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Spotted
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Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

I would love to know if there was a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom. I have two pots of aloe plants in my window that I have had for a long time. One I've had for 8 years. The other I've had for 3. Both are constantly producing pups right now. Enough that I had to take them to work to give the pups away because my window sill was getting full. But I've never had one of them produce a bloom.

If someone knows a trick, I would appreciate it.

imafan26
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

The only trick I know is patience. Aloes usually start blooming when they are about 15 years old. Then it is hard to keep them from blooming.
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baileysup
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

15 YEARS! Wow, that's quite some time. I was wondering if any of mine would bloom, and now know why none of them have. The oldest I have is 4-5 years old.

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PunkRotten
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

Mine must be pretty old then. I have them outdoors and they bloom every year.

imafan26
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

Mine are around 40 years old. They were already blooming when we bought the house.
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applestar
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

Wow yeah. I think we may have to double the years if we're going to compare to aloe plants in areas where they are garden plants. :lol:

Assuming you put them outside and acclimate them to as much sun as they can take during the warmer months, here in my garden, we're still talking less than 5 months... more like 4 months during which they can go outside and even then they don't get as much of the the extremely hot/warm (or perhaps extremely hot daytime/cool night time?) conditions, and 7-8 months inside. They may get little longer growing days IF you provide them a lot of light (as in supplemental lights) and other conditions (humidity?) they need to extend their growing season, otherwise, they just shut down for the winter in the "dim" "dry" "cold" winter indoor conditions.

I think they might also need the cool period and the drought period.

(I think these are the same reasons tropical fruit trees take so long to get to fruit bearing maturity here.)

What kind of aloe varieties do you all have? I was looking at some cool photos of Spiral Aloes but found out they need to grow huge -- like two FEET across... in TEN to FIFTEEN gallon containers -- to look like that. :shock: I did read that seed-grown Spiral Aloe can develop their spiral earlier -- I wonder if they are hard to grow 8)
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imafan26
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

I grow aloe vera the clumps get pretty huge. I have to thin them out every year. However, if they are kept in a pot they stay smaller. I had an agave, in a pot (century plant). It was in a 6 inch pot and after about 15 years it bloomed and never got to full size. Of course it died afterwards too, but made a whole bunch of babies.

The aloe vera is the only aloe I have. I only have a few succulents since they can easily be over watered especially in the rainy season. I have crown of thorns, desert rose, Browne cactus, Starfish flower (stapelia grandiflora), golden barrel cactus, rat tail cactus and some others that don't know the names of. I used to have opuntia (angel wings),rick rack cactus, prickly pear, sedum (donkey tails). I have killed every old man cactus I have had.
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baileysup
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

applestar wrote:
I think they might also need the cool period and the drought period.

(I think these are the same reasons tropical fruit trees take so long to get to fruit bearing maturity here.)
I've got the cold period covered, but never heard of a drought period. I usually don't keep them dry for that long (even in the winter). I usually look how plump the leaves are, and if they start to look flat, I'll water. Is this drought period something I should be concerned with, and what does it consist of please? Thanks, very interesting.

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Spotted
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

Thank you for all of the replies. I had only expected one or two, and it took me a while to get to a computer to make a reply.

Well if it just takes 15 years then I'm a little half of the way there with my one aloe vera plant. That's the one that is 8 years old. I remember carrying it home from Walmart. My other pot of aloe, I think it is from Lows. I do tend to harvest the stalky leaves so as a surprise, one day, my mom showed up with another pot for me. Despite the fact that they are both aloe vera plants, (Basically the general ones that you get from the hardware store. Nothing special.) there are some huge differences between them. The three year old one staid small and produces a lot of little pups immediately. The other one only recently started producing pups but is huge. Before I planted it deeper because I'd been harvesting the leaves, it was two feet tall. So what I have are aloe vera plants but what ever they are, They are probably some type of different strains.

As far as the aloe plants being able to go outside in the summer, I am not able to do that. I'm still in an apartment at this time, but in time, who knows where I'll be later. My window does manage to get a lot of light. I grew peppers and basil with my aloe's last summer on the same window sill, but it's still just a window.

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Spotted
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

Also, AppleStar. I've seen the images of that aloe plant with a swerl that you are talking about. I do think it's cool. There are some with stripes that I've found that I like the look of as well.

As far as what I know if really successful in my area, even here in Michigan, My mother in law, has great luck with her prickly pear cactus. She does nothing with it. She doesn't even take it inside for the winter and we are in Michigan. She has a small crop of fruit from it every year. We'll see if they survive this year's winter.

