Aloe, African (Aloe africana), packet of 10 seeds
(African Aloe) Native to the Eastern Cape of South Africa, this is one of the handsomest of Aloes worldwide. The classic, deeply toothed rosette gives forth oversize flowers of yellow. The mature plant prefers dry, very fast draining soil and full sun to part shade. Sow seed in regular greenhouse conditions. Probably ok to start them on a windowsill, although high temperatures and humidity do encourage germination. Planted in the right conditions, these seeds give high germ rates. Use a pot or a deep flat filled with Cactus mix. Sprinkle seed on surface and cover with 1/8 inch of sharp, coarse sand or grit. Lacking sand or grit, you can cover with cactus mix. Tamp well and water once or maybe twice daily, keeping warm and somewhat shaded. A shaded bench in the greenhouse is ideal–we’re looking for filtered light here, not heavy shade. Germination occurs in about 3 weeks, the little succulent leaves pushing up through the grit. At this point, keep warm, somewhat shaded and water a bit more sparingly (once every three days), allowing the surface to dry out between waterings. Grow seedlings closely together for 3 months or so, then individuate to pots. To plant (any) Aloe, first cover the hole in the bottom of the pot with a pot shard, put a layer of sand in the bottom of the pot (2 inches or so deep), then a 2 inch or so layer of compost or any kind of humusy potting soil will do, then finish off with more sand on top of the compost. Plant the roots of the aloe seedling down through these layers, and leave the succulent barely nestled down into the top layer of sand, tamping all around to hold the seedling firmly upright. Do not water after transplanting–leave the plants for a week or 2 without watering at all. The seedlings will send down roots at this time, roots that wouyld be discouraged by the presence of too much moisture. Once the plants have rooted in, water once a week or so during the summer, but then more or less discontinue watering during the winter. Aloes do best in a shaded greenhouse or indoors on the windowsill with a northerly or easterly exposure. Aloes live on and on.
10 Seeds/pkt., Open Pollinated