How to Grow Aloe Vera from Seed the Right Way
Growing aloe vera plants from seeds is a simple and fulfilling process. As compared to growing it from cuttings, using seeds allows you to grow rarer versions of the plant.
To learn how to grow aloe vera from seeds, read further to find out everything you should know as well as the steps involved in the process.
How to Grow Aloe Vera from Seed
Finding the Seed
To start off, you need to find the seeds to begin the propagation process. For this, you can contact local gardeners, dealers or nurseries and ask them about the relevant information.
They will either be able to supply you with the seeds or direct you to suppliers. You can also consult them about the best conditions in which these seeds can grow. This will give you a good boost and starting point and you will be able to care for the plant appropriately.
Alternately, you can also extract seeds from mature aloe plants. The plants must at least be four (or more) years old to give you the seed. If your plants are mature enough, you will be able to see gray-brown to black seeds inside the flowers.
In order to extract these seeds from the flowers, split the pod and catch the seeds. Make sure the seeds aren’t lighter in color as these are not ready for harvesting and germination.
Preserving the Seed
You can choose to sow the seeds immediately after harvesting if you wish to do so. If not, you can keep collecting seeds and wait for spring to sow them outdoors. To preserve and store the seeds until you sow them, keep them inside a paper envelope in a cool and dark place.
You must ensure that you use them within a year of harvesting.
Sowing the Seed
When it is finally time for you to sow the seed, use a good medium and a good container.
For the medium, you want to use a sufficiently loose medium. For instance, a combination of equal amounts of peat and sand is a good idea as it will prevent excess sogginess and will ensure better results.
Mix it well, add sufficient water and make the medium uniform and consistent. You can also add compost if you want. This will keep the soil healthy.
For the container, you are free to use anything you want. Usually, opting for a flat container is a good place to start as they require lesser amounts of soil. This is also the better option for you if you are a beginner at gardening.
Make sure the container is completely clean before you add the medium to it. This is to prevent any growth of fungus later on and to ensure the health of your plant.
Place the medium in the container, sprinkle some water and spread out the seeds in the medium by placing them one inch apart from each other. Lightly cover them with some sand. Place this container in bright light where the temperature is warm enough.
The medium should be moist enough but make sure you don’t water it excessively.
You can also directly sow the seeds outdoors instead of in a container if you live in warm climates.
Watering the Medium
Now that you have sown the seeds in the medium, you need to know how to take care of them.
For the first few weeks, lightly moist the soil until the seeds begin to sprout. Sprouting usually occurs in two to four weeks depending on the kind of aloe vera plant you used for the seeds.
Make sure you place the medium (especially if indoors) on a heat source for the roots to develop healthily. Turn this heat source on when germination is taking place. Make sure you remember to turn it off once you observe that the roots have been well established.
In the case of aloe vera, if you are using a non-sterile medium, you must not cover your containers with plastic as this will only lead to fungal growth.
When you water the medium, water from under the seedlings. This will provide enough moisture to the roots while also preventing damping-off that occurs due to the growth of fungi. If this occurs, your seeds will get infected, causing your seedlings to wilt or collapse.
At this stage, you must also remember to maintain healthy water levels. Do not overwhelm the medium and seedlings with moisture while also ensuring that you do not completely remove the moisture content either.
Potting the Seedlings
When you see that the seedlings have sprouted four or more leaves, you can transplant each seedling into separate pots. Fill in these pots with a good mix of pumice, sand and organic compost.
Once you have established the foundation of the pots, carefully scoop out the seedlings from the former medium and plant them in the pots. Water these seedlings a few times a week. Make sure you do not water them too much!
Rooting for Success
Now, you know all the steps and requirements that will allow you to grow aloe vera from seeds. This is a simple and rewarding process and will definitely provide you with a fulfilling experience as you watch the seeds grow into healthy plants.
To ensure that the health of the seedlings and medium is maintained throughout the process, remember to keep their conditions perfect. Too much or too little moisture will ruin the healthy growth of your plant.
You must also do everything that you possibly can to prevent the growth of fungi. This includes cleaning the pots before using them, making use of an organic medium, maintaining moisture content and ensuring warm temperatures.
An important tip to keep in mind is to try to observe the growth of your plant on a regular basis. This will help you identify any irregularities that may occur at any stage of the process. In such a case, you can correct these situations early on to prevent major issues later.
Now that all of this is stored firmly in your mind, go ahead, collect those seeds and start growing aloe vera. Enjoy the growing process and root for your plant’s success!