Posted by: David | July 17, 2008

Aloe Vera Seeds?

I wonder if that post title will draw some extra hits. I’ve been awfully busy lately at work. Summer is a real grind sometimes. Many projects and little time.

The aloe vera plant at work is busy too. It has flowered again (I posted on its previous flowering back in February.) but this time the flowers were a little less colorful and didn’t secrete sap like they did back in the winter.

This time the aloe is making little pods.

I asked the plant’s primary caregiver if we could leave the flower stalk a little longer to let the pods do their thing. We opened one up to look and there were these little whitish specks inside that maybe are immature seeds.

My wife says that letting the pods mature might be taxing on the plant.

So that’s all for this post. Anyone out there familiar with this kind of aloe please comment. Hope your summer is going well!



  1. fascinating – as always. I had to cut off the seed pod from my rhubarb – first I had even seen it and had to call my MIL to ask what it was. She told me to cut it off. I asked, then what? I planted it. But I guess nothing will happen with it…

    In other words, I can’t help you with the aloe vera question!

    Thanks C I think it’s kinda fascinating too. I really like the flower photos over on your blog. We’re going to keep a close eye on that plant and I’ll report any interesting results. Or maybe even uninteresting results.

    A quick web search finds vendors of aloe seeds and advice that it is much easier to start aloe plants from the baby plants that divide from the main plant. This is how we’ve always propagated our aloes. Never had one flower. The plant at work has a very sunny spot with south and west facing windows. Most of the aloe plants in our windows are neglected but surviving.

  2. Careful with the pods Dave.

    Can you hear me Dave?

    Dave, what’re you doing?

    Dave. Dave.

    Daisy, daisy….

    Hal? Is that you? I thought I ripped your brains out Hal! What the hell are YOU doing Hal? 😀 😀

  3. I still can’t believe that aloe plant . I have a nice big one but no sign of any flowers or pods or seeds. That is wicked cool.

    I know! Isn’t it just nuts?! I think that the primary caregiver would have clipped off the flower stalk by now. Maybe it keeps flowering because it hasn’t gotten to “finish” yet? I don’t know.

  4. Hey Dave,
    It may be an aloe vossii instead of an aloe vera. Apparently aloe vossii are very rare. I love the pics of the flowers from the last time the plant flowered, and the pods are very cool too.
    Check out this page, with some pics of an aloe vossii

    Thanks for the link lakecrazy! That was a pretty informative little post by that 251 year old South African retired lady! I think I’ll leave a comment with a link to my post and maybe she can ID the aloe species.

  5. I think I already saw this episode of the Twilight Zone. The professor puts the flower on his lapel and the pod sucks the life out of him. OR maybe it was Outer Limits. Either way I am old enough to remember the episode was in black & white (what’s that my kids would say!)

    That sounds more like Dr. Who to me … the OLD Dr. Who of course. Whatever. Don’t worry Carol I won’t just throw the pods carelessly onto my desk, cover them with papers, and two weeks later spill coffee on them thus making them grow into razor-spined carnivorous walking trees. That won’t happen on MY watch! I know better than to mess with those succulents!!

  6. I’ve never seen such a large aloe. They could soothe the sunburn of a 3rd-world country with that thing. 🙂

    None of the aloe vera I’ve ever tried to grow have ever lived more than a month. I’m terrible with jade plants too. It’s a pity, they’re two of my favorite indoor plants.

    It’s a big one alright! It gets good sun exposure and great care year round.

    I hope you’ve got other houseplants that survive your “brown thumb”. Aloe and jade are usually able to tolerate pretty serious neglect. Like cacti, they can go for weeks and weeks without watering. In fact the succulents thrive on negligence.

    As I Googled around I found sites devoted to aloe. Apparently it cures many ills beyond sunburn. People eat it and drink it. Cures cancer, irritable bowel syndrome, warts, diabetes, etc. Oh and it helps you go #2 as well. In fact that seems to be the best-documented effect. Isn’t it always?

