Handling Instructions for Aloe polyphylla Seed
Our current batch of Aloe polyphylla Seed were harvested from exceptional specimens and stored at refrigerator temperature. It is hybrid seed produced by hand pollination of differing genotypic parents.
Other researchers (Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh) have indicated that water soaking until the emergence of the radicle, then transplanting to real media to establish a seedling is a good way to proceed. I perform a partial scarification using 150 grit sandpaper to break the outer dry “wings” to facilitate imbibition of water before sprinkling the seed onto the media .I cover the gro-flat with a shade cloth until radicle emergence at day 14. The radicle emerges in ~14 days and differentiates into root/shoot and the first cotyledon leaf is formed. The root descends into the soil , but may not find interstitial spaces sufficient to descend, resulting in the seedling jacking itself up. This is the critical moment to help the seedling to establish a downward pointing root in contact with soil. You may want to teaspoon soil around seedlings which have a looped root to help establishment. In week 4 you will want to watch and manipulate each seedling carefully to anchor the root. Grow-lights and a fan on a 16 hour day length are helpful. You may begin to use a crystalline fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro at label rate. The soil should conform to the specifications I list ( 3:1 pumice: potting soil) by volume. When the first root begins to explore the soil it must conform to the physiological needs of the root tissue to provide enough oxygen. Only COOL soil temperature fosters seed germination, bottom heat is NOT necessary. Temperature range of 40-70 F is suggested. When the first cotyledon leaf is formed with a root your seedling is beginning to establish itself. The soil media as prescribed has little water holding capacity, and your seedling wants a very porous soil now, so decrease water applications to about 1x/3 days lightly.