The aloe vera plant is a succulent and a popular house plant for gardeners. The sap from the stems has medicinal qualities.
This plant happens to be related to the cactus family and does not need much water.
How to Grow Aloe Vera From A Stem Cutting
Aloe vera plants are easy to grow and need little care. They can be propagated from stem cuttings or from pups, small plants that grow at the base of the aloe vera plant.
Whether you are growing a plant at home or buying one from your local garden center, look for a plant with stems 3 to 4 inches long.
Clean a knife or garden shears with isopropyl alcohol to kill bacteria before cutting.
Cut the stem at the base or higher using a clean knife, scissors or garden shears and place in a warm area to let the plant cut heal over.
Do not place stem cuttings in water because they tend to rot and will not grow. Use a small pot with drain holes and a succulent or cactus potting mix from your local garden center.
Fill the bottom with gravel or stones to help improve drainage. Fill the pot with potting soil and add some lime if needed. The ph. level should be about 6.0 to 8.0.
Dampen the soil with water and stick the stem, cut side down into the soil and make sure about one third is covered with soil. Some gardeners moisten the stem with growth hormones to stimulate growth. Place the plant in a warm sunny spot in the house or outdoors.
Keep the soil moist for about four weeks and then let it dry out before you water it again. A succulent potting mix has better drainage and is specifically formulated for aloe Vera plants. The plant should develop roots and grow but slowly.
Removing Pups From the Base of The Plants
Aloe Vera plants often produce other plants where they are crowded into a pot or planted in succulent potting soil.
Do not overwater and only water when the top two inches of soil becomes dry.
The plants at the base of the plant are called pups. They can be cut and planted to produce separate plants.
Sometimes it takes five or six years for an aloe Vera plant to produce pups. This method is the most successful for propagating.
How to Propagate Aloe Vera From Pups
A mature aloe Vera plant indoors or outdoors often develops pups or separate plants at its base. It often takes 5 years to develop pups in a healthy plant. Some aloe vera plants may not have any pups.
Take the plant and remove it from the pot or soil and be careful with its roots. Remove it carefully using a small shovel outdoors or knife for potted plants. Shake the dirt from the plant roots and inspect the plant pups. Separate the pups from the plant by cutting the plants, including roots, with a sharp knife or scissors that have been sanitized with alcohol.
If they do not have roots, let the pups sit in a warm location and cut the callus over before planting. Plant pups with roots in 4-inch pots in succulent potting soil. Cut off any brown or rotted roots. Pups should be about 3 inches and have a root system to take successfully.
You can add sand or rocks to the soil to help with drainage. Be sure the pots have holes in the bottom. Use your fingers, small knife, or stick and put a hole deep enough in the pot to plant the pup. Add more soil and make sure the plant is firmly packed in the pot.
It is recommended that you wash out the mother plant’s pot and repot it with new potting soil. Keep the soil moist for the first few days for the pups by watering and putting it in a sunny, warm part of the house or outdoors.
After a few days, wait until the soil is dry before watering. Growth can take several weeks to months to see.
Keep the plants out of direct sunlight when propagating and mist with water.