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Nov 4, 2019 1:14 PM CST
Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
Since Spring I have been hand pollinating various aloes as they come into bloom. Last week I planted most of the seeds. In less than a week I have at least six little babies breaking through the topdressing. I believe I see hints of many more. I'm very excited!

My first born two days ago
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Three more
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Nov 4, 2019 8:18 PM CST
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Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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Looking good! Thumbs up Now you just have to be patient while they get started. I try to avoid letting the soil go completely dry until they have 2 or 3 leaves. Many aloes will germinate within a couple of weeks, some will take longer.
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Nov 5, 2019 9:24 AM CST
Name: Deborah
midstate South Carolina (Zone 8a)
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Hurray! Hurray! Thumbs up
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Nov 5, 2019 12:27 PM CST
Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
Thank you both. I expected the long wait. My last project was growing palm trees, talk about waiting and patients. Months to get germination and now a two years before first set of true leaves appear. I didn't really think that one out nearly enough.

For the aloe, I planned for getting first germination in two weeks and last in two months. I never expected to get 11, maybe more, germinate in less than a week. Everyday is something new, I just can't get past the rate of growth on the ones that have germinated.

I can't wait to see what they look like, since the parent of the ones that have germinated is a hybrid.

Seven in this picture
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The bottom right were in the last picture. The top left is my first to germinate.
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Nov 5, 2019 3:42 PM CST
Name: Steve
Stoke-on-Trent, UK
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amazing ! Hurray! Hurray!
which aloes did you cross?
Steve
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Nov 7, 2019 12:44 AM CST
Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
Hello. Today, there are more than 25. There are 15 in this photo.

* I crossed 'Pink Blush' seed parent w/two different pollen donors. One a unknown hybrid I call 'Green Blush' & the other Aloe rauhii
* I crossed 'Green Blush' w/'Pink Blush' & Aloe rauhii
* I also have some straight species Aloe rauhii
* I have a Gasteria crossed w/an Aloe (unknown) The only one I remember blooming at the time was Aloe 'Firebird'. But, I convinced after many failed attempts both stamen and pollen of 'Firebird' are sterile. It makes a little pollen, but no other plant has produced seeds from it.
* Then I have some unknown seeds, which I think are more A. rauhii.

I have some 'Delta Lights' w/'Pink Blush' seeds that are not quite ripe.
Delta Lights is the lone bloomer at the time, so I have been collecting pollen to cross w/Christmas Carol in the coming weeks.
Firebird is about to bloom again, so i will keep trying. The rate at which it blooms gives more anecdotal evidence of it being sterile.

15 Count
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A Field of Dreams
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Nov 7, 2019 11:46 AM CST
Moderator
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
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It sounds like you're going to have some interesting seedlings to play with. Thumbs up

Some notes on aloe pollination from my fairly limited experience... in theory, any two plants which are flowering at the same time can pollinate each other, whether or not you get involved, at least outdoors with the help of the birds and the bees and the wind. So unless you exclude pollinators, you can expect outside interference with any attempt to hybridize two specific plants. Not that it matters when all the seeds are tossed in a mixed container at the end, just something to bear in mind as you assess the results of your work.

Most aloes are not self fertile but a good number (especially plants in cultivation) may be. This may be another complicating factor in the effort to create specific hybrids. I'm not sure if rauhii is on the short list of self-compatible plants but I know some of its hybrid offspring are. So depending on who else was blooming when you attempted to self-pollinate that aloe, you may see open pollinated hybrids as well.

Collecting aloe pollen for future use is likely to be a challenge, especially the longer you wait to use it. It can be done, but typically breeders store it cold and protected from moisture (for example inside a sealed container with water-absorbent "drying" material). Fresh pollen will give better results, and the fresher the better. Given that aloe flowers are protandrous (male parts mature first) the youngest, newest flowers will tend to have the most active pollen. (The flip side is that the receptive stigmas will typically be lower down on the inflorescence.)

I do not mean to be pedantic here or explain things you already knew, just trying to share some relevant factoids which may affect the results of your ongoing experiment. Smiling
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Nov 7, 2019 2:00 PM CST
Name: Steve
Stoke-on-Trent, UK
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@GardenGems
sounds like you could have some interesting crosses there. I tip my hat to you. I have about 15 hybrid aloes types now. I might give pollination a go next year. Please keep us updated on what you end up with Grin
Steve
Last edited by ketsui73 Nov 7, 2019 2:52 PM Icon for preview
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Nov 7, 2019 5:21 PM CST
Victoria, BC (Zone 9a)
@Baja_Costero I do thank you for trying to help me. I know that on these forums there are many first time plant owners. I still remember my first succulent, a jade that will be around probably until I die or I have lost my mind. The latter I believe will be the case. I have done lots of research about polinating aloes and germinating aloes. That is why I chose this medium. I know I am still full of questions. Please check out my question at the end of this post.
--- 15 years working in the professional growing and selling of plants. It was only the last three years I have been involved with succulents, but I do know many plants are not self-pollinating.
-- No, pollinators inside, except for me. I did make space outside for my two A. rahuii near the hummingbird feeder. Based on the point they started to make seeds it took the hummingbirds about a week to start to feed from them. Then they always went from plant A to B never the other way around for another week.
---- They are not 'all the seeds are tossed in a mixed container at the end'. They are actually in labelled section of the same tub. Each has there own area to grow. In the end they will grow end up growing side by side, but not mixed. Mostly, my borders are not the best defined. Spreading Aloe seeds was a little harder than anticipated.
---- I am not going to bother trying to put it in cold storage. It's just not worth that much effort. If the pollen is no good in a few weeks then it's no good.

What the h#&& was i thinking germinating this many aloes? We are up to 35 today. There are many more to come. Do you think they will be ready in time for Xmas presents. It all sounded great in head until it actually happened. I never expected this many Aloes to germinate. I tried to germinate a bunch of palm trees and very few germinated or survived six months. Now I'm stuck with 10 trees that take 2-3 years to grow their first mature leaves. What was I thinking? Again it was all fun and dreams until reality creeps in. I would never be a good father, taking 20+ years to mature is too many for me to live through. I'm not joking. They would be cute and pretty, until they started crying and screaming. Then I would report myself to Social Services. This will be me with these Aloes in a few months when run out of room. Most will end up on the donation table for the raffle we have at the end each one of our succulent society meetings. First they have to survive that long. I am determined to do better with these than I did with the palms. These are not suppose to be anywhere close to being that hard to grow.

35+
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Nov 7, 2019 8:34 PM CST
Moderator
Name: Baja
Baja California (Zone 11b)
Cactus and Succulents Seed Starter Xeriscape Container Gardener Hummingbirder Native Plants and Wildflowers
Garden Photography Region: Mexico Plant Identifier Forum moderator Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 1
Oh, now I see you are very organized with the different kinds of aloe seeds. Smiling

You are in the right place if you start seeds and end up with more seedlings than you know what to do with. You can always select your favorites to grow on (the biggest, the fastest, the bumpiest, or whatever) and thus cull the herd. It's always better to have too many than not enough. Thumbs up

To give some perspective on time and age... a random tabletop aloe hybrid may flower as early as 1 or 2 years. A tree aloe might flower after 4 or 5, if it's on the fast side. The rest fall mostly in between those numbers, except the very slow plants.
Last edited by Baja_Costero Nov 7, 2019 8:36 PM Icon for preview
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Nov 8, 2019 12:21 AM CST
Name: singsing Zhou
Australia, Victoria (Zone 5b)
hi
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Congrats,Garden Gems! Hurray! :hurray: Angel Thumbs up nodding
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