How to Separate Aloe Vera Pups

Aren’t pups just the cutest!… No, not the dog kind, although they’re pretty cute too.

Aloe Vera pups are so stinken’ cute. The main aloe vera plant (or parent plant) is gorgeous, thick, healthy and harbors so many nutritional and cosmetic benefits, while the pups are gangly little dudes that crowd around the base of the parent plant with no real direction. They’re a little in the way, but hold a lot of potential.

That potential is hard for them to reach when they’re stuck like glue to their parent plant, so, once they get a little too big to share a pot, it’s time to separate them out and move them to their own little homes. The process is pretty simple and doesn’t take long to complete. Let’s work through it together.


  1. Remove your Aloe Vera entirely from the pot it’s in, dirt and all.
    • Place this on a surface like a plastic lid or metal table top, that way you can easily clean up and reuse your dirt as well as easily locate all the parts of the plant you are working with.
  2. Locate your pups
    • The individual pups should be easy to locate unless you have a whole lot of them. Take an outer, smaller leaf and follow it to the root, the root should be near the base of the parent plant.
  3. Begin to separate your pup
    • Each pup’s roots are thoroughly entangled in the parent plants roots, so it’s not going to be as simple as pulling the pup off the parent plant by hand.
    • Take a sharp, hand-held gardening shovel and gently begin sliding it between the main plant and pup. This will separate the roots without causing irreparable (plant killing) damage.
  4. Take your newly separated pup and transfer it to a small/medium pot
    • For this you can fill that new pot with some dirt from the parent plant’s pot, or add new dirt.
    • Fill the base of the pot with dirt to ensure they roots have insulation. Make sure to completely burry the roots of the pup on top as well.
    • I recommend adding a good sized layer of mulch or other filler around the base of the plant after you’ve buried it to insulate the plant from the top. This will help the dirt retain some moisture while out in the sun.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for every pup
  6. Put your parent plant back in it’s pot
    • Now that you have separated out all of your pups, you’ll need to add some dirt to your parent plant’s pot to make up for empty space.
    • Fill the pot about 1/4 with dirt and set your parent plant on top.
    • Fill in the rest of the pot with dirt until the roots are, once again, completely buried.
    • Add filler to cover dirt again like you did to insulate the pups.

Doing this with my aloe vera plant has given both the parent and the pups so much more room to grow. While my pups were still in with the parent plant they had gotten big enough that they began to tip the parent plant over from one side causing some of the leafs to cover up the center of the plant where new growth forms. They were inhibiting each others growth so it was time to separate.

However, I have come to realize that the pups become fairly sensitive once you remove them from the parent plant. They need more water than they used to, they need less sunlight, and they need a little help standing upright. It is better for the over all health of your parent plant to remove the pups when they get too big, but be ready to give some extra love and care to those pups once they’re in their own pots.

If you have separated your aloe vera pups- how did it go? Did you follow these instructions? If so, I’d love to see what you did! You can use the contact information on the website to send in some pictures of your pups and I’ll post some to the Garden To Gorgeous Instagram page!


Moving On to the Next Adventure

I don’t think I’ve ever been through a season with more shifts, changes, unmet expectations, and brand new adventures. And I’m sure at this point, especially if you’re in the U.S.A. like me, you have experienced all of this too.

I’m sitting down to write this post from the couch at my Grandpa’s house, watching the news with him because Kamala Harris has just been announced to be Biden’s running mate for the 2020 presidential race. When I graduated college, my expectation was that I’d be off living somewhere on my own within a short drive of a decent, if not great, job. I expected that my days of couch surfing and staying with relatives was over, that I’d be what I considered a full grown adult.

But now, as of tonight, I’m looking at the calendar and only 5 days from now I’ll be moving yet again. I’ll be moving in with my little sister and her best friend, both in their early college years, in Richmond. This move is going to mean that I’ll be in a position I’d consider more adult; I’ll be paying for my living and organizing my bills for the first time. However, I’ll still be with relatives, and I’ll still be living in a very college-type situation.

When anxiety about this next transition sets in, it’s so easy to start thinking that this is just a continuation of an unstable, unmet expectation. But, every minute, I am choosing to focus on the blessing of how big of an adventure this move has a chance to be.

