Can You Divide Aloe Plants? Tips For Splitting Aloe Pups

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The Aloe plant, of which there are many types of Aloes, are well-known succulent plants. The most popular Aloe vera serves as a key ingredient in medicine and beauty or cosmetic products. 

Aloe vera is botanically referred to as Aloe Barbadensis Miller. Aloes are a popular house succulent plant, growing more than 2′ feet tall. In the U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones, aloe plants also grow here and in zones 10 to 12.

aloe pups or offsets of various sizes ready for transplantingPin

Can you Divide Aloe Plants?

You can, and should, divide aloe plants and their offsets, also known as pups. As aloe plants grow, they naturally reproduce by forming offsets that require separation from the parent aloe.  

Why Divide Aloe Plants?

Aloes like the popular Aloe Vera plant propagate in a way that makes caring for them and splitting them into two plants naturally easy. The aloe pups sprout around the bottom base of a mature parent plant and can eventually become overcrowded. Therefore, plant division is then needed. 

When the pups (baby plants) are transplanted into their own pot or area within the garden bed, they will grow better into adult aloe.

If your aloe is potted, they require division every three to four years. By separating the pups, you will maintain a set of healthy aloe plants. 

Tools To Have Before Dividing Aloe Plants

Before starting the process of transplanting your aloe plants and pups, consider having the following tools beside you:

  • Gloves
  • Extra containers or pots with drainage hole
  • Extra potting mix or compost or anything you prefer to put your plants in
  • A small shovel
  • A broom and dustpan
  • A sharp knife or hand pruners
  • Several 5-inch diameter pots with drainage holes

Tips For Splitting Aloe Pups

The best time recommended for removing offshoots is when they grow a few inches tall. Below are the steps you can take to split the aloe plants. They include:

Removing The Old Aloe Plant

When first removing your older aloe plant, you will need to dig around it with a small shovel. Make sure to dig down into the bottom and below its roots. You’ll be lifting the entire plant root ball out of the dirt. We recommend making it 6 inches away from the base and trying to slide it out of its original pot without breaking the roots.

For potted plants, gently loosen the plant in them by slightly shaking the pot with both hands. You will need the old pot, so be careful when removing the older aloe. If the container is plastic, we recommend flexing the pot a bit yet carefully.

Instead of transplanting the older aloe into a new container, you will place it on old newspapers, which will be later explained.

Brush Off Old Potting Soil

Before placing the aloe into its new container, you’d want to brush off the dirt until its roots are revealed better. If the soil is dry, it will quickly shake off. If needed, you also can consider lightly rinsing the roots for a few seconds and using clean water.

Remove Aloe Pups From Mother Plant

For the offsets or aloe pups, look first around the aloe’s base or main rosette of leaves. With a knife, you’d want to chop off any offsets. Also, don’t forget to trim any dead leaves, old plant stalks, and dead roots in the process.

Then, place the offsets on some old newspapers as well.

Allow Cuts To Heal Before Planting

With both the older aloe and new aloe placed out on newspaper sheets, move them all to a warm spot in the house and out of direct sunlight. You’d want to let the plants’ cuts heal before replanting. In roughly one to three days, you’ll notice the plants beginning to seal over.  

Wash Old Pot

Mix one part bleach and nine parts of water, and wash your old pot and any used pots you will be reusing.

Get Soil and Pots Ready For Potting

Using a soil mix that is specially made for cacti, lightly pack it in one of the washed pots, starting with the older aloe. Then, do the same for the aloe pups.

If you’re transplanting the plants in your outside garden, consider a well-drained and full-sun bed with soil as soft as sand. It will stimulate healthier growth for your aloes.

Replant Mother Plant and The Pups

Finally, replant the older aloe plant into its new appropriately-sized container (or bed). Make sure it is planted at the same depth as when they were previously growing in.

For the pups, they should each be in the 5” inch-diameter pots if you are working in the garden; transplant the pups in the bed but spread them out about 12” inches from one another and in varying directions.

Additionally, place the indoor potted aloes where sunlight is coming into your home unless you own a succulent that is best in low light. Don’t also forget to water your aloe plants!

Popular Aloes To Grow and Collect

Final Thoughts

Like all succulents and cacti, aloe plants are very easy to propagate and maintain. Similar to our parents, the adult aloe is basically seeing off her pups. The separation is required and for the best as it allows the offsets to grow into a whole new aloe for you to enjoy.

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