  7. Aloe? Aloe? Dave, are you there? Wonderful pictures, as usual. I know nothing about this subject, but if that plant gets any bigger, you could put a little tree house in it for Oliver.

    Thanks Moonbeam! It’s more Theo’s size I’d say. There’s even a web page that says aloe can help with fibromyalgia and arthritis. Here’s a sensible article from 10 years back.

    Nice to see you back in the blogosphere Moonbeam 🙂

  8. Well I’ve certainly been enlightened. These are everywhere here, in yards, along the side of the road, etc. But it wasn’t until I read this post that I realized those are aloe plants! I’ve had small ones throughout the years, which I kept in my kitchen greenhouse window, but none ever grew to the size of your library plant. Seeing them here I wrote them off as some weird cactus. Thanks for straightening me out!

    Yeah, I would imagine they’d grow like weeds in El Paso. Do you ever see them with flowers or seed pods? Maybe orange flowers? I guess you’d better approach the pods with care, since sci fi fans seem to have some instinctive fear of anything called a pod.

  9. To ID that aloe is not easy. There are so many different species and as you have seen on my blog and my web site they different a lot in growth and flowers. They also differ growing in shade or full sun. (will have to do a bog and show you). That aloe is not Aloe barbadensis common name aloe vera. It seems to be Aloe maculata or a hybrid with Aloe maculata. The flowers are the best clue when you ID an aloe as they remain the same whatever the growing conditions. I am impressed by the seeds. Most aloes are not self-fertile. They will not make seeds with their clones either. The small white thingies could be infertile seeds.
    I doubt if the aloe will suffer damage leaving the seeds on the plant to ripen. Aloes suffer from watering and bad drainage – mainly.

    It is not Aloe vossii which is a grass aloe with thin grass-like leaves to blend in with the grass where it grows. Grass aloes are rare but this one is very-very rare. I find all grass aloes difficult to grow and they seem to do better in pots than in the garden.

    Thank you ericat for your detailed comment and the other aloe link. I really appreciate it!

    I had no idea that there were so many aloe varieties. I wonder if you clicked the link in this post that links back to my February post, when the plant flowered but didn’t produce pods. The photos show the flowers but are not very good, however I do have some better ones if that would help.

    It sounds like you’re saying that viable seeds are very unlikely. Am I reading that right? There are no other aloes in the building for pollenation.

  10. secrete, not secret, you know. It takes foreigners years to learn, so the natives might as well try a little harder. How would anyone otherwise remember that “industrial” and “industry” are not pronounced the same way? And don’t mix up “record” with “record” , because one is a noun and the other one is a verb. “Wind” rhymes with “kind”. but only in certain well-defined cases.

    Thanks cantueso, that was a dumb one. I often see others’ typographical errors (as we call them) but fail to see my own. English is a horrible language I’m told …

  11. I don’t know what kind of aloe it is around here, but I do see pods.
    Apropo of nothing, I saw this and it seemed like something you’d use and actually enjoy.

    PODS?!?! Well in your spare time would you mind please taking a picture of these pods and when they ripen and dry out could you please send some to me?

    The mowercycle is awesome! What a great idea! Especially for smaller lawns. Thanks for linking that up Wendy. My mind is picturing how this contraption could be improved for bigger lawns. Luckily I haven’t the discipline to sit down and figure out the engineering, but it seems to me that with the proper gearing and traction wheels, one might be able to actually design something practical for larger lawns.

  12. I tend to inadvertently kill all houseplants. This includes those generally considered to be hardy such as aloe vera plants. I find this distressing because I am a big aloe fan…due to my propensity to test stovetops by touch and to shun sunblock on ‘cloudy’ days. Anyway, my point is…I have no idea about pods and seeds on these plants. I’m gathering by the number and length of the comments on this post that somebody else does though.

    Cool office!

    Thanks Allison for your brown thumb honesty. Most people kill aloes and cacti by over doing it. These plants thrive on neglect, honestly.

    The plant doesn’t live in my office, but in the same building. It’s a pretty cool building, now that you mention it. I feel lucky to work there.

