Approximately 400 species belong to the genus Aloe, including the widely cultivated and well-known Aloe Vera. All the Aloe species feature a rosette growth habit and succulent leaves, although they differ in flower composition and size.
Propagating a favorite Aloe species is usually done with cuttings – these produce viable plants pretty quickly compared to using Aloe seeds. However, growing Aloe from seeds is pretty easy, rewarding, and can allow you to add some rare and exotic plant to your collection.
Of all the species of Aloe, Aloe Vera features the most health and skin benefits – these benefits are derived from the Aloe Vera gel. For this reason, we will focus on showing you how to propagate Aloe Vera using Aloe Vera seeds.
Collecting Aloe Vera Seeds
Before Aloe Vera can produce reliable seeds, it has to be at least 4+ years. Once the Aloe plant starts flowering, it gains the ability to produce seeds. You can harvest the Aloe Vera seeds from the spent flowers.
If you do not have access to a mature Aloe Vera plant at home, you can wear your hiking boots & hiking pants and go looking in the wilderness. Alternatively, you can order the seeds from reputable dealers.
Mature Aloe seeds are small (tiny), flat, and grayish brown to black. If you come across light-colored seeds, these are not ready to harvest – when planted, they will not germinate.
You will find the seeds in dried pods on the plant. When ready, the pods will be brownish-green. To extract the Aloe seeds, you will need to split the pod. Be sure to keep a basin under your pod to collect the seeds. Get rid of the pod after acquiring the seeds.
Aloe Vera seed propagation can start immediately if your goal is to plant the Aloe indoors. If, however, you intend to sow the plant outdoors, you may have to wait until the next spring. When waiting, be sure to save your seeds in a paper envelope, in a dark and cool location. For the best results, use the seeds within the year you harvested them.
How to Grow Aloe Vera from Seeds
Although Aloe seeds sprout quite easily, you will need to invest in the right situation and medium for better success. A half and half mixture of horticultural sand and peat make an ideal, well-draining Aloe Vera medium.
Alternatively, you can use a combination of sterile compost, perlite, and sand. The idea, when you are growing Aloe Vera from seeds, is to offer loose material that will not get soggy. Also, the medium should not be prone to weeds and pathogens.
While any container can serve the purpose of growing Aloe Vera from seeds, a flat container will use less soil and also create a controlled environment for your seedlings. Dampen your medium lightly and then spread your seeds approximately an inch apart. Cover the seeds with a light sand dusting.
If you reside in a warm climate, you can grow your Aloe Vera seeds outdoors. If you do not have access to warm temperature, you will need to grow the Aloe seeds indoors, with the addition of some kind of bottom heat. Keep the medium moderately moist and in bright light. Maintain the temperature at approximately 23 degrees centigrade (75 degrees Fahrenheit).
Related: How To Make Aloe Vera Gel
Care During Aloe Vera Seed Propagation
Keep the surface of the soil moist during the entire germination period by misting its surface. It may take approximately 2 to 4 weeks for you to see the sprouts. As the young seedlings develop roots, it is essential that you keep them on the heat source – keep the seedlings near the heat sources for two weeks after their germination.
The most ideal way to water the seedlings is to water them from under in an open flat. This method offers the roots just enough moisture after they get removed from the heat mats. It also reduces the chances of damping off. When the seedlings are still at the 2-leaf stage, the most crucial thing you need to do is prevent desiccation while not drowning the young plants.
Once 4+ leaves appear on your seedling, the next step is to pot each seedling into a 5 cm (2-inch) pot. You will need to use a sterilized mix of 1.5 parts of coarse sand, 3 parts pumice, and three parts of organic material.
Controlling Insects Pests
Health Aloe plants will rarely have insect pest issues. However, sometimes houseplant scale or mealybugs can attack your Aloe Vera plant.
If you notice that some unpleasant bugs have invaded your Aloe plant, be sure to treat the plants using organic pest control methods. Toxic chemical pesticides do not always work on the houseplant pests, not to mention that they are really bad for the user’s health.
For small pest infestations, simply dip a cotton swab in your rubbing alcohol and then use it to remove the bugs. This solution is generally effective as long as the infestation is not very pronounced.
To control larger outbreaks, you may need to invest in organic insecticidal soap, horticultural oil spray, or neem oil.
It is worth noting that Aloe Vera can be sensitive to some sprays. For this reason, consider testing any spray you intend to use on a small part of the plant’s leaf before you can go ahead and spray the entire plant.
Common Aloe Issues and How to Fix Them
1. Mushy Stem
If the stem is completely mushy, this means that the Aloe Vera has been overwatered. If the rot has just started, and most of the plant’s stem is still healthy and firm, you may be able to save the plant if you act fast. To save the plant, cut the stem above the rotted section and try to propagate it.
2. Brown Leaves
If you encounter this issue, the first thing you will need to do is check the stem to ensure that it is healthy. If the stem is healthy, check the leaves to see if they are mushy, shriveled, or dried.
If the plant has mushy leaves but the stem is firm, trim the mushy leaves at the point where they attach to the plant. If the leaves are shriveling up or drying out, this means that you have underwatered the plant. Trim the dry leaves and then start watering the plant more.
3. Tall and Thin Plant
This suggests that the plant has not been getting enough sunlight. To solve this issue, consider moving the plant to a sunny window.
Q: Can You Grow Aloe Vera From Seed?
It is possible to grow Aloe Vera from seeds. Compared to cuttings, Aloe Vera seeds do take longer to produce viable plants. However, the process of growing Aloe Vera from seeds is generally easy and can be handled by every homeowner.
For the Aloe Vera seeds to be reliable, they have to come from a mature Aloe plant. Aloe plants take an average of 4+ years to mature.Related: Can You Eat Aloe Vera
Q: How Long Do Aloe Seeds Take to Germinate?
Aloe seeds take 2 to 4 weeks to germinate. The exact time you will have to wait before you see the sprouts usually varies depending on the Aloe species. After germination, keep the young seedlings on a heat source for 2 weeks as they develop roots.
Q: How Long Does It Take to Grow Aloe Vera?
Aloe Vera takes an average of 3 to 4 years to grow from a seedling to a full-grown plant with mature leaves of approximately 20 to 25 cm (8 to 10 inches) in length. Using fertilizer and providing optimal care can help you reduce the number of years the Aloe Vera plant needs to mature.Related: Does Aloe Vera Gel Expire
Q: How Do I Grow Aloe Vera?
If you live in an area featuring a cold climate, growing Aloe Vera indoors will be the best option. To keep your Aloe plant happy, grow it in a terra cotta pot with a well-drained medium. For the well-drained medium, mix equal parts of potting soil and sand.
Be sure to place the Aloe Vera plant in a bright and sunny place. Otherwise, the plant will go dormant and stop growing. You will need to water the plant about once every 2 weeks, waiting until the soil is fully dry.
Q: How Do You Grow Aloe Ferox From Seed?
Growing Aloe Ferox from seeds is pretty easy. Simply sow the seeds just under the surface in sandy soil. Water the seeds regularly and ensure the soil drains well. Transplant the seedlings into small pots once they reach a height of 4 cm (about 6 months since sowing). From the seed, Aloe Ferox will take an average of 4 – 5 years to reach its first harvest.
Globo Surf Overview
For someone familiar with gardening basics, propagating Aloe using Aloe Vera seeds should be easy. The key things you need to consider when propagating the plant is the temperature (especially when the seedlings are young), the medium, and the amount of water. To reduce the chances of dealing with pests and diseases, consider investing in a sterile medium.
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- Aloe Seed Propagation – Gardeningknowhow.com