Clivia 101

birdsnbloomsNovember 14, 2009

Howdy. I have Clivia questions I hope can be answered.

Recently, I've acquired a love for Clivias..Not that I didn't care for them before, but let's say one Clivia was satisfactory..not anymore..

I started one from seed back in 1982, but couldn't ID its type if someone offered me a million

I was told by an Ebay seller, after posting a pic, my Clivia was probably a Belgian hybrid.

I recently purchased 11 Clivias on Ebay, via 2 different sellers. I've heard talk some Clivias are more expensive than others.

My first question is, how is it determined whether or not a Clivia is costly? What is the difference?

Question two is very important. I'd like to give a friend in need two Clivias.

One with long leaves the other with short..

How do I know which will grow short leave vs long?

The Clivas I bought are youngters, 4-8 leaves. One seller named hers, 'Variegated Clivias,' and one called 'Light of Buddha.'

The second seller sold hers by numbers. Eg. '#6, #8,' etc.

Is there a way to tell if a Clivia will grow long and short leaves?

Why are some Clivias considered expensive and others not?

Are all Clivias sold in US hybrids?

Sorry for all the questions..I've Googled and Bing'd, but can't find answers..TIA..Toni

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Jo ;)

Hi Toni,
A lot of questions. I'll see what I can do for you.

Most commonly available orange Clivias in the USA will be belgian hybrids. Most of the named orange Clivias descended from the belgian strains as well. The Chinese have grown their plants independent of the belgians until the past few years.The South Africans have many home grown wild types with which to use.

Costly Clivias either have very wide leaves (5"+), very short leaves (less than 6"), strong fixed variegated patterns (Chinese Clivias in particular), or a great flower (greens, pinks, great peaches, patterned, ruffled, doubles, ...).

As for long vs. short leaves, you should have a good idea by the 8 leaf size. Your won't know the true lengths until about 10 years out. Offsets of mature plant should have the same characteristics, allowing for slight variation due to environmental conditions. Seedlings are a crap shoot, but choosing seedlings from two parents with the same trait (short leaf x short leaf) you are looking for increases your chances of getting that same trait in the seedling.

If you buy from Home Depot or the like, they are US hybrids. There are a handful of growers out here in CA that ship most of the plants sold in the US. If you buy from a private collector (aka expensive Clivias), they could of come from the US, Japan, China, South Africa, Australia, NZ, Belgium, England, or one of many other countries.

I think that covers most of your questions. I have some available offsets of shorter leaf orange Clivias and some longer leafed ones as well.

Take care,

    Bookmark   November 22, 2009 at 8:52PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Thanks for the answers, Dr. Craig!

How can we trade or buy these Clivias from you?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 9:50AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Craig, thanks for taking the time to answer my many questions. :)
I'm still a tad few short/wider leaf Clivias I have (youngsters) may not, when mature, remain short and wide leaf? Sorry, this is all new and confusing.

I've been searching for a book on Clivias. There's one on Amazon called 'Clivias,' by Harold Koopowitz..Its price is 357.25, and that's price I can't afford.
The next step is the library. I doubt our tiny library carry Clivia books, but I'm hoping they can order one from another library.

Do you know of any other plant books that aren't so dear in price?

Thanks..I had no idea Clivias sold locally, (big box stores) were 'born' in US. BTW, finding any Clivia in my part of the world is unheard of..In all the years I've shopped for plants, I'd never seen a Clivia for sale.
If I wanted the real deal would I have to order from China or another country?
I had a list of sellers (outside of US) kept on favorites, but when my computer crashed, all were lost.

I understand what you mean about offshoots from two similar parents having the same characteristics, but how would I know if a seller was being honest? Especially when bought from overseas? Seeds or cuttings?
When I bought my first Clivia seeds from Parks in 1982, it didn't matter if this type was considered generic or a wasn't important..Getting it to germinate and thrive was what concerned me.. Then again, if I'd known there was a differece, it's possible I'd have felt different. Still, weed or not, I love my Clivia, the seeds germinated, and it's alive and well today.. :)

A couple years ago, I purchased seeds off Ebay..the seller (US)said they came from overseas..I think China, but not sure..They never germinated..It could have been something I did wrong or the seeds might have been old/infertile.

Craig, I want to thank you for informing me about the differences.
You said something about having offshoots w/shorter leaves available..Are you saying they're for sale?

Can you post pictures of your Clivias? Sounds like you have some beautys, especially if they're in flower. All those colors! I've only heard of orange and yellow..Wow, greens, peach, pink, doubles!!! Thanks again...Toni
PS..What about variegated Clivias? Flower color, etc?

    Bookmark   November 23, 2009 at 5:47PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Toni,

It really depends on how many leaves your seedling has currently. The seedling leaves are always shorter and narrower than the full grown leaves. The seedling can give you a good guide for the mature plant, but it we don't have reliable ways of estimatin the full width and length of a mature leaf.

