Repotting and Dividing a Giant Aloe Vera Plant

Hello my friends and happy New Year! My sister showed up at my house a couple days ago with this poor awkward Aloe plant and asked for my help.

This giant Aloe started out as a tiny baby plant from Walmart.
This giant Aloe started out as a tiny baby plant from Walmart.

My mom originally purchased this Aloe in a tiny 3″ pot at Walmart. I don’t remember the date, but I was there the day that she brought it home. I know it was pre-2017 because she moved [from the house that she brought it home to] in August of 2017. After she moved, it lived for about 5 years in a South facing window that was shaded by a huge Maple tree and it really loved its life in that location. But then in September of 2022, my mom moved again and my sister, Caitlin, took the plant. Her house is an old one with tricky heating. Basically, it’s scorching heat on the first floor and a frozen ice land on the second floor. Neither is ideal for an Aloe, but Caitlin tried keeping it on the first floor in her dining room filled with South facing windows. But it just didn’t work. It lost leaves and etiolated and grew little Aloe pups until it looked more like a bonsai tree than an Aloe plant. So here we are.

The plant looked like it had been chasing the sun, it had etiolated drastically over one side of its planter. (An etiolated plant is one that has “stretched out” due to a lack of appropriate light.) The lowest leaves of the Aloe are what anchored it down in its pot, so as it began shedding its lower leaves and then stretching its new upper growth to reach the sun, the plant toppled over and continued growing sideways.

My approach was a simple one. I started by beheading the large mother plant and also removing all dead, dying and broken leaves from it. I thought I’d have to leave it out overnight to allow the cut to callous over, but that wasn’t at all necessary. The stem of this Aloe was firm and relatively dry even right after being cut.

After beheading the mother plant, I was able to reach into the potting mix to separate each of the offshoot plants. There were nine Aloe pups total and all of them were a nice size. Two of the baby plants were well rooted, but the other seven baby plants needed to be rooted. Not to worry, Aloe vera plants propagate in water very easily. So I planted the two rooted pups in potting mix. I got a couple of quart sized Mason jars out to root the other seven Aloe pups.

These Aloe babies will have nice roots in no time.

I was able to repot the mama Aloe in its original planter. I kept the level of the potting mix quite low since I needed the edges of the pot to help hold the plant in an upright position. Since the plant has no roots yet, the smaller amount of potting mix will make no difference at all.

If you are interested in the potting mix I used, let me know in the comments. I can write that recipe in another blog. I did also want to mention that I used mealworm frass as an additive since I want to encourage root growth. It’s excellent for that purpose.

Mama Aloe plant plus nine babies that have been separated.

Now it’s time to just wait for all the plants to send out some roots. Oh, and I also have to find homes for all of these plants as well (fingers crossed on that one).

Thanks for reading and I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

Instagram @liquidambar_girl

For Mercy, Peace, Love merchandise click here

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my own houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Stackable Moss poles –

Velcro Plant Tape –

Horticultural 1/4” pumice –

Horticultural perlite –

Coco coir –

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips –

Orchid Bark – Small chips –

Earthworm castings –

Coco Loco potting mix –

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb –

Aosbeic Grow light 4ft.x 4ft. –

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. –

Heat Mat (for propagating) –

Heat Mat w/ Thermostat –

Bonsai scissors –

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) –

Moisture meter sticks –

Horticultural charcoal –

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid –

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) –

Systemic houseplant insecticide –

Espoma Rose Tone (fertilizer for roses and flowering perennials) –

Full disclosure – the last four product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

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