Clivia & Adenium

Sugi_C(9a)March 6, 2013

Thanks to browsing forums that have NOTHING to do with me -- I've now done the unthinkable and ordered one clivia and one adenium, two plants I've never seen, never mind grown.

I'm a bit intimidated right now....

I intend to plant the clivia into Al's gritty mix. (Yes? No??)
And then I am planning on putting it on the lamptable next to a south facing window that gets a tiny bit of eastern sun in the wee hours of the morning. But if placed correctly, it will be out of direct light by 10am.

I think. Yes? No?
The other option is to put it into bright shade outside on a balcony....but I'd really rather see the flowers inside the home, assuming I let it live long enough to SEE flowers.

After that, I'm out of ideas so any tips to prevent me from murdering the poor plant would be much appreciated.

For what it's worth, I got the Good Hope Clivia from Hirt's Gardens....

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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I would put the clivia outside in bright shade until the flowers begin to form, which could be a long time from when you get it. Then bring it inside when it begins to flower. Clivias do need bright light to flower, although direct midday sun will burn them outdoors. In my southern Ohio winters, I keep my clivias in a south facing window where they get sun for several hours a day. That doesn't burn them. The sun is much more intense outdoors than it is even in a sunny window. My memory of the Bay area is that your sun isn't very intense coming through a window this time of year.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 1:48AM
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Ohiofem -- it's deceivingly hot sun here. Because our temps are actually only 60-65 or so these days, it "feels" cool but sitting out in the sun, it's seriously easy for us to burn. Don't know how our skin compares to clivia's leaves...

Anyway -- it's HERE!!
As I had planned, I potted it into Al's gritty mix with gypsum. Could you all tell me if this is planted at the right depth? It looks exactly like a large bunching green onion right now, but I wasn't sure how much of the white part to plant into the soil.

Does this look correct?

I did untangle the roots and only trimmed a couple that were too far twisted. The remainder varied in length from one inch to 3 inches, and I let them be so long as they were pointing relatively to the south.

So.....this is by the a south-facing window. I can move it further into the corner to get bright light and no direct sun, or leave it here where it will be getting as much as is possible from inside the house with the sun above us.

Any advice would be appreciated!
This clivia was called "Good Hope"; it's supposed to produce yellow flowers. I guess if I can keep this one alive, then I'll get some orange ones, too. :-)

My Adenium is here, too, but I'll post on the Adenium board for that one!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 3:47AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Your mix looks good. I try to plant my clivias so the very top of the roots -- where they emerge from the basal plate -- are even with the top of the potting mix. Clivias are very susceptible to root rot, and it's easier to see that it's starting to happen if you can see the top of the roots. Here is a fairly technical description of clivia anatomy from an expert clivia grower who taught me much of what I know about the plants:

A clivia plant is built around its base or rhizome; de Hertogh and Le Nard refer to it as a rhizomatous root stock. There is no actual bulb on a clivia plant, but this structure is homologous to the basal plate of bulbs, such as are found in other members of the Amaryllis Family, like Hippeastrum and Crinum. The rhizome is a stem that usually grows partly underground and partly above. From it grow the leaves, the flower structure or inflorescence, and the roots.

(Visit the Shields Garden website to learn more about growing clivias.)

The rhizome is the most important part of the plant. The leaves can die and most of the roots can die, but you can regenerate the plant from it's rhizome. If the basal stem starts to rot, it's almost impossible to save the plant.

I generally don't root prune a young clivia. I would only remove a root that has clearly died. Young clivias need all the roots they have.

Your clivia looks like it is 12-18 months old. It will probably be two or three years until it is mature enough to flower. A clivia needs to have produced at least 12 leaves to flower. It usually produces these at the rate of four a year.

I don't plant my clivias in gritty mix until they have close to 12 leaves, although it is alright to do so. I put them in 5-1-1 instead and keep them growing year round in bright light and warmth with regular watering and fertilizer. They usually need to be transplanted every six months or so if they are growing well, which is part of why I use 5-1-1 on young plants.

You know your sun much better than I do. Clivias can burn in a south facing window at midday. On the other hand, if you keep them in dim light, they'll never bloom. Once they reach blooming stage, you can do things like keep them in cold, dry dormancy in the fall to get spring blooms. But until then, you want to keep them growing steadily.