'Clivias' is an excellent book. They stopped printing it about 3-4 years ago. I don't think it is worth $300. Contact the North American Clivia Society. They have at least 2 other books which are pretty good. One is by Graham Duncan titled, 'Grow Clivias.' This one is excellent in differentiating the various species. He also gets into some of the biology. Koop's info is probably 10 years old, and so much has been discoverd since then. Also, there are several Clivia yearbooks available with new findings. These are a great reference. Koop's book is nice, because it uses many American Clivia examples. The others come out of South Africa. You'd probably have to find 'Clivias' at a botantical library. Koop is a professor at UC Irvine. I'm sure they must have a copy of it available at the Univ. of CA, Irvine library. If you have any access through a university inter library loan program, you might be able to see a copy that way.

There are many of us that have extra Clivias. I've put together sets of decent yellows and peaches for a couple people already for reasonable prices. I have some reds, but they are more expensive, and their deeper color doesn't come out very well when grown with artificial lights. The reds are best grown with natural light. Send me a private note if you want more info.

To import plants, you need a contact over there, then they need a phyto (perhas $75-100), plus you need an import permit (free from USDA APHIS), plus international express mail ($50-100). Then there is the bank transfer fee. Here it is $35-50, depending on the bank and currency and amount. In other words, before you even buy your first plant, you've spent $200. There is no guarantee any plant you import will even make it through the inspection station. Importing plants is not for the faint hearted.

Most of the sellers are reliable. There are a few that are questionable. The feedback is somewhat reliable, but no guarantee. Stick with those that have been around a while with many feedbacks. There is never a 100% guarantee that some stray pollen didn't beat the hybridizer to the flower. The hybridizer may have the best intentions, but this is always a variable. Also, many traits are recessive, and therefore may take an additional generation to actually show up. You might have an ugly orange, but it could have some potential buried in its background if crossed with the right mate.

Seed grown vs. offsets. Offsets should be very similar to their parents (basically identical twins). Seedlings need to be line bred for many generations to retain their parental features.

I've seen several reports of poor germiantion from China. Many of the seeds they send over are labelled as "good" quality. This basically translates to their poorest rating. You are best to practice growing cheap basic seeds before venturing into the more expsnive types. I know it delays things, but it is better to kill a $0.25 seeds, than a $10 seed.

I do have offsets of some short leaf clivias for sale. The leaves aren't very wide, perhaps 1-1.5" at maturity. The flower is decent.

Variegated Clivias come in orange ($35 to expensive depensing on width and other features), yellow (they were $300, but that price might of dropped), Peach (I don't have any available, but they are even more expnsive). There are also very expensive other variegates, but those are quite expensive for the high end collectors.

Here is a link to my photobucket site that has photos of many of the Clivias. It is still a work in progress, though.

Take care,

    Bookmark   November 28, 2009 at 10:48PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Craig..Happy belated Thanksgiving...

I tried going to your Photobucket site, but no dice. You mentioned it's under construction, that could be the problem. Too bad, I really wanted to see your Clivias..

About ordering overseas..Wow!!! Well, that's out..200.00 just to get started??? lol..I'm totally baffled why so much work is involved, not to mention high cost.
I've ordered from Thailand four times..(not Clivias.) The Phyto Certificate was attached to the box.
Some overseas sellers charge 5.00, but most send the certificate for free..I never paid for a certificate.
I don't know if this makes a difference, but the four main plants I got from Thailand were Aglaonemas, Adeniums, Philodendrons and Hoyas.
Does type of plant or country make a difference? Odd..

BTW, Koops books 'used' are $375.25-$491.41 Plus shipping. lol
Thanks for the heads up. I'll Google The North America Clivia Society.
Here in IL, as far as I know, we haven't a Clivia Botanical Library. I haven't access to an Internet Loan be honest, I don't even know what the latter
However, I'll keep my eyes opened for the two books you mentioned..Wonder why Clivia books are so expensive???

A .25 Clivia seed? Is there such a thing? lol. My first Clivia Seed order in 1982 from Parks, here in the states, was 5 seeds for 5.99 or 7.99..approximate cost. Large seeds. Parks still sells Clivia seeds but last time I checked it was buy 1 seed for 19.99, get a second free in case the first doesn't germinate..FREE..HA!!!
Still, it was my first Clivia, sown by me, myself and I, so even though this particular Clivia may not have 'money' value, it means a lot to me..Sentimentally..Know what I mean?

I don't mean to pester you Craig, and if you don't feel like answering, I understand..Do all variegated Clivias, despite the type, have orange flowers? When you say orange, do you mean pure orange? No yellow hues?

I guess, like any other nursery that specializes in a certain type of plant, when ordering, it's possible to get poor quality or the wrong color/characteristic plant. Sad, but it happens.

