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Aloe Vera, often known as the “miracle plant,” is an excellent plant in your home. It is due to its many potential benefits ranging from medicinal to its use in the world of beauty. I understand you have a range of questions on this magical plant; that is why we will be sharing with you everything you need to know about how you can propagate aloe vera at the comfort of your home.
Propagation is one of the easiest ways of growing aloe vera. As the aloe vera plant matures, it develops some offsets at the base, also known as pups. When disassociated from the mother, you can set these offsets on their pot to establish.
Continue reading this informative piece, and we assure you that you’ll acquire valuable information on all the details surrounding aloe vera propagation.
What is Propagation?
For starters, let’s find out the exact meaning of the term “propagation.” The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines propagation as propagating like increasing in numbers in the case of organisms or the spreading of something abroad or into new regions.
The dictionary further elaborates propagation as an enlargement or extension of something in a solid body.
Propagation refers to creating new plants when it comes to plants, for example, the aloe vera plant. In a classic example of the propagation process, you can leave a stem in water until it begins forming roots and then take it and plant it in the garden.
The propagation process has different techniques that are dependent on:
- The type of plant you wish to propagate.
- The time you have at your disposal for the process.
- And how much effort you are willing to put in for the same.
Here are some details on the various plant propagation methods available:
|Cuttings||If you settle for cuttings as a propagation method, you can use leaf cuttings, stem, or root cuttings. Stem cuttings are ideal for ornamentals and woody shrubs. Leaf cuttings would work well with herbaceous plants, houseplants, or woody plants. You can also take root cuttings from perennials or woody plants during the dormant periods.|
|Division||This technique involves digging up a plant and transplanting it to another ready site. Root division works well on all perennial plants as they mature.|
|Layering||Layering is yet another effective method that clones the plant. It can happen naturally, for example, when a stem falls on the ground and gets covered by soil. Layering can take the following forms, tip layering, simple layering, serpentine layering, mound layering, and air layering.|
|Grafting||Grafting is often viewed as the most complex propagation method since it involves combining the qualities of both plants, like better fruits and disease resistance. It primarily works with fruit trees but can also be applied to vegetables. This process requires you to take a twig from one plant and attach it to the stem, permanently part of the other.|
How to Propagate Aloe Vera
Having understood what propagation is and the different methods you can apply in this process, let’s dive into how you can propagate aloe vera.
Aloe vera propagation is an easy process that can be done at any time of the year but is best done during the growing season.
But before we have a deeper understanding of this process, let’s first point out the necessary materials you’ll need to have at hand for the process. You will need:
- A sharp clean knife, scissors, or clippers for the cutting process.
- A healthy aloe vera plant.
- A container that has drainage holes in it.
- Very good garden soil that is well-drained.
- Vermiculite that will help in keeping the soil moist and perlite that will prevent compaction (optional).
- A trowel (optional).
- A rooting hormone (also optional). It helps in speeding up the rooting process and offers protection against diseases.
With all the materials required for the process at hand, let’s learn how to propagate aloe vera. Aloe vera propagation can be done in a variety of ways that include the following:
- Using the division method that uses the offsets also called pups or offshoots.
- Using cuttings such as the leaf cuttings or stem cuttings.
Let’s explore the division method further in aloe vera propagation. It happens to be the easiest and most successful method in aloe vera propagation. It uses pups which are the clones that grow from the roots or stem of the parent plant. Propagation from pups involves the division of the plant. Here is the process:
- You will first need to search for pups on the stem or at the base of the aloe vera plant. The pups or offset come with few leaves and an independent root system
- The next thing you will do is take the whole plant including the pups and brush off the soil. If your aloe vera plant was planted in the garden use a trowel and carefully remove the soil before removing the aloe plant and its pups. Exercise caution to protect the root system and neighboring plants if any.
- After removing the plant the next step is to detach the pups from the mother plant. You can use a knife for this while being careful not to cut the roots. Spend as much time as possible on this step to ensure you get everything right
- Now that you have your pups ready, cut out any unhealthy or rotten portions while preserving the roots. If your pups have damaged roots, dip them in the rooting hormone to boost growth.
- You can repot the pups in soil that is dry and well-draining. Ensure the roots have a chance to breath by avoiding packing down the soil or use perlite to prevent compaction.
- You can now return the mother plant back to its original container or the garden. You could also use this opportunity to transfer the plant to a bigger container but be careful to maintain the same depth the plant was growing in in the previous container.
- With the new pups you have planted, you may be tempted to water them but we discourage this. Keep things dry for some days as the roots adjust to the shift before you can water your plant.
How to Propagate Aloe Vera from Cuttings
An alternative method for aloe vera propagation is using cuttings. This method may not be as effective as using pups, but it still works, and you can therefore try it. Follow the following steps to propagate aloe vera using cuttings:
- Take a cutting from the aloe vera plant using a sharp knife. Ensure this step is done neatly for aesthetic reasons.
- Leave the cutting to dry up for approximately a week. This prevents the wound from getting infected. You can also use honey as an antiseptic to prevent infections.
- After the week has lapsed, use a rooting hormone on the cutting to stimulate growth.
