Monday, March 2, 2015

Growing a Clivia

We are still waiting for spring growth here, while watching the forsythia blooming just down the hill, on the valley bottom.  The altitude difference up on the bench seems to make a big difference.  In the meantime, we can enjoy the indoor blooms.

I bought this Clivia miniata "Belgian hybrid orange" in bud last spring and have successfully got it to re-bloom this year.  Clivia are native to South Africa, where they get sun and moisture in summer and stay dry and cool in winter.  To get blooms, it is recommended to try to simulate these conditions.  I kept it in the barn's sun-room from October to February, where the winter temperatures got down to 12 degrees C but the light was always indirectly bright (i.e. mostly cloudy days in winter).  I occasionally put insignificant sprinkles of water in the pot, but it never did look needy for moisture.  In late January, a flower stem appeared, so I watered it a bit more and gave fertilizer and then brought it into the house a few weeks ago (mid-February) to enjoy the opening of the flower buds.  I think the warming temperatures from solar heat in the sunroom may have been the trigger to start blooming again.  The daytime temperatures got up 33 degrees C inside the sunroom on cloudless days.

Clivia miniata in bloom

The ball of blooms on the Clivia is about 9 inches across.  It has no scent.  I think I will keep it indoors for a while now.  It gets indirect light near north-west windows.  Clivia don't like direct sunlight and will burn easily.  The sturdy strap-like leaves stay green year-round. 

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