Thanks for informiing me about possible stray pollen or inproper breeding practices..One would think, if 'X' plant is costly, one will receive THE perfect specimen. Right?
But we take chances ordering. Especially overseas.

An example, 'don't want to mention names'..I placed an order last Sept from a seller in Thailand. I still haven't got the shipment nor a refund..She keeps me posted, but there is definately something fishy. Her feedback is 100%, but she's been selling less than a year. So you're correct..Check sellers feedback and length of time when making a purchase..
If one item was sold, the transaction went smooth, received positive feedback, the feedback would list 100% Positive..Most buyers who check feedback, look at the percentage rate but don't bother reading the length of time the seller has been in business..
Which was my mistake..

I'll post pics of my oldest Clivia, 'started from seed.' One with flowers, one without. Perhaps you can offer a positive ID? Belgian hybrid or something different.

Craig, thanks so much for answering questions and providing other information. I really appreciate it.
I'm also sorry it took so long can be hectic..Toni

The second pic 'w/o' flowers was snapped in 2005, the last pic was taken this summer/fall...I hope you can tell me what it again, Toni

PS..Do you fertilze once Clivias are in bud/bloom?
Thanks again, Toni

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 8:43PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

You grow such beautiful and healthy plants Toni!

    Bookmark   November 29, 2009 at 9:59PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Your plant looks great. The pot is just bulging with roots; youll probably have to cut it off when itÂs time to repot. Looks like a Belgian to me.

I went on a hunt for the book "Clivias" several months ago. I ended up buying a used one for over $100. I continued to watch for other offers and was surprised to sometimes find it for much less. It just depends on who is offering it. There were two offers on eBay in the last six months. The last one was for a new book and it sold for about $70. I think if you keep watching you may find one within your budget. I even thought about going to one of the local used bookstores, but never got around to it.

For additional information on clivias you might be inerested in the the clivia forum at:

    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 9:53AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I just double checked the price on the book that sold on eBay. It actually sold for $101.52. However, one at the NACS auction sold for $71.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2009 at 11:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Maria, thank you..a good amount of work and love..:)

Gail..Someone got lucky..On Ebay..71.00 is so much more reasonable.
Yep, it's bulging..over the years, roots literally cracked through two it should be separated, but I like a full look, and as an experiment, am curious how large it will grow the older it know? lol

I wonder why Clivia books are so expensive? But you're and find..I'll keep an eye out via Ebay and Amazon. Who isn't the right time though..not w/Christmas so close..I'm
Used books stores are a great idea, too..There was a used bookstore a town away..Opened 7 days a wk..Now you have to make an appt!!! lol. If it's still around..
I'd have to search to find a used book store, then search to find a Clivia book in the used book store I searched for..lot's of

A while back, I joined a Clivia forum outside of GW..It might be the one you listed, but I'd have to check..
Thanks so much..Take care, Toni

    Bookmark   December 1, 2009 at 5:12PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo


It is soooooooo good to see you here Toni!! Another thing we have in

Hi Craig....I have missed you..I hope you are well and happy!

Happy growing everyone else..


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 12:38PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey's good seeing you here, too..Mike.. :)
I'm so confused about the Clivia thing, and can't find much info on the net.
The thing is, I bought a few Clivias recently. I want to give two to a friend who can't afford to buy plants. She loves Clivias. Actually, she has a few now that are several years old..probably Belgians..I intend to give her one variegated and one w/short leaves. The problem is, I don't know which Clivias, when mature, will have short leaves..I dont want to give her duplicates..What to do???

Mike, what type of Clivias do you have? lol..dare I ask? lol Toni

    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 1:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

All kinds....
But honestly, after being here for a while, I have to say Craig here is the expert!

He has hundreds and has taught myself ALOT!

He is kind, helpful, and very knowledgable..You should see the beautiful ones he has...He has provided e-mail in his profile for personal help and never let me down..

I have many, but pale in comparison to some here. I have yellow flowering, short leaf variegated, long leaf variegated, orange flowering reg. green ones. I have short leaf green and long leaf green. Now ask me to name them, forget
I just know how to grow them.

Craig here knows them by name, by heart..There might be a few others here too..

I will tell you that if mine are short always short, and long leaf, always long...That is what happens to mine anyway... I have not had any that were short leaf mature to long..If you e-bay variegated ones, you will actually get some names of them and details..;-)

Talk to you soon..:-)!!!


    Bookmark   December 2, 2009 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Mike,

Thanks for the kudos. Always appreciated. Good to see that you have friends on other boards as well. You've asked many great questions, but have also contributed with your own knowledge nicely. We had a great Thankgiving and are doing well. Our temps are getting colder (for CA) and we are finally expected to get some desperately needed rain in the next few weeks. Time to tarp them and wait until Feb for the first blooms. I expect 2010 to be an even better bloom year than 2009 as more unknowns start showing their colors.

Hi Toni,
I'm working on that email reply. I just need to get out while it is still light (yeah right!) and take a picture of that variegate.

