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Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

Posted by bsmith717 6 (My Page) on
Fri, Aug 16, 13 at 10:59

I purchased the seeds 8-9 months ago of eBay. The four varieties I chose were Sunset, Sunrise, Fang and Marmalade. I tried when I received them but it was winter and there must not have been enough sun/warmth as nothing sprouted.

I planted four seeds per section and am using a modified food container from a restaurant. I just drilled some holes in the clear lid to allow for some evaporation/circulation of air. The seeds were planted just over a month ago and I saw green sprouts braking the surface after about a week and a half. The soil is just normal Miracle grow potting soil, nothing special.

Here we are as of yesterday, I'm pretty hopeful/excited!

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

Congratulations on the babies. Be aware that aloe seedlings are very prone to rot. Beachplant will have some good advice for growing alow from seed. I would be worried about the miracle grow potting soil. I would look into if it is the proper medium. I don't grow from seed so I don't know piddly. I killed the Aloe variegata that I grew from seed .... rotted them, I did , I did.


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

I know that after reading up on it (after I bought the seeds cause I didn't think they would be different then anything else) I was quite worried about the endeavor. Seems like they are quite a pita to get to a size where they aren't so fragile.

We shall see!


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

Hello! I want to commend your efforts. You've done something right, getting them to germinate. Your only issue is that the soil is too thick, very likely to cause damping off. The soil I use for sowing seeds is a mix of bagged potting soil (bark sifted out), coarse sand, vermiculite, Perlite and Pumice. For sowing Aloes, I like to add even a little extra Perlite and pumice than what you see in the picture below. Aeration and drainage really helps with Aloes in particular. Some people use pure pumice! I've had much better results since finding the right balance for my Aloe seed mix.
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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

I need to find another container for aloe seed germination so that I can try different mixes.

Thus far everything is still moving along, though after looking at my earlier pics it looks like a sunrise and a fang or two may have disappeared. I keep forgetting about these guys since I have them in a window sill behind a wicker chair in my three seasons room. Ill go almost a week and then they will pop into my mind. Every time I think to myself that when I get to them they'll surely be all dead, but thats not happened yet. The container seems to allow just enough fresh air in to keep the soil from becoming stagnant/foul and also keep the conditions nice and humid. Well with the clear top and being in a south window what else could one expect. The moisture condenses on the lid quite heavily, perhaps that blocks light from getting in, I dont know?

For some reason I felt compelled to water the aloes tonight with water from our Brita filter. Not sure why but it felt like what I needed to do. I stirred up/poked and wiggled some tweezers in the areas where nothing seemed to be going on hoping to allow for more soil/air activity.

So here is what is going on tonight.

(FYI, I cleaned the top prior to the photo shoot!)

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Some Sunset action

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This darker guy is kind of a mystery to me at the moment. It doesnt look like any of the other seedlings as they were all very light/bright green from the time they emerged from the soil. The one closer to the edge is a sunrise. Perhaps im just trippin'.
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stranger on left

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The Fang is also different then all the other sprouts. It looks kind of like a tiny baby adult aloe plant compared to the singulat leafs the others sprout as.

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Heres the lid after sitting in the window tonight (63 degrees at the moment) for around two hours.

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Marmlade

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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

Everything seems to be going alright though im pretty sure one or two sprouts disappeared. Is there something different I Need to be doing at this stage? All I have been doing is keeping them in a southern window in the 3 seasons room with the clear lid on and checking it every week or so.

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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

I'm glad they're still kicking. I would say it's a good time to remove the lid and let the soil dry out a bit. They probably have roots about 1/2" long and could stand some dry soil. Since you have space between your seedlings you can easily monitor the soil as it dries out.

I hope you've been fertilizing. If not, use a light fert next time you water. Gaining size at the early stages of growth is extremely beneficial and increases your chances of success.

One thing I should mention: The seeds you purchased under cultivar names cannot possibly be pure crosses of those cultivars. All Aloe cultivars are clones of a single plant and not self-fertile. Your seeds have to be crossed with another plant. That's not necessarily a bad thing, just important to know. Your tags should have an "X" after each name.

I'm wondering if you made drainage holes in the bottom of the black container. If not, do so immediately.

Another note, you said you sowed 4 seeds per section. It's my experience that Aloe seedlings grow much better when sown thickly. Well, to be more correct, when sown and germinated thickly. When there are less plants in the pot, there's too much non-utilized space that's just free to stay damp and grow algae, (the bane of Aloe seedlings). When many seeds are germinated in the same pot, there's no space left for algae and many many roots sucking up whatever water you give them. Sow them thick, you can always get more seed.

I have pots of Aloe seedlings that were sown sparingly. They take more attentive care and usually end up with only a few good plants, sometimes only 1.

Not to bomb your thread but to prove my point,


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

Thank you for the comments Rob (I'm assuming)

As you can tell from this and pretty much all my posts I am a firm believer that a pic is worth 1000 words and I have no reservations about uploading tons of them! Your pic is very helpful, I would have never thought, just figured aloes were like most other plants in that they like their space.

I actually have had the lid off since last night. Don't know why I took it off but it felt like that was what I needed to do. Thank you for reinforcing my urge.

The tags were just for reference but from now on when making tabs ill insert the "x". Should this also be used when talking about them like "So I planted Fang "x", Marmalade "x"...etc?


