Dividing aloe into several smaller ones is a great way to propagate new plants. More aloe vera plants, for example, will allow you to make aloe gel, which has many uses. Smaller plants can be given to friends and family or used in other projects. It is also a great way to save money by simply propagating your existing plants rather than buying new ones.
Aloe is a clump-forming plant, which means it naturally produces a large number of baby plants known as offsets. Mature plants produce bright orange-red blossoms that attract pollinators in late spring and early summer. They are more commonly grown in containers in the United States and Canada, where they can be left outside in the summer but brought inside for the winter. Aloes, on the other hand, are desert plants for hardiness zones 9-11. They can be planted outside in much of the very southern United States, where the temperature is around 20 degrees Fahrenheit or minus 6 degrees Celsius.
Six Steps to Dividing Aloe by Offsets
- Gently slide the plant out of its container
- Wear gloves when handling succulents with sharp foliage
- Carefully tease the soil away from the roots
- Select an offset and follow its stem down to the spot that it’s attached to the main plant
- Break it off with gentle pressure, take your time to remove all of the others
- Remove dead, damaged or dried up leaves
Replanting the Mother Plant
When repotting, it is always best to use fresh soil because soil nutrients inthe original have most likely been depleted. A free-draining, organic potting soil is required for all succulents and cacti. The main plant will retain its roots and can be repotted. Wait about a week before watering it to allow the leaf scars to callous over. Wet soil causes root rot, so this aids in the prevention of disease and infection.
Replanting the Offsets
All of the offsets have open wounds where they were separated from the main plant. The wounds must dry and calluse over several days. One method is to let them dry for 5-7 days on a table in bright but indirect sunlight before planting. They can also be planted immediately but not watered for a week.
Care and Feeding
Aloe prefers direct sunlight to light shade. These plants are drought-tolerant, but they benefit from extra water during the hottest days of summer. Feed on a regular basis with an organic fertilizer, according to the package directions.