Let's see what else was in this thread. Your plant looks wonderful and healthy. They can grow as big as you have time. They get much harder to split, the larger they are, but what a specimen! As a general rule, all older American orange flwoered Clivias derived from the belgian strains, so it is relatively safe to call it a belgian. Once a name gets lost, it is very hard to ID, except for some of the special flowered Clivias.

My blooms start in Feb. and finish in mid to late April. I start watering and fertilizing right about Feb. I want the plants to come out of hibernation and be ready to produce those seeds. I ifnish my season in mid Nov., and then leave them alone during the winter. They usually start showing a flush of growth in Jan. They grow best with temps between 50F and 80F. FOr me, that is Jan. into May and Oct./Nov.

As for short leaf Clivias, the Chinese have done a great job of inbreeding for short leaves. They even have some micro minis that are only a few inches long at best. Very cute, but the flower is insignificant. Also, the roots are often times poor, due to all the inbreeding. They are more susceptible to root rot, so you have to keep them drier. There is also a guy in CA that is breeding for shorter leaves. When I last talked to him, he isn't planning any commercial release for a few more years. The best known American short leaf Clivias are Conway's 'Munchkin' and 'Tiny Tim.' 'Munchkin' has shorter narrower leaves than the ones on 'Tiny Tim' (up to 3" x 13", but usually max around 2 x 10-12"). Only 'Tiny Tim' is available. There are probably many others coming down the hybrid lines. Some will have peach or yellow flowers, and even variegates of these. I'd expect the short leaf Clivia to be common in various colors in 5-10 years.

Koop's "Clivias" for $71 is a great price. It usually goes for over $100. The book went out of print a few years ago, and it is written from an American's point of view, usuing many of the American hybrids. It does contain a lot of info on non-American Clivias well. The more updated books are available through the NACS, but generally are predominantly from a South African view. They have a lot of information and should be part of any Clivia collector's library. Keep searching those used book stores.

Thanks for the info on the photobucket tag. I'll take a look at that.

As for phytos, the Asian countries seem to be free or reasonable. South Africa and Ausralia, which have many desireable Clivias, charge a large amount. For me to get a phyto to export costs $75 and sometimes I need to do a nematode inspection, depending on the receiving country. That adds another $75. A friend in another county here in CA can get phytos for free. I guess it just depends on which counties (and countries) need the money. lol

Clivia seed prices have dropped dramatically in the last 5 years. Basic orange seeds shouldn't sell for rmeo than .25 each. These are more landscape varieties. Basic yellows shoud sell for .50 or less. Mid range hybrids of yellows typically can get $1-3 per seed. Peaches of midrange varieties are in that same range or a bit higher. High end and prmeium parents dramatically increase that price to more than $10 per seed. Variegated oranges probably sell for .50-$1 per seed. Var yellow seeds sell for $5-15 and even more, depending on their parents. There are vareigates of orange, reds, yellows, and peaches. There are also a few rare (aka $$$$$$) variegates of the other species. Hopefully this answers many of your seed price questions. Those are the ranges I've found when I sell my seeds at the start of each season.

When I say "orange" flowered Clivia, it is similar to your plant, A fair amount of orange tone on the outer part of the petal with some yellow and white in the throat. Yellows have no orange. The peaches are another unique color. The pastels are generally a shade of orange to peach.

It is always possible to get poor quality or incorrect plants from a nursery. A good nursery will back them up. It is one thing if a plant dies after a year compared to the wrong color. I'll take responsibility if the plant dies within the first couple weeks, but beyond that there is some buyer responsibilities as well. I've never had a complaint of an incorrect plant shipped, out of several hundred sold. I have sold some as "unknown/lost tag," but I sell them for landscape prices.

Well, time to get going. I'll try and get that email out this weekend.

Kind Regards to all,

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 1:46PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Howdy..Today's weather in IL..First Day of Snow..
Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way.. :)
I wish it'd snow until Jan 1, 2010..then, by the end of Feb, spring-like weather.. 50F and up to start..

Mike, thanks for the heads-up on Craig..When I first visited the Clivia Forum, I didn't know what to expect, but hoped someone knew their Clivias, and answer questions.
Poor Craig..the lamb tied to the stake w/questions. lol.

Mike, when hunting for Civias on Ebay, I did exactly as you suggested: typed in Clivias, variegated in the search box.
Most sellers are now only shipping seeds. I don't blame them..why take the chance shipping plants to cold areas only to have them freeze? then the buyer complains. Wants their money back, etc, etc.
Anyway, I had no idea you were into Clivias

Craig, no rush on the email..finish when you have time.
I didn't misplace or forget the name of my Clivia/seeds from Park's. The ad said/says, Clivia Miniata. I just checked Park's site..Seeds: 1 for 19.95, get a second seed free in case the first doesn't germinate. So, 2 seeds for 19.95.
The ad also says, 'Once available to wealthy plant collectors. A dedicated plant breeder, 'Joe Solomone, dedicated many years to breeding a reliable Clivia from seed, making it affordable to the rest of us. This seed comes from one of the famous Solomone hybrids.
Do you know 'of' this breeder?