  13. “this time the flowers were a little less colorful and didn’t secrete sap like they did back in the winter.”

    …once again I nominate you to start writing Erotica novels, hahaha 😉

    Well, someone pulled a Lorena Bobbit on our aloe didn’t they Romi!? Just as the pods were beginning to thicken, their outer walls growing lustrous as the green flesh gave its moisture to the seeds deep within … Ahem. Oh well. That’s quite enough of that. Maybe the aloe will flower again in the not too distant future …

  14. I’d be happy to photograph and send you some pods, but I don’t remember if they come out in fall or spring. But when I see ’em, they’re yours.

    The mower bike is a great idea but you could probably build a better one yourself. Buck says the way that one is built looks to be problematic, as the back tire would merely spin and it would probably take all day to mow even a small lawn.

    Wendy you are too kind, thanks so much. 🙂

    I agree with Buck that mowercycle as photographed would be pretty useless. Normal bicycle gearing would never give the leverage needed and the single rear bike tire has little hope of traction. But with the right gearing and tire sizes (two drive tires and they’d need to be big and squishy so as not to leave tracks) it might just work. But then again it might end up being more work than just pushing the reel mower around in the customary fashion. I only wish that I had the $2,000,000 I’d need to properly develop it. Jeebus knows I have plenty of lawn to test it out on!

  15. so much here! I enjoyed cantueso’s English reminders, Romi’s sug for erotica, and… Wendy’s mower cycle! I have seen one of these near my neighborhood and have been unable to get close enough to photograph w/o trespassing. Now I don’t have to attempt.

    Thank you C. I think you should try to photograph the mowercycle anyway, so we can compare designs. Glad you enjoyed this post.

  16. In Monterey CA Aloe grows uninterrupted along the coast. Easy to grow just get a pup and let it sprout.

    Flowers about 2 sometimes 3 times a year and get to patches at least 6 feet tall. I will get some pictures

    This is definitely of the same variety as the aloe here.

    I will try to update later.

    Thanx cYa!

    Thanks for your comment. We’ve got plenty of aloes started from “pups” around our house, but it would be cool to start one from seed! This specimen at the college library where I work may well have been brought from far away.

    To follow up the comment from ericat about seeds, I let the severed stalk hang upside down for many weeks until the pods dried out and dispensed their seeds. The seeds are not very impressive looking, but I’m going to see if they will germinate.

  17. Aloe vera is a product for every type of skin . it is a natural food flavoring and gives the result in few weeks. There is no side effects on any type skin aloe vera is a very highly effective in treating like pimples.i was used since last six months and give the results . so i am very happy to use this products. Hmm, vodka + aloe vera…interesting. Straight from the can/bottle, I still like Pokka brand Aloe vera + white grape juice the best. Avoid the + peach juice version though!

  18. How much time taken to grow the seeds of aloe vera?
    Can every aloe vera gave that type of seeds?

    The aloe in these photos is a very old one. Many years. The seeds were not fertile and didn’t germinate. You need more plants to cross-pollinate for good seeds. Thanks for visiting here.

  19. A client gave me the pod looks just as pictured… sooooo… is it going to die? thought to regrow it… she has tons and she gave me this one for my own….do I leave it alone.. should I keep it in water? save me…

    The pod should have seeds inside and should be allowed to fully ripen and dry out, as it have would in nature.

    When I posted this particular plant’s case back in 2008, it had no other aloes with which to cross pollinate- so the seeds were not viable. Maybe your client has multiple plants and the seeds will be fertile. Let them ripen and dry and try to germinate some.

  20. I have an aloe plant that looks the same as yours and it flowered and has pods on it. I would really like to know if I can plant these pods now by plucking while green or do I need to let them mature and then plant like rose hips?

    I would let them mature fully. But I’m no expert. As mentioned above, the seeds from the plant I know did not germinate.

  21. Hello that is a Aloe maculata, a friend gave me one and it has easily reproduced, so now we have several. We live in CA, and that may be the reason. Here’s an interesting article,
    Anyway have a great day!

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