First year growing spiral aloe polyphylla
Back in December '12, I started a few a.p. seeds that I got on eBay, and with beginner's luck, did pretty well with them. Germination was good, and I ended up with 5 seedlings that seemed to thrive on neglect. I have been gardening for decades, and got these seeds only because the plants are very striking, not knowing that large specimens reach almost a 24" width!
At 15 months, the largest plant is 7" across, and just moved to a 10" clay pot, which should be adequate for the rest of this year.
I've been reading everything available on a.p. culture. I'm no expert, but I've figured out some of the major factors for cultural success. These include keeping the roots cool ( This summer will be the first time these have gone outside. They'll be hanging just under an east-facing deck for early morning sun exposure, and protection from stronger sun and direct rain. If temperatures get too high, watering may include placing ice cubes around the edge of the pot, although I've never heard of this being done before.
My first seeds started effortlessly, and my new batch of seeds is challenging. Scarring the seeds with sandpaper apparently helps promote germination, and my chosen method is to carefully chip the seed case with the tip of a razor, then soak it for 48 hours. Germination has otherwise been very slow.
Here's a picture of my largest of the 5 original seedlings, ~7" wide, in a 10" clay pot. When acclimated, these can tolerate temperatures down to 25*F, and even snow! The rate of growth right now is remarkable.
I welcome any comments or questions. As I said, I'm no expert.
--Rick in CT