Aloe and Agave Seedlings in the Grow Tent
Over the last year or so I decided to try growing plants from seed. Our yard and nature provide the seeds - more than I need. But of course there are always a few varieties out there that we don't have. What nature doesn't provide me directly - the internet can but unfortunately most sites charge an exorbitant amount for just a few seeds. By far the best place online I've found is the CactusStore.com - so they deserve a shout out.
The young Aloe petricola were from a batch of 100 seeds I bought last year from the CactusStore. Looks like I had somewhere between a 40% - 50% success rate. Someone who actually knew what they were doing might end up with more plants.
|Aloe broomii - the "Snake Aloe"|
Handsome little guy. This is a new plant for yours truly.
|Younger Aloe dawei plants - about 2 months old|
|Aloe dawei plants that are roughly 5 months old|
|Aloe speciosa about 5 months old|
Unfortunately out of 100 A. speciosa seeds only 10 germinated and survived.
|Aloe pretoriensis - "Pretoria Aloe"|
|Aloe thraskii about 2 months old|
|Aloe thraskii at roughly 4 months old|
|Aloe thraskii grown in 3" pots|
I transferred the more robust seedlings to larger containers after a few months.
|Aloe thraskii started and grown in a old salsa container|
This is probably the largest of the Aloe thraskii plants.
|Aloe thraskii roots|
A. thraskii has fairly aggressive roots and has turned out to be one of the easier Aloes to grow from seed (just don't wait too long after germination to transplant them to individual containers as their roots will quickly become intertwined)
Above and below - Agave chiapensis plants all about 5 months old. Not all seeds are created equally as you can see by the different growth rates.
|Agave chiapensis in 3" containers|
Several months ago I transplanted the larger, healthier looking A. chiapensis to the tray above. It's likely past time to move these plants outside.
|Agave chiapensis about 2 months old|
Above is a newer batch of seedlings. My growing strategy has shifted. Now I transplant seedlings after their first true leaves appear. I start them in an open tray (as pictured below) then move them to 2" pots. Unfortunately not all seedlings have made the cut due to poor health.
|Agave chiapensis before growing leaves|
The seeds for these Hesperaloe all came from a walk I took one day.
But Wait There's More (from new seeds coming soon)
The above Aloe munchii is still young so I was surprised to see it flower and produce seed. It came originally from the Institute for Aloe Studies. There are not many seed pods but hopefully enough to produce several dozen seedlings.
If you haven't already - see Aloe wickensii in bloom.
I'm not sure if it's because of the flower structure being especially accessible to pollinators but this Cat's Tail Aloe produced a lot of seed pods. This is just one part, of one stalk, on one plant.
|Aloe vaombe - one lonely seed pod|
|The very prolific Aloe thraskii|
These remind me of hand grenades. They're about the same size actually! Check out some pics of this plant in bloom.
|Aloe striata - Coral Aloe|
|Aloe striata - Sans Coral flowers|
|Aloe chabaudii - the smallest seed pods of them all|
I know the question you may be asking about now
"Hans, why are you growing so many plants? What are you going to do with all those plants?! You have no more space in your yard!"
Ok, yes it's true. In my mind I have an ill-formed dream. I'd like to transition in the next several years out of tech and into something greener, something perhaps... spikier. In the mean time I'm learning first hand how to propagate.
I've got loads of Aloe dawei, Aloe thraskii and Agave chiapensis. If you fancy one of these plants and live in the Continental US - leave a comment here and DM me your pertinents on Instagram at dryoasisgardening. I'll send some plants to the first half dozen or so gardening aficionados who ask. Just for fun.
Until next time - Keep Growing!