Aloe tree seed germination help

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Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#1  Postby Durls » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:30 am

Hi, a new member here from south Western Australia. I have recently purchased a variety of tree aloe seeds, namely Barbarae, dichotoma, ferox and thraskii. I have only had luck with germination of the Dune aloes. I have been trying in humid moist conditions, with fluctuating temperatures and after over a month none of the other varieties have moved at all. Do I wait longer or am I missing something?
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#2  Postby Steph115 » Fri Sep 08, 2017 6:54 am

Welcome welcome! May I ask what your setup looks like? Soil mixture, any plastic covering, your method of adding moisture to the soil? And how deep did you sow the seeds?
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#3  Postby Spination » Fri Sep 08, 2017 8:37 am

Ditto - welcome.
I think the most important factor is getting fresh and viable seeds. After that, it can take time (possibly longer than a month) if conditions aren't optimal, or seeds not fresh. My experience is that good seeds usually germinate sooner than later in conditions that are conducive.
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#4  Postby Durls » Fri Sep 08, 2017 4:17 pm

Hi guys, thanks for the quick reply. My seeds are surface sewn on coarse propagation sand in sealed plastic containers. They are now inside my shed beside a window sill. I have also just put some seeds in gelatin, trying to cover all my bases👍 . Any help would be much appreciated
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination helpjat

Post Number:#5  Postby Steph115 » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:07 am

I am not familiar with propagation sand as far as it's coarseness/characteristics. What's worked for me is using a LOT of perlite. I started with 50% and now probably use close to 75%. I also first impregnate the soil with water by placing my plastic pots in a water dish and letting it soak it up. I feel this keeps the soil light and airy and with just the right amount of moisture. I then cover them with Saran Wrap and don't really need to mist them for about a week. I also like to put them somewhere where they'll get temp fluctuations and that seems to work. I find my seeds generally germinate during the night time when it's cool. Also, I generally sow my aloe seeds as deep as the seeds are wide. A little deeper than surface sown.

To echo Spination, the seeds are the most important part. I've had seeds where I've done everything exactly the same as when i had excellent germination and had none germinate.
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#6  Postby Azuleja » Sat Sep 09, 2017 9:32 am

I've had zero germination too and it's a bummer. It made me feel like I must be doing something wrong. I've had good luck placing seeds in a thin layer of decomposed granite, which is probably also similar to using roofing granules, pumice or very coarse sand. However, I place them down in the medium, not on the surface. Under that is seedling soil mix. I keep them sealed in plastic bags for 2 or 3 weeks which is about how long it should take for most to come up. I don't know how warm or cool your shed is, but my seeds do best with a high temperature not too much above 80F and a low not too far below 60F. I think I've cooked seeds before by accidentally letting them get too hot.
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#7  Postby Durls » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:27 am

Thanks again everyone, it seems like the conditions in my area are ideal, I think i might change seed supplier. I have heard http://www.silverhillseeds.co.za/ is a great place to source them. Thanks again.
I look forward to some more aloe banter!
On a different note, I have acquired some large aloe barbarae cuttings and also a number of plicatilis cuttings, which are currently drying. Just wondering if anyone has any tips on propagating these? Should I start another thread?
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#8  Postby Tony C » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:31 am

I have had very good germination this year re aloe seeds from Silverhill Seeds.
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#9  Postby Steph115 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:08 am

I've also got a big batch going from Silverhill seeds. Hasn't even been a week yet, so no germination. Will keep y'all posted.
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#10  Postby Viegener » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:29 pm

Durls wrote:On a different note, I have acquired some large aloe barbarae cuttings and also a number of plicatilis cuttings, which are currently drying. Just wondering if anyone has any tips on propagating these? Should I start another thread?


I've rooted sizable branches of barbarae and plicatilis. Summer seems like the best time. Make sure the cut ends dry thoroughly, otherwise rot can set in. Then set the cuttings into pots with well-draining soil, amended with perlite or pumice, and make sure the stem is stabilized; they don't like to wobble. Usually I will tie them to a chain-link fence or a very secure post. Water no more than weekly & make sure the soil dries out in between watering. If the leaves look wilty you can spray them with water; it seems to me they can absorb it through their foliage and maybe even stems. I've tried with and without rooting hormone & i'm not sure it makes a big difference. This is a much faster way of getting sizable plants than seeds.

I had one chunky branch of A. barbarae that sat through the winter without rooting and finally did so the next summer.
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#11  Postby Durls » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:03 am

Thanks for this, should i have these potted cuttings in full sun or shade when I plant them?
I just noticed his morning that one of my barbarae seeds have germinated, this batch not even 2 weeks in and from a different supplier!
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#12  Postby Spination » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:17 am

The positive feedback information from that germination is that your methodology appears not to be the problem. The others not germinating now appear to be more likely the cause of old/not fresh seed. There's still a chance for late germination, so I wouldn't completely give up on them yet.
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#13  Postby Viegener » Mon Sep 11, 2017 9:37 pm

Durls, the Aloe barbarae and plicatilis cuttings should be in partial shade to root. Ideally only morning sun. I've even rooted plicatilis in bright shade. Misting the foliage definitely helps when they look desiccated.
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#14  Postby mickthecactus » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:48 am

I've 3 year old seedlings of dichotoma and ferox but never tried the others.

I also agree that it's the quality of seed which is paramount and Silverhill are the best I've found so far (19 seedlings of ramosissima this year). Also the sowing compost is not that important. Generally I cut it 50% soil and 50% vermiculite to provide a nice "fluffy" environment but I've sometimes used standard potting soil if I had nothing else handy and they germinate quite happily (they get no choice in habitat!). One thing that I do though is sow the seed then stand the pots in boiling water for the first soak. Then drain and then seal in plastic bags but take out of the bags once germinated. Temperature as Azuleja above and keep bags out of the sun. Generally sow early spring/late winter.
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Re: Aloe tree seed germination help

Post Number:#15  Postby Durls » Tue Dec 26, 2017 7:04 am

Hi guys,

Thought I'd give you an update, it seems it may have been an old batch of seeds my first try. Since then I have had great germination with barbarae, dichotoma, ferox and marlothi.
Thanks again for all your feedback.
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