How To Divide, Split and Separate an Overgrown Aloe Vera Plant

In this article, I will provide a detailed step-by-step guide on how to divide, split and separate an overgrown aloe Vera plant and repot them, even indoors. Aloe Vera is a popular and low-maintenance succulent known for its numerous health benefits and versatile uses.

Aloe Vera plants are easy to care for, but they can outgrow their pots over time. As the plant matures, it tends to produce "pups" or offshoots, resulting in an overgrown clump of aloe Vera.

Why To Divide Aloe Vera Plant

Splitting and dividing an overgrown Aloe Vera plant serves several purposes:

  1. Overcrowded large aloe Vera plant may become root-bound, leading to poor health and stunted growth. Dividing the plant allows it to develop fresh, healthy roots, encouraging new growth and vigor.
  2. You can easily split a large aloe Vera plant and and separate the baby plants and create new aloe plants to share with friends and family.&
  3. Dividing and separating an overgrown aloe Vera plant is a great way to rejuvenate its growth and propagate new plants.

Overgrown Large Aloe Vera Plant
Overgrown Large Aloe Vera Plant, Note the Pups

The above picture shows an overgrown large aloe Vera plant that has grown many aloe pups on the same rhizome.

If your aloe Vera plant is getting too big, you can divide it into smaller plants. With proper care, your new aloe Vera plants will thrive for many years to come.

How To Split An Overgrown Aloe Vera Plant

The process of dividing an overgrown aloe plant is quite easy. Here are the steps for dividing and separating an overgrown aloe Vera plant:

Gather your supplies. Materials Needed:

You will need

  1. Pruning shears or sharp clean knife
  2. Potting soil mix
  3. New pots each new plant
  4. Watering can

Step 1: Choose the Right Time: When to Separate Aloe Plants

The best time to divide and separate an overgrown aloe Vera plant is in the early spring to early summer, when the plant is actively growing. In Australia, you can do it from September to December.
Aloes are pretty hardy, so the newly separated plants will establish their root systems and adapt to their new environment quickly.

Choose a day when the weather is cool and cloudy. This will help to prevent the plants from drying out in the dividing process.

Step 2: Split Aloe Plants

Next step is to split large aloe Vera plant and separate pups. Select a well-lit and spacious area to work on the aloe Vera division process.

Remove the Aloe Vera Plant from the Pot

The fist step is to remove the plant from its container.

  1. Water your aloe Vera plant the day before you plan to divide it. This will help to loosen the roots.
  2. Do not pull the plant out forcefully, as this may damage the root system. To gently remove the overgrown aloe Vera plant from its pot, tap on all sides of the pot or tilt the pot and gently tap the bottom to loosen the soil and roots. Then pull out the plant from the pot.

Inspect the Root System

Once the plant is out of the pot, carefully shake off excess soil to expose the root system. You will notice some smaller aloe Vera plants called as "pups" that have grown alongside the main plant. Inspect the root ball for healthy offshoots or pups.  Identify the pups you want to separate and propagate.

Aloe Vera Pup
A Small Aloe Vera Pup

The above picture shows a small pup cut from the parent plant. This pup has some roots and can be planted in a new pot.

Separating the Pups

  1. Using clean pruning shears or a sharp, clean knife, carefully cut away the pups from the main root ball.
  2. Sometimes, by a simple twist, the pup will just pull away from the parent plant.
  3. Make sure each pup has its own set of roots attached. If the pups are small and not well-established, you may leave them attached to the main plant for a little longer to allow them to grow more.

Splitting Pups From a Large Aloe Vera
A Large Pup Split From an Aloe Vera

The above picture shows many pups and a pup cut from the parent plant. This pup has some roots and can be planted in a new pot.

Step 3: Let the Cuttings Callus

  1. After separating the pups, keep them in shade for 2-3 days to form callus on the cut end for two days before planting. This callus will prevent the pup from rotting in the soil.
  2. If the pups you separate have no roots, then callus formation is very important before planting.

Should you propagate Aloe Vera pups or cuttings in water or soil? Now that you have separated the pups, the obvious question arises, whether you propagate them in water or soil. If you just put a pup in water to propagate them, it will rot before it grows roots. But the chances of rooting pups or cuttings in soil are almost 100%. So it is better to plant the pups or cuttings in the soil.

Step 4: Prepare New Pots

While the cuttings are callusing, prepare new pots for replanting. Choose pots that are slightly larger than the root system of the pups, as aloe Vera prefers tight quarters. Fill the pots with a well-draining potting mix suitable for succulents.

Step 5:  Repot Aloe Vera Plant / Pups

Make a small hole in the potting mix soil and place the callused end of the pup, burying the roots gently. Water the soil lightly, just enough to moisten it. You can also Grow Aloe Vera Plant from cutting without roots.

Similarly, plant each offset pup in separate pots. You can place the new aloe Vera plants indoors.

Step 6:  Care for the Newly Separated Aloe Vera Plants

Keep the newly separated and repotted aloe Vera plants in a location with bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid exposing the new plants to direct sunlight, as they may be sensitive to intense light at this stage. 

Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between watering.  Over-watering may lead to root rot, and kill the new plant.

Step 7:  Monitor Growth and Repot as Needed

As the pups grow and develop their root systems, monitor their progress. Once they outgrow their initial pots, you can again repot them into larger containers, as described above.

Dividing and separating an overgrown aloe Vera plant is a rewarding process that allows you to propagate new plants and maintain the health and vitality of the original plant. 

A Repotted Aloe Vera Plant
The Repotted Aloe Vera Plant

The above picture shows an aloe Vera plant after 6 months grown from a pup taken from a large aloe Vera plant and repotted in a new pot.

With the right timing, a little care and attention, you can successfully divide and separate an overgrown aloe Vera plant and propagate aloe Vera pups, leading to a thriving collection of these beneficial plants in your home or garden.

Videos on Aloe Vera Plant

How to split an aloe Vera plant
How to repot an aloe Vera plant
How to grow aloe Vera from cutting without roots
How to use aloe Vera as natural rooting hormone
Aloe vera gel as rooting hormone YouTube Video
How to propagate aloe Vera in water youtube video
How to grow an aloe Vera Plant in water