- The next step is the planting one. Take a sizeable pot and put in some moist, well-draining soil. Plant the cutting in the pot ensuring it’s well supported by the soil.
- Hold on watering the plant until the soil is dry. You can now observe the plant growth as days go by. In case the cutting turns brown and withers then the process has failed. In a successful case, you will observe growth over time.
How to Propagate Aloe Vera from Leaf Cuttings
As mentioned earlier, the success rate for aloe vera propagation with cuttings, including leaf cuttings, is much lower than when using pups. But if you have a healthy leaf or lack offsets, you can also try this method. Follow the following procedure:
- Use a sharp clean knife to cut a leaf from the parent aloe vera plant. Ensure the cut is clean and neat.
- Allow the leaf cutting to dry out or heal for a few days as you observe it forming a scab as it heals. In case the leaf begins to rot you will need to throw it away and get a new leaf.
- You will then fill a container with well-draining soil and put the leaf cutting upright. If your leaf cutting is large you can just lay it on the soil. The leaf cutting will grow roots on its own, you therefore don’t need the rooting hormone.
- Water your leaf cutting with a lot of water leaving the soil damp but not soaked. When the plant has its roots established, adjust your watering schedule to only the amount of water the plant needs.
you can propagate aloe Vera from leaves. But so many other plants can too, and you can see some other plants in this article. What plants can you grow from leaves?
How Do You Propagate Aloe Vera with the Flower Stem
Mature aloe vera plants aged above four years often bloom and showcase beautiful flowers. You probably wonder how you can propagate aloe vera with the flowers present. Well, worry no more because we will educate you on this. To propagate aloe vera with the flower stem, do the following:
- Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle estimating the cut at 3 to 6 inches from the base of the plant.
- The next thing you will do is place this stem in water making sure that it does not dry out.
- Keep observing it and after a couple of weeks you will notice that new branches will begin to grow from the tip.
- You can then transfer your new aloe vera plant into an appropriate pot or the garden and keep caring for it as needed.
Is It Worth Propagating Aloe Vera?
The propagation process is beneficial in that it brings forth new plants. Our answer to the question of whether aloe vera propagation is worth it is a big “Yes.”
When you propagate aloe vera, you will have more new plants for your benefit. Aloe vera propagation will also ensure you have gifts to share with others interested in growing the same in their home.
The process of propagating aloe vera ensures an endless supply of this miracle plant since the process results in lots of plants. It is economically beneficial and will save you some coins making the task worth it.
Through aloe vera propagation, therefore, you increase your chances of enjoying the immeasurable benefits of this plant that include the following:
- The health benefits from aloe vera juice: The juice you get from this succulent plant is helpful in treating dehydration, improving liver function through detoxification, relieving constipation, offering relief for heartburn among many other digestive benefits.
- As a beauty regimen: Aloe vera is known for its many beauty benefits such as soothing sunburns, treating an irritated scalp, as a moisturizer, as a makeup primer and it’s also an effective makeup remover.
Other than the benefits you enjoy from the process, aloe vera propagation also benefits the plant itself. By cutting out some plant parts for propagation, you will minimize overcrowding. This way, the plant will have more space and light to continue growing new leaves and roots.
Is It Easy to Propagate Aloe Vera?
We are glad to report that aloe vera propagation is an easy process. There are a variety of methods at your disposal. You can decide to use cuttings of the leaves or stems.
You can also go for the division method that uses the pups. Using pups has been proven to be the easiest method in aloe vera propagation. Moreover, this method guarantees higher chances of success.
Aloe vera propagation is easy due to the minimal materials required for the procedure. With simple materials like a healthy aloe vera plant, preferably one with pups, well-draining soil, and a sharp knife, you can get started with the process.
You’ll then need to follow a simple set of guidelines, and after some time, you’ll be smiling when the propagation process is successful.
The simple guideline includes things like watering the plants only when the soil is dried to encourage the establishment of the plant and prevent root rot. You’ll also need to ensure the new plant is not exposed to direct sunlight.
Timing is also another essential aspect of aloe vera propagation. For instance, when propagating aloe vera from leaf cuttings, you need to allow the cut leaf to dry up for seven days before potting it.
Repotting Aloe is just one step in its care. Why not check out my Ultimate Aloe Vera Care Guide where I take you through all the do’s and don’ts of growing Aloe Vera
What To Do with Aloe Vera Pups
Noticing that your aloe vera plant has developed “babies” or pups is a joyful moment. Here is what you can do with aloe vera pups:
Allow them to grow to three or four inches before separating them from the mother plant.
The next thing you will do is divide them from the main plant. Ensure you are careful in this step to end up with pups that have roots.
You will then need to allow the wounds to heal by leaving them dry and callous over before potting them.
The pups will need a new home. Therefore, you’ll need to get a unique pot for them. Plant them in well-draining soil and water them after a few days.
Afterward, you can continue taking care of your new plant until it matures. Fortunately, aloe vera plants are low-maintenance plants.
You may also want to read on How to care for my aloe vera plant.
To Wrap Up
Aloe vera propagation is a good process. Henry David Thoreau, an American naturalist, once said, “Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been,
I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” With this quote, we are convinced about the magic behind propagation.
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