How to Extract and Propagate Aloe Vera Seeds?

Aloe-Vera
Aloe Vera Plant (Source: Wikimedia)

The highly medicinal Aloe Vera plant is mainly propagated from stalks, but did you know that they can also be grown from seeds?

You heard it right! Aloe Vera gives out tiny seeds that you can quickly propagate at home to produce multiple succulents.

Many commercial growers plant seeds to get new plants, so why should you not do the same?

In general, to extract Aloe Vera seeds from a flowering plant, let the flowers die before splitting the pods and extracting the seeds. The seeds should be brown to black. Hence, propagate extracted Aloe Vera seeds immediately or later with a standard germination kit.

Aloe seed morphology
Aloe seed morphology (Source: ResearchGate)

Otherwise, you can always order healthy seeds from certified retailers online and germinate them at home.

Read on to figure out how to carefully obtain seeds from your Aloe plant and ways to propagate them with ease.

Aloe Vera Seeds Overview

If you have grown or seen an Aloe Vera plant, you would know it is a cactus-like succulent growing in a relatively hot and dry climate.

Like cactus, Aloe Vera produces mucilage, an aqueous, clear, gooey liquid that provides Aloe plant its medical and environmental benefits.

Aloe Vera in Sunlight
Aloe Vera in Direct Sun (Source: Public Domain Pictures)

Aloe Vera belongs to a separate genus called Aloe, which has some 500 species and is widely distributed around the globe.

Regarding the seeds, your Aloe plant would only begin producing until it has reached maturity, also marked by blossoms or flowers.

Here is a brief description of Aloe Vera seed.

ColorGrayish brown to black (Ready to plant)
Light-colored or white (Maturing)
Size2-5 mm
ShapeTiny and flat
Weight0.0019-0.0022 g
Blossoming SeasonSpring and Summer
BlossomTubular yellow and orange blooms
PatternInflorescence containing dozens of tubular yellow pods
Harvest SeasonLate Summer or Autumn
Growing TimeSpring (When grown outdoors)
Late Winter or early spring (When grown indoors)
Conducive TemperatureAround 75°F (23.875°C)
Germination Time2-4 weeks to sprout
Another 2-3 weeks to root before repotting

The plant will only flower once it is four to ten years old, but you must wait until the flowers are spent to break the pod to extract seeds.

Obtaining the grayish brown to black seeds can be the most rewarding experience, especially when propagating them to obtain similar plants.

How do you Extract Aloe Vera Seeds?

Your Aloe Vera plant will begin producing seeds in the spring when it has attained maturity.

The plant will mature in four to five years. Some species will take ten years before they begin flowering.

Obtaining seeds means waiting for the flowers to mature as the pods contain the Aloe seedlings.

However, you must wait until they are spent to obtain the seeds.

Aloe Seed Pods
Aloe Seed Pods (Source: Houzz Forum)

Instruction to Extract Aloe Vera Seeds

Here is the step-by-step instruction for harvesting Aloe flowers for seeds.

  • Keep your Aloe plant in check throughout the growing season (spring and summer).
  • The flowers will begin popping in spring and dry out in late summer.
  • They will turn from yellow to orange and brown as they dry, and the pod’s top will slightly open.
  • It marks the pods are ready to be broken open.
  • Place a tray or plate under the pod and slowly break the pod.
  • The tiny seedlings will drop on the tray, which is grayish brown to black and somewhat flat.

Remember, seeds that are light-colored or white are not ready for germination.

Green pod indicates the Aloe seed is not yet ready to be harvested
Green pod indicates the Aloe seed is not yet ready to be harvested (Source: Houzz Forum)

Therefore, consider storing them for later.

  • Store seeds in a tightly sealed glass container and keep them in a dry and cool place.
  • Save seeds in individual paper envelopes or packets in a cool, dark location.

Note: Using a germination tray, you can germinate the seeds indoors, even in winter. Otherwise, wait until winter has passed.

Where to Buy Aloe Vera Seeds?

Here is the list of a few reliable retailers selling quality Aloe Vera seeds for propagation.

SellersProsCons
Best Seeds Online1. Varieties of Aloe Vera species available

2. Worldwide free shipping
1. Estimated delivery time is 10-30 business days
ETSY1. Find a wide variety of Aloe seeds from the catalog.

2. International shipping is available.
1. Shipping some products may take over eight days.
Amazon1. Easy shopping and shipping option.

2. Amazon express delivery is available
1. Not many Aloe Vera choices available
Garden Paradise Seeds1. Worldwide shipping available

2. Seeding and propagation guide available
1. Very few choices are available

2. Free shipping only from €45

Can you Grow Aloe Vera from Seed?

Yes, you can. As demonstrated before, you should extract the seeds when they are mature and germinate them in a proper potting medium.

Many gardeners wonder whether they must prepare the seeds before germinating.

Ensure the Aloe Vera seeds are brownish or dark, which indicates they are ready to root.

The Aloe seeds are ready to germinate the moment they are harvested until the next growing season for the best results.

However, proper storing is the key to maintaining the seed quality.

Steps to Propagate Aloe Vera via Seeds

Propagating Aloe Vera from the seeds is easy and involves only a few steps.

Materials Required

Here are the items required for germinating Aloe seeds.

  • Fresh or stored seeds
  • Perlite, sand, peat moss, and sterile compost
  • Germination tray
  • Plastic
girl doing germination process
Germination process (Source: Unsplash)

Step 1: Prepare the Seed

  • Begin to prepare the seed by giving it a good soak in warm water.
  • Soaking the seeds overnight breaks down their natural defenses, including inhibitors that may prevent germination.
  • You can also sow the freshly harvested directly without soaking in water.
Aloe seed
Harvest Aloe seed (Source: Houzz Forum)

Step 2: Prepare the Seed Starter Mix

The ideal potting mix is the key to getting the best growing medium for Aloe seeds.

