Propagating An Aloe Vera Plant And Repotting

The Aloe Vera is a popular succulent type house plant, well known for its healing properties. Lets take a look at how to propagate an Aloe Vera by taking leaf cuttings and offsets from the parent plant.

I will also cover advice about repotting a plant here..This plant needs it!


Origin: North Africa.
Names: Aloe V, Medicine Plant, True Aloe, Burn Plant, (common). -- Aloe V, Aloe barbadensis (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx): Height 1 - 2 ft .
Poisionous for pets: Toxic for cats and dogs.

Propagating Offsets

Offsets are also known as pups because they are kind of babies of the parent plant. They usually grow from the side of the stem once an Aloe Vera matures.

The plant below was given to me. As you can see it has been neglected, lacking soil, outgrown the pot, has offsets, and for some reason has a mother of thousands plant growing next to it (must have been close to a mother of thousands plant and plantlets dropped in the pot).

Starting Plant

picture of an aloe vera with offsets

Remove The Plant From The Pot

When removing the plant from the pot you can tilt the plant to the side holding the main stem (holding as much of the plant as possible) or tip it upside down if it is not too big.

If the plant does not come out you can squeeze the side of the pot, tap the sides, or tap the rim of the pot upside down on the edge of a table or low wall.

Once out the pot remove old soil from the roots and check all roots are healthy. If some are brown, remove them and you can also cut away unhealthy leaves with a sharp knife.

You can see in the picture below an offset and leaves removed. I cut the leaves close to the stem to make the plant look more attractive, otherwise half a leaf sticks out with no tip and does not look that great.

removing an aloe vera from its pot picture

Separate Offsets

Sometimes you have to cut away an offset and other times you can just pull them away from the parent plant. If your repotting then they're easy to pull away but if the parent plant is remaining in its current pot then you will need to make a cut with a sharp knife.

When you make a separate keep the offsets roots intact.

Unhealthy Leaf Removal

cutting an unhealthy leaf away

Offsets Removed

You can see by the picture I now have five plants. The parent plant and four pups...great! They all look fairly healthy too, although the smallest is very small and lacks roots (see how it goes – might not make it)...

It is said to be ideal to remove an offset when its about a quarter of the size of a parent plant, but in this instance it seems better to just remove all of them, repot, trim and try and get as many of them rooted and growing as possible. I don't mind if I lose one or two and want the parent plant to be doing well.

aloe v with four offsets


Find a suitable size pot (make sure it has drainage holes), fill it with potting mix loosely and then make a deep and wide enough hole with your finger for the plants lower stem and roots to be planted.

Once the plant and roots are placed in the hole, fill the pot with soil and press the soil down slightly with your fingers to enable the plant to be solid enough so it will not topple over once it grows. I fill a pot with soil up to about a centimetre from the top of the pot.

If you can, buy a bag of cactus potting mix for planting and repotting an Aloe vera indoors, its the best soil to use (ignore what I am using – I am in Thailand and these will grow outdoors). They are succulents and require well draining and well aerated soil.

placing offset in pot picture repotted

I repotted the three smaller ones in a small pot and will move them when they mature enough. You might want to use one of these size pots below for each plant but I ran out of pots and know they will be fine.

three offsets in a pot


Now all that is left to do is water the plants. Give them a thorough watering until water starts to leak out the bottom drainage holes. After watering, you are complete, then follow the normal procedure of watering Aloes...(see here) , and caring for them.

After Offset Propagation

5 plants together

Propagating Cuttings

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.

aloe cutting

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.

cutting dipped in honey

Plant Cuttings

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 – 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).

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