Most people know the Aloe vera as a plant with leaves that contain a medicinal gel which can help heal burns. There are actually over 250 varieties of aloe, most of which are native to Africa. Aloe can range in size from as small as an inch to over two feet in diameter. It is a subtropical plant that cannot withstand freezing temperatures. In the U.S. aloe is typically grown as a houseplant, with pieces snipped off to extract the healing gel inside. Aloe is grown quite easily and can be started from a piece of an existing plant.
Although you can grow Aloe vera from seeds, it is a slow growing plant, so most people prefer to plant offshoots of a mature plant. Begin by preparing the pot. Fill the bottom of your pot or planter with 1 to 2 inches of gravel to assure proper drainage. Add potting soil or cactus mix to the pot to within one inch of the top of the pot. Make a hole for the aloe plant to sit in.
Carefully remove a baby offshoot from the base of the mature Aloe vera plant. Be careful to include the roots as well. The roots do not run deep but are widely spread, so gently dig them out.
Place the baby plant into the hole you prepared in the soil of the pot. Gently cover the roots with soil and pat down very lightly. Water the new plant thoroughly.
Although a mature aloe plant should not be watered until the soil is dry, a baby aloe should be watered more frequently until the roots take hold and it begins to grow. Do not over water, but keep it moist.