Aloe vera is a popular houseplant with medicinal properties. The sap from leaves has wonderful topical benefits, especially on burns. Their fabulous smooth, glossy, plump foliage and ease of care make these houseplants ideal additions in the home. Often, people want to share their aloe plants with friends and wonder how to start an aloe plant. Let’s take a look at rooting an aloe vera plant from a leaf cutting and separating aloe pups.
Many people ask, “Can I grow an aloe plant from a leaf cutting?” You can, but the most successful method of aloe plant propagation is from offsets or “pups” with resulting plants almost immediately.
Aloe vera is a succulent and as such, is related to the cactus. Cacti are fairly easy to propagate from cuttings, but aloe vera cuttings, with their high moisture content, rarely become viable plants. Rooting an aloe vera plant leaf seems like it should work, but all you will get is a rotten or shriveled leaf.
As a result, aloe vera cuttings are not the most reliable method of plant propagation. A better way to share this delightful plant is by removal of offsets.
Separating aloe pups, also known as aloe offsets or aloe offshoots, is a simple process that even a nervous home gardener can undertake with few tools and just a little knowledge. Aloe pups are essentially baby plants that share part of the root system of the parent plant, so all you need to do to start an aloe plant from a pup is to wait until it is big enough to remove from the mother plant.
The removal size of the offset will depend on the variety of aloe. As a general rule, wait until the offset is at least one-fifth the size of the parent plant or has several sets of true leaves.
Very old, large aloes can have their pups removed from them when they are small, but they must still have enough leaves (at least three) to produce their own plant sugars for survival. The pup must be mature enough for rooting an aloe vera plant successfully.
Once the aloe pup is the right size, remove the dirt from around the base of the pup. Examine the area and determine where would be the right place to cut to remove the aloe pup. When the pup comes away from the mother aloe plant, it should have a complete root system attached.
Use a sharp, clean knife to cut the aloe pup away from the mother plant. Clean tools are important for separating aloe pups, in order to prevent contamination by disease and pests and produce a clean surface that will mesh quickly with the planting medium.
Plant the newly removed pup in dry cactus potting mix, or make your own with one part potting soil and one part sand. Allow it to sit for one week, then water the soil. After this, you can care for the aloe vera pup as you would a normal aloe plant.
You may then pass along the freshly started succulent to devoted gardeners and friends.
Once you have mastered growing your now adolescent aloe vera plant, you may want to start raising another. The good news: you do not have to go to the store to get an additional one of these wonderful succulents. Breeding new baby aloe veras from your original plant is simple and inexpensive. By separating and replanting the bulbs of the plant, you can keep growing aloe veras. Let’s take a look at how you should propagate your aloe vera plant.
The Unique Structure of the Aloe Vera Plant:
Most plants in the succulent family, like cactuses, are best propagated in the traditional method: rooting. The process of rooting involves taking cuttings from a plant and placing the branches in new soil to develop its own roots and become an independent plant. However, due to the aloe vera’s unique anatomy, it needs to be reproduced in a different way.
High moisture content: Because of its high moisture content, aloe vera plants are not built to be breed from cuttings. When trying to reproduce an aloe vera, you leave the main plant alone, instead focusing on the outlying bulbs at the base of the plant. Taking a leaf of an aloe vera plant to root would only result in a dead or rotten leaf. When it come to aloe vera plants, just remember: rooting = rotting.
Rhizome root system: Luckily, biology has equipped the aloe vera plant with a rhizome root system that allows for an alternative way of propagation. Growing horizontally and shallowly, the rhizome is an underground stem that has multiple nodes from which shoots and roots grow. Although not ideal for cuttings, aloe vera plants can be reproduced by separating these bulbs, detaching the offshoots from the main plant. Simply put, instead of rooting an aloe vera leaf, you take the root of the aloe vera plant.
When to Propagate Your Plant
It is important to wait for your aloe vera plant to mature before you can use it to breed additional plants. As a general guideline, when the bulbs are 1/5 the size of your main plant, you can split up and replant them. Waiting until the bulbs grow to this size gives your replanted bulb the best chance at survival.
A Tutorial: How to Separate Aloe Vera Bulbs
Although broken off from the aloe vera plant, the bulbs are not broken. If you follow the steps outlined below, your aloe vera bulbs will develop into healthy, independent plants:
Things you will need: Make sure you have the following supplies on hand when propagating your aloe vera plant: (1) a clean, sharp knife or pruning shears (2) potting soil and (3) a new pot for the transplanted bulb.
