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How do I take cuttings from an aloe vera plant?

Aloe vera is among the most widely used medicinal plants in the world. It has been propagated and used by humans for nearly 6,000 years, and is used mainly as a treatment for rashes, burns and cuts. There are currently over 180 known species of aloe. All varieties are leafy succulents that thrive in warm, dry soil. Gardeners can grow their own aloe vera plants from cuttings.

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Separating aloe pups

Propagate aloe vera by removing offshoots that grow along the base of a mature plant. These offshoots are commonly referred to as pups. Pups will eventually grow to become mature aloe plants and will grow pups of their own. Pups should be at least 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) tall before they are removed from the mother plant. Take cuttings with a sharp, clean knife and cut away from the mother plant. Keep as much of the root structure intact as possible on new aloe cuttings. In the case of larger aloes, the entire plant may have to be removed from its pot and the roots separated from the soil in order to remove the pups. Cuttings should be left to heal for two to three days or until the wounded area has formed a scab.

New cuttings care

The success of aloe vera cuttings depends on the care they receive after being removed from the mother plant. After the initial cut wound has scabbed over, a cutting can be transplanted to its own pot. The waiting period will prevent exposure to disease organisms and fungus in the soil. Soil should be left dry for one week after transplanting new cuttings. This will prevent crown rot, which leaves new aloes open to fungal diseases. If a different soil is used from the original, care should be taken to remove all of the original soil from the succulent roots. Additionally, the new pot should have a good drainage system, as aloe vera does poorly in moist environments.New aloe vera cuttngs should be kept in partial shade to prevent burning. Aloe vera plants should also be kept in an area where there is no danger of freezing, as this will kill the plant. Aloes thrive in dry indoor conditions during the winter, with only monthly supplemental watering needed.

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About the Author

Judson Parker is a community organizer, business consultant and writer. He has directed campaigns for some of the largest charities in the United States. Parker holds a Bachelor of Science in sustainable enterprise management from the John Sperling School of Business at the University of Phoenix.

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