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Aloe Vera Pup Transplanting Plus Opuntia Joseph’s Coat

Aloe Vera produces babies if it's healthy & happy. Here's how to transplant those aloe vera pups plus you'll see the unusual Opuntia Joesph's Coat cactus.

an aloe vera plant grows in a red & gold painted pot the text reads Aloe Vera Pup Transplanting Plus Opuntia Joseph’s Coat

Aloe Vera, you’re such a popular plant and rightly so.  When I moved from Santa Barbara and left my larger aloe behind, I made me a bit sad. There was no room for it in my car with the other 30 plants and 2 kitties crammed in there.  This pup (taken off that larger mother plant) did manage to get wedged in on top of my 3-headed Ponytail palm and fortunately, we all made it to our new home in Tucson just fine. In the 4 months that I’ve lived here, all of my plants have grown like crazy in the heat and that aloe pup, which actually now has a pup of its own, was in need of transplanting.

A pup is an offset of another plant, or a baby.

Aloe Vera plants

Here’s the pup, along with the mother plant, on my back patio in Santa Barbara.

I knew that this pup had sprouted a pup of its own but I hadn’t looked close enough to realize that it was growing at the very edge of the pot.  The pups develop off the roots of the mother and in my experience with Aloe vera, they grow right close to the mother attached and cozy. This 1 had strayed from mamma and I’ve since discovered that this is fairly common when this succulent is grown in pots.

How I transplanted the Aloe vera pup & planted the Optunia Joseph’s Coat cutting:

Here are a few things to keep in mind when transplanting Aloe vera pups:

* Wait until the pups are at least 3″ tall & the roots have started to form.

* Gently loosen the Aloe vera pup from the mother – you want to get as much of the root as possible.  Sometimes it’ll fall off on its own like you see in the video.

*  You want to plant the pups in a loose & freely draining soil mix. I always use a succulent & cactus mix so those little roots can can easily grow.

*  Keep your pups slightly moist (but never too wet) while the roots are forming. The new roots don’t contain as much water as the established ones.

Aloe plant pup

I took this pic so you could see the root on the “mini-pup”.

The Opuntia monacantha “variegata”, aka Joseph’s Coat or Irish Mittens, is totally new to me. I love it when I discover cool plants that I had no idea are growing here on earth with me. I was visiting a local Tucson nursery and after professing my adoration for the plant, was generously given this cutting. Opuntia is the genus for Prickly Pear Cacti and there are many of them.  I’m growing mine outdoors but it’s apparently suitable to grow as a houseplant.

What makes the Joseph’s Coat Optunia so unique is the fact it’s 1 of the only cactus with white variegation.

White vegitation

That fabulous variegation. 

Aloe vera is 1 of those plants that I use almost every day, like mint.  It’s a great plant to have in the kitchen. There’s 1 thing you can be sure of: if your aloe is happy and healthy, then it’ll produce pups. This is a wonderful thing because you’ll have even more aloe, or you can give this plant with purpose to your friends and family. Spreading the love!

Happy gardening,

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  1. Tamara’s Goodman

    I had a huge aloe vera house plant and separated the pups and repotted them unfortunately all the Pops died and the mother plant now has just three leaves for me to work with with out roots on them anything I can do to salvage this poor thing

  2. It’s tough to root individual leaves of an aloe vera. I’ve tried twice with no success. Buy a new plant & start again. Nell

  3. I just received from a neighbor my first aloe plant. She separated hers that was getting to big. She gave it to me in a small heavy clay pot. I put it in a larger plastic pot is this ok? Leaves are large and drooping all over an some are even bent.
    I don’t know the knowledge she had on separating it. She ended up with 5 pots

  4. Hi Carcle – Yes, I have 2 aloes growing in plastic pots right now. A big aloe plant has heavy leaves. When you transplant one, some leaves bend because the roots can anchor those heavy leaves yet. As the roots get established, they’ll hold the leaves up. It can be a sign of too little or too much water also. Nell

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