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PunkRotten
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

No idea what kind I have. I used to have a lot of them, it was growing pretty wild and I thinned it out. I gave away a few plants and some I chopped up and composted. I like having them around though. I think the flower is nice and hummingbirds seem to like them too. They start to pop up in February around here.

baileysup
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

Spotted wrote: Despite the fact that they are both aloe vera plants, (Basically the general ones that you get from the hardware store. Nothing special.) there are some huge differences between them. The three year old one staid small and produces a lot of little pups immediately. The other one only recently started producing pups but is huge. Before I planted it deeper because I'd been harvesting the leaves, it was two feet tall. So what I have are aloe vera plants but what ever they are, They are probably some type of different strains.
I know what you mean. I have two aloe vera plants that look almost identical, but one is normal size, and the other is really big. I'm guessing they are different types, but I don't know the names of them. They both pup though.

imafan26
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

My aloe has yellow flowers but the other one in UGC has reddish flowers. I thought that was because of the difference in soil conditions.

I actually water aloes incidentally when I water my vegetables because they are in the same section. I moved the aloe there temporarily a few years ago because they were hard to weed where they were and they never went back.

Actually the aloes are much bigger when they get regular water. They still get good drainage, my vegetable garden is in a raised bed. I brought one of my big Aloes from my house after I thinned the clump and over time it actually shrank in size.

It is warmer there 9-14 degrees but it rarely gets really hot here. High 90's and maybe 100 in August but the nights will only vary about twenty degrees so nothing very extreme here. It is the blessing and the bane of high humidity. Humidity keeps the actual temperature down but it feels hotter because it can be very muggy and sticky. My aloe is in rich acidic soil that is high nitrogen (I grow corn) at my home and I live at a higher elevation. UGC is 17 ft above sea level. So the aloe actually was bigger in richer soil with more water in a cooler area.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

Actually aloes can flower at a much younger age than 15 years! I think it depends on which aloe. They do, however need full, hot sun and less water. They often flower in winter but again, that depends on the aloe. The aloes that flower in winter naturally occur in dry areas that get absolutely no rainfall in winter (sunny and warm but cold at night) and lots of summer rainfall.

My grandmother-in-law keeps aloes in year-round warm weather and they flower on time anyway so I think try reducing the water and increasing the sun and see what happens. Flowering in plants is often induced by stress.

imafan26
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

My aloes bloom in late Spring. It may be the variety as you say. They bloom around the same time every year and it does not depend that much on water. The other spot I moved them from at my house pretty much only got rain and they bloomed. Now that they get more water they are bigger but still bloom every year.

I did some research and it did say that most aloe bloom around the vernal equinox in late winter through late Spring and that day length and size matters. Only the largest aloes will bloom. So, it may be helpful to keep potting up the aloe. It needs a wide pot since the roots spread sideways. Mine in the ground are knee high and the stalks are probably 2-3 inches in diameter.

I also read that the medicinal aloe vera is primarily a cultivated species and no longer exists in the wild.
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evtubbergh
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

We have Aloe Vera in the wild. Where did you read that?

Yes, I forgot about uppotting, you are right. They need to get big. My grandmother-in-law is nuts about aloes so have quite a few and they always go into very big pots.

And if the flowering requirement is darkness, not water and temperatures as would be indicated by imafan26's experience and my g-i-l's aloes then you can also try covering them to simulate darkness (if they are inside). It's a bit like calandiva that need 16 hours of darkness to bloom.

imafan26
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

There are wild aloes and they bloom more often. But the common one that is sold and used to treat burns, aloe barbadensis, is primarily a cultivated species with yellow flowers. That is the one that I have. It is closely related to wild aloes, but the flower is different and they are a different subspecies.

Most of the aloes are threatened in their native habitat. Aloe barbadensis is one of those plants that are more common in cultivation than in the wild. Because it is so commonly grown as a house or garden plant, it is not endangered but still its' native populations are shrinking.

In this article it does say that aloes should be mature enough to bloom when they are about 5 years old. If they are like other lilies, ie amaryllis they not only need age but also size and light to bloom.
https://ag.arizona.edu/pima/gardening/ar ... ensis.html
https://legacy.earlham.edu/~banvael/aloevera.html
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Sweyn
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Re: Is there a trick to getting an aloe plant to bloom?

What are the requirements for Aloe Juvenna to flower? I mean examples that are kept in pots, indoors.

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