Trimming aloes is important and you can do it almost effortlessly, so read this article to learn all you need to know.
JUMP TO TOPIC
- How To Trim Aloe Plants in 6 Detailed Steps?
- How To Know When Your Aloes Need Trimming?
- Frequently Asked Questions
How To Trim Aloe Plants in 6 Detailed Steps?
To trim aloe plants in six detailed steps you should know the best time to trim them and identify the leaves that need to be removed. Before starting you need to prepare your trimming tools and repeat the process until you are satisfied Finally, water the plant.
1. Know the Best Time To Trim Aloes
The best time to trim aloe vera succulents is during their active growing season so that they can quickly heal and grow new leaves. The active growing season of aloes occurs during the months of spring and summer. Trimming your aloes in other months is not so recommended.
If you trim the plants too early or too late in the year, they may not recover quickly and their pruned parts will be exposed to microbes for a long time. Remember that as slow-growing plants, aloes need a lot of time to heal and produce new leaves. This means that you must prune the plants at least a month before their dormancy period.
2. Identify the Leaves That Need Pruning
The leaves that need trimming are brown, dry, or damaged. Of course, you already know that the dead aloe vera leaves must go as well. Before you start trimming, identify all the leaves that must go. If possible, make a mark on the leaves so that you don’t have to remember which one has to go when it’s time to prune them.
Aside from leaves, you will probably prune other aloes of the plants such as stems, overgrown roots, and even the suckers of your aloes. If your goal is to make your aloes look clean and presentable, you’d have to prune every overcrowded part of the pot.
3. Prepare Your Trimming Tools
It is almost time to start trimming. Before you forget, you can only trim with your tools, so get the tools ready. To trim aloes, you need a clean (disinfected) and sharp pair of scissors. You can also use pruning shears.
To keep your tools disinfected, spray them with either rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. If you have the time, consider dipping the tools in a solution made of nine-part water and one-part bleach for a few minutes. You can also dip them in boiling water.
You must disinfect the tools before you trim your aloes with them. Also, remember to disinfect them after trimming your aloes so that the plants that you’d prune in the future can be safe.
4. Start Trimming the Leaves
It is time to start trimming the aloes. Start with the dead leaves near the base of the plant and work your way up. When trimming the leaves, cut them from their base and leave no part of each leaf untrimmed. After removing the dead aloe leaves, focus on the weak and discolored leaves.
When you are done with the leaves, look for overcrowded aloes and prune off their suckers. Also, look for weak or sick aloes in the pot and remove them so that the other aloes can stay clean and healthy.
5. Repeat the Process
Trimming aloes is good, but you’ll likely not get it perfectly the first time. When you are done trimming the plants, take a few steps backward and look at your trimmed plants. Identify parts of each plant that still need trimming and then trim them off.
Aloe plants grow healthy leaves only when they are surrounded by healthy plants, so remember to crosscheck the pot for sick plants. If you find any sick aloes, remove them quickly.
6. Water and Care For Your Aloes
An essential plant care tip is that after pruning your plants, water them. Watering them will help them heal quickly. However, remember that you are dealing with succulents, so do not forget to give them just the right amount of water and not too much.
Trimmed plants need a lot of nutrients, especially nitrogen, to grow new leaves and bounce back. If the substrate is not nutrient-rich, consider adding extra nutrients so that the plants can have uninterrupted growth.
Finally, keep the aloes in a cool spot for a few hours. Keep them where the sun is not too hot so that their exposed parts don’t get burnt. You can move them to their permanent spot the next morning after trimming them.
How To Know When Your Aloes Need Trimming?
To know when your aloes need trimming you should check for discolored or damaged leaves, plant out if it is overcrowded and check whether it is leggy. You can also know it’s too big by the presence of a lot of pests.
– Check for Discolored or Damaged Leaves
The presence of discolored or damaged leaves is enough reason to trim your aloes. However, don’t just start trimming the plants without investigating the cause of these discolored leaves.
Why are the leaves yellow or brown? Is the plant dying? Pruning these leaves will only hide and not fix the problem, so know why they are discolored so that you can fix them. When you know why the leaves are discolored, fix the plants and then trim the leaves.
– If Plant is Overcrowded Plant Out
People don’t need to propagate aloe vera plants because the plants can do so by themselves. You only need to grow aloes for a few years and your pots will be filled with new aloes. However, this benefit of growing aloes has a downside, as it can cause overcrowding of your aloes.
If an aloe has a lot of suckers or pops attached to its base, trim some (or all) of them off the plant. If the leaves of one aloe are blocking those of another aloe from receiving sunlight, trim the leaves or transfer the smaller aloe to a new spot.
– Trim Leggy Aloes
Your succulent stems and leaves grow leggy either because of a lack of light or a problem with their potting mix. While you cannot fix this problem by just trimming the leaves, trimming the leaves is a part of fixing the problem. After identifying and fixing the problem, trim the leggy leaves so that fresh and firm ones will grow.
If only one or two aloes are leggy in a pot full of aloes, they could be diseased. After identifying the cause, remove them from the pot.
– Check for Presence of Pests
When aloe vera grows too large, it becomes a microhabitat for pests. When you see a lot of insects, spiders, and other pests on your aloes, know that it is time to trim the plants. Trim the large leaves and make use of the aloe vera gel.
Trim the large leaves and collect their gel before pests such as spider mites collect the gels. Remember that many aloe pests are sap-suckers. This means that they feed on the juices of your aloes. Why not collect the leaves and use the gels instead of leaving the plants exposed to pests?
Frequently Asked Questions
– How Often Should You Prune Your Aloes?
You should prune your aloes as often as necessary. Whenever you see any sign that your aloes need pruning, prune them. However, if you do not have time to regularly check the plants, prune them once every year or two. Just ensure that your aloes are clean and healthy.
– What Mistakes Should You Avoid When Trimming Your Aloes?
When trimming your aloes, some mistakes you should avoid are using dirty tools, over-trimming the aloes, and using the trimmed aloe leaves as mulch. Dirty tools can expose your aloes to diseases, over-trimming aloes can kill them, and using trimmed leaves as mulch can expose the aloes to harmful microbes.
– How Do You Treat Over-pruned Aloes?
You can treat over-pruned aloes by leaving them in a cool spot for a long time. Continue watching over them and ensure that they grow in the ideal condition with enough access to light. In less than a month, you’d know if they heal when you see new leaves forming.
It’s easy to learn how to cut aloe vera plants without killing them. Just remove only the leaves that need trimming and the overcrowded plants. Do not cut too many fresh leaves off a plant at once.
Growing these succulents will be easier for you now that you know how to prune them properly. Some points worth remembering from this article are:
- Remove every dead or damaged leaf from your aloes when trimming them.
- Use disinfected or sterilized tools for your aloes. Do not expose the aloes to microbes.
- You can prune aloes as much as needed. However, only prune them when necessary.
- After trimming your aloes, water them and keep them in optimal conditions so that they can heal quickly.
- An overgrown aloe vera plant can destroy its pot, so prune it regularly so that it can stay beautiful. You should also consider transplanting it into a larger pot!
Now, you know how to trim an overgrown aloe plant, right? Go trim your aloes right away.