Aloe vera, also called medicinal aloe, is a tender-leafed succulent that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 and higher. When your aloe plant lives in the ground all year, it will eventually spread and grow into a tangled mess of spiked leaves. If the aloe plant is taking over your yard, you might want to dig it up before it spreads any further. Once you've done this, you can divide the main aloe and plant its offsets in separate containers, if desired.
1 Put on a pair of heavy-duty gardening gloves to protect your hands while digging up the aloe. Thick pants and a long-sleeved shirt will also shield you from cuts and scratches.
2 Dig into the ground about 6 inches away from the base of the aloe plant, using a shovel. As you dig, work your way around the plant in a circle, to loosen the plant and make it easier to remove. If you plan to split or transplant this aloe, take care not to damage the plant's roots.
3 Work the shovel underneath the aloe plant and lift it up and out of the ground. Lay the aloe on its side.
4 Separate large adult aloe plants by hand. Ensure that each division has its own root system or it won't regrow. If the plant clumps are tangled together and you can't pull them apart, use a clean knife to separate them.
5 Leave the roots to air out for one or two days before replanting. This lets the cut roots heal.
Items you will need
- Thick gardening gloves
- Potting soil
- If you want to replant your divided aloe plants, fill a well-draining container halfway with potting soil and lower the aloe plant into the container. The top of the root ball should be a few inches below the container's rim. Fill the rest of the container with soil and tamp it down.
- Water your aloe plants a day or two after replanting them so that the soil is evenly moist, but not soggy. Put the newly divided plants in a partially shaded spot, such as a porch, for two to three weeks to allow them to recover.
- Aloe vera plants have sharp spines on their leaves. Use caution when handling the plants to avoid injury.
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