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Aloe has got to be one of the easiest plants, in my experience, to propagate! Plants will freely produce pups and more often than not, you will have more than you know what to do with!
Keep reading and I will tell you all about how I like to propagate aloe, easily and quickly!
Aloe plants are so easy to propagate because they produce their own pups, or offsets, right at the base of the plant. Often times, you will get tons of new pups.
You can leave the pups in the same pot, or you can separate them out to make new plants.
Take a look at one of my plants below. This one started as just one pup and it has grown to this size in only 2-3 years or so!
In the pictures that follow below, until otherwise stated, I was repotting an aloe plant that I was temporarily taking care of for a friend. The plant was very sparse and thin when I received it from my friend.
I placed it in an Eastern window for a while and it grew nicely. And I really wanted it to look great for when I gave it back to my friend, so I decided to repot it.
As I was gently taking the plant out of its pot, I realized that the plant had a poor root system, probably from years of neglect. Many of the aloe “fans” just came loose.
Some of the pups had roots, and others did not. But no worries! Even if they don’t have roots, they should still grow for you!
You can see from the photo below that the top and bottom pups had a root system, whereas the middle two did not.
Normally for succulents, you’ll want to allow the leaves, pups, or cuttings of whatever you are propagating, to dry for a few days before you plant them.
This is so any broken parts or cuts can dry and callous over. This helps reduce the likelihood of your plants rotting.
If you are not repotting and you don’t want to take the plant out of its pot, you can still separate aloe pups.
Simply choose a pup, preferably one that is at least 3-4 inches long or so, and remove some of the surface soil. You’ll see that under the leaves, there will be one main “stem” that it is growing from.
Firmly grasp the base and gently pry it out. You can want to try this after you have watered because it may be easier to separate the pup.
The pup should come pretty easily. If you get some roots, great! If you don’t, you don’t have to worry. I’ve propagated them before with no root system.
It will still work! And actually, if you look closely, you will see that some pups (the ones that are a bit older) may have roots that are visible already so you know that they will grow!
Take a look at the photo below. You can see where the two yellowish roots are starting to grow already right about at the middle of my hand.
Next, you’ll want to get a good potting mix!
WHAT KIND OF SOIL DOES ALOE NEED?
I like to mix my own soil for all my plants. Some people have very fancy mixes with lots of ingredients, but I like to keep it easy.
The fact is that plants can grow in a wide variety of mediums, but the most important part, especially for succulents such as aloe, is that you want a very airy mixture that drains really well.
Everyone has their own special mix, but really the most important part is that you need good drainage and good aeration in your soil. Especially for succulents!
A rough recipe for succulents that I like to use is 2 parts potting mix, 1 part pumice, and 1 part perlite. This results in excellent drainage which aloe and other succulents need!
As far as the potting mix that I refer to above, I will use a good cactus/succulent mix if I have it on hand. If I don’t have any on hand, I will use my default which is simply the plain old Miracle Gro potting mix.
Here is a quick rundown on all the ingredients I use for my recipe.
2 parts Miracle Gro Cactus Palm and Citrus Potting Mix, or if you don’t have any handy, you can just use the standard Miracle Gro potting mix. Or really, any good quality, all-purpose houseplant soil will do.
1 part Bonsai Jack 1/4″ pumice. This is GREAT stuff! And it is always consistent in quality. There are a lot of inferior pumice vendors out there.
1 part perlite.
Look how beautiful the pumice is! I know, I’m a nerd…but it does wonders for your drainage!
That’s it! Mix it all up nicely and you are ready to go. You can use this blend for all succulents and it will work beautifully.
POTTING UP YOUR ALOE PUPS
Now all you need to do is select a pot and pot up your aloe pups. I would recommend no larger than a 4 inch pot or so to start with, unless your pups or divisions are huge and already have a big root system.
Otherwise choose a smaller pot. Place your pups in the pot, fill it will your soil mix and gently firm the soil down.
You’ll want to keep the main crown of the plant above the soil line. You want to see where the pup is starting to fan out.
This part should be above the soil line. Then give it a good water and you’re done! In the photo below, I placed all 4 pups in the same pot.
Wait until the soil dries out pretty much completely before watering again.
That’s really it folks! Now, you’ll probably want to read about other care aspects of aloe, including light requirements, so be sure to read my aloe plant care guide.
Have you propagated aloe before? Comment below!