  • Using a commercial Aloe or Cacti mix may work well.
  • To make a homemade potting mix, assimilate four items; perlite, sand, peat moss, and sterile compost.
  • Mix two parts of perlite and sand and one part of peat moss and sterile compost.
  • Stir the ingredients to bring a uniform texture, and add water to moisten the medium.
Seed starter tray
Seed starter tray (Source: Amazon)

Step 3: Fill the Germination Tray

  • Fill each cell in the germination tray with the pre-made seed starter.
  • Fill it until 1/4 inch of the top, and press the surface to make it even.
  • Each cell holds at most two seeds an inch apart.
  • Plant more than three seeds per cell using old sources with a low germination rate.
  • Place each seed on top of the soil and gently push it inside, about 1/4″ deep.
  • Cover it with a light dusting of the sand to prevent the moisture from escaping.
  • Moisten the solution by watering every day until the mature leaves emerge (2-3 weeks). Limit watering to three times a week, then water twice a week.
Seedlings sprouting from seed starter kit
Seedlings sprouting from seed starter kit (Source: Unsplash)

Step 4: Growing Outdoors

You should be wary about growing Aloe seeds outdoors when winter or the last frost has not passed.

  • Once the risk of the last frost has passed, begin preparing the soil by amending it with sterile compost.
  • Dig up the ground and add a seed 1/8″ deep, 6-12 inches apart from each other.
  • Water daily to keep the soil evenly moist (three times a week and twice afterward).
  • The seedling will begin to sprout in the next 10-14 days.
  • Begin applying the organic fertilizer, diluted to half strength, when you witness four or more leaves.
Seeds sprouting
Seeds sprouting (Source: Giphly)

Note: The outdoor grown plant can tolerate down to 50°F. Anything below 32°F will permanently damage the seedlings. Therefore, germinating the seeds indoors would be best before taking them outside.

Care for Aloe Vera Seeds During Propagation

The growth rate of Aloe Vera depends on environmental conditions and the particular species’ history.

Here are a few essential things to know while caring for the Aloe seedlings.

  • Move the germination tray to an area where it gets 8-10 hours of sunlight daily; however, avoid keeping them directly under the sunlight.
  • Aloe seedlings require around 75°F to grow new roots. Keep the germination tray on a heat mat or in a propagator for at least two weeks to boost warmth and humidity.
  • Alternatively, you can use artificial fluorescent lighting to the same effect.
  • Putting the plastic lid on the tray will help preserve humidity; however, avoid covering the tray when using a non-sterile organic mix which leads to fungal growth.
  • Mist the soil surface daily to keep the potting mix from drying out and avoid fertilization.
Propagating Aloe Vera
Propagating Aloe Vera (Source: Houzz Forum)

Voila! Your Aloe seedlings will begin growing feeder roots and green within 2-3 weeks.

Care for Aloe Vera Seeds After Propagation

Once you see four or more leaves, move the sapling to 2-inch (5 cm) individual pots with at least one drainage hole.

Do not forget to use a sterilized mix of perlite, peat moss, compost, and sand as the potting medium.

Continue the care as you would for an adult Aloe Vera plant.

CareSpecification
Sunlight1. Keep them in a warm west or south-facing window with indirect sunlight.

2. Avoid direct sunlight and low light conditions.
Temperature1. Aloe does well in the temperature between 55 and 80°F (13 and 27°C) during the day and nothing less than 50°F at night.

2. Keep your plant indoors during fall and winter.
Watering1. Water the plant deeply yet sparingly every 2-3 weeks in spring and summer.

2. Water even more sparingly in fall and winter.
Fertilization1. Fertilize once a month in spring and summer with balanced houseplant formula mixed at half strength.

2. Always use organic fertilizer with 10-10-10 or 12-12-12 NPK.
Pruning1. Trim non-green or unhealthy Aloe stalks or overgrowing stalks to maintain the desired shape.

Please read our guide about pruning and shaping Aloe Vera Plant

Read more about caring for baby aloe vera plant at home.

Aloe Vera Benefits

Growing Aloe Vera has many benefits because this medicinal plant can be used for various household purposes.

  • Aloe Vera gel is antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic, which can be applied on sore, burn, rashes, and healing wounds.
  • Aloe Vera latex contains chemicals that work as a laxative to help clear your bowel (Consult with the physician before taking Aloe orally).
  • Massaging Aloe gel on joints also helps reduce arthritic swelling.
  • Aloe contains an antioxidant substance called polyphenols that help prevent the growth of certain bacteria at home.
  • Aloe Vera induced mouthwash is known to reduce dental plaque and bacterial biofilms on teeth.
  • Applying Aloe gel also helps treat canker sores.
  • Applying cosmetic Aloe gel also helps prevent wrinkles and improve skin condition.
Aloe Vera slices
Aloe vera slices (Source: Freepik)

Conclusion

Aloe Vera makes one of the perfect houseplants to keep at home or office.

Moreover, Aloe seeds are easy to grow, maintain, and propagate, making the whole affair relatively easy for new gardeners.

However, remember to follow the harvest and propagation guide to avoid making costly mistakes.

Wait until the seeds are in the proper condition, dark instead of white, before considering propagating.

Follow this guide to grow Aloe seeds at home quickly.

Related Article: Why is my Aloe Vera Drooping?

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