enter image description hereenter image description hereSeeking advice if Aloes will grow from "hardwood"? It's been 3 months since it was removed from the ground. If I pot it now, would it take root again?

  • Please send a picture. Not sure what you mean by 'hardwood'. You are saying you dug this up 3 months ago? Aloe is a succulent which means it stores its own water and could continue to live out of the ground, but 3 months? Really need a picture of the roots, the size of your plant, the pot you will use and definitely the type of potting soil you will be using.
    – stormy
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 22:08
  • Picture added but I had to crop it to get it to upload - the stem (hardwood) is twice the length in the photo
    – Aaz
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 22:09
  • Well, that was fast, I now see what you mean. Hummmmm. I've got to go check on a few things. For sure you should be able to clone this plant...leaf by leaf but...be back shortly.
    – stormy
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 22:09
  • It has no roots. Some drunks decided to kung fu it out of the ground and I kept it to see if it would sprout new plants. Would love to keep it on the stem if possible.
    – Aaz
    Commented Jan 5, 2018 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


Okay, let us try this; cut that stem off an inch from the plant. You should have an inch of that 'hardwood' left. Allow it to 'dry' or scab over for a couple of days more. We are going to try to root the whole plant as well as get some baby plants going from a leaf.

I'd use a rooting hormone, I prefer the dry powder but this stuff albeit controversial in efficacy still seems to add a measure of protection/insurance. Nestle this bottom of the plant into POTTING soil. Not garden soil. I would get a shallow clay pot for this guy. 4" to 6" deep and at least 8 to 12" diameter. Moisten the top 1/2 of soil. No rocks below the soil, just soil goes in your pot. Purchase a few little pots; 4" to 6" diameter more shallow than the diameter to use for the leaf chunk clones.

Since this guy has been out of doors this whole time do we need to try to acclimate it to the indoors? I would wait on taking acclimating it to the indoors. Keep it out of doors for now. Sounds as if you live in a subtropical location? I would plant this aloe in the new pot and keep it out of doors on the patio? Deck? Is there a covered area, roofed area of this deck?

Ideally you should make a little domed saran wrap greenhouse for this plant after settled in the fresh potting soil. Use sticks to raise the saranwrap off the plant. You HAVE to not allow this aloe and it's greenhouse to ever get in the sun. The sun going through the saranwrap will cook your plant. The saranwrap greenhouse keeps the leaves from transpiring too far, too quickly. I mean after 3 months? He is doing very well considering!

If you have no way to keep your plant out of the direct sunlight, forget the saranwrap.

When you nestle your plant into the fresh potting soil, use chopsticks or thin pieces of wood to secure your aloe in place so it is not able to move until the roots have grown enough to secure themselves in the pot well enough that a breeze doesn't knock the plant over, ripping out the baby roots. Stick the chopsticks into the soil in a few places so that the secured sticks can prohibit movement, especially falling over. If you have high wind and no area on your deck for consistent shade we need to rethink this process a bit. But for now,

Moisten just the top inch of soil, not sopping wet, moist. Allow it to dry before watering again.

No fertilizer until this plant is growing well on its own. You will need to keep an eye on this guy's vitals. If there is too much top growth which there is and not enough water storage he will not be able to grow roots fast enough to become a whole plant again.

So hedging bets, I would also take one of those leaves to clone it at the same time. This will ensure you get a plant growing from this poor abused plant! I just love you...

I am sending a few links but we need more information, you know, back and forth to make sure we understand all of the variables and help you make this guy a part of your family, grins!

cloning aloe

aloe plant care

  • Thank you so much, Stormy, for all of the information! I'll try what you suggested. I took cuttings off this after it was knocked down and I have 2 beautiful little aloes with a striking structure on my back deck (thriving in a regular compost). Just a shame to lose the stem on this one. No idea what type of Aloe, but it was planted in a sticky clay soil - seems isn't fussy about where it grows! I live in Auckland, NZ. We had the wettest winter & summers are very humid which is why I guess it is still going well. I'll post an update at a later stage to let you know how it goes.
    – Aaz
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 4:13
  • So glad you've gotten a few clones already growing. Just a few little things, do not use compost in place of soil. Don't use compost for fertilizer. Anything planted in pots should have just pure, sterilized potting soil. No compost (unless out of doors and on top of older potting soil) in pots. You have to use a basic simple balanced fertilizer. Compost might add some nitrogen but you want to know exactly what you add to your pots because you want to be in control, no guessing? Clay soil is great soil if you know how to manage it. Raised plant beds and decomposed org. matter on top.
    – stormy
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 8:16
  • Please let us know any questions at all so we can best give you guidance. You live in heaven...lucky you! Oh and don't worry about that stem. It is dead and very useless to this plant. Compost added to potted out door plants helps the potting soil stay friable. This is a great topic to discuss later...
    – stormy
    Commented Jan 6, 2018 at 8:22

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