Aloe polyphylla, Sowing

birdsnbloomsDecember 4, 2010

Hello All. I purchased Aloe polyphylla seeds from an Ebay seller. They arrived.

Directions were included. One suggestion is:

Sowing in Water.

Fill a clean jar with tap water. Put in seeds. Close lid, etc, etc.

Has anyone sown Aloe seeds in water? If so, does it work? There's only a few seeds in the packet, I don't want them to rot or die.

There's also traditional germination, sowing in soil. With directions, eg, type of soils, etc.

Has anyone sown these seeds, and if so, which route did you go?

Is one way faster than the other? Also, is Aloe polyphylla a slow-growing succulent?

Any other information is welcome. Thanks, Toni

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With that first method suggested, I'm hoping really hard that what you actually got was A.p. seeds.

I've not grown those but those instructions sound so inimical to what I know about, but sometimes I don't know much.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 5:38PM
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Cactus, when you say, A.p. seeds, do you mean, true 'Aloe polyphylla' seeds? lol..The seller better have sent the right seeds for what I
Maybe I'd best stick with soils/mediums? Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 5:42PM
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Yes, since I'm guessing you didn't want false ones. I just am extremely suspicious of the suggested method, on top of the fact that you got them from Ebay (just another of my many prejudices).

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 6:10PM
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Cactus, LOL...The seller isn't a private person. He deals
only' in C&S's. I hope he's selling the real deal, and not picking a bunch of seeds that may or may not be A.p.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 6:55PM
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I would sow them directly in about 50/50 soil to perlite (there are 100 different mixtures but this is an easy one that will work) and cover with about 1/8" of sand. I would keep them in a warm place ( a windowsill can be a good spot) and keep them moist. I squirt mine down twice a day when its warm and once a day if its a little cooler. Keep them moist through their adolescence but never waterlogged. I also suggest very light fertilizing after about two or three months. I would sow them in 2" pots or something similar and do several to a pot. I will be honest, I love aloes and grow many different varieties and the only one I have killed two of is polyphylla. I bet they are not as tricky as seedlings but as adults I have put a couple through some hard times.
Good for you for planting these beauties and I wish you the best of luck.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 9:38PM
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Steelplayer, thanks much. I'm out of sand, but the seller included a small bag of Cedar Chips that he, himself uses on top of germination soil/medium when sowing.

I don't know if you'll reread this thread, but you said the only Aloe you killed is polyphylla. Do you know what went wrong? And did the seedlings or adult plants die?

One more thing. I got 5 seeds. You said to pot several seeds in one, 2" pot. If by chance they germinate, won't the pot be tight-fitting? Thanks again, Toni

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 12:55AM
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I wouldn't use the enclosed cedar chips - why would the seller suggest you use something that's not good for the seed to start in?

This seems like a reasonable set of instructions for germinating your seeds - don't make it more complicated that it needs to be (it isn't), but cedar chips? Definitely if you're raising hamsters, not at all with Aloes.

Here is a link that might be useful: Interwebus Aloe seed tips not from Ebay

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 12:25PM
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The plants I killed were 8" in diameter and 4" in diameter. They both rotted under pretty dry conditions but apparently not dry enough. I currently have two small seedling size plants that seem to be in a state of suspended animation. I do know that these plants come from a high elevation that is often time very cold and I live in a generally warm climate. Also I would encourage you to keep water out of the rosette and even plant at an angle as if the plant were growing on a hillside which I think is also true to their habitat. I suspect with the best of care you will have something that resembles a young Aloe polyphylla in about a year or so. I have never grown this Aloe from seed but I have grown many others and Aloes are just slow growing generally. As for the pot size, they will not be crowded for a long long time. You can certainly put them in their own pot but I recommend small pot size because it is much easier to control the watering. Good luck to you

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 12:46PM
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Cactus, you are too funny..for hamsters. lolol.
I don't know why he/she included the chips, but the bag is very tiny, I wonder if adding would make a difference. lol.
Thanks for the link. I had no idea Aloes attracted ants/aphids. Aphids infest many plants, but I'm curious if Aloe itself attracts ants. If they do, why?
The link mentioned using a plastic tray as a cover. Now this baffles me. Hmm.

Steelplayer. I like the fact you researed Aloe poly's habitat.
Mind if I ask how long you had the 4 and 8" Aloes before they passed away?
It's been a while since I sowed seeds, but I never used large containers for seeds.
Actually, I've had the best luck sowing in a very shallow, '4-5" Diameter x 2.5" height,' clay pot..It resembles a saucer, but has drainage holes. I have a larger pot, same type, I propagated a broken variegated Yucca cluster--over winter. By spring, roots were fully formed.
These pots work great for succulents. Seeds and cuttings.
Because of problems here at home, my Aloe seeds, 'wrapped in heavy plastic,' are still sitting in their package. Hope they're still fresh. Who knows the length of time seeds sit on a shelf before selling.
Other seeds, 'annuals/perrenials,' includes a marked expiration date on packets; unfortunately these don't.