Why would my Clivia start blooming from late Feb until July? Is it the type of Clivia that makes a difference? Some years, it buds in July..every year differs...Oh well, I'm not

The mini Clivias sound lovely, even if flowers are insignificant..Do you know of a site that has a picture of the minis?

Craig, you are sooo funny saying seed prices shouldn't be more than .50 etc..Where do you find these prices? Or do you mean, because of the type of Clivia, seeds shouldn't be more than .50?
To be honest, I've given up trying to sow Clivia seeds. The last few died..they might have been old, or it could have been something I did wrong..even though I have sowed many-a-seeds (other than clivias) the last few years, with a 95% germination rate.

What did you mean when you said, 'sometimes I need a nematode inspection.' Who does the inspections? Customs? You are talking about the insects, right? Why nematodes? What about other insects? Assuming you're talking bugs.

Peach flowers sound wonderful. While looking at your pics, you had some oranges that were beautiful. Deep, bright orange.

As for dividing, I have no intention of cutting into roots. I want to see how big it that silly?

2 or 3 yrs ago, a friend, who has a huge Clivia w/yellow flowers, handed me her mom plant and told me to take a few offshoots. Embarrassed and scared, I carefully removed the mom plant from its over-crowded pot, and removed a small shoot. Then placed her Clivia back in its container. Again, I haven't the faintest idea of its ID. It's too young to flower..

Craig, Mike is are a Clivia don't want to bombard you with questions, but if you have time, would you mind answering a couple more? lol

I bought a few variegated Clivias recently. Young plants, brightly variegated. They're potted in the same type of soil, placed in an east window. they're in a row, closest to window and further back. Those closest to window lost some of their varigation, while those further away, 'I'm talking inches' are still brightly variegated..
Could those closest to the window have lost some coloring because they're getting more sun? Not that we've had much light this year.
I just don't understand..

Anyway, thanks for reading my, novelette, lol. Toni

PS..Sorry about

    Bookmark   December 3, 2009 at 5:06PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Toni,

No worries. This is fun. It is just a matter of finding time.

Are they still selling 2 seeds for $20? Who is buying that?? Please don't spend $10 per seed, unless it is something variegated with a nice interspecific, a great green throat, a very wide leaf, or one of the higher end collector plants.

As for Solmones, he is a 2 hour drive for me. He has over 100,000 Clivias. He does have some special hybrids, but I guarantee you those aren't the ones Park seeds is using. He makes his seed available to some of the collectors at reasonable prices. He sells bulk oranges, yellows, variegate oranges and pastels (basically light oranges). Thye usually work out to about $1 -$1.50 per seed depending on the type and quantity. They are often times open pollinated in the large nursery, so you can't be 100% guaranteed a yellow from the yellows. True for just about every seed you buy, but with so many Clivias, there is a lot of stray pollen floating around. The nice thing is, most of the yellows bloom later when most of the orange pollen is gone, so the yellows will most likely be yellow. I'll also have my own seed from a more controlled envirnoment in a few weeks.

His yellow and variegated orange plants are usually reasonable. Perhaps $18-20 for a yellow and $35 or so for a var. orange, all blooming size or in bud depending on when they are purchased.

Blooming time is only a general guide. Weather has something to do with it. Nutrition also. Some growers that highly fertilize their plants oftens times see 2 blooms a year. This is under ideal conditions, and probably stresses the plant a lot. I often times have at least one in bloom, almost any time, but that happens if you have gonet oo far overboard with this plant. lol

The nematode inspection is something South Africa requires of plants coming out of Sacramento. I have no idea why. My friend doesn't need it 2 counties away. My ag inspector says in his 15 years, he has never heard of a positive test. Probably just soemthing they make me pay for to bring in more money. Who knows, but the European and Asian countries have never required it.

The oranges are often times underrated, but the best ones more than hold their own against the peaches and yellows. The reds really stand out in a crowd as well. There were some really impressive plants out of the Conway plants last year.

Variegation isn't always stable. Sometimes it disappears with stress. Sometimes it increases with stress. No good explanation. You might try and rotate, although I don't think a few inches really matter. Perhaps the temperature is different next to the window compared to a few inches away. Who knows.

I'll get that photo tomorrow. I was out there tarping today. The Clivias are almost all tucked in for their "long witner's nap." Ho ho ho!!! We're still above freezing, but they are predicitng near freezing temps and 10 days of rain. I hope it comes true. We need the rain so badly out here. Lots of snow in the mountains is even more welcomed.

Take care and stay warm while enjoying a white Christmas.

