are from the mother plant, you will get the same features as the new plants. They will be clones of their parent plant.||They can only handle the situations as their mother plant can handle. They cannot manage any sudden changes.|
|You can follow the same requirements for these new plants that you used for the mother plant.||Due to the above feature, they can get prone to diseases. They will require more attention unless they are well-established.|
|One leaf can grow multiple offspring.||You can even buy the seeds online, but your plant needs to be healthy and mature if you want propagation from offset or cutting.|
|If the mother plant is mutant naturally, the new plants too can resist pests and diseases.||You must have the proper knowledge. Otherwise, it will fail.|
|Rooting is faster than seed propagation.|
Propagating Aloe Vera from seeds
Propagation from seeds is a traditional way of getting more plants.
But, it takes a lot of time to show the results.
When the plant has matured, it will produce pretty flowers.
The outdoor plants flower more than the indoor plants as they get enough sunlight outside.
Additionally, the aloe flowers can take part in pollination outdoors.
Once the flower has faded and died, they will produce the seeds.
Though the process is lengthy, it will be fun to do.
Here are the steps:
- Check the flowers well and crack the seed pods. You will find brownish-green or black seeds. The plant must be some years old to produce good-quality seeds.
- Collect the seeds and store them in a paper envelope in a cool and dark place. Harvest them within one year for the best results.
- Take a container and fill it with good soil.
- Spread the seeds evenly all over the soil surface and cover it with a thin layer of the same soil.
- Now, mist the soil with water. Don’t pour the water directly into the soil as that can disturb the seeds’ positions.
- Place the plant at a warm location that doesn’t receive direct sunlight.
- Check the soil’s moisture daily and moisten it whenever it feels dry. They will take many months to start germinating.
Once they sprout out the seedlings, start usual watering.
Note: You can start propagation immediately or in the upcoming spring.
If you want to sow the seeds outdoors, wait for the next spring.
Though you can plant them outdoors, it is always best to start germination indoors.
You can control the environment and its growing conditions and prevent them from the harsh outside factors.
Merits and demerits of sexual reproduction
|It can be successful if done correctly.||It takes a lot of time to show results.|
|You can get genetic variations here. You can even cross-breed the seeds and get new plants with a unique look and features.||The seeds can suffer from algae if the soil is too damp.|
|You can either sow them immediately or preserve them for a few months to sow in the spring.||The plants grown from the seeds will not be clones of their mother plant. So, you cannot give them the same care as the main plant.|
Tips for Successful Aloe Vera Propagation
|Use well-draining soil||Aloe Vera plants require well-draining soil to prevent root rot|
|Avoid overwatering||Aloe Vera plants are drought-tolerant and can be damaged by too much water|
|Provide bright, indirect light||Aloe Vera plants require bright, indirect light for optimal growth|
|Allow soil to dry between waterings||Wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering|
|Use a rooting hormone||A rooting hormone can help encourage root growth during propagation|
As you read, there are many options you get more Aloe vera plants. Though offsets have a high chance of successful propagation, you can try all the methods to gather knowledge or as a fun project.
Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get good results in some methods. Offset propagation will never disappoint you. Don’t give them stress if you want positive results from these propagation methods.
Remember not to follow regular watering or expose them to direct sunlight unless the plant matures or becomes well-established.
Once they are well-established, they will be ready to handle their normal requirements and even harsh conditions.
Reference: NCBI, New York Botanical Garden, University of New Hampshire, University of Florida, Wikipedia.