Aloe Vera - How to divide pups from mother plant?

fridahMay 26, 2007

I have a large Aloe Vera and there is at least 5 or 6 pups of various height. I've come to understand that it is wise to divide the pups from the mother plant, but how do you do that?

I read somewhere that you should lay the whole plant on the side and carefully divide the pups, but my plant is so big I can't do that. I think it would break in half if I moved it.

Is there any way to remove the pups directly from the pot?

/Frida from Sweden

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If the offset(s) are such that you can clear the soil away from the base of the parent plant, to where you can see the point of connection between parent and pup, you could maybe just cut the offset away with a sharp knife.

There is some risk of the cut becoming infected. You would also risk severing something important by accident (like a major root) and inviting rot. Both of these are fairly unlikely if you're being careful about what you're doing.

If the plant is so big, or the pot so tight, that you can't clear the dirt away and cut the offsets loose, then you probably don't have any choice but to take it all out of the pot and pull the offsets away.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 6:59PM
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Glad I read this post as I have an aloe and didn't know that the pups were to be divided; I hope I am able to successfully do this!


    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 9:11PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Folks,

This isn't a big deal to do; these are pretty rugged & sturdy plants.

If you just brush away some of the mix at the soil line so you can see where the pup connects to the parent plant, often you can just twist off the pup w/ your fingers. That's how I do it, I rarely use a blade for this myself. Never had any problems from this & I've got abt 10 different kinds of Aloes for which I do this.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2007 at 10:06PM
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Thanks so much for your answers!

I will try to brush away the soil and twist or cut the pups off.

Today is Mothers Day in Sweden so I am gonna give one of the offsprings to my mother. :)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 2:52AM
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This may sound like a silly question and I apologize for hijacking your thread, Frida, but would it make sense to pot the pups together, or should I put them in individual containers? Thanks!


    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 2:43PM
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The pups will eventually get big enough to offset too, so it depends on how crowded you want things to get and how quickly. There's certainly no particular reason not to.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 2:55PM
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One more question on this subject...has anyone used rooting hormone on the bottom of the pup before planting?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 4:40PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I don't find it necessary but it can't hurt. The key is to water very carefully.

If you're abt to do this now, I'd suggest you wait 'til Spring. The pups will fare better if you do. Is there any reason you feel you need to do this now?

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 5:25PM
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I am in a warm winter area; SoCal, so it probably won't hurt to do it now. I want to do hard jobs while it's cool outside! Also, the soil will hopefully be a bit softer after a rain. Thanks to all who contributed to this subject! It's just what I needed to find out.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2007 at 5:59PM
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my mom has a huge aloe! we call her mama because she is a baby makin machine! this summer we had to drag mama outside and put her on her side and shake her out. we loosened some of the soil gently and used a knife to cut the babies off because we got nervous and didn't want to pull the wrong thing. mama had about 15-20 babies of all sizes, and she's already making more!

    Bookmark   January 2, 2008 at 3:11PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

They're really quite sturdy, tough plants as I said before. But what I forgot to say (if it's not obvious) is when one twists off the pup(s), make sure they have some of their own root attached, don't let it all break off on Mama's side.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2008 at 2:04AM
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I've been doing this for years, mostly when my aloes were in flower pots. At one time I had about 300 plants even tho I was giving them away as fast as I could find people who wanted them. Every year it would get to the point where I was using coffee cans to pot the pups.

I put it on the work bench & lay it over on the side and start chiseling away at the soil until the plant comes out. Then I would pick away enough soil to break off the sprouts, then repot the mother in a bigger pot.

Sometimes they do break off a few of the bottom leaves, but then, they just end up being used for sunburns & stuff anyway, so I think of it as a harvest. If I have a wide, shallow pot I'll put all the pups together until they are big enough to need room.

Now that I own real estate in Houston I've planted them all in a bed in the front of the porch & invited my neighbors to take a leaf whenever they need one for a kitchen burn. They're growing so densely that I haven't felt like propagating pups, just let them go their natural course.

Here is a link that might be useful: see my urban aloe farm

    Bookmark   January 11, 2009 at 1:56PM
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My grand mother gave me an aloe vera plant last year and it was dieying bad. But i revived it and since then she has had a baby who lives in a pot next to her:) I hope her and the baby get real big and have more kids i love aloe vera its one of my favorite plants!I think gardening is just a part of me i love the smell of soil and rain and my mom is the same way so was my great grandmother! Its the native american geans i bet:)

    Bookmark   October 21, 2010 at 1:49PM
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I have read several different ways to transplant pups/babies....Do you put the starts in the dirt or in water to root? I want to take to my daughter and will be traveling for several days, so what are any suggestions...please???

    Bookmark   April 6, 2011 at 1:06PM
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I need to transplant my mother plant because it is too big for its pot. Can I just cut it off and replant it like a little one?

    Bookmark   May 24, 2011 at 11:09PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

No Sedona,

Not at all, pls. don't do that, you'll lose all the roots & the plant as well.

Aloes neeed the bottom part of their crown w/ has the roots underneath. They will not just start from leaves or survive so well if one hacks off the roots w/out understanding how to restart them.

I'll let someone else explain this better, but really, you'll need a pot not much more than 2" larger than the rootball. Crumble all the mix off the roots so you can check them & you'll deposit the ENTIRE plant into new mix in a new pot. Don't cut off anything, pls.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 7:43AM
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jojosplants(9/ Tucson, Az.)

Pirate Girl is right,
You do not want to cut it off!

When you do re pot it, make sure it's a free draining mix and do not water for a few days to give any damaged roots a chance to heal.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2011 at 10:13AM
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