7 Easy Steps for Pruning Aloe Vera Plants

5 Min Read

Aloe vera is a popular indoor plant known for its soothing gel that can be used to treat sunburns and other skin irritations. More than 300 different varieties of this tropical succulent are known to exist. It develops from a basal rosette to produce meaty, lance-shaped leaves with jagged edges.

Is it time to prune your aloe vera plants? Because aloe vera is a rather forgiving plant, don’t immediately chop it off without careful consideration. Some fundamental guidelines for properly pruning your aloe vera plant are provided in this article.

Steps for Pruning Aloe Vera Plants

Step 1:Thoroughly Examine the Plant

Start with the easiest work possible. Examine the plant. You may be wondering how pruning is aided by observing a plant. Therefore, when I refer to “looking at the plant,” I mean observing its overall shape and composition. When your aloe develops in low light, is one side of the plant longer than the other? What is the reason for the lanky appearance of the aloe pups?

Do the lowest leaves droop or curl downward? Do the leaves appear to be wilting or browning? And what about any leaves that is broken or damaged? To prevent removing the wrong leaves, have an overall assessment completed before pruning. One shouldn’t exacerbate a learning challenge that already exists.

Remember to pay attention to your plant when pruning. Once one or two leaves have been removed, examine the plant as a whole. Does it now have more balance? Must you also remove a leaf from the left side due to the right side’s decreased weight? You will need to think about these options and make a decision.

Step 2: Select the Proper Tools

Many different tools enable plant trimming. Hand saws, loppers, anvil pruners, ratchet pruners, straight-edge pruners, and bypass pruners are a few examples. In the world of plants, each of these tools has advantages and disadvantages. The thick, waxy layer on aloe vera leaves helps to prevent excessive water loss. With a little knife, carefully cut away any leaves to remove from the plant without breaking or damaging the stem or other leaves.

Two more items you should have on hand are ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. These two alcohols are excellent for sanitizing equipment, both before and after use. In addition, I’ve dipped old, intact socks in alcohol to clean them. After pruning, the knife blade can be cleaned with the texture of the sock if any sap is left behind.

Step 3: Remove Dead Leaves

Dead leaves are only a natural part of life; they don’t always mean that your plant is dying. The withering of older leaves makes room for new ones to appear. Succulents, on the other hand, frequently cling on rather than shed their dead leaves, in contrast to other houseplants.

Should the tips of your leaves become brown, it may indicate that the plant is being kept in an environment that is too bright. If you remove the tip, you will be left with a brown cutting point on a leaf that ends flat, rather than a brown tip.

To lessen the number of dead leaves on your aloe, make sure you water it as needed. Under watering may be the cause of plant and leaf death. Ensure that the drainage holes are reached by the water in the container each time you water the plant.

Step 4: Remove Older Leaves

When new leaves emerge at the base of your aloe vera plant, the older leaves may become a lighter shade of green or yellow. Because your aloe is seeking new growth, nutrients don’t move via the older tissues—instead, they go straight to the younger leaves.

Pale lower leaf margins often indicate low levels of nitrogen and malnourishment in your plant. However, since aloe plants may thrive in low-nutrient soil, it is highly unlikely that fertilization is required. Moreover, older leaves that have become yellow could indicate overwatering of the plant.

For whatever reason, you might not be fond of yellowing foliage. There’s no danger in removing the leaves from your aloe plant. Removing too many yellow leaves from your succulent would be counterproductive because the leaves retain water. Though they are yellow, you can still see them photosynthesizing and feeding your plant.

Some yellow, older leaves will come off by themselves with a little tug towards the stem. If the leaf does not come off easily, cut it carefully at the base with a sharp knife. Approach the stem as closely as possible. You can save the gel for your own use, throw it away, or plant new aloe vera seeds with it.

Step 5: Remove Old Flower Stems

If you were successful in allowing your aloe vera to blossom in your home, then congratulations. That’s a challenging feat. However, after the flowers fade and die, your plant will only have a straw-coloured stalk that is beginning to turn brown. Eventually, the stem will get sufficiently dry to be chopped off.

Because of the dense structure of the stalk, cut off the flower stem with kitchen shears or sanitized pruners. Because this tissue is dead, breaking it with the pruners won’t affect the other parts of the aloe plant. Locate the base of the flower stalk inside the aloe plant, and then quickly cut it off from the plant. The stem will appear more like yours if you employ a sawing motion and nibble on it than if you prune it.

Step 6: Separate New Pups

Mature plants frequently start producing small aloe vera plants from the base, known as pups. While these puppies are relatively light in comparison to the mother plant, their unequal weight distribution can topple the entire plant when they proliferate.

Using a clean, sharp knife carefully cut the pup away from the mother plant, which is the second method of removing it. Slice the pup carefully away from the mother plant at its base, being careful to only cut the pup’s stem rather than any of the leaves. Allow the puppy to callous over for two to three days if there are no visible roots.

The process of a succulent or cactus drying out at the cut end of a leaf or stem is called callusing. The remaining tissue is sealed off by this callus, preventing infection or insect pest infestation. After the callus has developed, place your puppy in a little pot filled with a succulent soilless mix that drains well. After two to three weeks, a new root system ought to start growing.

Step 7: Prune the Roots

Typically, these well-liked succulents don’t require root pruning. Their popularity can be attributed, in part, to this! But cutting back on the roots will often encourage the plant to develop a fresh support system if you fear root rot or other forms of root death.

Once the pruners have been cleaned with isopropyl alcohol or ethanol, start cutting back the roots. Most of the damaged root system will typically be removed by 25% after root trimming. Carefully cut away any tissue beneath any roots that reveal nodes.

Since the top is unsupported due to the rotten roots, this is also a sign of root rot. The aloe plant may potentially experience excessive stress if root pruning is done without top pruning. The fewer roots simply cannot keep up with the leaves’ continued requirement for water and nutrients.

Plant diseases and insect pests may readily detect stress signals. Reducing or thinning down the leaves will help maintain the roots’ ability to withstand stresses and maintain equilibrium between the supply and demand of nutrients and water after root trimming.


Aloe vera requires very little, if any, pruning when growing under ideal circumstances. Still, our succulent friend does not think that living in a house is the same as living in a desert. One of the benefits of aloe vera is that it rarely needs to be pruned, and you probably already have the equipment you need.

Measure twice and cut once is wise advice to follow if and when you decide to tidy up your aloe. Make sure to examine the plant from a variety of perspectives to decide which leaves should remain and which should be removed. Furthermore, hygiene is essential.

You can keep your Aloe vera plant happy and healthy for many years to come by regularly cleaning and sanitizing your tools. This will also help prevent insects and illness from spreading among your houseplants.

Leave a Comment

Discover more from Econut Plants

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading