How to Cut the Aloe Vera Plant without Killing it?

Aloe vera plants are low-maintenance, equatorial succulents with a modest growth rate.

The plant’s emerald, fleshy foliage, which resemble jagged knives and flourish in a stunning rosette arrangement of circular arcs, are loaded with multi-function leaf extract. 

No wonder you will want to make sure you are chopping it appropriately and not damaging the plant in any way, as it could potentially cause death! 

The most fundamental point to remember is Never to use a dull knife or clippers. Before cutting your aloe leaves, make sure your trimmers are disinfected. Also, don’t cut your aloe too frequently. The more often you chop an aloe plant, the more likely it will die.

Mature Aloe Plant
Mature Aloe

These naturalistic, beautiful treasures are lovely additions to your facility’s architecture.

You will undoubtedly need to have more than one aloe vera plant if you cultivate aloe vera for daily usages.

Now let’s dive straight into how to cut your aloe vera plant without killing it!

Reasons to Cut Aloe Vera Plant

Harvesting the pulp from aloe stalks for a beverage or using the gel for regular skin treatment requires cutting.

Cutting an aloe vera plant, whether for harvesting or a regular seasonal prune, is an essential part of preserving the plant’s health and bringing the benefits into our daily life. 

1. Trimming an Overgrown Plant

On a large aloe plant, anything besides healthy green leaves is soaking up the aloe’s resources that would otherwise go into producing new healthy green leaves full of aloe vera juices.

A Healthy Aloe Vera Plant
A Healthy Aloe Vera Plant (Source: Unsplash)

Those who aren’t green and healthy-looking should therefore be snipped with a pair of scissors to accelerate new growths.

2. Dead or Dying Leaves

Aloe vera leaves that have been injured or dried soak up nutrients from the plant that could be better employed elsewhere.

By eradicating them, nutrients may travel to the most desired place: the remaining young leaves.

You would not want your plant to waste resources trying to keep non-viable leaves alive.

Moreover, the cutting will allow light and air to penetrate the body, resulting in even foliage growth.

3. Maintain Desired Shape

Aloe vera plants frequently develop to heights that surpass the space available over time.

When space is small, it is vital to prune plants regularly to keep them in check.

Furthermore, cutting regularly is required to maintain a consistent growth rate. 

People often sustain plant growth to the size and shape most suited to their unique tastes or the nature of the surrounding by cutting the plant.

4. Maintaining Plant Health

Pruning an aloe plant for health purposes mainly entails removing all dead, dying, or infected parts.

Any dead leaves or stump can serve as the initial point or a build-up receptacle for insects or disease, which can travel to other plant sections and cause severe damage.

Infected Aloe Leaf
Infected Aloe Leaf

To know more about Caring for Baby aloe, read Best Guide for Baby aloe vera plant care

Ideal Time to Cut Aloe Vera Plant

While aloe vera plants are incredibly quickly growing succulents, they are slower-growing than other plants.

The leaf is ripe and ready to pluck when the edges of the leaves turn rosy

Hence, if you are looking forward to cutting a leaf for consumption, choose aloe leaves from mature plants, especially ones that have been planted in the field.

How Often to Cut Aloe Vera Plant?

The secret to cutting an aloe vera plant without killing the plant is only to clip it when it is absolutely necessary.

You can’t cut these plants very often because every snip removes a lot of the vitamins that the plant requires to remain healthy and alive.

Because the plant grows slowly, be careful not to take too many leaves in a short period when harvesting aloe veras.

Did you know that the leaflets of aloe plants contain 95% water? Because they are succulents, they need a lot of water to keep their foliage alive.

Things to Keep in Mind while Cutting Aloe Vera Plant

Cutting appears to be a simple operation upon the first glimpse: you pick your scissors or trimmers and go to work, yeah?

Not so quick, my friend. Cutting can help support the health and attractiveness of your aloe plant if done correctly, but if performed improperly, it can cause permanent damage.

1. Never Use a Blunt Blade

Examine your cutting instruments for signs of wear and tear before using them.

Knives should be straight and crisp.

Sharp instruments provide less resistance and reduce aloe vera plant harm.

2. Identify the Matured Leaves

Here is a quick quiz for you.

Is it permissible to cut the center leaves of aloes at any given instance? Once more, the obvious response is NO.

Fresh new growth, especially in the core, is often the greatest measure of the overall health of your aloes and other similar-looking succulents.

What you would not like to see is decay, mold, or pathogen expanding in the central core of your plant. Because if it does, your plant has zero chances of survival.

So, instead of plucking the smaller lower leaves, concentrate on the more prominent and higher foliage.

You can slowly pull the outer leaves away from the central stem without affecting the center.

Cutting or splitting off these middle pieces is a recipe for disaster. Adhere with your aging, lower leaves. This will also stimulate new growth from the center, resulting in more outer leaves!

Drying Aloe Leaf Tip
Ageing/Drying Aloe Leaf Tip

I also advise against cutting more than a few sections at a time. Invariably leave 7-8 leaves on the plant so that there is enough energy to photosynthesize.

3. Over-Pruning any time of year

Over-pruning should strictly be avoided during the growth period.

But in fact, over-pruning at any time of year can strain the aloe vera plant, making it more vulnerable to disorder. 

It is necessary to keep in mind that every cut is an injury to the plant.

Extracting leaves depletes stored reserves, has an impact on future development and reduces the photosynthesis rate.

Too often, pruning allows microorganisms to enter the plant body, causing it to rot from the inside.

Numerous irregular pruning cuts can cause the aloe to die.

How to Cut Aloe Vera without Killing It?

It is simple to grasp how to cut an aloe vera plant to benefit from its healing powers. 

You only need a sharp paring blade or scissors. And, of course, an aloe vera plant with plenty of leaves to cut.

To maintain your plant’s appearance and health, eliminate a whole leaf when cutting an aloe plant. Basically, cut the leaf as near the main stem as doable.

It is always preferable to extract leaves from the plant’s base under all circumstances. These are the more mature leaves, and they will be thicker. And not to forget, full of nutrient-rich fluid!

Cut foliage has scars, therefore snipping a leaf tip will result in a brown-tipped leaf.

Raise the leaf over a shallow container after cutting it to let the yellowish fluid drop out. This is the portion of the plant that you should avoid using.

Cutting Aloe for Propagation

The quickest way to propagate is to remove and divide the offsets or pups (babies) that develop off the mother plant’s base.

Pause until the babies are a reasonable size before extracting them because your plant will much better establish the roots in this manner.

However, if that is not the case, then this plant can be propagated through leaves and stem cuttings as well.

The success rate is low, but you can give it a shot.

The process starts with sectioning the plant. After cutting an aloe leaf, the growth of the new one starts either from the roots or stems of their mother.

From my personal experience, I found that the leaves and stem are completely covered in gel, and I personally have never been able to propagate one with this method before.

A Women Inspecting Her Aloe Vera Leaves
A Women Inspecting Her Aloe Vera Leaves (Source: Pexels)

Wondering about the best time to cut and propagate your aloe? Spring or Summer is your answer!!

Tips to Take Care of Aloe Vera Plant After Cutting

Below you will find some tips to help you take care of your aloe after cutting.

  • Keep in the sun for at least 6 hours every day.
  • Relocate it closer to the window, change positions, or utilize a grow light in the winter to solve the problem.
  • These species grow in temperatures around 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, similar to those found in most houses.
  • Avoid Overwatering; as for most succulents, let the top of the soil (2 inches) dry completely before watering your aloe.
  • To minimize root rot and withering, aloe plants require well-draining soil. Perlite, sand, or lava rock can be used to make the potting mix porous.
  • A half-strength mixed houseplant fertilizer or fish emulsion could be used once in the summer or springtime.
Soil (Source: russelnursery)

Avoide nourishing the aloe during the colder and darker months. The plant is taking a break!

How to Use Fresh Aloe Gel?

Once Aloe gel is extracted it can be of multi-purposes.

  • Use natural aloe gel topically to the skin or make DIY skincare products following a recipe.
  • Use as a hair gel.
  • Prepare healthy and nutritious food, smoothies, and drinks by adding in a dazzle of aloe juice. 
  • Use for instant relief for skin irritations and burns.
  • Aloe vera gel includes salicylic acid, which can aid with acne flare-ups.
  • Aloe vera gel may also aid with mild or moderate cases of psoriasis and may speed up the healing of cold sores.
  • Each leaf holds a gel containing antioxidants, vitamins A, C, E, and B12, folic acid, and minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and zinc.
Getting Gel out of Aloe
Getting Gel out of Aloe

There are many benefits and side effects of Aloe Vera; if you want to know more about how this plant can be used at home, click here!

Will Aloe Vera Grow back After Cutting?

Yes, your aloe vera plant will develop new leaves after you cut them.

However, it might take anywhere between two weeks to a month for you to see new growth.


That’s all there to safely cut your beloved aloe vera leaf and not kill them in due process.

And once you have sliced the aloe leaves from the plant, you can use them and yield the benefits. Why would anyone toss away a leaf full of multi-nutrients, right?

A Healthy Aloe Vera Plant
A Healthy Aloe Vera Plant (Source: Pixabay)

Although aloe is typically well tolerated by all people, if you have a medical condition, use medications, or use herbs, see your doctor before using it because it may interact with other medications and chemicals.

As a result, make sure you complete your own research before putting it to use.

Go ahead and cut that aloe plant you have been dying to get your hands on!

If you really want to learn about Propagating try How to Cut and Replant Aloe Vera Plants?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like