Repotting Aloe Vera Pups: dividing aloe vera babies from the parent plant
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Repotting Aloe Vera Pups: dividing aloe vera babies from the parent plant

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Aloe vera plants often produce masses of babies. Use these tips for dividing aloe vera pups from the parent plant to get more plants for free. Full DIY video at the end

If you have an aloe vera plant or are considering getting one then you need to be prepared for aloe vera babies. Lots of babies. Aloe can be grown from seed but most of the time you’ll get a plant thanks to how successful they are at sprouting little plants. I currently have TWENTY-FIVE aloe vera pups growing on and needing new homes.

If your plant has started to grow pups, the instructions below will help you divide, re-pot, and grow them on. The video below will help you too. PS — my aloes are Aloe vera var. chinensis and may look different to yours.

Aloe vera plants often produce masses of babies. Use these tips for dividing aloe vera pups from the parent plant to get more plants for free. Full DIY video included #lovelygreens #houseplants #aloe
Masses of baby plants growing from the base of the larger parent plant

Getting aloe vera babies

First things first. 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. Wait until those aloe vera babies are about three to four inches tall before you start dividing them.

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 one part Perlite with two parts 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. Wait until it’s completely dry before watering again.
Aloe vera plants often produce masses of babies. Use these tips for dividing aloe vera pups from the parent plant to get more plants for free. Full DIY video included #lovelygreens #houseplants #aloe
Larger aloe pups can pull away easily from the parent plant

Dividing aloe vera pups

Most aloe vera pups will be firmly attached to the base of the parent plant but will also have their own roots.

  • 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.
  • For aloe vera babies that won’t give, use a sharp and clean knife to carefully cut it off of the parent plant.
Aloe vera plants often produce masses of babies. Use these tips for dividing aloe vera pups from the parent plant to get more plants for free. Full DIY video included #lovelygreens #houseplants #aloe
The one parent plant produced all these extra babies

Allowing wounds to heal

Like all succulents, aloe vera’s wounds need to dry and callus over before you pot it up. Lay the parent plant, along with all the pups, in a cool, dry, place out of direct sunlight. Leave them there for between 1-6 days before you re-plant them.

You can re-pot the parent plant and aloe vera babies after 24 hours. If you’re busy and can’t get around to it, you have up to about six days before they begin suffering for being out of the soil. You’ll notice after a day that the cut parts on the roots will have dried up to a slightly rough finish.

Aloe vera plants often produce masses of babies. Use these tips for dividing aloe vera pups from the parent plant to get more plants for free. Full DIY video included #lovelygreens #houseplants #aloe
Grow all the aloe plants on in their own pots

Repotting Aloe Vera Pups

The baby plants will need their own homes now and a chance to grow a full root system.

  • 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 1 part Perlite with 2 parts 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.
  • Wait three days before you water them. After then, water the plants only once the compost dries up.

Aloe vera plants often produce masses of babies. Use these tips for dividing aloe vera pups from the parent plant to get more plants for free. Full DIY video included #lovelygreens #houseplants #aloe

How long until they’re mature?

Aloe vera plants can live for up to twelve years. That’s a decent amount of time for a plant! That also means that it takes some time before your aloe vera pups reach the stage where you can harvest their leaves for gel.

Keep in mind that aloe vera doesn’t need much in the way of fertilizing. They benefit from being replanted in a new pot with new compost each year. Barring that, a light balanced feed in spring or autumn will be plenty.

It will take three to four years for your aloe vera babies to grow as large as their parent. During that time, they’re a great purifier of air in the house and look great as a house plant. When they’re large enough, you can use the gel you harvest from their leaves to treat burns, insect bites, sunburns, and even to make handmade lotion.

64 Comments

  1. HELP….I am in the middle of trying to separate this pup from this larger Aloe mama that has done beautifully….she is sooooo stuck! I don’t know how much prying or shaking (which I’ve done all and she has loosened a bit but not enough to get the pup out) as afraid I’ll send them both into major shock! I can’t post a pic here I guess but trust me, they are bound tight….do I keep on pulling and playing with it? Does one ever use a knife to play in the area around them to help loosen?
    Thanks …

  2. My aloe plant has flowered and has spouted off 3 branches of flowers. but at the join of the branch of flowers it looks like there are mini aloes growing.
    What are these and if I cut them off and pot them will they grow an aloe?

    1. Hi Rebecca, I’ve not seen pups forming on aloe vera flowers before. There are over 550 species of aloe though, and it could be that you’re growing a different type. Perhaps try to identify it with a plant ID app / google and see if there is further information?

  3. Hello! Really helpful tips thank you!
    My pups have grown out really far away from the mother plant so aren’t attached to the main body and don’t need cutting away, do they still need to be left over night if I’ve not cut them? Thanks!!

