There are around 250 different species of aloe, each with its own look, but there are also many similarities between the plants making it easy to group them together. The most common type of aloe is aloe vera, known for its legendary medicinal properties and the ease of growing it in many climates and environments. Although it may take only a week to see the first baby aloe, propagating your aloe from seeds is more difficult and requires more attention than simply allowing it to propagate itself.
The Aloe Plant
Aloes are desert plants, native to Africa. They're succulents, which means that they've adapted to dry conditions and have developed a method of storing water in their rosette of long, soft-spiked leaves. They flower rarely and usually in desert-like conditions. If you can obtain the seeds from a flowering aloe, it takes care to grow them. This doesn't make an aloe hard to propagate however, as they do it themselves, leaving you with only the job of repotting the offspring.
In order to propagate itself, an aloe must be able to spare the resources needed for its "pups," and so must be prospering. Pups are offsets of the mother plant, which split and begin to grow around the mature plant's base. They propagate quickly, and usually need to have their offspring repotted every spring or summer. Aloes have shallow root systems, so when repotting the offspring choose wide containers, not deep ones.
Propagation from Seed
Because aloes so readily reproduce via their pups, there is no real need to grow aloes from seed, however some people do enjoy doing so. The more sun your aloe gets, the more likely it is to flower, although it is unlikely to do so if kept indoors. Once it has flowered, the seed pods can be gathered from the flowering stalk. When growing from seed there are different rates of germination. Some may take only a week or two while others might take several weeks. It's important to keep the seeds in a well-drained medium, with heat -- you might use a heating pad and a tray -- and a lot of sunlight.
Caring for Aloe
Aloes need very little attention. They don't need much water, and in fact can be easily overwatered. It is important that they have well-drained soil and sunlight, but they can be grown indoors or in partial shade as well. In the summer, water your aloe deeply, but not frequently, and allow the soil to go completely dry between watering. In the winter, aloes enter a dormant stage and require very little water. As succulents, they hold on to a lot of water and this makes them very intolerant of frosts.