Propagation, or how to multiply your aloe vera plants. Here are my own simple propagation methods for starting new aloe vera plants fully described, including soil preparation, whether to fertilize, and how to prop up a leaning plant.
An aloe vera plant will sprout little baby plants from it's roots. At least, I've always called them babies. I believe the proper name is offsets. Lately I have discovered that many others refer to these little plants as pups. In any case, propagation from your first plant is quite easy.
Gently pull away these new little plants, trying to keep as much of the white root with it as possible, including any little hair roots, and place it in a depression in another pot of soil. Press the soil close around the root and your baby aloe vera is ready to grow on it's own.
That sounds almost too easy? Then lets discuss propagation in more detail. You can also see my steps in photos.
In doing some research on this now, I discover that others do have more complicated ways of doing it. However since you are here on my site to learn from me, that's really as simple as I keep it.
Some folks talk of laying the new little "offset" or baby aside for a few days so its root dries a callus over it. Well, that won't hurt. I recall once pulling a bunch of these baby plants from the larger pots as I was watering them, just in an effort to tidy them up. I didn't have new pots with soil ready, so I laid them on the table. They were about 3 to 5 inches long, and each had about 3 to 5 nice green leaves. I didn't have the heart to throw them out, and I wasn't sure what to do with them when I had so many pots full (like 69 or 75!) already.
For several weeks I would come into the sun room on Saturday morning to water my plants, - a half hour process - and notice those little babies there, green and just as healthy looking as ever, but their roots out in the air. After a few weeks I was amazed and kept them there just to get a sense of how long they could live unplanted. I forget how long they did last. At some point I had a visitor who showed interest in my aloe vera plants so I offered her that handful of those long-neglected baby aloe veras to start the propagation of her own jungle.
I've developed a strong opinion that aloe vera plants have lots of life in them, have lots of life to give, and are fairly hard to kill by neglect.
My observation is that aloe vera babies or offsets do best if they have a root. However, sometimes one without a root will put a root down once in some soil and will turn into a good, healthy plant, Usually, I planted them in the same pot as another, just in case. If it takes off and needs a pot of its own, I can always transplant it later.
Generally, aloe vera plants do not put down very long or deep roots. They prefer a wider space, but will take whatever you give them. The bigger the pot the larger the plant will grow upwards. It doesn't need a lot of coaxing. My aloe veras seemed to thrive on my neglect! I often joked that when I didn't water them for a few weeks they would panic that they were dying and would quickly shoot out a few babies to make sure there would be another generation.
Some folks apparently do use fertilizer. About as close as I get is to add a pinch of granules from a container of vegetable/flower fertilizer when I'm preparing the pot for a new aloe vera plant. If my plants look rather pale - going on yellow instead of green - which can happen in spring, when the hours of sunshine lengthen, and I may not be watering enough, I sometimes mix up a pitcher of water with a package of clear gelatin dissolved into it. (I read once in a magazine that this was a tip for when your plants needed more nitrogen to bring up their green colour. Sometimes I remember that).
Because just straight garden soil can get impacted, I like to fill my containers with about half garden dirt, and half peat moss. Then I stir these together for a good mix. I line them up and give each pot or container a good dash of water. Preferably rain water.
Once I have a row of containers with dirt and peat moss ready, and the dashes of water doled out, I use a knife or an old kitchen spoon - or even my thumb - to create a hole in the soil mix of each container. Now it's time to pick up the or pull the babies, and gently set each one into its own new root hole. With my fingers I press the soil up firm around the base of the little plant, covering the root part snuggly.
Sometimes I try to prop up a leaning plant with some soil, but I've come to recognize that aloe vera does not like dirt on its leaves. Any outer leaves that rest in the dirt or have little clods of moist dirt on top of them will wilt and go mushy as if poisoned. The longer the rootlet on the plant is, the better for it. But don't worry; ignore the plant for a few weeks, and it will surprise you. It is no wonder some folks think of them as cacti.
Should a plant's reclining posture bother you, you might help it out until its root is firmly established by breaking a ring off a Styrofoam cup and sliding it over the plant, and then positioning it so the plant is propped up better. The angle that the root grows into the soil does seem to affect the uprightness or slouch of the plant for the rest of its life.
