Aloe gariepensis - 5 seeds
Aloe gariepensis - 5 seeds
Aloe gariepensis is a tough plant that varies in size from small and stemless forms to larger plants of up to a metre, in which case the stems can be short and erect. Plants are usually solitary but groups are not uncommon. The leaves are lanceolate and arranged in dense rosettes which sometimes curve inward, especially during hot and dry conditions. The leaves are characteristically striped due to numerous longitudinal lines along the entire length of the leaf surfaces. Usually leaves are copiously spotted on both sides in young plants with some spots remaining on the upper surface in mature plants. Leaf surfaces are free from thorns but the margins are horny and armed with pungent reddish-brown triangular teeth 2-3 mm long. The inflorescence is a single, narrowly oblong raceme 80-120 cm high (a raceme is an inflorescence in which flowers are borne on stalks on a simple (unbranched) axis). The racemes are yellow to greenish-yellow, or sometime the buds are red and the open flowers yellow, giving an attractive bicoloured effect. The flowers are relatively short-lived, and tubular but widening towards the mouth. The long floral bracts hide the young buds almost entirely. Aloe gariepensis has a fairly varying flowering range from early July to September.
When planting Aloes, it’s of extreme importance to provide good substrate drainage. That’s why it’s good to make a mixture of the following ingredients: garden soil, sand and perlite. You can use coconut peat too at the beginning. It’s necessary to sterilize the substrate in a microwave for 3mins or in the oven at 350°F (180°C) for 45 minutes.
You can plant Aloes in any kind of container. See-through plastic containers are the most practical, because you can easily see how damp the substrate is at any time. Ceramic containers are not recommended because they keep the moisture around the walls for longer periods of time. It’s necessary that the container has numerous holes at the bottom, so that the excess of water can flow easily.
Make the substrate and put it in the container, but as you do that be careful not to overfill the container. It’s best to leave at least 0.8 inches (2cm) to the top. You can correctly water the substrate during planting like this: the container in which the seed is planted should be sunk in water (it’s best to use rain or boiled water). You can do it by filling any container with the amount of water needed to fill half of a container used for sowing. Leave the container in water for some time, until you see that the surface of the substrate is wet. After you see that, you can take the container out of the water and leave it to dry well.
You should put Aloe seeds on the surface of the prepared substrate, gently pushing them with a straight object. You don’t need to cover the seeds with substrate.
You can keep the moisture in the container in various ways. You can use nylon and position it with a rubber band to the container; you can use a piece of glass which can be positioned at the edges of the flower pot… The best way to do this is to simply put the container into a plastic bag with a zip opener.
Aloe seed is best to plant during the warm months, but you can plant it during winter too, provided that you can supply it with an ample amount of light, warmth and moist. Minimal temperature for Aloe germination is 70°F (21°C). The container with the seed should be put on a bright spot in your apartment, but not exposed to direct sunlight.
Bag with the container should NOT be opened for at least three months. After those three months, you should open the bag every day for half an hour so that the seedlings which germinated can slowly start to get accustomed to the climate which is different from the one it’s been in. You should do this for a month, after which the plant will be completely ready to leave the bag.
Light plays an important role in lives of your baby Aloes now. Put them on a bright spot, under no circumstances exposed to direct sunlight and spray it from time to time. You may need to repot them only when the plants start running out of space or the container is too shallow.