I love my sister, and I love her best friend like a sister. I have lived in Richmond before and have a community there of loved ones, best friends, and old coworkers who I value deeply. I know the streets, the churches, the businesses, the music, and the people. And right now Richmond is a city in need of healing that I am so excited to find out how to be a part of. How could any of this not point in the direction of this being the most beautiful adventure yet.

Aside from all of this as well, I have developed a passion for sustainability in settings where sustainable living is hard to come by. What better place to explore that than in the heart of downtown Richmond!

I have big plans to implement sustainable living in our city home. We’ll be composting in our backyard, growing a garden on the porch, recycling, up-cycling, and doing so much more. In doing all of this in the city for the first time, there will be so much to learn from the new experiences and new challenges that I am so blessed to have this platform to be able to share with you. As a beginner myself, we’ll be able to discuss all the mishaps and successes of the different sustainable practices I’ll be trying so that you can start from a better place than myself in your own city living sustainability.

As I make this transition, please pardon me if my posting becomes irregular in these next couple weeks. Once I am able, I will be jumping right back in to bring you the content you came here for.

And in the mean time, I’d love to hear from you: What are some questions you have about living sustainably in a big city setting? What are some sustainable practices or topics you are interested in learning about? What sustainable practices are you already implementing in your city?

Setting a Goal, Getting It Done

Setting a goal is easy. It’s so easy that I set at least 3 or 4 every single day thinking, ‘oh yeah, I got this.’ When really by about 2 p.m., if any one of those didn’t get done, the likelihood that they ever will is cut down drastically. I even wrote down in my planner that I wanted to sit down to write this post, intending to get to working on it before lunch, and now it’s 7 p.m….

However easy it may be to set these goals, and even set big, long term, exorbitant goals, the follow through is almost never easy. I could have sat down to write this this morning and had a version ready for editing by now, but nope, YouTube and a nap got me (thanks quarantine). Usually though, it’ll be much more than a nap and YouTube getting in the way. Usually it’s the job search, household chores, depression, spending time with others, and straight up lack of motivation that get in the way.

But I’ve learned a thing or two about how to self motivate on my goals over time (thank God), and while I’m not perfect at it, stuff still gets done. I recently finished a 100 workout challenge. I am only 100 pages away from having read the entire Bible. I have successfully cut my showers down to three minutes or less. I have hand-made all Christmas and birthday presents for the last two years. I have donated 6 bags of clothes and other goods locally in the last 6 months while decluttering before moves (I’ve moved 3 times). I graduated college. I started this blog.

All of these are goals I have set since 2020 started. Some have been completed. Some are on-going. At this point looking back I feel pretty good about it, but before any of these things began I felt like I was staring at an impossible mountain of to-do’s and really lacked any sort of motivation for a lot of it right off the bat.

Enough about me though, let’s talk about you. I’m sure you also have goals you’d like to accomplish, why else would you be reading this right now? I want to talk with you about how to self motivate, and where to find motivation externally as well. In order to actually, successfully take a good run at a goal, you need to know what that goal means to you.

Determining what your goal means to you:

Is it a personal goal?

This kind of goal is the one I find to the be hardest to accomplish. Often when it comes down to having to do something for myself I find it’s not pressing or won’t matter on a grand scale because it doesn’t actively also help someone else. However, the biggest thing to consider here if you’re someone like me is that, if you better yourself, you can eventually help someone else better themself.

Aside from that- let’s say you’re only going to look at your goal through the self focused lens, what do you do? There are plenty of individual reasons your personal goal might be something you’re working toward or at least want to work toward, and not any one of us is the same. Generally, it’ll be best to set a goal with a progressive point in mind. If you want to set a spiritual goal, start with a concrete step- mine was to read the Bible. If you want to set a fitness goal, begin working toward your first mile long run without stops or get a weight goal for how much you can deadlift. Or, if you want to set a career goal, look into some articles about your field and find a simple first step based on the experiences you read about. The biggest thing that will get you moving is setting concrete steps ahead of yourself to work on. If you don’t have these concrete steps, you can end up feeling lost in a sea of chances without a clue which to grab first.

Is it a goal to help others?

