QUESTION: Can you grow aloe vera from a cutting? My friend has this wonderful aloe plant and I was wondering if I could ask them for a cutting from it or if it doesn’t work that way with aloe. Brent P
ANSWER: Yes, aloe vera can be propagated from a cutting. However, it’s not the most common way of propagation because it doesn’t produce the best results.
If you choose to propagate aloe vera from a cutting, remove a leaf from the plant. You can remove a portion of a leaf or an entire leaf.
The most important aspect is that the cutting is healthy. If not, you reduce your chances further that the cutting will form roots.
You don’t need to use rooting hormone. Instead, allow the leaf to dry for two to three days. This allows the cut to toughen and scab over prior to planting.
When the foliage has dried, place it in a container with proper drainage. Ensure the soil is well-draining, too.
Use a spray bottle to spritz the soil with water. It should stay consistently moist. Once the aloe vera has produced roots and new foliage, you can water it as you would any mature aloe vera plant.
The reason this method of propagation frequently fails is the foliage rots during the two to three days you allow the leaf to dry before planting.
If the foliage rots, you must take a new cutting from the plant and start the process over.
Another method to propagate aloe vera, which has a higher success rate, is to propagate the plant from pups.
Aloe vera plants will produce baby plants known as pups. As these pups occur, dig them out of the container and divide their root systems from the mother plant’s root system.
When the pups are separated from their mother, transplant them into a well-draining container with properly draining soil.
Water and care for your new aloe vera plants to give them the greatest chance of success. Though propagating aloe vera, from a cutting, isn’t the most fool-proof method, it’s still possible.
It’s our hope that this information will help you find the method of propagation which works best for you when growing aloe.