Friday, May 10, 2013

Clivia miniata

Clivia miniata is a perennial that blooms in spring or early summer in sub-tropical regions, but also makes a durable houseplant in colder climates. The orange flowers open in a large cluster held just above the foliage. Individual flowers are about 2 inches across, with the entire cluster having a spread of 6-8 inches.

This species has such distinctive leaves that it is instantly recognizable even when not in bloom. Foliage is dark green, strap-like, leathery and two-ranked. Individual leaves are 2 inches wide and grow to about 1.5 feet in length, with the entire plant having a spread of 2.5 feet.
In containers, they supposedly prefer to be root-bound. I keep mine in 6-inch diameter pots, only removing them to divide the occasional offset. Roots are thick and fleshy. They thoroughly fill the container and are often visible on the soil surface.
Plants are slow-growing, but long-lived. I've been growing the same plant or its offsets for more than 30 years. Pollinated flowers set seed in round fruits that turn red as they mature several months later. The seed pods often remain on the plant until it's ready to bud the following year. Clivia can be grown from seed, but is usually propagated from the offsets that develop near the base of the plant.

Clivia miniata is native to South Africa and is recommended for USDA Zones 9-11. It prefers mostly shady conditions, protected from direct sun. Flowering is supposed to be best following a cool dry winter.
There are also some cultivars that have yellow or reddish blooms.

7 comments:

Bernie H said...

I've had this on my wish list for ages now, and finally the nurseries here are stocking them here. I'm so looking forward to finally getting one. The flowers are just wonderful.

It's amazing that you've been growing the same Clivia for 30 years! That is one long life!

ZielonaMila said...

Beautiful flowers, gardens these are wonderful places:) I am greeting

Roger Brook said...

I love those healthy white roots. I recently did a post on clivia myself

brisbane retaining walls said...

Those blooms are just beautiful! Wow, growing the same Clivia for more than 30 years? That's amazingly one long life!

Sadhana said...

I have clivias in the new house we purchased 2 yrs ago. I had seen them flowering profusely that year
But all I see now are the seeds on the plant. Never one fresh flower on it. I am a keen gardner and take pride in saying I have green thumbs. But not seeing this flower blows me away!!
I regularly feed the plant and the leaves are healthy looking too. Do I have to remove the seeds t make it flower?
I can send you photo of my plant if I have your email address.

Grower Jim said...

Sadhana, you wouldn't have seeds unless it flowered, and the seeds wouldn't stay on the plant for more than a year. Often the blooms will open while the flower stalk is still low down in the leaves, and are almost hidden unless you part the leaves to look down into the center of the plant. That may be what happened to you this year.

Sadhana said...

You are so right. I just noticed that the flowers have started to come but they are hidden. Looks like no other option to see them but to cut them. Thanks

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