How to Transplant an Aloe Vera

Aloe vera, or burn plant, is a popular houseplant also grown outdoors in USDA Zones above Zone 9. The plant’s habit of creating offsets known as pups means it may need to be divided and transplanted periodically. Larger plants can become root-bound and occasionally you might want to move plants around for esthetic or garden space reasons.


Reasons to Transplant an Aloe Vera

The primary idea behind transplanting is to provide more growing space and fresh soil to a plant. The process is particularly important for an aloe vera because of its growth habits. Although aloes in the wild will set seeds, they also reproduce by growing smaller plants around the base. Aloes in pots will become crowded and use up all the nutrients. Outdoors, they can crowd other plants.

Caring for New Transplants

Aloe is a succulent and needs very little water; this is especially true after transplanting. For best success, follow these steps:

  • Withhold water for a minimum of a week to prevent soggy soil and root rot.
  • Keep the plant in bright indirect light for two or three weeks.
  • Make sure the environment is warm enough: 60°F (16°C) to 75°F (24°C) during the day and 40°F (4°C) or above at night.

Moving an Aloe Vera Into a New Pot

An aloe doesn’t mind living in tight quarters for a while and aloes in pots don’t usually need fertilizer. However, aloes should be repotted about once a year to prevent nutrient deficiencies and disease. Water the plant, turn it out of its pot and place in a new pot at the same level. Trickle fresh soil in around the roots and firm gently. Don’t water for about a week.

Transplanting Pups

Most aloes grown indoors are propagated with offsets known as pups. The day after watering, gently remove a pup by grasping at the junction between stems and roots. Place the pup in a new pot at the same soil level and fill with new soil. Gently tamp soil in place. The new pot should have no more than one half inch of soil around the plant to prevent soggy soil.

Transplanting Seedlings

If you’ve grown aloes from seed, eventually the tiny plants will need to be transplanted from the seedling trays into pots. Ideally, you placed the seeds far enough apart that each plant has some room around it. Use a small teaspoon or blunt knife tip to scoop up the plant with a root ball of soil. Settle in a new pot and add soil as necessary. Cover the pot with a plastic bag for one week.