I have half a$$ed fertilized and by that I mean when I saw sprouts I threw some slow release miracle grow green balls in the substrate. Knowing this, should I still get some proper liquid fert and apply in a dilute ratio next watering?

PS, please feel free to post up any pics that might help. Im very much a visual learner.


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

  • Posted by nil13 z21 Mt. Washington L (My Page) on
    Thu, Sep 19, 13 at 16:52

Count me as one of those that uses straight pumice. When I pot them up, I mix a little turface in there for moisture retention without sacrificing air space.

I will recommend that you don't water at night. Too much chance of rot from standing water.

looking good though.


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

You know, I think it was Nil who convinced me to add more pumice/perlite to my Aloe sowing mix. Seeing his results in pure pumice gave me confidence to use a lot more grit in the mix and I've been very happy with that. I can't manage pure pumice or even too gritty of a mix because I like to be able to take a day off sometimes or forget about watering a pot for a few days. I think it's all about finding the balance that works for your conditions/practices.

About the "x"... I only put it in quotations to separate it from my sentence. It can just be an x.... (Aloe 'Fang' x). If you knew the other parent, you could add that name after the x. Yes, you should use the x when talking about them. Specifically the x means "crossed with", if you were going to say it out loud.

Yes, you should probably do a liquid fert. I don't think the green balls are doing much for you. To get the most bang for my buck, I use a straight 20-20-20 water soluble fert in a 10% dilution. That means I only use 10% of the recommended ratio, making my fert 2-2-2. I have mine mixed up in a spray bottle at 4x strength so that all I have to do is squirt a little into each watering can. 4 squirts = 10%, 5 squirts = 12.5%, 6 squirts = 15%... (all very specific to my equipment) It took some careful math to set it up but I wrote down my formula and now it's very easy.

Alright, good luck!
PS, my name is Ryan but that's leaked information:)


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

  • Posted by nil13 z21 Mt. Washington L (My Page) on
    Sat, Sep 21, 13 at 20:50

Take days off watering? Shoot, that's what automation is for, Ryan. Just take 1/2" pvc and drill/tap holes in it for 10-32 thread and screw in some DIG foggers. Then run that over the bench. Easy peasy and stupid cheap.


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

Yeah, I noticed yesterday your name was hanzrobo not hansrob, for some reason that o was went unnoticed!

I'll look into some liquid ferts. What brand or product is recommended?


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

Nil, I've put some thought into automation for the future. If the operation gets bigger it's worth considering. I grow mesembs so, either way I'm monitoring daily. In the greenhouse, I can't control the different rates of drying-out and certain plants are on different growth-cycles so it has to be personal. Everything else (outdoor) is basically on a weekly watering schedule, depending on the weather. Thanks for the pointers though. I wish it was that simple.

bsmith, I use a water-soluble fertilizer. That's what I meant when I said liquid, I meant - add to liquid. The stuff I'm using right now is called Grow More 20-20-20 but I don't think it matters what brand you use. The N-P-K ratio is the important part. I like to buy the strong stuff and dilute it because I feel like I'm in control and getting my money's worth. I also tweak my mix by adding a little Sulfate of Ammonia. The ammonia raises the Nitrogen level and sulfur is a bonus for African plants. I also add Superthrive to the mix, a B-vitamin booster for root health. Not to seem like a mad chemist, but I also add a squirt of vinegar because many xeric plants prefer a slightly alkaline water. I only use about 10 drops/gallon.


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

I'm thinking it may be time to pot these little guys up?

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Yay/nay?


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

  • Posted by nil13 z21 Mt. Washington L (My Page) on
    Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 0:00

looks like they have plenty of room to me. I would wait. Their root systems are really small and delicate at that point.


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

Just wanted to share a little bit too right now I have 10 fire coral aloe seedlings and 1 aloe polyphylla seedling.
All are very strong I'm really watching my polyphylla seedling with interest. It has the start of a second leaf right now.

Also I bought my off of ebay to with some other succulent seeds.

This post was edited by kuroc on Tue, Oct 29, 13 at 9:37


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

Nil- One of the main concerns I have at this point is watering and light exposure.

I have kept the soil moist 24/7 up till this point but now that they are getting a bit larger I am starting to think that letting the soil dry completely before watering might be the best approach? Suggestions please?

kuroc- Growing these guys from seeds is quite tedious isnt it? I think I have been getting extremely luck thus far and am hoping lady luck will carry me a bit further! If you have any, please feel to post some pics up of what you have been doing/are doing or anything else that might be useful to anyone thinking about trying this. Also please feel free to post your methods and culture path as well.

I see forums like this as a means to help those looking to get into and further whatever subject is being discussed. Participation by the community not only does both but also is a catalyst to answer more questions that need to be addressed.


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

This being my first time growing aloe from seeds guess I did all right I got some aloes after all.

I sowed some christmass carol aloe seed they rotted. Out of the fire coral aloe seeds I got 10 plants. And out of 9 aloe polyphylla seeds only one came up.

I going to nurture all of them along especially the aloe polyphylla.

When I have more time I will post the methods use which could have been better.


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RE: Just wanted to share my try at growing Aloe from seeds

Have pretty much all my plants downstairs till spring, My aloe seedlings (all 5 of them!) are looking decent so far. Hopefully in a few months ill be able to put them in their own pots!

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