How to Transplant Aloe Babies

If you have a happy, healthy, aloe vera, chances are good you have little baby aloes, otherwise known as “pups,” growing alongside it. Let’s explore this useful plant and learn how to transplant aloe pups.

Aloe is one of my favorite houseplants for several reasons. The first reason being, it is sturdy enough to survive me. The second reason, if you keep it healthy, it won’t be long before your aloe sends off little side shoots and makes aloe babies, or “pups”.

About Aloe Vera

Aloe barbadensis is a plant that is native to East Africa. It is a succulent, which is a class of plants that originate from desert climates and thus have thick leaves that retain water.

Like all succulents, it prefers lots of sun and a sandy, well-drained soil. They don’t require a lot of water once they are good and established.

mama aloe rough and tumble farmhouse

Medicinal Uses for Aloe

Most people have used aloe in its gel form for treating sunburn. It has incredible healing properties and is used to treat burns, both minor and major. The part of the plant that is used is the goopy gel that is inside the leaves.

Aloe not only treats burns, but it can also reverse blisters to prevent tissue damage.

The plants soothing properties also have a place in helping with bug bites, wasp stings, or rashes from poison oak and ivy.

Aloe can also be used internally as a laxative or to help with irritation of the digestional tract. It isn’t advisable (unless it is zombie apocalypse times or something) to use your own aloe leaves for treating internal issues. Better to talk to a physician or purchase over the counter aloe gel for consumption. (1)

How often will my aloe produce pups?

My large aloe plant will put on pups twice a year. When she does, there will usually be 3-6 pups that can be taken off. Removing the pups does not hurt the plant. In fact, it is better to move them out into their own little pots so the mama isn’t sharing her nutrients with the babies.

When is it time to transplant?

You want your aloe pups to be at least 3-4 inches high. I typically do a transplant in the spring (when I also will re-pot the mother plant) and once in the winter.

right size for aloe to transplant rough and tumble farmhouse
This pup is just about the right size.

How to Transplant Aloe Pups

Transplanting aloe pups is very simple. It’s a great project to do with kiddos if they need something to dig their fingers into.

Supplies

  • Cactus or succulent potting soil
  • Small pots to transplant into
  • Watering can or other water source
  • Cinnamon (optional)

Steps to Transplant Aloe

  1. Water your Mama Aloe. Give your mother plant a thorough watering. This will make it easier to pull the pups away from her roots.
  2. Option 1: (If your aloe is overrun with pups or it is time to re-pot.) Remove the mama from her pot. Carefully dig your fingers down around the sides of the pot and lift the entire plant mass out. Set it somewhere gently on its side or propped up.
  3. Gently pull the dirt away from the roots until all the pups are exposed.
  4. Remove the pups, keeping as many of their original roots as you can. Proceed to step 6.
  5. Option 2: (You only have a few pups and it is not time to re-pot.) If you have a very large mother aloe, there are only one or two pups, or it isn’t time for her to be repotted, I would leave her in the pot. Simply dig around the pup to get as close as you can to the roots, then cut them or pull them loose.
  6. Leave your pups out for a day or two where they will get good air circulation. This allows any scar tissue to scab over, which prevents that area from rotting when you replant.
drying aloe pups

7. Prepare your pots. You’ll need as many pots as there are pups, though if you want you can pot small pups together. Fill them with a cactus or succulent blend soil.

8. Plant your pups. Dip the roots of your aloe in cool water, then put them in their new pot. Plant them as deep as they were in the pot with their mom.

9. Water. Give them a good soak, then let them be in a warm, sunny location. If they are outside in the summer you might need to water weekly. If it is the winter and they are tucked inside, once every few weeks will do.

What if my Aloe Pup has No Roots?

I’ve had this several times where my aloe pup comes out with nary a root to be seen. This isn’t ideal but you aren’t dead in the water.

aloe roots comparison rough and tumble farmhouse
The top aloe pup has zero roots, not ideal. The bottom one has a few.

Take your aloe end, dip it in water, then roll it in cinnamon. Cinnamon is a natural rooting agent that will help your little plant to put out some roots. I have also read that honey will act as a rooting hormone, but I haven’t tried it myself.

How often should I water?

With the new pups, I’d let them go a week or so, enough for the soil to just dry out, then give them one good soak. Once they are established, I will water my aloes every 2-3 weeks in the winter. In the summer I let them sit outside and pretty much just let the rain take care of them.


Watch and Learn

Took some doing, but I was able to repot and transplant babies from my MASSIVE aloe.

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Sources:

(1) Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginners Guide

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2 Comments

  1. This was so helpful! My aloe is the only plant I just can’t get a handle on! Your tips were wonderful! Thank you for sharing!

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