Aloe microstigma - 5 seeds
Aloe microstigma - 5 seeds
Aloe microstigma is one of the most floriferous aloes in South Africa. It is a common and widespread species that transforms the dull winter landscape into a wonderland with its towering warm colours that resembles flames on candles. These plants reach a height of about 600 mm and usually occur singularly or in small groups. The leaves are arranged in rosettes and are blue-green but can turn reddish brown if suffering from environmental stress. Conspicuous white spots appear on the leaves, which contrast well with the reddish teeth along the margins. The plant usually produces two or three flowers simultaneously in early winter, from May to July. The inflorescences (stem on which all flowers are borne) are up to 1m. The flowers are bicoloured, with red buds turning orange. In some places, however, the buds and open flowers may be uniformly red or yellow.
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.