How To Cut Aloe Vera Plant Without Killing It?
Trimming, harvesting and storing the aloe gel
Aloe Vera is one of the easiest plants to grow in your home or garden. Aloe Vera gel can come in handy in case of minor wounds, burns, cuts, scrapes, etc.
Also, if you are one of those who needs the Aloe leaves regularly for making juice or smoothie or for topical use, then it becomes all the more important for you to know the correct way to cut the leaves from time to time.
So, today, we will walk you through the steps of how to cut aloe vera plant without killing it.
In This Article:
- Is Trimming Important for Aloe Vera?
- How To Prune Aloe Plant Correctly?
- Can You Store Healthy Aloe Vera Leaves?
- Extracting The Aloe Gel and Storing It
- When To Cut the Aloe Plant?
- How Often to Cut?
- Does Aloe Vera Grow Back After Cutting?
- To Sum Up
Firstly…Should I Prune My Aloe Plant – Is It Important?
Yes, pruning your Aloe Vera is important as it helps in a better and healthier growth rate. Cutting away the old and dying leaves will help in growing fresh leaves better.
If the plant has a lot of dying leaves, then most of its energy is spent on maintaining them. When you prune them the plant’s energy is diverted to the young growing leaves.
How To Trim An Aloe Plant? (Pruning and Harvesting)
Aloe Veras are generally slow growers. But when compared to other succulents, they grow fast. So, if you want to harvest the leaves, you have to have patience in letting the plant grow.
Another fact that you must bear in mind is you should prune Aloe Vera only when necessary. The leaves of Aloes store water and nutrients required by the plant, so you need to be very careful while pruning them.
Snipping away the leaves frequently unnecessarily means you are snatching away the plant’s nutrients.
Here is how to cut your Aloe Vera plant correctly.
A. Always use a sharp knife
Avoid hand-picking Aloe Vera leaves. Always use a sharp knife to cut the leaves. You need to make a clean cut so don’t go for serrated scissors or else you can end up damaging the stem and leaves severely. Apply some rubbing alcohol to the knife as it will reduce the risk of fungal infections and diseases.
B. Choose the leaves and cut them at the base
It can be difficult to choose the leaves to prune if your plant is overcrowded and hasn’t been pruned in a long time.
Start by observing the leaves for any signs of damage, such as brown, yellow, or droopy leaves. These are the once you should trim first.
Once you have identified the dead leaves to be pruned, place the clean disinfected knife at the bottom of the leaves and make the cut slightly diagonally.
Secondly, look for the leaves on the outer ring. Then move on to trimming these extra aloe leaves on the outside that may have started growing sideways.
Lastly, remove any pups or extra growth from the pot.
For harvesting the healthy leaves, the cutting procedure remains the same. Just make sure to choose a healthy leaf preferably from the outer side and cut it close to the base in one go.
Can You Store the Healthy Aloe Vera Leaves that You Have Cut?
If you know how to prune Aloe plant and utilize the cut leaves, it is a goldmine for you. And yes, you can store the healthy leaves that you cut while pruning your plant.
Aloe Vera leaves can be stored in an airtight container for up to 7 days. Another way of storing Aloe leaves is to wrap the cut leaves in a foil and tie it with an elastic band. Place the leaf in a plastic bag and then again wrap it tightly and tie it with another elastic band before placing it in the refrigerator.
Extracting The Wonderous Aloe Gel and Storing It
Aloe Vera gel is easy to make. Go through these directions to know how to extract and store the gel.
- Cut the outer leaves from the base of the plant.
- Wash it well and remove any dirt.
- Stand it upright in a bowl of water for 15 minutes.
- Let the yellow-colored sap drain out as it can irritate your skin or cause stomach pain.
- Once the sap is drained out completely, wash the leaves.
- Peel off the skin using a knife and you will see Aloe Vera gel.
- Scoop out the gel using a small spoon.
- Blend the gel for a few seconds.
Note: If you plan to use the gel for more than 1 week, you need to add preservatives. Vitamin C and E are great for increasing the shelf life of the gel.
Take 1/4 cup of Aloe Vera gel and add 500 mg of powdered vitamin C or 400 units of vitamin E or both.
Normally, Aloe Vera gel can be stored in an airtight container in a refrigerator for up to 1 week. However, mixing preservatives will let you store it for up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
You can even freeze the gel in an ice cube tray and store it for up to 6 months or 1 year.
When To Cut The Aloe Plant?
The best time to prune Aloe Vera plant varieties is the beginning of springtime.
How Often To Cut Aloe Vera?
Pruning your aloe plant every 4-5 months is enough unless you’re trying to cut the leaves to harvest the gel.
In case of pests and diseases, it is extremely important to prune the plant immediately. If your plant has yellow or brown leaves, pruning the entire plant to its original size is necessary.
If you don’t know how to trim an aloe plant, you must understand that you should cut aloe leaves as close to the base as possible.
Does Aloe Vera Grow Back After Cutting?
Keep in mind that the cut leaves will not regenerate from that same spot. However, the plant will grow new leaves as long as your aloe care game is spot on.
Q. Can a broken aloe leaf heal?
Ans. Yes, it can. Let the broken leaf dry for a few days and bury it a few centimeters in the potting soil mix for aloe. Water it every day. After a few days, you will notice roots developing and propagating into a new plant.
Q. Why is my aloe leaf turning brown?
Ans. Aloe Veras are drought-resistant plants. So, they need dry soil between waterings to thrive well. One of the main causes of brown aloe leaves is overwatering or poor drainage.
Q. Should you remove aloe pups?
Ans. Yes, Aloe pups should be removed from the parent plant. Aloe is a clumping plant. The babies that you see at the base of the plant grow and start to spread as they mature. Although it is not mandatory to remove the pups, but if they are growing a pot, they will eventually crowd each other out.
To Sum Up
Follow the instructions given in our guide on how to cut Aloe Vera plant without killing it to cut your plant safely and appropriately. Our tips on cutting, caring and propagating your plant will help you ensure the healthy growth of your Aloe.