Tony O’Neill, gardener and author of the popular “Composting Masterclass” and “Your First Vegetable Garden,” combines lifelong passion and expert knowledge to simplify the art of gardening. His mission? Helping you cultivate a thriving garden. More on Tony O’Neill
One of the greatest pleasures of gardening is to enjoy lush and verdant grass, fleshy leaves, vibrant and sweet-scented blossoms, and the rejuvenating vibe of your lovely little garden.
Whether you have just started gardening or have become an expert over the years, there is a huge possibility that you already have a potted aloe vera plant. But what if it appears to be too big for its pot?
Repotting an aloe vera plant in a few years will help avoid spindly leaves that produce little gel. It will also boost the health potential of the plant so that it continues to thrive.
While growing and tending to an aloe vera plant is extremely easy, transplanting it might get tricky. And if you are residing in a warmer climate that allows you to grow your aloe plant outdoors, you would have to divide it. This aloe repotting guide will make things easier for you, no matter your goal.
The Importance of Repotting an Aloe Vera Plant
Repotting is a certain kind of transplanting the plant, and with the correct knowledge, it can become an easy and quick process. Repotting an aloe plant can help the new babies (known as pups) to thrive in the soil beside the original aloe vera plant. With this, one can easily split their aloe vera plant.
Repotting also offers more space to your aloe vera plant struggling to thrive in a small pot. Not giving your plant enough space can lead to weak, spindly leaves that produce very little gel.
One of the best ways to repot and help the plant thrive is by separating new shoots from the main plant and then repotting them. This is important as the health of a plant starts to deteriorate when it has outgrown the container.
The roots do not get enough space to spread out, leaves tend to droop, and the soil quality depletes. Thus, transplanting your aloe vera plant to a bigger and deeper pot will help the plant to grow bigger and healthier.
If you are having a hard time growing a healthy aloe vera plant, here is a video highlighting six tips that will help you grow aloe vera quickly:
Steps To Repot Your Aloe Vera Plant
One wrong step can damage the plant. A few things should be considered while cutting their aloe vera plant to ensure a proper transplanting process.
Things You Will Need
- Garden gloves
- Hand trowel
- Mature “pup”
- Potting soil
- Garden sand or perlite
- Small and medium-sized pots
Once you have gathered all the things mentioned above, it is time to start the repotting process.
Step #1: Unpot the Plant
To unpot your aloe plant, you need to squeeze the sides of the pot to loosen up the soil. This is possible if your pot is made up of a flexible material. However, aloe vera should be grown in a terracotta pot that You cannot squeeze.
In this case, you can run a trowel or loosen the soil with the help of your fingers. After this, you need to tip the planter onto its side. Now, you only need to wiggle the plant off the pot gently.
Be careful as you do not want to be too harsh with the plant, which can either break the leaves or damage the roots of the plants.
Once the plant is free, you must lightly shake or brush the roots. You need to remove as much of the old potting mix as possible.
Step #2: Look for The Pups
Once your aloe vera plant is out of the planter, you can look at the shoots, known as pups, that have sprouted from the original plant.
Identifying pups is relatively easy and can be distinguished based on their appearance. They look like new growth sprouting from the main plant.
While doing so, you can trim off all the dead, diseased, tangled, or encircling roots along with burnt leaves. Rotten and damaged roots may look brown and mushy, while healthy roots are white and plump.
They also have more delicate and hair-like structures trailing.
Step #3: Separate the Pups
After identifying the pups, separating them from the main plant while ensuring their roots stay intact. You can separate them with your hands, but if you are using a knife, be sure that you disinfect the blade with the help of rubbing alcohol in between cuts to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the plant.
Once the pups are separated, you must set both – the main shoot and the pups aside in a shady, dry spot for a couple of days. This will allow the roots to heal the wounds, if any.
Step #4: Prepare the New Pot
While you have allowed some time for your aloe vera plant to air its roots and heal, you can take this time to prepare the new pot for the transplant. You will need a planter around 1 to 1.5 inches wider and deeper than the older one. Also, the planter should have at least one drainage hole at the bottom and be made of clay, ceramic, or plastic.
To prepare the pot, cover the drainage with a fine-mesh screening to help hold the potting medium in place while allowing water to drain. Do not use gravel or pebbles, as they can crowd up the roots.
After this, you must fill the bottom third part of the pot with a good quality potting mix and garden sand, pumice, or perlite. This will not only keep the soil aerated but will also allow better drainage.
Step #5: Repot the Pups and Main Plant
It is time to begin potting the main plant and the pups to their designated planters. If you have a large planter, you can consider placing two to three pups in the same container. Just be sure they have enough space to grow and not crowd each other.
Begin by gently holding each plant or pup while using your other hand to fill the planter with the potting mix. When filled, gently tamp down the mixture.
Step #6: Water Your Plant and Pups
Once your pups and your main plant are placed in their designated spots, it is time to water them. To start, you should soak the pups and plants in water and set them in an area that receives indirect sunlight.
After that, you can continue watering them once in a couple of weeks or when the soil in the pot appears to be dry. You can also check by poking a finger about an inch into the ground to get a better idea. This is important as aloe vera does not require a lot of water to thrive.
Repotting Aloe Vera is just one fundamental in their care. If you want a complete care guide to growing Aloe Vera, I have you covered.
Additional Tips on Repotting and Maintain Aloe Plant
Here are a few tips that can make repotting and maintaining your aloe vera plant a bit easier and more convenient for you:
- Wear gloves: Wearing protective gear is important while handling aloe vera, especially while repotting it. Be sure to wear a pair of garden gloves to protect you from the spines on the aloe leaves.
- Consider repotting outdoors: Aloe vera leaves are filled with gel, and if it is released through a wound, there is a chance that it will mix up with dirt. Things can get messy thanks to this gooey gel. Thus, it is better to carry out the transplanting process outdoors.
- Offer support: Aloe vera plants can grow to be tall while their roots remain quite shallow, making them top-heavy and increasing their chances of toppling over. To prevent this, you can consider offering them wooden support.
- Ensure even weight distribution: If your aloe plants have grown quite tall and huge, you should consider placing stones or pebbles at the bottom of the planter, which will help in better weight distribution.
- Water sparingly: Always remember that aloe vera thrives on negligence, so water it only when the soil appears dry. All it needs is plenty of indirect sunlight and warm temperature to thrive.
- Consider repotting frequently: Although aloe vera is one plant that does not require special care and can even be maintained in the same plant for years, repotting it annually or semi-annually can help the plant grow healthier and bigger.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which potting soil should I use for my aloe vera?
Aloe vera plants should be grown in a cactus potting soil mix or a regular potting soil. You can amend the mix with additional perlite or building sand.
How big should my aloe vera pot be?
The size of the pot depends on the size of your aloe plants. Small plants can comfortably fit in a 3-inch pot, while mature and large aloe vera plants need a pot with a diameter of around 6 inches or even bigger.
How big can my aloe vera plant get?
With proper care, aloe vera can tend to grow quite large. Generally, an aloe plant would grow around one to two feet tall but can even grow up to three feet.
When should you re-pot aloe vera?
It is not important to re-pot your aloe plant when you observe the first few signs of overcrowding. Consider repotting when the plant starts developing pups or if the leaves seem leggy, spindly, or droopy.
How often should I repot my aloe plant?
Although repotting depends on the size of the pot, it is good to repot your aloe vera plant once or twice a year. Aloe vera plants are quite sturdy and can survive for years in the same pot, but repotting them frequently can help them grow much healthier.
Other Aloe Vera Articles That may be of Interest
Conclusion On repotting Aloe Vera for growing larger Plants
Seeing this succulent grow in your home and turning it into a massive plant can be a great experience. And with re-potting, you will have many aloe plants in your home. You may even consider sharing a few pups with your neighbors and friends.
I hope this information will come in handy the next time you plan to re-pot your aloe vera plant for better growth. So, are you ready to re-pot your aloe vera plant?