You might be interested in reading the old thread I link to below. It's about my first time using Al's gritty mix and includes a lot of photos of clivia roots. Gail, a clivia expert who contributes to this forum, also had some advice and beautiful photos to share in this thread.

Here is a link that might be useful: First time using Al's Gritty Mix... in an emergency

    Bookmark   March 10, 2013 at 11:46AM
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Ohiofem - your thread was one of the many, many that I read prior to attempting the gritty mix. It was also the first time I saw clivia roots and thought how bizarre and spaghetti-looking they were. Between your photos and some others', it was just a short amount of time before I found one to buy, haha. Contagious.

Right now, the plant is sitting on this lamp table with some other plants. It's not up on the sill itself, and I'm finding that it has access to full "light" all day but that no direct sun is actually hitting it despite this being a south-facing window.

What is a spot like this considered? For instance, after the windows end, there is a corner that actually gets no direct sun right now (on it) but obviously has full access to all the sunlight pouring in the windows (3 large windows). Is this light shade or light sun? Haha. The Pachira seems to like it there, and for the moment -- the Clivia has about the same amount of light but due to the sill, it doesn't get much direct sun on it. Is that enough or should I move it higher to get it more direct?

FYI, this is the lamp table corner by the south-facing window, taken minutes ago. The sun, despite how bright it is, is gone -- and like I said, until the sun sets, this side of the house has access to "light".

Thank you so much for all of the clivia information!


    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 7:26PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Grace: watch out for the Clivia bug! I bought my first one in 2004 and the seller threw in a half dozen seeds. I started growing them out of curiosity, and today I have about four dozen! In the winter, the adults get about as much light as the plants in the second tier away from your window, and most of them bloom every year. I would call that bright light. Some get about the same amount as your pachira, and they seem to do well too.

I have about two dozen young (never bloomed) Clivias that I keep under T5 fluorescents in winter I bought the lights to grow seeds for my vegetable garden, but I use them for the young Clivias until I start my vegetable seeds (about now) because I want to keep them in active growth. (I place my tomato and pepper seeds about 4-6 inches from the light, but my clivias will burn if they are closer than 12 inches.) As a result, I have some Clivias starting to bloom now that are less than three years old. That is early for most Clivias, and that is why I advise you to give your young Clivia as much light as you can (without burning it) so it will bloom at an earlier age. Many Clivias take five years or more before they bloom.

Good luck! These plants can be very rewarding. But they take patience.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2013 at 10:57PM
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Four dozen! They are really so pretty but the amount of time I'm going to wait to see "some action" will probably keep my Korean impatience focused on more quick-blooming plants!

Then again, we do have the plant show coming on 3/23, and I am counting down the minutes, haha. I have a feeling I will see plenty of clivia exhibitors there....I am scared haha!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2013 at 4:23AM
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Just been bitten!! I was browsing my local garden ctr and ran right into a beautiful Golden Dragon:o
It is now in my NW appt bay window and already looks at home.
Are there other colors as well?

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 1:56PM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

There are other colors, although orange is the most common, and yellows are becoming more common. I really like the peaches and pastels. Check out some of the show winners at the Huntington Clivia Show and the Longwood Gardens Clivia Show.

In my photo, the clivia on the left is a Victorian Peach bred by Victor Murillo and the one on the right is Tessa, bred by Dave Conway. Mature plants like these are well over $100, but I got these as seedlings for much less.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2013 at 2:41PM
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Awesome selection to choose from!! Where can I buy a Victorian Peach here in the Madison, WI area?

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 3:38AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

I don't think you'll find any out of the ordinary Clivias in a store in the Midwest. Most growers in the US outside of California buy unusual clivias online.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:29AM
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Thank you, I'll try to buy one online:)

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:35AM
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Beautiful blooms, Ohio!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:42AM
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Ohiofem(6a Ohio)

Please be careful. There are some legitimate sellers on eBay, but there are probably more who are not. I suggest you do some research by looking at growers who are listed on the North American Clivia Society website. One grower I've bought clivias from, Floral Architecture, sometimes has decent prices on young exotic clivias. I got the two clivias in that photo from NACS members who don't sell clivias any more.

Here is a link that might be useful: Floral Architecture

    Bookmark   March 22, 2013 at 9:56AM
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