Propagating Aloe Vera Plants
How to pot up baby Aloe Vera plants that have grown off a parent plant
If you have an aloe vera plant or are considering getting one to use in beauty products (and as a treatment for sunburn) then you need to be prepared for babies. Lots of babies. All of the time! Aloe can be grown from seed but most of the time you’ll get a plant thanks to how successful they are at sprouting babies from the base of their stem.
You can remove these babies to use in potions, like this diy organic aloe vera lotion, or you can spread the love by potting them up and giving them to friends. You could even make a little money at selling the new plants if you wish.
First things first though. You will need a mature and healthy aloe vera plant to work with. Once you have it for a while you’ll probably start noticing miniature aloe plants forming at its base like in the image above. Wait until those babies are about three to four inches tall before you plant them on.
If your plant is mature but not healthy then it’s unlikely that you’ll get babies from it, and if you do they might not be of the best quality. Aloe vera plants like:
- Free-draining compost – either a cactus compost or mix 50% Perlite with 50% peat-free compost
- Sunny situations – remember, they’re a desert plant
- A good watering once in a while. Drench their compost only when it’s dry visibly and to the touch.
The babies will be firmly attached to the base of the parent plant but will also begin forming their own roots. Pulling the plants from the parent can be a tricky business but this is basically what you do:
- Take the parent plant out of its pot and then brush as much of the compost from its roots as possible.
- Find each baby plant and see if you can pull it away from the main plant easily. If it comes away and has roots you’re good to go. If it does not have roots it won’t grow on.
- Use a sharp and clean knife to carefully cut the baby away from the parent plant if it won’t pull away.
The baby plants will need their own homes now and a chance to grow a full root system. This is how you do it:
- Each baby plant will need its own pot sized about 4″ in diameter. If you need to buy them, consider using these biodegradable pots.
- Plant them in free-draining compost – either a cactus compost or mix 50% Perlite with 50% peat-free compost
- Gently tuck each plant into its new home and firm down the compost around it. Plant it no deeper than it was growing out of the ground at before.
- Water them well and place them in a warm and sunny place to grow.
Your new plants will grow up to become as big and beautiful as its parent and this is why I have so many aloes in my house now. This weekend I’ll be heading to a festival though so have decided to give my spares away. They’re great for using on sunburns, in skincare, or even in food so they’re a very handy houseplant to have!