[I took photos at my last propagating session, but there are enough to fill a separate page. See them here].
Aloe Vera Tips & Solutions - my monthly newsletter/ezine, which keeps you informed of new things on this site, and brings out a tip or solution to some problem you may be encountering. Subscribe today!
Aloe Vera Plants by Mail - First results of my experiment to see what's involved in sending aloe vera plants by mail, showing photos of the one that went the farthest and is the healthiest. Includes eight photos.
Aloe Vera Questions - and Answers - taken from real questions to me on this site.
Wondering what happens when you eat aloe vera? Take my 6-part e-course to find out. My treat!
Where to find LARGE aloe vera plants to buy - a question I'm asked a lot!
Clean 9 - is a nine day program that uses only natural means to manage weight loss and does a gentle colon cleanse, and even detoxes your whole body, while building up strength and energy, all at the same time. It is produced by Forever Living. I'd like to share my experience with it.">
ALVEDAMA - Aloe Vera da Medeira - how the Cowens grow and sell their aloe vera on the island of Madeira, just off the coast of Portugal.
Aloe Vera Hair Tonic, Balsam and Gel - Peter Cowen of Calhoune, on the island of Madeira, shares a wonderful testimonial to their Aloe Vera Hair Tonic, Balsam and Gel products.
Aloe Vera, the Burn Plant - and how I proved it for myself with a second degree burn on my left hand on Easter Sunday. (A photo story).
Aloe Vera Aids Burn Treatment, Wound Healing And Scars - a guest article to explain some of the technical aspects of how this happens.
Freezing Aloe Vera - I've tried freezing the aloe vera gel, hoping to use it later, but that seems to kill the good stuff in it, as I found it looked too yukky when I tried to defrost it to use, however I discuss the pros and cons on this page.
Eating My Aloe Vera - just now I'm eating a large plant that is falling over in a hurry, but also thinking about help for those can't get access to such plants easily.
Bacterial Vaginosis - and other vaginal irritations can be cured naturally for once and for all.
Plantain - thank God - it's so handy! - A review of the things I've learned about plantain and the many ways to use it as a healing remedy.
Calendula, Marigold - My discoveries and experiences with calendula and how to make an ointment from this herb.
Mint - the Refreshing and Soothing Herb - Mint is one of my most favourite herbs, especially for a refreshing tea that soothes away gas and pain and rattled nerves.
Comfrey - to Close up Your Wounds - Comfrey is the plant that can knit or close up your wounds and put you back together. Comfrey has an excellent effect on inward bruises and pains. A poultice of the fresh leaves is excellent for gangrenous sours, gangrene, mortifications, and moist ulcers.
Herbal Teas - Simple instructions for how to prepare herbal teas, and for different quanties, with links to many old recipes.
Specific Benefits of the Herbs in the Herbal Teas - A quick summary page of herbal benefits to check when deciding which herbal tea blend to make, and want to know what each herb may do for you.
Natural Arthritis Remedies - Natural arthritis remedies and suggestions for a cleanse of the toxins and poisons which cause that intense pain - which could cure you of all arthritis pain.
Odd Cure for Bad Breath - Bad breath can be prevented, perhaps even cured by drinking tea, plus a few other odd cures.
Teas for Colds and Flu Remedies - Recipes for infusions or herbal teas for colds and flu remedies.
Teas to Aid in Good Digestion - Recipes for herbal teas that will help to digest one's food better.
Herbal Teas for Energy and Memory - Recipes for herbal teas for energy and memory to give new vitality and improve your memory skills.
Teas for Relaxing, to Give You Rest - Recipes for herbal teas for relaxing, infusions that will make it easier for you to rest.
Herbal Teas that Heal - Recipes for herbal teas that are able to heal or improve symptoms of more specific health problems.
Teas That Heal - Brewing Recipes - More teas that heal - brewing recipes that have a similar brewing method..
Herbal Tea Remedy e-Book - ready to download
- Holistic Therapies for Animals - see what Dena Schwartz has found to work with animals as well as people.
Can't picture eating aloe vera straight - even if you NEED it?
Simple Solution: order these tasty juices with the aloe vera inside.
Whether you have children or not, what is the best All-in-1 first aid kit for home or travel, or beach?
Solution: Aloe Vera Gelly!