The Aloe Vera plant is perfectly suited to indoor growing. Not only can these plants thrive in an indoor environment, but they also require relatively little maintenance and are known to be very drought tolerant.
Not only are they beginner-friendly and perfectly suited to indoor environments, but they also have a really unique appearance and the juice within their leaves can even offer relief from burns, cuts, and other forms of skin irritation and pain.
Another reason why Aloe Vera plants are great is the fact that they are fairly easy to propagate, which means a single plant can be used to grow other Aloe Vera plants. If you are interested in learning how to grow Aloe Vera from a leaf, you have come to the right place! We will explain some quick and easy steps you can follow to grow your own Aloe Vera plant from a simple leaf cutting.
How to Grow an Aloe Vera Plant from a Leaf
Things to Keep in Mind Before You Start
Before we move through the steps you should follow, it is important to understand that not every leaf cutting will take. While it is certainly possible to grow an Aloe Vera plant from a leaf, sometimes the leaf will not root.
If your leaf cutting does not root, you should not allow yourself to get overly discouraged. Simply try again, or try replanting an Aloe Vera offshoot, which tends to be easier than growing a full Aloe plant from a single leaf.
If your Aloe Vera plant is healthy and large enough to withstand losing more than one leaf, you might want to try growing more than one plant at a time, as this will increase your chances that a new plant will actually result from your efforts.
Step 1 – Find an Appropriate Leaf
Your chances of successfully growing a full Aloe Vera plant from a single leaf will be much greater if you choose an appropriate leaf.
You will want to use an Aloe Vera leaf that is at least 3.5 inches in length. If the leaf is too short, there is less of a chance it will actually sprout roots.
Step 2 – Cut Your Chosen Leaf
Once you have found a leaf that is the appropriate length, you can remove it from the existing plant. Always cut the leaf close to the base of the plant and make sure you are using a blade that is both sharp and clean. The cleaner the cut, the greater the chances are that it will actually root, rather than just rot.
A clean blade is also important, as the moisture-rich leaves of Aloe Vera plants are susceptible to infection, which can cause them to rot and die.
You should always try to cut your chosen leaf on a downward angle that is pointed toward the stem.
Step 3 – Place the Leaf Cutting in a Warm Location
Once you have your leaf cutting, you will want to place it in a warm and stable location. Avoid areas with direct sunlight.
The leaf should sit still for a long enough time for a clear film to form over the area that you cut. This film is important, as it will prevent the open-cut from becoming infected when it is planted in the soil.
The amount of time this takes will depend on the particular plant the leaf was cut from, so be patient. Check your leaf cutting often and be prepared to wait anywhere from a day to two weeks. Once you notice a clear film has formed over the sliced part of the leaf, you can move on to the next step.
Step 4 – Find an Appropriate Pot
Since Aloe Vera plants require well-draining soil and do not do well in moist environments, you will want to find a planting pot that has at least one drainage hole.
The drainage hole will allow excess water to flow out of the pot. This is important, as any roots your leaf cutting is able to sprout will be extremely susceptible to root rot, which will kill the young plant before it has a chance to grow.
Step 5 – Fill the Pot with the Correct Soil
Again, it is important that Aloe Vera plants have well-draining soil. Choose a cactus or succulent-specific potting soil. If you cannot find one of these pre-mixed soil blends, you can create your own by mixing one part sand with one part of regular potting soil.
You can also choose to line the bottom of your pot with a thin layer of gravel or sand, as this will help reduce the chances that your plant will develop root rot. Once the bottom of the pot is lined, you can fill it with your soil mixture.
It is also important that any soil you choose has a pH level between 6.0 and 8.0. Check the packaging, and if it does not fall within this range, try to find a soil blend that does.
Step 6 – Plant the Leaf into the Soil
Make a small hole in the soil with your finger. From there, stick roughly one-third of the total length of the leaf into the soil. Make sure the side you cut is standing as close to level as possible.
Some people will dip the cut end of the leaf into a rooting hormone before planting it, but this is not always necessary.
Step 7 – Caring for Your Planted Aloe Vera Leaf
Now that the leaf-cutting is in the soil, you can take the pot and place it somewhere warm. As with a fully grown Aloe Vera plant, look for somewhere that receives plenty of bright, indirect sunlight, rather than somewhere that is hit with direct sunlight.
You will want to keep the soil moist, but avoid letting it become waterlogged. The best way to do this is to check to make sure the top inch of the soil is completely dry before you water the plant again.
Patience is important during this stage, as it can take a while for your leaf cutting to sprout roots. Even if the exposed portion of the leaf begins to dry out or change color, continue your watering routine and make sure it stays in a suitable environment.
If you are lucky and your leaf cutting has taken, roots will develop beneath the soil and, eventually, new leaves will sprout alongside the original aloe leaf!