Growing Medium for Clivias

bronxfigsAugust 20, 2011

First-time grower.......

What medium do you recommend for containerized Clivia miniata hybrid(s)? The plants will be grown -in the warmer months- outdoors in bright early morning sun, then, bright shade for the rest of the day. Indoors for the winter months in a cool, but sunny, window. They will be kept on the dry side.

I would like a fast-draining, airy, growing mix using Turface MVP, and whatever else is necessary. Absolutely NO perlite, please! What about hydroponic, marijuana growing, plant foods, macro-micro nutrient mixes etc.

Thanks for the information.

BronxFigs

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kayjones(Mo6b)

Why don't you call your 'friend' at Durio Nursery: 337-308-6677 ....Dalton Durio and ask him what you should use.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2011 at 5:29PM
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pizzuti(5A)

Why not perlite? Perlite is the easiest way to get the light, airy soil clivia prefers.

I got some clivia this spring that were potted in soil that was too dense. The plants were healthy, but started sending out huge masses of new roots from between the leaves.

I am certain that's because the roots like a lot of air and like to be somewhat dry, and the soil they were in was too heavy... it seemed to be garden soil from the ground when I took them out; even had a couple small earthworms in it.

So I mixed ordinary potting soil (random kind) with sphagnum and perlite. Then I planted the plants high - at the previous soil line - so the newly-forming continued to be exposed, then covered them with an additional 3 inches of pure, loose sphagnum.

The plants immediately extended the their high roots through the sphagnum and then they went downward into the soil. The clivia seem very happy and have set out new leaves without losing any of the old ones.

If you want to avoid perlite, you might be able to use vermiculite, or use just potting soil and some kind of organic soil ligtnener like sphagnum or peat - but potting soil will eventually get denser as it decomposes while perlite and vermiculite will not, so you don't have to change the soil as often if you use inorganic lighteners.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2011 at 9:24PM
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bronxfigs

kayjones:....Clivia grown down in the humid south, I imagine, may need a different soil mix than I would need up here in the Bronx, NYC. That's why I asked the Forum Members instead of Dalton @ Durio Nursery about soil mix proportions. Although, I may contact him anyway just to get his recommendations.

pizzuti: ....Perlite always floats to the top of my potting mixes, then starts to turn greenish. Turface is heavier in weight, but, very porous, and also prevents the soil mixes from compacting...like an inert filler. It's also heavier in weight and keeps pots from toppling over.

More questions: ...Should a Clivia be planted in deep containers, or can the roots be fanned out so that the plant can be potted in a shallow, but wider, container? Is there a simple rule-of-thumb for soil volume vs. number of leaves? For example, if a plant has eight or ten leaves, should there be a certain amount of soil to support this size plant,...let's say, for every eight leaves there should be one gallon of soil volume? How often should plants be re-potted, and should roots ever be trimmed/cut back, to induce NEW, more efficient roots to form? When re-potting, should new soil be used?

Thanks for the input.

Frank from Da-Bronx

    Bookmark   September 11, 2011 at 8:17PM
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pizzuti(5A)

@BronxFigs

If perlite is "floating" I think that means there may be too much water. But I don't think it would hurt the plant.

But if you find it ugly, maybe you could cover the top layer of perlite with some bark chips or something more ornamental. With clivias I think there is a high likelihood that roots would colonize the bark layer since they like to form surface-roots in contact with air.

In my experience as well, perlite seems to concentrate on the surface after the very first time you water it, unless you mix the soil but then leave the top inch perlite-free. After the soil settles, it locks itself in, especially after the roots grow, but also because the soil naturally organizes tiny channels for water to get to the drainage holes and doesn't pool as much.

I've had green perlite too... that is from algae. But with clivia I don't water it enough for that to happen. The air is probably drier here so that might make some difference.

In any case, my clivias are covered with a layer of sphagnum.

This may interest you... but elsewhere on this forum I saw pictures of clivia grown as an epiphyte:

http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/safrplt/msg080401195809.html

I think that would mean that they would be fine in a shallower container except it might be hard to keep them upright before they establish.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2011 at 9:29PM
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bronxfigs

pizzuti: ......Thanks for the information. Very interesting information about Clivia growing as an epiphyte.

The reason for using the Turface-MVP is primarily for the weight factor, and, for drainage. It keeps pots from tipping over, but maybe I'll re-think the Perlite use.

Thanks for the multi-forum information and helpful suggestions.

Frank

    Bookmark   September 14, 2011 at 7:45PM
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