Sacramento, CA

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 12:14AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

This will be an interesting year in CA for me. I have a plant acquired at Home Depot as "Aztec Gold" -- supposedly a yellow for way cheap. It has relatively long, narrow leaves. We'll see what it really is shortly...can't wait!

    Bookmark   December 6, 2009 at 12:18AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Craig..Been very busy working on front plant room, and gettiing ready for Christmas..

100,000 Clivias???? I bet there's all sorts of hanky-panky going on among all those
Sounds gorgeous when all are in flower..different colors and shapes. If I visited his green house?? my hands would be filled,

Does he sell online? I wouldn't mind trying a couple seeds again, see if they germinate. Ohhh, I'm excited hearing about all his Does he fertilize, and if so, how??? One by one or does he add fert to the sprinklers?

Craig, do you keep your Clivias in a gh, outdoors, or in the house? How much light do they get? Summer and winter?

You now have me worried about Sometimes my big Clivia blooms 2 and even 3 times from late winter till summer. I wonder if it's stressed or this is natural?

Park's Clivia seed are now variegated..When I bought seed from them in 1982, the only Clivia seed available was green. I'd never even heard of variegated back fact, here in IL, variegated plants of any type were pretty much unheard of. Thank God for the

Do you have below freezing temps? If so, and your plants are kept outdoors, and let's say it rains a lot, what do you do?

Mermaid, see the difference between warmer/cold climate areas? The nearest HD doesn't sell Clivias, but a a couple, further north and south, do..But Clivias are green leaf with orange flowers.. Aztec Gold wouldn't be sold here, unless it was a special order, and special orders are tripple least..

Craig thanks again..If you have a pic of Salmonies plants in bloom, can you post? Thanks, Toni

    Bookmark   December 7, 2009 at 4:37PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Toni,

It is a sight. He is the largest commercial grower of Clivias in the country. There are a few smaller growers in CA as well. He is wholesale only, but he does let us Clivia addicts walk amongst his plants. I do have a nurseyr license, so I'm able to buy direct as well.

There must be a lot of "hanky panky" going on with all those plants, but for the most part the yellows are yellows.

From talking with him (actually the son in law of the founder), they fertilize once a year and water about 4 times a year. they are along the central coast, so very moderate temps. Their biggest issue is near freezing temps briefly in winter.

My Clivias are all outdoors. When they flower, I move them into a protected enclosed bay of a garage to minimize the random "hanky panky." Now that winter suddenly descended on us (the prediction went from a low of 37 to a low of 26 for the same day over the span of 24 hours!), I've tarped my shade structures and have some heat lamps going. They'll stay that way until about mid Feb.

I do grow my seedlings indoor for the first 1-2 years. My wife owuld kill me if I did much more.

You probably have a couple blooming sized plants in that big pot. If the plant blooms a couple times a year, it is very healthy and well cared for. It looked healthy.

I tarp my shade structures, which keep the frost out. We only get into the upper 20's for a few mornings, and very rarely get below 25. Cover them with a towel at that point. If they get below 25-28F, the outer leaves get beat up. We are in CA, so we had 30" one year, and I lost some of my unprotected plants. They do fine with our average 15" per year.

I'll find a photo.
Take care,

    Bookmark   December 8, 2009 at 7:56PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Wow Craig...

I am learning more and more about you and your plants as I sit back and enjoy reading all these post...Splendid.

Are you serious when they say they only water 4 times a year????

Listen to this...

I forgot about a clivia in my basement, until I noticed it behind a shelving since get this...LATE SPRING!!!!
It has been sitting there this whole time, with absolutely no water...It was still alive and a little wilted, with one yellow leaf, and 3 new babies emerging from the soil...Must of got scared, thought it was going to die, so gave offering to carry its name..But is survived and has a stalk forming on it

These are resilient little creatures I tell you. The only sad part for this plant is that it was left out of all the "hanky panky"...

Hi Toni,

I see where you have been spending some of your
Lots of info and help here, right? Told you so....;-)

Miss you...


    Bookmark   December 9, 2009 at 1:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Howdy Craig,

I understand Clivias can being fertilized once a year, especially if a once-a-year fertilizer is used, but four times a year watering?
Let me get this Solmones plants in a green house, surrounded by glass/plastic structures or outdoors? Or do you mean 4 times a year watering in addition to rain?
Are his Clivias large, in pots 10"+? What about young Clivias, 4" pots or smaller? Do they get 4 drinks per year, too?

I'm assuming Solmone is deemed an expert Clivia breeder/grower, right? Knows what he's doing. If he sells wholesale he'd have to be a

Wonder why yellows breed yellow? I've never seen a yellow Clivia 'flower', personally..only pictures.
Are they true yellow or other colors blended in? Yellow and orange, yellow and red? If true yellow, that is weird since oranges and reds blend w/other colors, including yellow.

When your Clivias are tarped, do they get sun? Artificial light?

