Of all the succulents you could grow, aloes are among the most useful. While aloe vera is the most famous, many aloe species hold similar benefits.
Aloe gel is an effective burn treatment, soothing burn zones and aiding the healing process.
In many cultures, they cook and eat the leaves.
And aloe plants are even considered clean air plants.
But perhaps the best part about an aloe plant is how easy it is to propagate them.
It’s so easy that many aloe lovers may end up with a house full after only a few years.
How To Propagate Aloe
There are three different methods of propagation:
- Division (aloe pups)
Of these, seeds are the least popular method due to the time involved.
Propagation Using Cuttings
It may come as a surprise, but aloe propagation can occur through leaf cuttings, just like most of your plants.
Success rates vary, so you’ll want to make multiple cuttings to ensure better success.
As a general rule, you should take your clippings in March.
- Choose healthy, thick leaves along the outer edge of the parent plant. With a sharp knife cut as close to the main stem as possible. Make sure the it is a sterile clean knife.
- Allow the clippings to air dry for 2-3 days in a warm room so the wound can scab over.
- Choose a pot with drainage holes and line the bottom with gravel or coarse sand, then fill with an equal mix of cactus soil and coarse sand.
- Moisten the soil and plant the cutting so the bottom third is submerged.
- Place your cuttings in a warm location with bright indirect sunlight. Keep the soil moist while the cutting takes root, which will usually take about one month.
Propagating Through Division
By far, the most popular method of propagation of these succulent plants is through division.
Your aloe plant will often create offshoots, commonly known as pups.
Sometimes these smaller plants are easy to spot, while other times, they’re hidden by the mother plant’s leaves.
It’s best to divide the plant when repotting, as the entire plant will need uprooting.
- Gently brush as much soil as you can off the roots, taking care not to damage the root system.
- Carefully untangle any pups which have several leaves and their own root system, doing your best not to cause any damage.
- Examine the roots of other and pups, removing any diseased or otherwise damaged roots.
- Plant the pups in pots of dry, well-drained potting mix, leaving them loosely covered. You might choose to dip the pups into a rooting hormone for underdeveloped or damaged roots.
- Allow the pups to sit in dry soil for 4 to 7 days so the roots can recover before watering.
Pro Tips: When to Water Aloe Plants?
Propagating Via Seeds
Depending on the species, your aloe plant will generally begin producing seeds when it is 4 to 10 years old.
Spent flowers leave behind tiny, flat, greyish-brown seeds when they’re ready for harvest.
Any seed pods that emerge will turn brownish-green when mature. Break them open to retrieve the seeds, to use immediately, or to store.
When stored in an envelope in a cool, dry place, seeds have a shelf life of about 1 year.
- Fill some seed trays with an equal mix of coarse sand and peat.
- Lightly dampen the mix and sow the seeds approximately 1” inch apart.
- Cover with a light dusting of sand and place in a location that has bright, indirect light and an ambient temperature of 75° degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep the soil moist, misting as needed until sprouts appear, approximately 2 to 4 weeks after sowing.
- Avoid overwatering as the plant develops its root system.
- Once the plants have at least four leaves, transplant to 2” inch pots containing a sterile mix of 3 parts pumice, 2 parts organic medium such as peat, and 1.5 parts coarse sand.