The Q&A Archives: What Type Is My Aloe Vera And When Is Repotting Needed?

Question: My aloe has long spikes that are wider at the base than the tip. Along the edge are tiny "thorns", it is mostly green in color some spikes have small elongated white spots. I have never seen any type of flower on it. The new spikes grow from the center of the plant. I have replanted it once due to the root seeming to always wind out of the soil, now root has wound out of the soil again and almost reattached itself at the base of the large plant and the 5 offspring seem to have propagated from the exposed root. Please identify my plant and when I repot will a very large pot encourage my plant to grow larger, and should the stem/root be covered in soil?

Answer: Sounds like Aloe aristata (Lace Aloe). These plants readily produce offsets. Aloe likes to be rootbound so replanting should be done only when absolutely necessary and then only into a slightly larger pot. Don't cover the exposed roots - this is where offsets will develop and how the plant reproduces. Covering it will result in rotting tissue and an unhealthy plant.

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