Oh oh, your wife isn't as fascinated with plants as you? That can be a In our house, we have our own hobbies..mine happens to be long as walking from one end of the house to the other isn't like hiking through an obstacle course, there's no problems.

I'm still concerned about the variegation on a couple new Clivias..
One confusing issue regards Nitrogen. Nitro is supposed to keep foliage green, therefore, how does it effect variegated leaves?
Because my new Clivias were purchased late this year, they didn't get fertlized..Come to think of it, my old Clivias got one feeding all
My Clivias get fertilized with year, think I'll start using a time-release, too.

Well Craig..thanks again.

Mike..actually, I've been preparing for Christmas, but when I turn on the puter, if I get a GW email, I'll go to the forum. Besides, I'd really like to learn about Clivias, at least as much as possible.

Your Clivia story brought back a terrible thing that happened to my Clivia a few years back.
The first year I got the green house, on one of the coldest nights of winter, the heater went out because of oxygen buildup.
To this day I don't know why I decided to set my Clivia in the gh. That night, I lose 32 or 37 plants..some very old, Some started from seed and old.
Outside temp was -9F, not counting wind chill, though, being in an enclosed area, I don't think wind chill mattered. My poor Clivia looked horrible. The outer leaves were frost-bitten. Grayish-Black. I peeled the outer leaves off which removed about 1/3rd of the plant. Not to mention, cried. Never again..although Clivias are in a very cool room, temps are freezing or below.

BTW, Mike, I'm glad to hear the Clivia that fell is doing okay..Results of too many Toni

    Bookmark   December 12, 2009 at 1:47AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Do you know that I have to make a row call of everyone one of my plants before they come in by the fall..Yup, I have to make a list of all that went out and check to see if all came back in..One time the wind blew a couple of my clivias deep under some brush..Thank God I wrote their names I found a gardenia that somehow got shoved into an azelea bush..

I remember something about the freeze you got..I felt horrible...That is why I finally pulled my popup greenhouse down at not even a a moments hesitation! You should of seen me trying to do it with 50 mile an hour winds on the top of my flat roof...Almost got killed...Blown away like the balloon boy!

Yes the clivia is ok, but doesn't look it's best, believe me....:-)

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 12:01PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hey Mike..I have never lost a plant due to winds, that is, until this past summer..
One was a cactus that had red, edible fruit..I think it's called, Mammerella..spelling is off..The fruit are really sweet.
I also lost a succulent w/no name..It's gone.

Besides wind, we have a squrrel problem. They eat plants like crazy..two or three times they devoured true yellow Christmas Cactus..Another time they ate, an avocado started from pit...they ate pit and all..crazy animals! lol

Roll call, that's is's pretty difficult for me to do, especially when it comes to that I added more Clivias, next spring/summer, when they go outdoors, I WILL count doubt about it..I dont want to lose any, although, Clivias are set on a picnic table, in the center of other plants, so they'd be hard to lose. Unless hawks eat's been a huge hawk in our yard a few times..wonder what he's hunting..

Mike, you best be careful on your roof..My God, that's scary..I'm glad your roof is flat..and 50 MPH winds!!! Oh Mike, I'm gettinig goose bumps thinking about it...Please be careful when you set it up next year..

Hey, I heard about a 50 car pileup your way, on the news..I thought about you coming home from Logees..My God..Toni

    Bookmark   December 14, 2009 at 2:26PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Toni,

His greenhouse is in a cooler part along the coast of CA. It is made of a hard clear plastic. I'm not sure about hsi watering schedule for the smaller ones. He has many mature seedlings in bloom grown in 2 inch liners, waiting to be moved up to 1 and 2 gal pots. These plants do so well in this nursery. He is the largest commercial grower in the US, so I guess that makes him an expert. They've been working on these for over 40 years. That is long before most Clivia enthusiasts had even heard of a Clivia.

Yellow Clivias have a defect in the carotenoid pigment pathway. Due to thsi defect, they have no ornages or reds. The seedlings have a green base, unlike oranges which have a red base. The berries in the oranges are red, but in yellows they are yellow. Peach Clivias also have reddish berries, but many will have green bases. It gets confusing. Ther eis one variety of yellows in South Africa that has a different error in the pigment pathway. This one produces yellow flowers but red berries. There is also another group (called group 2 yellows) that looks identical to the group 1 yellows we know of here in the USA, bu the defect is in a different spot. ANy time you cross a yellow with an orange, you will get oranges. This is due to a correction of the defect in one of the genes in the baby. these are the Mendellian crosses you might of learned about in school. Homozygous vs heterzygous. Also, crossing a group 1 yellow with a group 2 yellow (generally only in South Africa or owned by collectors in the USA)will produce an orange, since each yellow corrects the other yellow's defect. No worries on that one, since you probably won't come across it, unless you go looking for group 2 yellows. Basically, every yellow you buy in the USA will be group 1 and can be crossed with any other American yellow. Peaches crossed with yellows give mixed results. A small percentage of yellows, a small percentage of peaches, but mostly oranges and pastels.