  4. Hi there ,
    I have a very old aloe plant that has over the years lost many bottom leaves making the stem of the plant very long ,, when I repot her should I bring the soil level up to the first leaf or close too ? If I don’t support it with soil it will most likely be “too heavy “ and lean onto the container ? Not sure how to help this poor girl …also should I leave momma out of soil for a few days before intro to new container ?
    Thanks for any advice you may provide

    1. Hi Stacey — you can repot your aloe vera and plant it right up to the lower leaves. The stem will grow roots from it but it will take time. During that time, the aloe needs to be supported and left still for at least a month. Good luck :)

  5. I have inherited a huge, old aloe plant. Do I still need to repot it annually? It is BIG and heavy. They’re are also several pups in the pot. Can I remove the pups only for repotting? If so, how? Thanks!

    1. I’d leave the parent in the pot if it’s happy enough. No need to repot it annually. As for the pups, when they’re big enough (4″ tall is ideal) you can gently dig around them and tease them and their roots out.

  6. Hi Tanya,

    I repotted a baby aloe into a mini pot to make it like a mini cactus. Unfortunately didn’t know the bit about letting it sit before reporting to heal the calluses. It was fine for a few days but now it has started to lose colour and is burnt at the tip of one leaf. I live in a tropical climate so it’s super hot now in the summer. Should I keep it in the shade? I haven’t watered it more than once a week. Please help.

  7. Hi Tanya,
    About 8 months ago I inherited a big aloe vera. It was sort of flopped over the side of the pot and the leaves across the flatish part are between 1 3/4″ to 2 1/4″ wide, while the stem is about 2″. The stem comes out of the dirt and lays almost on top of the dirt for about 8″ with all the big leaves flopping over the side of the pot. I took it out of the pot and put in some fresh cactus mix, and gently packed the new cactus mix around it. I watered it till it ran out into the dish and then left it alone. I didn’t water until soil was dry at least 1/2″ down and then only till it started to run into the dish. It sulked for two months and I thought I was going to lose it, but then a month later I noticed some new leaves growing straight up out of the end of the stem! I have only been removing the old leaves as they die off but I wanted to remove the big old leaves that are flopping over the side of the pot this spring. However, I just looked at it and in addition to the new growth at the top of the stem I have a little pup! WOO HOO!! I guess it likes it’s spot (big window on the NW side of the house). The pup is only about 2″ tall and so cute. Should I use a leaf shine product on the big leaves, they don’t seem to be dusty.
    Virginia

  8. Hello.I started a new job where my boss has an aloe vera plant in a shallow dish with hardly any soil at all, but it is full of baby pups not in soil at all,, sprouted out from the mother but still attached, in varying sizes from small to large.just lying on the table. I have never reported aleo vera before. Do I follow the steps in the video and cut/detach the babies even though they are not in soil and don’t have roots hanging off.

  9. Jan of 2020 I took over care for an aloe that my mom had, it basically was dead, i trimmed off all the rot and repotted it and then began sprouting. A year later and theres a lot of leaves and now im realizing its actually like 5 pups that are growing off the dead mama plant?? i separated the biggest one and it had roots so i potted it yesterday. the other 4 are all still connected and very close together so i want to separate them but I just changed the soil yesterday and watered too soon, so im worried about bothering them too much?

  10. Hi. I have an old aloe plant with lots of pups. Instead of repotting these pups, I’d like to plant them in my front yard. I assume that sunlight and watering considerations are about the same as for repotting, bu t is there anything I should be aware of or be careful about? Thanks for the help!

    1. Hi Mark, as long as your climate is suitable for aloes (zones 10-12) then they should do fine outside. Still, you should repot the pups first and allow them to grow strong before planting outside.

  11. Hi
    My aloe plant has grown a long shoot this week, it looks a bit like asparagus! It’s about 6 inches tall and about half an inch in diameter. What should I do please? thanks

  12. Our aloe has a pup we’ll need to repot soon. I think you mentioned in the video that you can’t reuse the soil that you break off the roots during the separation process. Why?

    1. Old potting mix is depleted in nutrients. When repotting, always use fresh potting mix to give the best growing medium for your plants :) You can put the spent potting mix in the compost pile or as mulch in the garden.

  13. My 3 year old aloe had some pups. When I was digging the mother plant up I heard a popping sound from the roots. Does that sound mean I broke off roots? And if so, will my plant make it? Thanks!

  14. I was given several aloe plants to repot. If the lower leaves become sucked in, like loss of water, will they come back? Should I cut off? They are still green.

    1. Give them time to recover Zena. They’ll need time to settle into their new pots and then to focus on building strength. Leave the tips if they’re still green and don’t look diseased.

  15. I just transferred my pups. But I didnt let them dry before putting them in dirt… they didnt receive much damage in their roots, all but two came out of the mothers pot with all their roots. I only had one with a thick root from momma and I left them in the pot. Is that okay?

  16. I have a very old aloe that put out a family of leaves. I pulled the collection off the mother plant but there are no roots. Now I don’t know what to do. I stuck them in fresh cactus mix before I checked this site. Is there any hope? Thanks. Darlene Olivo

    1. Unfortunately, if there aren’t any roots, they probably won’t grow. When your mother plant produces pups again, let the babies grow three to four inches tall before separating them. That way they’ll have a decent root system and will definitely survive.

  17. Can you tell me if it’s okay to transplant my pups now while they’re actively growing? I read somewhere on another site that you shouldn’t transplant during a active growing season.(?)

