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Propagating Aloe Vera

For centuries, aloe has been a staple in skin care

Being a popular houseplant, aloe vera is available at almost any garden center or supermarket and can be grown nearly everywhere the sun shines. Propagating aloe vera in your home adds dimension and life, plus a touch of natural flare. Aloe looks beautiful in an outdoor setting, giving height and texture to any garden. In desert or subtropical areas, aloe can grow outside all year round! This provides a source of nectar to pollinators and hummingbirds when in bloom.

The leaves of the aloe vera plant provides a thick anti-inflammatory gel that can aid in the reduction of redness and irritation from dry skin and sunburns. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences recommends that you refrigerate the gel to maximize its soothing properties. In some cases, people can be allergic to aloe. If you have never used aloe vera gel on your skin before, do a patch test first and see if you have any type of reaction.

Growing aloe vera gives hummingbirds a source of nectar

Growing aloe vera in your home

Propagating aloe vera is very simple! Which is great news if you have a less-than-green thumb but still want to keep a plant baby on your windowsill or patio. To grow one of these hardy succulents you only need four things:

  • A sunny location
  • An easily draining potting soil
  • A terra cotta pot
  • Aloe plant, of course!

Aloe plants love well-draining soil, warmth, and plenty of sunshine

Make sure that the potting soil you have is formulated for cacti and succulents so that drainage will not be an issue. If you don’t have soil formulated for cacti or can’t find it in store, add perlite to regular potting soil which will work perfectly as well!

A terra cotta pot will also enable the water to drain easily. Since terra cotta is a porous material, it does not retain excess water. Adding a handful of gravel or broken pottery pieces to the bottom of the pot will also improve water flow. Following these steps prevent the aloe roots from rotting due to an excessive amount of moisture.

Keeping your potted aloe plant on a sunny windowsill or in a location on your patio that is mostly sunny is important for the plant’s health. Too little sun and the plant won’t grow; it will likely wilt or the leaves will flop over. A sunny location also evaporates any excess water in the pot, again aiding in the prevention of a rotted root system. If you transplant your aloe vera from a pot indoors to a spot outside, move it gradually into the sun to avoid an overdose of sun and burning the leaves.

Growing aloe vera

Divide and conquer

Given the right conditions, aloe vera can grow rapidly. This can be a good thing, and you’ll end up with a few little aloe plants to share with friends. An adult aloe plant will produce “pups” along its basal stem. You can break these away and replant to divide your colony.

When dividing aloe, it’s important to allow the pups to dry for a few days after you pull them off of the main plant. If you try to propagate an aloe plant with a freshly cut stem it will rot in the soil and never take root. After pulling the pups away from the parent, lay them out in a well ventilated, warm area so that any cuts in the stem will callous over. After a few days you can replant the pups in loose cactus soil. Keep the cuttings in a warm, sunny area. Do not water them for the first week to keep the cuttings from decaying. The pups will send off additional roots very quickly and grow into adult plants in a matter of months if weather conditions are in their favor.

Aloe vera in our products

At Waxing Kara, we use aloe vera oil in our Sweet Lips Lip Balms. The aloe vera provides your lips with an additional source of moisture that is chemical free and earth-friendly.