Thanks again for all your help. Cactus, keep up the Steel, I hope your babies do well. Toni

    Bookmark   December 6, 2010 at 3:30PM
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The standard cactus germination/rearing method works well for aloe polyphylla. In habitat they live on a several foot layer of gravel on bedrock where water seeps at the bottom of the gravel (on the bedrock) year-round. They need a very well drained substrate like 90% turface, and it needs to be continuously moist. They also dislike heat, I put mine in the shade if it will be over 90'F outside. They get pale and wilt a bit if they get too hot. Some websites claim that they hate to be hot and wet, but in reality they just drown quickly when hot, they still like to be moist as long as the roots can breathe. Too little water will result in withered leaf tips.

Last winter, my A. P. survived a 25'F frost after a rain that left a solid 'waffle' of ice in it's crown.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2010 at 4:35PM
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Promethean. Since I'm discussing sowing, setting the seeds in 'flat' surfaces is okay, right?
I've read how they grow in their natural habitat when mature, but the seeds are in a container, indoors.

Also, my main concern is getting started..from seed until germination. In other words, even though young/mature specimens prefer cooler temps, does the same apply to seedlings? I have a perfect room, 'very cool, some spots cold' w/whatever sun we get, and artificial light. If seeds need cool temps to germinate, it's not a problem.
So, are you saying, seeds need cool/cold before they'd sprout?
I had no idea an Aloe could be so difficult. lol. Toni

    Bookmark   December 8, 2010 at 4:46PM
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No, they don't need cold or stratification, room temp and moist with a very well drained substrate will do. I germinated mine in 2oz takeout containers half filled with turface, under a florescent light (like I do most other C&S). It took a couple weeks for them to come up.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 2:38AM
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This one isn't particularly difficult to germinate, so I've been told, but it's like many things, you had to unlearn that garbage that was told you by the seller and find direction on the righteous path, courtesy of PS.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 10:48AM
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Prom. That's a great idea. Under artificial light plus some obstructed, 'plants' south window. Spot isn't too hot, too cold, it's just right. Or as cactus would say, courtesy of 'The Three Bears.' But serioulsy, average temp. Thanks.

Cactus, lol..We'll see how it goes..if/when they germinate, I'll snap pics. Hopefully, I'm still on earth when mature enough to appreicate. Toni

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 4:51PM
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That's a coincidence you write that - I just saw my first black bear of 2010 last night, past the time they're usually dormant. Plenty of signs this year of the bear highway here still in use, but no actual fuzzy bear on the move until last night. Our dog was going ape.#2!, as she usually does with an ursine presence is detected.

    Bookmark   December 10, 2010 at 7:29PM
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Hi,I new here,but I wanted to share my Experience and I got seeds from same seller at ebay.Andrea*seeds,It makes sense use the stratification process,because Aloe Poly live in High elevation were cold and snow are present,They get this naturally in the wild, lying on the ground, being half buried by fallen leaves, the digging of animals, and frost heave. Without this period of cold and wet, certain seeds, won't germinate at all. Instead, they continue to wait inside their shells, asleep.

I have try several forms to germinate this seeds stratification (usually just called stratification or cold stratification)is this was the only one that work for me I have pictures of my seedling with a high germination from this seller. There are six methods of cold moist stratification to choose from: cold water soaking, refrigeration, fall planting, winter/solstice sowing, outdoor treatment, and snow planting. The one that I use was the refriration,I've gotten so reliant on this method that I've forgotten that previously everyone simply planted seeds that need cold stratification outside once it got cold in the fall,For the cedar chips included at the pack,Its well know the ability to repel insects,and a lot of people like me use them as and insecticide for the young seedling since chinosol or other insecticides are not safe for the young ones,in my personal opinion,I don't mix with the soil,just sprinkle over once seeds germinate and are out of the germination box,is safer,when seedling are a litlle stronger regular insecticide will be ok. A bonus to using cedar is that it breaks down over time, and adds some nutrients to your soil. It doesn't hurt to use it,Hope this help,and happy growing!!!

    Bookmark   February 19, 2011 at 7:09PM
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Yes... I have killed 4 of them. They do not like water on their leaves and they don't come back. I am going to try the seeds as this point!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 3:30AM
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rredbbeard(SE CT USA/zone 6)

Do any of the early posters on this string have updates of their experiences with a.p? I'm getting seeds in a few weeks and would appreciate any practical advice. I thought I had true a.p. seeds last year, but apparently they weren't. I posted details here recently, and the new seeds are from a respected dealer in South Africa, so I'm hopeful. I found an article that has been very helpful, and hopefully I'm not too much of a caveman to include it here.

Rick in CT

Here is a link that might be useful: aloe polyphylla culture.

    Bookmark   February 9, 2014 at 1:15PM
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It also purchased Aloe spiral seeds from a seller on Ebay. Mine started sprouting after only 5 days! My question is how big do they need to get before I put them in pots? They are still at the very tiny and delicate stage and I am quite excited I have them sprouting at least. I just placed the seeds on sand, covered the container with a clear lid and placed them on a sunny window will. I set the container on the table at night to avoid any cold air maybe coming in the window at night.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2015 at 10:45AM
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rredbbeard(SE CT USA/zone 6)

Be careful of direct sun on new seedlings in general. If the container is sealed with a cover they can quickly fry in the sun.
You can wait until the seedlings are an inch or two wide to repot them. I hate to admit I have seedlings that are much larger, and still waiting to be repotted. I suggest using a clay pot that is larger than you think you need.

Keep us posted!


    Bookmark   January 14, 2015 at 11:14AM
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