With their plump, succulent leaves and ease of care, aloe plants are popular and attractive houseplants. When your aloe plant becomes root bound or outgrows its current pot, it’s time to give it a new home. Repotting your aloe in fresh soil is an important part of keeping it healthy. Here’s a step-by-step guide to successfully repotting an aloe plant.
When to Repot an Aloe
Repot aloe plants when:
- The roots have filled up the pot and become crowded.
- To refresh the soil and provide new nutrients.
- If the plant is top heavy and tipping over.
- To switch to a better draining pot or soil mix.
- Every 2-3 years as a general rule of thumb.
Avoid repotting a stressed or newly purchased plant. Wait a few months until it recovers and resumes growth.
Choosing the Right Pot and Soil
Pick a pot just one or two inches larger in diameter than the current container to prevent overpotting. Make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom.
For soil, use a cactus and succulent mix amended with perlite or pumice to improve drainage. Regular potting soil often stays too damp for aloe roots.
How to Repot an Aloe Plant Step-By-Step
- Fill the new pot one-third full with fresh potting soil. Use a cactus mix amended with perlite or gravel for drainage.
- Remove the aloe plant from its old pot. If roots are dense, you may need to gently loosen or trim them to slide the root ball out.
- Gently loosen the root ball and outer roots to encourage them to grow into the new soil. Try not to damage the roots.
- Place the aloe into the prepared new pot. The original soil line should be level with the pot rim. Refill soil around edges.
- Water thoroughly until liquid drains from the bottom drainage holes. Allow excess water to completely drain away.
- Place in bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sun while the aloe plant reestablishes for a few weeks.
Wait 2-3 weeks to fertilize, allowing roots to heal first. Then use a balanced houseplant fertilizer monthly during growing season.
Tips for Repotting Aloe
- Choose the right time. The best time to repot your aloe plant is during the spring or early summer when it is actively growing.
- Disinfect pots and tools with a diluted bleach solution before repotting to prevent disease spread.
- Wear gloves when handling aloes, as the leaves can irritate skin.
- Choose a pot with drainage holes and use fast-draining soil to prevent wet roots.
- Water sparingly after repotting until the plant reestablishes to avoid shocking roots.
- Remove any shriveled lower leaves or “pups” before repotting to tidy up the plant. Trim off dead or rotting roots using clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears.
What to Expect After Repotting Aloe
It’s normal for the aloe plant to show some signs of transplant stress after repotting:
- Temporary wilting or drooping leaves
- Loss of lower leaves
- Slowed growth for a few weeks
- Light yellowing of oldest leaves
As long as roots reestablish in the new container, the plant will recover quickly. Don’t fertilize or overwater during the recovery period.
When to Repot Again
Aloe plants typically only need repotting every 2-3 years. But monitor for signs if it’s time again:
- Roots growing out the drainage holes
- Plant is tippy or unstable in the pot
- Poor soil drainage or salt accumulation
- Lack of new growth
Repotting into fresh soil helps maintain a healthy, thriving aloe plant. Just be gentle when handling the roots and allow time to adjust after reporting. With good care, your aloe will continue growing beautifully for years to come!