Depending on the climate, aloe can either be planted outside in a garden or inside as a houseplant. These types of plants typically prefer warm, sunny locations with fertile soil. Many gardeners plant aloe seeds in shallow trays to start. The plants will often take several weeks to germinate, and during that time, they must be kept warm and moist. After the plants are large enough, they can be transplanted to a permanent location outdoors or in a container.
Aloe is a genus of succulent plants native to many parts of Africa. Of all the types of aloe plants, aloe vera is most commonly known. Like many other species of aloe, this flesh of this plant can be used medicinally to heal wounds. Although aloe plants are usually grown from cuttings of a large plant, it is possible to plant aloe seeds.
When planting aloe seeds, one should consider the plant's native habitat and climate. This plant can often be found growing wild in subtropical regions in Africa, where the climate is warm and moist. In warm climates with no freezing or frost, it is possible to grow aloe plants outdoors. Aloe should be grown in containers, however, in areas with cold weather.
The soil should also be an important consideration for anyone who wants to plant aloe seeds. It should be very fertile and well-draining. A mixture of sand and moist peat is considered ideal for growing aloe.
A shallow growing tray is often used when planting aloe seeds. This tray should be filled with the mixture of peat and sand. The aloe seeds should then be placed on top of the soil about 1 inch (2.54 cm) apart. A thin layer of fertile compost can then be sprinkled on top of the seeds.
After gardeners plant aloe seeds, they should make sure that the soil is kept moist. Dry soil will often prevent the seeds from germinating. Watering the seeds by pouring water onto the soil can disturb the seeds, so this is not usually recommended. Instead, the growing tray should be placed in another shallow container of water. The holes in the bottom of the tray will allow the soil to absorb the water, keeping it moist.
The soil and the aloe seeds should also be kept warm after planting. Generally, the temperature of the soil should be around 70 to 80° F (21 to 26° C). Placing a transparent top over the tray can help maintain this temperature, and a small thermometer inside can make it easy to monitor the temperature. If the temperature drops, the tray can be placed in the sun.
It will usually take several weeks to a few months for aloe seeds to germinate. After the plants are a few inches (7.6 cm) tall, they are ready to be transplanted. Since aloe plants have shallow root systems that spread, a shallow, wide container is typically ideal. Terra cotta containers also make excellent planters for aloe plants, since they allow for adequate drainage. While these plants can tolerate dry conditions, it is usually best to water the soil when it has dried out.