Most orange and red Clivias have atleast some yellow blended in deeper in the throat. There is also some white, but as of yet, we don't have pure white Clivias. We have some very pale Clivias, but not pure white.

The variegation is due to meristem cell at the very base lacking the ability to produce pigment. Nitrogen doesn't correct for this. There are examples, where some variegated lines might disappear with improved fertilization, but in general, it has no relation to fertilizer.

My tarped Clivias still get some light. I have some clear panels on the roof of my best shaded one, and I can keep an opening on a side of my other shade areas. They don't need a lot of light. There was once a planting of Clivias in an undergorund parking structure by one of the largest shopping malls in Southern CA. They received so litle light year round, but yet they bloomed every year. I spoke with the landscape designer who originally planted them and he was amazed anyone even realized they were gone. Such a small world!

My wife accepts my plant hobby. Of course, it means I have to accept hers. Such is marriage, right? lol

I hope you were able to save your frozen Clivias. The nice part is the outer leaves protect the inner parts. Keep the dead frozen wasted leaves on until they dry up. If the central stem is still hard, your plant has a chance. If it is soft all the way to the roots, sorry.

Hi Mike,
I have my own wind/rain story. My wife actually was out there with me trying to save thousands of dollars of collector Clivias. What a morning. I was in my dress clothes trying to get to work, looked out and the roof had blown off my greenhouse. It was pouring buckets of rain. That would ruin amny of them if the crowns got flooded. We only found bits of the roof, so I wonder where the bulk of it went. I guess anyone who has dealt with special plants has their own story of trying to save these things.

Good luck this winter and safe driving as another big sotrm heads your way.


    Bookmark   December 19, 2009 at 12:55AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Hi Craig, Happy Holidays..
Sorry I'm late responding, but with Christmas approaching, I've been very busy..still have a ton of baking to do.

40 yrs is a long time growing Clivias or any plant for that matter..I think this applies more to the midwest than warmer states, except for a select few..

Throughout my years on earth, no one, no friend or relative, prior the 80's, grew indoor plants... Most people here have/had outdoor gardens, most veggies.

Sheesh, chemistry is mind-boggling..I'll put my cards on the table..I suck at, cells, DNA..
But it's interesting.. Do you have this material memorized?

Are Clivias natives of Africa?

Craig, do you breed Clivias? If so, and it's not too much to explain, how is it done? The only plant I know how to breed is African Violets..Know, not yet tried. lol.
Is the object to keep one color going? Eg, yellow w/yellow? If a yellow and peach were crossed, what would you get?
You said, when yellow and orange are crossed, the results are that because orange is dominant?
Similar to humans? Usually, if a brown eyed and blue eyed couple have a child, the first and sometimes second child are brown eyed..The third, etc, could be born with blue or even green eyes..does the same apply to Clivias? Sorry, if you feel this question is dumb..I should have named this thread, Chemistry
How many colors do Clivias have? Yellow, orange, peach..anything else? White would be very very nice..

My oldest, green-leaf Clivia has orange and yellow flowers..Think I mentioned, I was given a yellow offshoot from a friend. It has another 4 yrs before flowering, if 7 years is the correct number of years it takes before blooming.
The Clivia I sowed from seed bloomed exactly 7 yrs from sowing..I read Clivias take about 7 yrs before flowering, then, when my own Clivia flowered 7 yrs after sowing, I agreed w/the authors..What's your opinion?
Is 7 yrs a standard number? Does climate make a difference? For instance, if you (living in CA) sowed a Clivia seed the same day I sowed one, would blooming take the the same time as it would here? Or do temps make a difference? Know what I mean?

Craig, the disaster story with my Clivia happened four yrs ago..not this winter..The Clivia that froze is the one I posted on this thread..I had to remove many outer leaves, but my Clivia survived the -0 night..

How on earth did your roof fly away? How awful!! Was there a wind storm? What a shock! Did you make it to work that day or spend the day working on a new roof? I can imagine calling in work,, telling your boss you have to take the day off cause your plant roof flew
BTW, did any of your Clivias get hurt? Ironic, you never found the roof? lol..

Yep, marriage is supposed to be 50/50, but in some cases it's 90/

Well, Craig, thanks again..I have to read and reread your explanation, until it sinks in my tiny pea
If we don't talk before, have a Wonderful Christmas..Toni

    Bookmark   December 23, 2009 at 1:52PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Spots on yellow Clivia
Hello all back in need of more help, I noticed these...
HELP! My clivia is dying!
I posted on Florida Gardening too, but wanted to post...
how old is this clivia?
Hello! I recently found out about these awesome plants...
jeffatlanta (7b, Atlanta, GA)
Is ID without flower possible?
I have this one section of my yard that has a bunch...
My Clivias
here are my clivias. clivia miniata - orange color clivia...
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™