Clivia

When I answered a question about clivia on my radio show, a listener had mush to say on the subject. Read Mary’s comments below:

“Last Saturday a caller asked about a seed pod on her clivia. The seed pod turns red the second year -it takes 2 years. My husband waits until it starts to dry. He picks it and if the cover is very dry he softens it in water and puts it under approx. 1/4 inch of dirt in a pot. Keep it from drying out, moist and warm. Within a month it will put up one leaf. It grows very slow the first two years. It takes about 6 years before it is big enough to bloom.

“The caller also asked about stopping side shoots. Side shoots are a normal process of the plant and is much faster than trying to grow from seed. Let the side shoot grow 2 years before separating from the parent plant by washing away some of the dirt with a stream of water -can see where to cut the side shoot from the main plant this way.

“And now for a story about clivia:

“My father and a friend heard an elderly lady was giving away plants and pots. They liked one pot with a very pot-bound plant. My father took it home and with the aid of an ax cut the plant if half. From that beginning he grew many plants. Nothing made him happier than for someone to whom he had given a blooming plant to take care of it and have it bloom the next year. He always said to bring them in when outside temperature was about 40 degrees then keep them in a cool place with light.

“About 30 years ago he gave us two plants and we have a house full of blooming plants in Feb -March. My husband keeps them in a rather well lit garage and brings them in when they bloom. In summer they go in a shady back yard.

“We have enjoyed the plants for years and who knows what happened to that pot my father and his friend wanted in the first place.

“My mother gave us seed for a yellow clivia from Wayside Gardens. After about 5 years it is still tiny. I once saw a yellow one (very crowded with babies) at the Atlanta Botanical Center.

“Clivia is a fun rather carefree plant that blooms once a year (for us). Gardeners should heck it out!

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