Growing Clivia plants from seed and by division.
The most interesting way of growing Clivia plants is to grow them from seed. If you happen to have a few different varieties, you just never know what growing clivia from seed will result in. Maybe a new type of flower, if you were really lucky maybe a white flower, something not yet achieved.
However the easiest way to propagate clivia is by division, this is quick , reliable and simple. And you will get the same type of flowers as the parent plant. Propagation from seed can sometimes be easy and other times rather difficult, depending on your skills and facilities available.
From seed clivias are rather slow to get to flowering size, 4 years is a minimum and up to 7 – 8 years is not uncommon.
Division of offsets is easy and in good conditions Clivia plants well produce offsets after 4- 5 years on a regular basis.
Growing Clivia from seed
Seed needs to ripe before harvesting, the berries will be red or yellow and soft.The germination stage is the tricky part as clivia seeds are prone to ‘damping off’
- Clean seeds removing the pulpy membrane.
- Fresh seed germinates well in good conditions, in cooler climates is is often best to wait until spring.
- Germination can be carried out by placing the seeds in a plastic container on top of a sheet of paper towel with another sheet on top.
- The paper towel needs to be moist and the container kept in a warm position. You can also use a plastic bag and a handful of sphagnum moss.
- After a few weeks you will see signs of germination, the seeds are now ready to be planted into tubes.
- Use a free draining soil mix, 1 : 1 coarse sand and fine pine bark which will be a fairly sterile mix
- The seeds will have established some tap roots, use a pencil or similar to make a hole and insert the roots into the hole.
- Seeds are sown near the surface at around 1cm deep and a thin layer of sharp sand on top.
- Keep in a warm shaded position and use a fine misting spray every 3 days
It is best to use a sterile potting mix rather than compost of garden soil as these can cause disease and damping off.
We like to grow in individual tubes as then we do not need to transplant or ‘pot on’ to early. Keep just slightly moist but not wet, use a liquid seaweed fertilizer every two weeks. Hold back on watering during winter
Propagation by division
It is fairly easy to tell when clivia are ready to divide, they will have formed a clump and distinct plants will be apparent. Look for good sized offsets with 6 or more leaves.
- Lift the whole clump, or half of it if very large.
- Loosen the soil on the roots and trace which roots belong to which plant
- At this stage you can either ease the plants apart, or use a sharp knife to separate the divisions, each with its own root system
- Try not to damage the root system – this is important
- Consider using a fungicide to prevent disease