There are about 400 different species of the aloe plant. Aloe grows best in well-drained soil and dry climates. It is typically a very low maintenance plant that is great for desert landscaping, the most widely known species being the aloe vera. Aloe vera is widely known as a medicinal plant that can provide care for ailments such as sunburns, helping wounds to heal and even eliminating heartburn. Aloe is propagated by detaching suckers, seeding and by creating cuttings of the plant's leaves.
Things You'll Need
- Aloe plant or long stem cutting of aloe
- Rubbing alcohol
- Rooting medium
- Cactus or succulent soil
Propagating Aloe from a Leaf Cutting
From a parent aloe plant, choose a newer, actively growing leaf to cut.
Wipe down the knife blade with rubbing alcohol to keep it from transferring bacteria to the fresh cut.
Make a clean cut on the selected aloe leaf to be rooted. Do not leave a jagged or crushed edge.
Dip the aloe cutting into the rooting medium.
Let the aloe cutting sit out in warm air to create a callused edge. Usually a couple of hours is all that is needed.
Place the cutting into a pot that has well-draining, porous soil. Specialty cactus and succulent soils are available at most gardening centers and contain a high level of sand, charcoal, pumice or lava rock and a small amount of potting soil.
Water the cutting. Be sure to keep the soil damp but not wet to allow the roots to grow.
Your aloe leaf cutting should form roots in about four to six weeks. Once roots have fully established you can transplant into a garden or into your landscaping.
Tips & Warnings
- Not all aloe is safe for medicinal uses, some types are poisonous. Be sure to correctly identify your type of aloe before using on skin or for ingestion.
- Photo Credit Aloe Vera image by Leo Lintang from Fotolia.com aloe vera image by Magdalena Mirowicz from Fotolia.com aloe image by Ivanna Buldakova from Fotolia.com
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