Love these goals! It’s so nice to set a goal simply for the sake of loving others. However, they’re a little harder to actually come by unless you are actively asked to help someone. Without outside opportunities, this requires you to be hyper-vigilant to help others when and where it’s needed in a moments notice.

But, there are also plenty of active goals you can set the can help you accomplish helping others. The best first step here is to determine how you want to help others. By starting with your personal experiences and expertise you can determine how you should be helping others. For myself I use my personal interests to help people here by sharing information on sustainability and self care, and I use my personal experiences to help lead support groups in my community. You might have a personal experience that you can utilize to reach out to others and help them get through similar things. Or, you might have a passion for cooking that’ll make you beneficial to have at the soup kitchen, or you have a knack for web design that’ll make you the perfect candidate to help a small non-profit build its presence. And if you’re working on your passion, the goal will be so much easier to accomplish. That’s beside the fact that you’ll be able to see other’s lives get better in the process.

Is it a multi-purpose goal?

This is the kind of goal that’s not going to take a lot of mental math to figure out where the benefits lie. This kind of goal will probably help you, help others, and might even help the world at large. Beyond person to person, or within the self, this kind of goal can impact the community or the environment over all. Now that might sound intimidating, but that’s hardly the case. I’m not asking you to pick a goal here like ‘solve world hunger’ or ‘close the hole in the ozone layer’ single handedly. All I’m asking is that you determine one large thing you care about and pick a small goal you can accomplish to help that thing get solved.

For this, let’s talk sustainability. When I started my skincare garden it was a multipurpose goal: help myself by working with non-toxic products I grew myself, help others by teaching them how to grow and use these products themselves, and for the planet by cutting down on my commercial consumption of those products and adding more healthy greenery to the world. When you start reaching for your sustainable goal, let’s say you pick that you want to help end childhood hunger in your community. To accomplish this you start a group in your community that comes together to regularly donate to your local food bank. This is a multipurpose goal because you will be helping yourself by learning how to organize others for a common goal, helping others by feeding people who need your donations, and helping the community by strengthening others in their endeavors to help in this area as well.

Whatever your goal may be, I hope reading this post has helped you find the motivation you needed to accomplish it.

Let me know: What are your goals? What has motivated you to accomplish your goals so far in 2020?

Making Do, Even When You Don’t Want To

A big part of being sustainable is doing what you can with what you have, finding contentment with where you’re at, and not going out and pulling together new items and resources. And, you know what, sometimes that’s hard. Sometimes making do feels like a drag. Sometimes it hits you before you’ve accepted it. Yes, in sustainability you make do by reusing old materials instead of picking up nice new ones, or you go without once you’ve realized something just isn’t a necessity even though it brought enjoyment. But, there are so many other times in life where we have to make do with what life has handed us. It can leave you sad, frustrated, lonely, and wanting. This season exposes those emotions in a BIG way.

I often find I’m happier to make do in my sustainability than in the rest of my life. I’d rather let go of making purchases once they become unnecessary or begin making certain things from scratch once that becomes an option then admit that I have to put off a dream or set a goal aside when resources and opportunities become scant.

I graduated college in May 2020, possibly the worst time to graduate college in years. Through zero fault of my own, of my college, or of my community, I spent my final semester in quarantine. I never got to say goodbye to my advisor or favorite professors who taught me so much, spend final nights with my roommate and best friend (and her cat), or attend the graduation I had worked so hard to get to. There was no closure, and I still feel quite lost.

Before this all happened, I was considered pretty hirable. I have worked a number of different jobs both in and out of my field of study, and had shown loyalty and growth at many of these jobs. I never thought it’d be that big of an issue for me to find a decent, or even good, job in my field. But quarantine turned that on its head. Now, I’ve sent out dozens of job applications and have heard absolutely nothing back. It’s crushing. This is a time where I now have to make do with what life has handed me, and I haven’t been very quick to embrace that.

In this season my anxiety has gone up, and my patience has plummeted. But, I’m learning. I’m learning to set goals involving things I used to put on the back burner, to embrace the lessons I can learn outside of a classroom or an office, and to accept stillness and quiet as part of my daily living.

I’d like to share some of the lessons I’ve learned from blessings in disguise these last few months. Hopefully you’ll begin to see them in your life too.

The blessing of TIME, even when you didn’t want it.

