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Aloe vera plants often produce masses of offsets, baby plants that you can divide and grow on. Use these tips for dividing aloe vera pups from the parent plant to get more plants for free.
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. Also, my aloes are Aloe vera var. chinensis and may look different from yours. You can use these instructions for dividing and repotting aloe vera pups of any type though.
Growing 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 2-3 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 potting mix
- Bright but indirect light is best
- Aloe vera prefer dry potting mix so don’t water them that often.
- Wait until it’s completely dry before watering again.
- Aloe vera doesn’t tend to need fertilizer. They benefit from being replanted in a new pot with new potting mix every couple of years though.
How to Divide Aloe Vera Pups
The best time to divide aloe plants and to separate pups is in winter, when the plants are not in their growing season. Most aloe vera pups will be firmly attached to the base of the parent plant but will also have their own roots. When dividing aloe pups from their parent, be gentle but don’t be afraid to make a cut if need be. Also, be aware that aloe pups that don’t have at least a couple of roots will not grow. Pups that are at least a couple of inches tall usually have some, though. There’s a full video above where I show you how to divide aloe vera pups. The steps are relatively easy though.
- Take the parent plant out of its pot and then brush as much of the potting mix from its roots as possible.
- Find each baby plant and see if you can pull it away from the main plant easily. Sometimes they will.
- For aloe vera babies that won’t give, use a sharp and clean knife to carefully cut it off from the parent plant.
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Allowing Cuts to Callus Over
Like all succulents, aloe vera’s wounds need to dry and callus over before you repot it. 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. Saying that, I’ve accidentally left aloe pups out for a couple of months before! They were in a cool and dark garage and grew normally after being potted up.
You can re-pot the parent plant and aloe vera babies after twenty-four 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.
Repotting Aloe Vera Pups
You can repot aloe vera pups once you’ve separated them and let them dry out a day. Once inside their new pots they’ll have a chance to grow a full root system. In a year or two you could even be harvesting pups from the pups!
When potting them up, each plant will need a small pot (3-4″ in diameter) and free-draining potting mix. You can use cactus/succulent 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 – this allows further time for any cuts to heal. After then, water the plants only once the compost fully dries.
Growing Aloe Vera Pups
It will take three to four years for your aloe vera babies to grow as large as their parent. When they’re large enough, you can use the gel from their leaves to treat burns, insect bites, sunburns, and even to make handmade skin cream. Aloe vera is considered a medicinal plant, a skincare plant, and an edible houseplant.
Aloe vera plants can live for up to twelve years, and in that time can produce dozens of babies. That means that as you care for your aloes and separate the pups, you can gift your friends with plants for free!