  18. This guide really helped me bud my aloe vera plants and bring them back to life! Really helpful DIY guide

  19. How much water do aloe plants need and what type of climate do they like?
    My plants will be indoor plants. Direct or indirect sunlight?

    1. Bright, indirect sunlight is best but saying that I have aloes in full sun. As for water, I don’t measure it. Just water the potting mix thoroughly each time it dries out completely.

  20. Hi, I’ve just bought my first aloe Vera plant. I’ve bought a nice decorative pot for it to go in but understand the plant needs to be in a pot with holes to drain the water. So can I just leave it in the pot I bought it in, then sit it in the soil in the decorative pot? Sorry this is all new to me. Thanks.

  21. Hi Tanya, I have a very old Aloe Vera plant never repotted ( shame on me) what size pot should I put it in please?
    It healthy and has one baby. Advice would be appreciated
    Thank you
    Rosemary

  22. My pups are not doing well! They are turning really sickly yellow brown and the tips are drying out. I watered them and am waiting for the soil to dry out (made the mistake a while ago of watering the mama too much, don’t want to do that again). Any advice?

    1. Pups sometimes turn that yellow-brown colour but that doesn’t mean they’re sickly. It’s likely they’re stressed from being in direct sunlight and hot temperatures. Keep them out of direct sunlight and with luck, they’ll begin filling in and revert to green.

  23. Hello! I have 4 teeny tiny aloe pups planted in little individual pots. They each have tight dried leaves (or maybe it’s more of a skin?) wrapped around the base of each pup. It almost looks like these layers are restricting new growth. I can see little baby leaves growing up through them, but I’m wondering if I should gently cut these off at the base so that the new leaves and the existing healthy leaves can spread out and have space. What do you think? Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Tanya, I have an old aloe vera, 5 yr, her new tiny leaves are developing brown tips. I cut the brown tips of all the leaves, it looks funny, water runs out of the pot as soon as it hits it. I know it needs new soil, but it has at least 7 babies not old enough. What does this prolific mom needs besides repotting? It gave me almost 10 pups 3 yrs ago. Thanks! Loved the video!

      1. Hi Patricia and brown tips generally mean that your plant isn’t getting enough water. I’d sit the entire pot in a bucket of tepid water for ten minutes, then let it drain out completely. That might help with the moisture retention in the potting mix until you can repot the plant.

  24. My aloe plant, which I thought was on the brink of dying, had 6 aloe pups!! When I re-pot them can I put a few in the same pot or do they all need to be in their own space? Thank you!

  25. When you buy a aloe plant from the store how long should it stay in the store pot and then what size pot should you transfer it into I bought a small one 4 inch I guess pot say. 69 (328 mL) Please Help

    1. If you want your aloe to grow bigger, pot it up into a slightly larger pot as it outgrows the last. Mine get re-potted every couple of years but you could do it more often if you’d like.

  26. I love my aloe Vera plant but it is over 3ft tall and is starting to lean over making the pot tip over. My question is can I cut the bottom leafs off and push the stem into the soil more so it won’t tip over

    1. Imagine a child is outgrowing his shoes. Would you trim him down so that he fit in them again, or would you buy him larger shoes to fit his feet? It’s the same with plants :) Pot your plant into a larger container and it will not only stop tipping over but be much happier.

  27. Hello, can you tel me how much of perlite I add to the soil? A few only or a handful? I am going to report plants to pots of different sizes. And do I place perlite at the bottom or just mix it up with the soil?
    Another question is about the pot. Can I plant them straight into the ceramic pot, or plastic/organic first and then place it in a nice ceramic pot?

    1. Potting soil mixes for aloe vera — you mix everything together:
      one part perlite to two parts potting soil (this is a soil-less potting ingredient)
      or
      one part grit (or perlite), one part sand, one part potting soil

      Plants need pots with drainage holes at the bottom for water to escape. If your pot doesn’t have holes, then you need to plant the plants into ones that do have holes. They’re often plastic and people put them into decorative pots after to disguise them.

  28. I don’t think that’s true. The parent plant went through all this time and energy and resources to create baby pups. It’s not going to just suck them dry right after. That would be a waste.
    The only way I can imagine that happening is under extreme stressful conditions like drought where the parent plant might have to sacrifice any offshoots to survive.
    So you don’t have to worry about the pups! I’m leaving some pups on my aloe vera and I may replant them next year. They’ll grow faster in their own pots but right now parent and pups all seem happy and are all growing in their shared space so I’ll leave them be for now. ;)

  29. My Aloe plants are in the ground vs in pots. How do you suggest dividing the pups without removing the entire plant from the ground? I moved into this house 2 years ago and there are 5 very large Aloe plants needing attention. They “seem” happy as they frequently bloom, but really need the pups removed.

  30. I’ve read elsewhere that leaving the pups too long with the mature plant will drain it…how much time do I have? And is there no proven method to have them proliferate all together?

  31. Thank you for this information! I’m overwhelmed with aloe plants and I didn’t know the part about letting the roots callus over before replanting. :)

  32. Aloe Vera is very beneficial for our health I recommended all the people must grow aloe vera in you gardens.

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