1. Begin by familiarizing yourself with the structure of your aloe vera plant, working on identifying its bulbs. Remove the dirt around the base of the plant to get a better look. Also, remember that the bulb should have several shoots and an entire root system of its own when removed
2. Once you have identified it bulbs and signaled one out for cutting, take out your knife or pruning shears and cut the bulb away from the main plant. Make sure the tool you have chosen is clean to avoid exposing your bulb–and future new aloe vera plant–to any diseases or contaminants
3. After splitting up the bulb and the main plant, replant the detached bulb in a new pot with potting soil. You may want to make a mixture of half potting soil, half sand to mimic the dry desert conditions the aloe vera plant thrives in in its natural environment
If your pot not does have a drainage system (i.e. hole in the bottom of the container), you will want to line the bottom with rocks to prevent any extra water from rotting or drowning your plant
4. Press down the soil firmly around the roots and
5. Water and take care of your bulb as you would a normal aloe vera plant. Sit back, and watch as your plant grows.
Aloe, or Aloe vera, is a tender plant that forms a rosette of long, slender, fleshy leaves that are lined with soft, spiny teeth along the edges, says Hayden Shuping, greenhouse manager for Reynolda Gardens. Once those leaves are cut open, you'll find the gel-like substance that many health experts use for everything from beauty treatments to recipes. The interior pulp contains a substance called aloin, which makes it a favorite holistic treatment thanks to its reported anti-inflammatory properties. Just be sure to read up on the proper way to consume the plant if you plan to use it in any recipes, as parts of the succulent are toxic.
Take a cutting with a good sharp knife. I try and take a cutting down to the stem so there is not half a leaf left with no tip left, looking unattractive.
Sometimes you may need to leave some of the leaf to balance out the plant so it will not topple over (mainly big plants). That is what I did with the parent plant of this Aloe..
The cutting has to be left for a week to dry out which prevents the wound from becoming infected.
Dip Cutting In Rooting Hormone
Use rooting hormone at the cut after one week. In the picture below I use honey that works as an antiseptic to prevent infections.
Using a small pot make a hole big enough to place the cutting inside (you can use a finger or pencil). When planted make sure the soil is a good enough fit around the cutting to support it.
Aloes being succulents are sensitive to overwatering so I added water to the soil before planting (the soil was moist).
I will not water the plant now until the soil becomes dry. You will soon see if the cutting is taking root or not because the cutting will turn brown and deteriorate вЂ“ if it does not deteriorate and die off you will see growth . There is no guaranteed success with cuttings. offsets are more successful, but they're worth a try.
Stay in touch as the follow up of the success/failure or both for the plants propagated here will be posted (wish me luck).
It is quite possible to grow an aloe plant from the leaves. Although the chances of the leave forming a root and growing are quite slim. But let’s take a look at the process:
Rooting an aloe plant from its leaf may not be the most reliable process. The resulting plant might be rotten and wrinkled. Therefore, a better method will be the pup method.
Pups also are known as aloe offset are aloe baby plants. They germinate close to the bottom of the mother’s plant.
The juicy leave from the aloe plant has some great benefits. Therefore planting one can be of good significance to you. Caring for your aloe plant is crucial so they can thrive for a long time. As such, rooting is one of the basic cares of an aloe plant. Now that you know how to root an aloe plant, try these methods and leave us some comments.
Because aloe plants are accustomed to arid environments, aloe plants need soil that is porous and drains quickly. Plant aloe vera in a mixture of quick-drying soil (found at local garden supply shops) and small rocks. If starting your aloe plant from root stock, the roots should be planted in the same type of soil. Roots will not survive if kept in a dish of water, due to the plant's intolerance for watery conditions.
If you live in a warm, arid climate, plant your aloe outside, if desired. If your region's average temperature is cooler, an aloe will do better as a potted plant. You can put the plant outside during the day, and bring it in at night. Many people prefer to pot their aloes, so they can put them outside during the summer months and bring them in during winter. Aloes are prone to frostbite, and should never be left out in cold weather.
Aloes can be planted in pots or outdoors. These plants have shallow, spreading roots, so when planting or re-potting, choose wide planters or pots that have plenty of drainage.
Aloes (Aloe spp.) grow thick, succulent leaves that remain green year-round. The plants grow as a garden plant in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 9 and above, depending on the species, but you can grow it as a potted plant overwintered indoors in any climate. It reproduces from offsets, or small plants that grow up from the main root system of the mother plant. Each of these offsets can grow into a new plant when properly removed and planted. They produce their own root system and eventually grow large enough to begin producing their own offsets. You can propagate both garden aloes and potted aloes using the same methods.
Insert a knife into the soil next to an aloe offset that has grown to 1 to 2 inches tall. Cut through the base of the offset and remove it cleanly from the mother plant. Repeat for each offset of suitable size.
Lay the offsets on a paper towel in warm, dry area, out of direct sunlight. Allow the cut end of the offsets to dry and scab over for up to three days before planting them.
Fill a pot with a soil mixture formulated for cactus and succulent plants, or mix in 1 part coarse sand with 2 parts potting soil to create your own potting mixture. Use a pot with at least one drainage hole.
Water the soil until it's barely moistened. Empty the drip tray if any water drains into it.
Push the cut end of the offset into the soil until about one-half of the cutting is buried and it stands up on its own. Set the pot in spot where the temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose somewhere that gets bright but indirect light for most of the day.
Move the pot so it's full exposed to all-day sunlight after it roots, usually within four weeks of potting. Check for rooting by gently tugging on the offset. It has rooted if you feel resistance. Continue to water the cutting only when the soil has dried almost completely.