Growing aloe vera from a cutting is easier than you might think. In this post, I’m going to show you exactly how to do it step by step.
Many people are surprised to learn that you can indeed grow aloe vera from a cutting.
It’s not that difficult, and it’s the best way to get a sizable new plant quickly, or save a leggy one.
In this step by step guide, I’ll show you all you need to know about propagating aloe vera cuttings.
Including how to take and prepare them for the best success, tips for rooting them, and even how to pot them up afterward.
Growing My Aloe Vera From Cuttings
I remember the first time I tried rooting aloe vera cuttings – I was terrified! You see several years ago, my very first one had gotten pretty leggy over time, and was not looking that great.
So, I decided to take a chance of topping the entire plant, and then try propagating the stem cutting.
I had no idea if it would work or not, but the poor thing was ready to fall right out of the pot, and it kept tipping over, so I didn’t have any other choice.
Well, I’m sure you guessed by now that my experiment was a success. Since then I have rooted many other aloe vera cuttings, and (knock on wood) have never had any failures.
The idea may scare you too, but don’t worry, I’ll walk you through it all step by step so you can be successful too.
Can You Propagate Aloe From A Leaf Cutting?
The short answer is no, you cannot propagate aloe vera from a leaf cutting or sections.
The slightly longer answer is that you may be able to root a whole leaf, BUT it must still have some of the main stem attached at the bottom. That is the only way it will work.
However it is a very tedious process that’s likely to involve a lot of trial and error, which in my opinion is not worth the effort.
Unfortunately a lot of people say it is possible to root pieces or sections of the leaves.
But I have never actually seen a photo of their rooted aloe leaf cuttings, and I have tried it several times myself without success.
Propagating Aloe Vera Stem Cuttings
The good news is that it is fairly straightforward to propagate aloe vera stem cuttings, and pretty easy once you learn how.
In order for it to work there are a few important things to keep in mind. They need to be cut the right way, and also properly prepared, or they may not root.
When To Take Aloe Vera Cuttings
The best time of year to take aloe vera cuttings for propagation is in the spring or summer. They will root much faster during the warmer months.
It could also work in the fall or winter, but it will be a much, much slower process.
How To Take Cuttings From Aloe Vera
For the best chance of success, your aloe vera stem cuttings should have a few root nodes on them.
Sometimes you’ll even see some that have new roots already starting, which will make it even faster and easier for you.
Use heavy duty pruners for thick stems, and make sure they are sharp and sterile for a clean cut.
Once you make the cut, remove the lower leaves if necessary, so that 2-3” of the stem is exposed.
Oh, and don’t toss out the other half either. Leave it in the pot and care for it just as you would the whole plant.
Eventually it will form pups around the base for even more new plants. Learn how to divide them here.
Preparing Aloe Vera Cuttings For Propagation
Before you try rooting aloe vera cuttings, you must allow them to cure (i.e.: dry out) and callous over first.
To do that, simply place it in a dry area out of the direct sunlight. The larger the cutting, the longer you should let it cure.
Small cuttings should cure for at least a week, while larger ones (like the one that I show in the photos) should cure for 2-3 weeks.
Don’t skip this step, or they may end up rotting. You’ll know it’s properly cured when the cut end is completely calloused over and the stem feels dry to the touch.
Tips For Rooting Aloe Vera Cuttings
Below I will give you the detailed step by step instructions for how to propagate aloe vera cuttings. But first, here are some of my best tips for a favorable outcome.
- Take a 2-3” long healthy stem cutting that has a few root nodes on it.
- Allow it to cure and fully callous over before attempting to root it.
- Dip the cutting in rooting hormone to help stimulate it and speed things up.
- Keep it warm using a heat mat or putting it in a sunny window.
- Use a medium that is fast-draining, or mix equal parts potting soil, perlite or pumice, and coarse sand.
- Allow the medium to dry out while your cutting is rooting, and never let it become soggy or saturated.
How Long Does It Take For Aloe Cuttings To Root?
In the right conditions, it can take as little as a few weeks for your aloe cutting to start rooting.
But it usually takes a month or more before the roots are mature enough to be potted up.
You’ll know they’re ready when you see new growth forming on top.
Why Won’t My Aloe Vera Cuttings Root?
There are a few common reasons why aloe vera cuttings won’t root. The two main ones are that it’s too cold, or the medium is too wet.
If you’re attempting to do this during the fall or winter, then it’s likely too cold. They will root much faster in a warm environment.
In that case, try setting the container on top of a heat mat or moving it to a warm sunny window.
Otherwise check the medium to make sure it’s not wet, it should be almost bone dry. If it’s soggy or saturated, then your cutting may be rotting. Use a moisture gauge if you’re unsure.
How To Pot Aloe Vera Cuttings
Once the roots are 3-4” long, it’s time to pot it up. Move it into a container that’s only one size larger than the current one.
Use a well-draining potting mix and a pot with drainage holes. Then plant it at the same depth it was in the original one.
Of course this isn’t required. If the container you used is large enough, you can just leave it in there until it becomes a mature plant or it outgrows the pot.
Related Post: How To Grow & Care For Aloe Vera Plants
In this section, I’ll answer some of the most frequently asked questions about growing aloe vera cuttings. If you can’t find yours here, leave a comment below.
Can you grow aloe vera from a cutting?
Yes, you can grow aloe vera from a cutting. But it must be a stem cutting, because you cannot root the leaves alone.
Can you break off a piece of aloe and plant it?
You can break off a piece of aloe and plant it, as long as it contains a portion of the stem. However this will only work in an ideal environment. It’s best to take proper cuttings, rather than breaking them off, and let them fully cure (dry out) first.
Can you replant a broken aloe leaf?
No, unfortunately you cannot replant a broken aloe leaf, and you cannot grow it from leaf cuttings, only stem cuttings.
Can you root aloe vera cuttings in water?
While you may be able to root aloe vera cuttings in water, it’s not the ideal method to use because they will likely rot. For the best results, I highly recommend rooting them in a sandy, porous medium rather than water.
Can you cut a stem of aloe vera and replant?
Yes, you can cut a stem of aloe vera and replant it. This will work best when the stem contains several root nodes, and you allow it to cure before replanting it.
Rooting aloe vera cuttings is easy once you get the hang of it. It’s the fastest way to multiply yours to get a large plant, and also a great way to save a leggy one.
Do you want to learn how to multiply all of your plants? Then my Plant Propagation eBook is for you! It will show all you need to know in order to get as many new plants from your existing ones as you want. Download your copy today!
More About Plant Propagation
- How To Propagate Succulent Cuttings In Winter
- Propagating String Of Pearls In Water Or Soil
- Propagating Peperomia In Water Or Soil
Share your tips for rooting aloe vera cuttings in the comments section below.