How to Split Aloe Vera Plants

Updated February 21, 2017

Aloe vera plants are classified as a succulent because they are composed mainly of water. The plants grow in clumps and produce thick, spiky leaves. The juice of the aloe vera plant can be used as a skin ointment to soothe burns, scrapes and other skin irritations. Over time, the aloe vera plant will get too big for a pot, or start to grow into other plants when outdoors. You can split the aloe vera plant in half, which is also called dividing it.

Wait until spring or summer to divide the aloe vera plant. This is the beginning of its growing season and will allow it to recover quicker from the splitting process.

Crouch down next to the aloe vera plant and hold back the leaves so that you can examine the roots. If the plant is in a pot, remove it from the pot so you can see the root system.

Insert a shovel into the ground 1 to 2 feet away from the base of the aloe vera plant and lean back on the handle of the shovel to break up the soil. Remove the shovel from the soil and reinsert it directly beside the first location to loosen the soil there. Continue until you have loosened the soil all the way around the base of the aloe vera plant.

Grasp the base of the aloe vera plant and pull it straight up out of the ground. If the plant is large, you may need to have someone help you pull it out of the ground.

Lay the aloe vera plant on the ground sideways and brush away as much soil from the roots as you can using your hands.

Pull very gently on the roots of the aloe vera plant it separates easily into at least three clumps. The aloe vera plant is actually a series of clumps growing close together, so separating them requires little effort.

Pick up one of the clumps and place your thumb into the roots. Work your thumb through the roots until you separate the smaller section. If needed, use a sharp knife to cut through the smaller roots.

Place one-third of the cuttings back into the original hole and fill the hole in with the surrounding soil. Place the remaining aloe vera plants in a shady outdoor location and let them sit for two to three days.

Fill plant pots with a potting soil specifically formulated for succulent plants. Dig a hole in the centre of the soil and insert one section of aloe vera into the hole. Fill it the hole with additional potting soil and water the plant until the soil is moist.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Knife
  • Plant pot
  • Succulent potting soil
  • Water
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About the Author

Kimberly Johnson is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in various online publications including eHow, Suite101 and Examiner. She has a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia and began writing professionally in 2001.