If you’re an active, on-the-go-constantly person like me, sitting at home that entire first week probably felt like you were beginning to decay.

So much content was being posted online about how this was the perfect time to write your first novel or invent a life changing device no one has ever seen before. While, simultaneously, content about how no one should feel pressured to do anything with their time was also being posted. You chose. You can either be lazy or singlehandedly change the world.

I’d like to argue, this blessing of time has given us the opportunity not just to fall in to being active or inactive, but to reevaluate our lives before continuing to move forward.

For me (as you can probably tell by the fact that I started this blog in the middle of all the craziness), in my reevaluation I realized one way I wanted to be more active was in encouraging others to take better care of the planet we share. I had been studying sustainability and making my own DIY recipes for eco-friendly products for a while, but I’d never really shared any of that with anyone. All this time, and the lack of a job, freed me up to be able to begin reaching out and trying my hand at teaching others about sustainable practices.

The blessing of SPACE, even when things feel empty.

By space, I mean both physical and mental space. We’re socially distanced from others when we’re out or clammed up while we’re at home, but so many of us are also facing this wall of more empty time than ever.

Personally, I haven’t seen any of my friends in person (even socially distanced) in about 5 months. It’s rough, but I’m so thankful for technology that’s gotten us through it. It’s not the same as seeing their faces in person, but I’ll take it.

On the other hand, all this quiet distance I’ve had from people, places, and things, has allowed me to approach life in new ways. I took on new goals I never thought I’d be able to accomplish with my busy life, and created space for new hobbies to emerge.

Before any of this happened I had just accepted that I would never have time to read the Bible or actually start my own garden. But by allowing this season to create so much mental space, I realized these were all possible right now in this time. Once I finished my final undergrad semester, I dug right in. I set these new goals and decided I didn’t need someone else (i.e. a job or school) to dictate how I filled my days or my living quarters. And now, when I finally do find that job I’m longing for, I’ll be able to carry this lesson with me and realize there is so much more life to live outside of the goals others set before me.

You can use this lesson as well, and hopefully give yourself space to start a garden or learn something new about taking care of yourself and our planet that you can carry with you all the days of your life.

The blessing of RESOURCES, even when they’re limited.

During this so many of us have limited our time in grocery stores, have primarily shopped online, and have learned to do what we like with less. Sometimes this might feel inconvenient. You might find that you really want a certain new product online, but shipping isn’t something you can afford. Or, you really want to make your favorite recipe, but you’re not going out to the grocery store for another week.

However, there is another way to look at these inconveniences. Rather than seeing the specific things that can’t be done in the moment, look at the possibilities the resources you have in front of you can offer.

I’ve run into this a lot while cooking these last few months. As I try and limit the frequency with which I visit the grocery store (or go out in public in general), I’ve run out of ingredients significantly before I intent to return and get more. At first I was bummed out by not being able to use exactly what each recipe called for, but I found a blessing here. I found the blessing of experimentation. I am NOT a chef (just ask my sister, she’s the chef in the family), but, without being able to follow exactly every recipe I had to a ‘T’, I’ve gotten pretty good at tossing ingredients in that I think might work and coming up with something new and awesome.

This same principle applies to sustainability. In so many ways making less frequent grocery trips (or purchases in general) has helped me cut down on the amount of gas I use driving my car, cut down on my personal purchase rate of items that might not be sustainably sourced or packaged, and helped me to learn and see just how many other areas of my life I could use what I already had first.

It also made me deeply appreciate the items I do have that are reusable. Never have to worry about running out of those, thank goodness.

So much of being sustainable is making do, and I’ve realized, so is so much of living life. We have a choice to make: is making do going to weigh us down, or show us how to live life with a little (or a lot) more peace is our hearts?

I know as well that there are still so many people who have been able to keep their jobs or find new ones (congrats! and thank you for keeping on keeping on!), people who are at home with family they might not wish to be with, and people who don’t quite have enough to make do in an enlivening way. Whatever you’ve got going on in this season, I know you’re doing your best. It’s all anyone could ask, even of themselves. I’m rooting for you, and hope no matter where you’re at you find yourself a blessing to hold on to.

Let me know: What blessings are you finding in this season? Have you learned anything you’ll carry with you?