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Aloe Vera Tips & Solutions (monthly news), - Growing Aloes from Seed - 11-3-14
November 03, 2014
Aloe Vera Tips & Solutions
monthly newsletter/ezine of
Vol. 3 #35 November 3, 2014
Taking Care of Ourselves - Growing Aloes from Seed
A month ago I received five envelopes of aloes seeds from Horizonherbs.com and have started a new experiment - growing aloes from seeds. I'll report here on the first stage.
In case I make mistakes and have to start over, I sowed just a few seeds of each in five small clay pots. I have been watering gently (nearly) every day for three weeks. So far I see four little shoots!
These varieties of aloes are all exotic for me, as I've never seen such plants before. I researched them online a bit to get an idea of what to anticipate. The Horizon Herbs catalogue has very helpful descriptions too. I'll share these today, and then you can better look forward to updates as these plants begin to grow. It can take around three weeks to germinate these seeds, and about three years to come to a good seedling stage, when you can separate each plant into it's own container. Obviously, this is a long-range project.
1. Aloe castanea (Cat's Tail Aloe) A small tree Aloe that grows to 12 feet tall. Native to South Africa. The rosette of leaves gives rise to multiple, fuzzy, orange racemes (that's flowers along a stem) that curves like the tail of a cat. It blooms in winter. Hey...I look forward to that!
2. Aloe littoralis (Windhoek Aloe) This is a large, trunk-forming succulent native to Northern South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Botswana and Angola. The weighty leaves are spotted when young, and monochrome in older plants. The leaves are grey/green with toothed reddish margins. The flowers of this aloe are coral red. Richo at HorizonHerbs.com says this is one of the most enthusiastic germinators. Okay!
Note: one of these is up!
3. Aloe maculata (Soap Aloe, Zebra Aloe) A fat succulent widely distributed throughout South Africa. Highly variable, so needs protection from frost. This plant has the distinction of not needing well-drained soil. It will even grow in muck. Small to medium in size, the stubby leaves often have dried tips, and are covered with 'h' shaped spots. Eventually the plant grows a stout stump, and gets branched stalked topped with flowers that look like over-sized pompoms of orange or red. - Ah, I want to see that!
4. Aloe marlothii (Mountain Aloe) A large, single-stemmed succulent up to 15 feet tall. It's native to South Africa, Swaziland, Botswana and Mozambique. The rosette of leaves produce a candalabra of up to 30 racemes of orange, tubular inforescences (flowers). - Wow! I can hardly wait to see that! It's also a native remedy against tapeworm.
Note: three of these are up!
5. Aloe petricola (Fond of Stones Aloe) A solitary, stemless Aloe native to the East Transvaal in South Africa, which gets firmly rooted between stones, yet it has smooth and succulent leaves that are rimmed by dark brown teeth. When it blooms it has bi-coloured racemes of white and orange. - That will be interesting to see!
These five Aloes are marked as new seeds for 2015. Among a total of 21. Their catalogues shows 26 varies, including our common Aloe vera. Which means that this next year they are offering 21 NEW strains of Aloe seeds for sale.
Consider yourself alerted in advance. If you wait til word really gets out - you may find they are out of seeds! Go have a look; horizonherbs.com I dare you to run your own experiment.
A Practical Tip/Solution - Bags of Leaves
If you live in the northern hemisphere as I do, you have been harvesting your garden and putting it to bed for the winter. Believe me, I've already raked and bagged 20 large bags of leaves. You might think that I should just let them lie on the ground and work them into the soil in spring as compost.
I say no. My Dad thought so too, and even offered to rake other people's lawns so that he could add the leaves to the garden soil Big mistake. In spring the maple tree seeds spouted all over the garden! It created heaps of more weeding work than Dad and I could manage. Even when I rake and bag the leaves, I spend a lot of time in spring stooping and pulling up those shoots. If you wait too long, the roots are so deep they won't come out!
Anyway, what to do with all those bags of leaves? Here's a tip that I now use; I place the bags around certain perennial plants that find it hard to make through our -40C temperatures in winter. That creates a little private hothouse for them, and in spring, when the snow drifts have melted away I remove and dispose of the bags of leaves. The plants turn green quickly and stretch up and up and away.
I Recommend - Aloe Vera Capsules
So - even if you and I run this experiment and grow aloe plants from seeds or pups we will be often and long without raw aloe gel to use for our health. However, there is a solution.
You can purchase aloe vera in capsules in various strengths. My favourite place so far has been Puritan's Pride. It is in the USA, and that's been fine but lately our Canadian government has put limits on what supplements and prescriptions Canadians can order from over the border. (Harumph!?)
So right now I'm checking out various Canadian sources for myself, and have not settled on just one yet.
For my American readers, I give you this link to Puritan's Pride for Aloe Vera Softgels-25 mg-100-Softgels
For Canadian, I suggest that you look over the selection of Aloe Vera Capsules - Canadian on this Amazon.ca store on my site. If you find an extra special source, would you let me know?
Contact & Policies - Constant
CONTACT INFO: Ruth Marlene Friesen (306)856-7785
POLICIES: I am definitely against S/p/a/m! I Will NOT share your
COPYRIGHT (c)2014 Ruth Marlene Friesen
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