Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

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dk
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Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by dk » Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:04 am

Late february (this year!) my first Aloe Polyphylla seeds germinated in water. I quickly potted them on and to begin with I thought the growth was slow.

Two months on and this was all it had to show for itself...
Aloe polyphylla 5.jpg
But then things started to speed up, and when they went outside in June they had grown quite a bit...
Aloe polyphylla 4.jpg
...but nothing compared to what the next two months had in store...
Aloe polyphylla 3.jpg
From seed to a beautiful plant measuring 15 cm in diameter in just six months, wow!

And now, 7 months old and another 5cm wider. These seems to love my cool humid summer climate! No spiral pattern yet but it can't be long before they start to spiral...
Aloe polyphylla 2.jpg
Aloe polyphylla 1.jpg
I've already potted these on once and by the looks of it they are due for bigger pots. But that will have to wait until spring.

I highly recommend everyone to grow these. If they grow this well in my climate it will do even better in most of the UK!


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Yorkshire Kris
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by Yorkshire Kris » Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:37 am

They are great and WOW! they look to grow very fast.

I was kindly given one from Joel R earlier this year. I will look after it and wait for it to spiral.

DK will you plant any outside when they get bigger?


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dave2166
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by dave2166 » Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:55 am

very impressive and i'm very envious....

ive tried these and failed so i think you should

a. tell us where the seed came from
b. you germination method
c. what special tips you have

those beauties go for a decent amount on ebay as they are somewhat rarer than most aloe


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dk
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by dk » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:01 am

Thanks Kris!

The plan was to plant a few of them outside (maybe as soon as next year?) and have a few in pots that can be moved undercover/indoors if we get another cold winter.

I don't have a lot of frost free space for them indoors, so this year I will have to split them in two groups, grow a few of them on in my grow room underneath a powerful grow light and the rest of them will have to take their chances in a shed during the coldest months. Hopefully the next few winters will be back to normal, in that case I don't think the cold will be a problem for them...


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dk
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by dk » Sat Sep 17, 2011 9:22 am

dave2166 wrote:very impressive and i'm very envious....

ive tried these and failed so i think you should

a. tell us where the seed came from
b. you germination method
c. what special tips you have

those beauties go for a decent amount on ebay as they are somewhat rarer than most aloe
Dave, the seed came from Silverhill Seeds. I had no result with the seeds I got off of eBay to start with, and after reading about a method where you germinate the seeds in water, even the eBay seeds germinated after a while. But the Silverhill seeds were very fresh and had excellent germination rate, in fact, I had to throw away quite a few seedlings due to lack of space and pots!

You simply fill a jug/cup with cool water (15-18C) and leave them in a cool room indoors. Be careful, these don't like high heat and germinate and grow best at about 15C. It's a good idea to the change the water once a week, and after 10-20 days the first few seeds should start to germinate.

When the green root starts to appear it's time to gently pot them on in a light and airy cactus mix that is wet but not soggy. If you can squeeze out just a few drops of water from the soil in your hand you know it has sufficient moisture in it. Be careful not to break the root, it is very delicate at this stage. Seal in the moisture with a bag for the first few weeks so that you don't run the risk of the seedling drying out or overwatering it.

That's it really. They seem to love high humidy and cool temperatures. If you grow them on indoors make sure you mist them every once in a while, or even daily. I think they'll love you for it. After all, they grow high up in the Drakensberg mountains in the notorious fog belt.


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smurnan
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by smurnan » Tue Sep 20, 2011 7:11 pm

I've got some surplus fresh seed in stock if anyones interested at £4.50 for 5 or £9.00 for 12 plus 90p postage.

PM me if interested.

For germination the water method as described above works by far the best and autumn or spring sowings are the best times of year IMHO.


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dk
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by dk » Sun Sep 16, 2012 2:46 pm

Another year on and they've all grown tremendously :D

First two pictures shows one I grew on indoors over winter. Although it grew quite a bit throughout the winter the real growth has been outside where the conditions for it is far better.
Aloe polyphylla 1.jpg
You can just about notice the spiral pattern taking form now! It is huge, and will have to go into the ground next year before it gets to big to handle!
Aloe polyphylla 2.jpg
This one was overwintered in a shed and is a bit smaller but has survived 4 minus. Considering it's size last september I'm quite surprised by how well it has done in the last 6 months!
Aloe polyphylla 3.jpg
Sadly I lost a few to fungal disease due to poor air circulation and overwatering during the winter in my unheated shed. But the one above was almost untouched so there are some variances in hardiness, both cold and wet....


If you're not already growing it you really need to! icon_thumleft


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JoelR
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by JoelR » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:59 am

Beautiful plants DK. I posted some pics of my plants a while ago on a different forum and was told my plants needed repotting. They grow so fast you don't notice! I think yours do too.


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dk
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by dk » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:12 pm

Yes they do, epsecially the bigger ones. I'm reluctant to pot them up this late in the season, as I don't want to risk overwatering them during the winter.

I gave them all new pots in spring anyway, and I'm hoping to plant a few of them out next year anyway, so they'll have to do for now... :wink:

Do you have pictures of yours?


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JoelR
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by JoelR » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:45 pm

Here's my biggest one taken at the beginning of the summer. It's grown since then.
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100_3742.JPG


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JoelR
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by JoelR » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:47 pm

But this is the real challenge....Displayed by Trewidden Nurseries at the Chelsea Flower Show this year.
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100_3391.JPG


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dk
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by dk » Tue Sep 18, 2012 8:01 am

Wow, yours got a really pronounced spiral pattern already! Well done! icon_thumleft

Probably another five or six years before one of mine flowers, but I'm sure the wait will be worth it! Are you going to plant it out anytime soon? It looks to be in a quite a big tub already! Must be hard to handle as it gets larger, not as innocent as they look either, but thankfully not as bad as some agaves!


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JoelR
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by JoelR » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:59 am

I've no plans to plant the biggest one out DK but it's now too wide to get past the greenhouse door so a spell in the conservatory may be necessary this winter. I have a couple of other plants which are now around 30cm and several others which I will plant out eventually with some sort of cover during winter. Clarke Brunt has documented that his plants flowered at around 7 years from seed so you may not be in for such a long wait.


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dk
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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by dk » Wed Sep 19, 2012 12:48 pm

It was reading about his plants that got me hooked on A. polyphylla!

If I'm not mistaken, he grew all his in pots right? Could it be that they might flower sooner once established in the ground from early on? I know a lot of plants, especially palms, grow slower in pots due to a number of reason, irregular watering, feeding etc. Perhaps they are happier in the ground and will flower sooner than in pots? One can only hope, and only time will tell, but it will be interesting to see if it will make a difference once I get to try one in the ground!


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Re: Aloe polyphylla rocketing away

Post by Steph » Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:38 pm

Try growing them in a much freeer draining mix, like just the soil they have now, in a larger pot backfilled with pure grit or gravel.

Mine haven't spent the whole winter outside but the results so far have been good.


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