The clivia miniata is an evergreen herbaceous plant, which blooms at the end of winter; the flowers of this clivia differ slightly from those of the other species, in fact they have a very short tubular part, and open in large cups. The clives belong to the same family as amaryllis and hippeastrum, a kinship that can be seen in a very conspicuous way especially in this species, whose inflorescences could be mistaken for orange amaryllis (if they existed).
A very common plant, especially in apartments, it blooms from the end of the winter, but often the flowering, if the climatic conditions allow it, is repeated in the following months; very decorative even when it is not in bloom, thanks to the large ribbon leaves.
- The Clivia is a common herbaceous plant stoloniferous, native to southern Africa, particularly in Italy is very widespread species Clivia miniata, and some varieties derived from this species. S…
- good morning could you help me understand the disease of my clivia whose leaves tend to fill up with yellow/brown patches and then dry out? What can you do? I’ve already cut them off at the foot, but they’re not as good as they should be.
- The anthuriums are among the most cultivated dishes in the apartment, belong to the family of the araceae, such as the common white garden callae; the similarities between the two genera are very …
- This genus brings together several dozen species of plants, some of which are used as vegetables since they produce an edible fruit, asparagus, others instead are grown as a vegetable.
It was the first species of clivia to be described, and therefore it is the typical species; in fact, in 1800, it was also the most diffused and cultivated clivia in Europe, and only a few decades later, it was followed by Clivia miniata; nowadays, it is not easy to find it in a nursery, mainly due to the fact that the development is very slow, and both the specimens obtained from seed, and the basal suckers, take several years to bloom.
The leaves are ribbon-like, dark, opaque, elongated, and can reach the 50-80 cm of length; the development of these leaves depends much on the luminosity of which the plant can enjoy, with the longest leaves appearing on the plants cultivated in the thick and dark shade. In autumn, it produces its showy umbrella-like inflorescences, formed by a great quantity of big tubular flowers, hanging, of orange or red colour, with the apex of the petals and of the tepals often dyed of green.
Contrary to what happens for miniaturised clivia, the flowers are completely tubular, and do not open like a cup, and pendulous, not outward-facing, blossom.
Also this species produces hanging flowers, in umbrella-like inflorescences, carried by fleshy stems, the colour is orange-red, with the tips of the petals coloured of green; a typical inflorescence can carry about 12-15 flowers, but in ideal conditions we can count up to 35-45 of them; the clivia caulescens blooms in late spring or in summer.
The leaves are ribbon-like, but, contrary to what happens in the other species of clivia, this one produces a stem, which, with the passing of the years, can reach the 160-180 cm of height, with the lower part becoming woody seeds, and tends to lose the leaves and to remain completely bare. This species is perhaps the most resistant to the cold, and can bear even long periods with temperatures just under the 5°C.
Also called swamp clivia, as in the origin zones this species develops in very humid locations, close to calm water streams; it is one of the largest species, with vigorous tufts, which can reach the metre and a half of height, with single leaves exceeding the metre of length; it is also one of the species with the fastest development, and from seed a plant can reach the dimensions suitable for flowering even in only 4-5 years.).
The inflorescences are pendulous, of orange colour, with petals stained of green, they count several tubular flowers, turned downwards. In the wild, there is a variety with a pale yellow flower. This species is considered as endangered, therefore it is not easy to find it even in its origin zones.
Cultivating the clivia
The most cultivated species in Europe is clivia miniata, the other species have similar cultivation needs, so we can simply explain how to cultivate the most common and widespread species. The clives have been cultivated in Europe as indoor plants for almost two centuries, for this reason they are very common, and widespread, and are not always fully appreciated, since it is one of the few indoor plants that delight us with their flowers every year.
In the cultivation we will have to follow the seasons: as soon as spring approaches, usually from the rosette of leaves begins to appear the bud of the stem that will bring the flowers, so we will begin to water regularly, trying to keep the soil quite moist and cool, but without watering too much. Together with the water, every 15 days or so, we will also supply a good fertilizer for flowering plants.
This type of watering continues until autumn, when we will suspend the fertilizations, and we will thin out the waterings, until they become only sporadic, just not to leave the substratum dry for long. The climates prefer luminous positions, but without direct sunlight; we shall therefore place them in a semi-shaded area of the house, far, however, from direct sources of heat.
The best place would be a stairwell, with a good luminosity and a winter temperature close to the 10-12°C, without the typical heat of the apartments; this in order to favour a development more similar to the natural one, with a period of vegetative rest during the coldest months. As soon as the heat arrives, with night minimums over 15°C, it would be advisable to move our clivia outside, in a shady and cool area, not exposed to the heat, especially in the evening and night hours.
In the southern regions, climates could also be cultivated in full land, in a semi-shaded area protected from frost and cold winds; but if the foliage is damaged by frost or bad weather, it takes years before the plant recovers and starts to flower again; therefore, also in the areas with cool winters, the climates are tended to be cultivated in pots, in way to move them to the shelter when the cold arrives.
Clives and vases
Contrary to what happens for most plants, climates do not like to be repotted, and tend to prefer pots full of roots, rather than comfortable and spacious situations; for this reason, they are cultivated in small pots, and they tend to avoid repotting them.
A single rosette of leaves can be cultivated for some years in a bell-shaped pot of diameter 18-20, and only when the pot is overcrowded, with several basal suckers and the roots coming out from the drainage hole, we shall think of a repotting. Until then, it will be essential to provide an excellent fertilizer, from March to September, every 12-15 days, in addition to this, every year in autumn, we can remove the first layer of soil in the pot, and replace it with fresh soil.
Clivies prefer a rich and porous soil, well drained, but which can slightly retain the humidity; typically, we utilize some universal soil, mixed with little leaf mould, or earthworm humus, and lightened with pumice stone in small quantities, just to avoid that the substratum becomes too compact with the passing of the years. During a possible repotting, let’s avoid damaging the roots, as this could lead to a poor or no flowering in the following spring.
La clivia in apartment
Clivies are usually cultivated in apartments, but in the wild they develop in South Africa, an area of the globe with a particular climate, characterized by cool winters and not too hot summers. Typically, the home environment during the winter months is much warmer and drier than the needs of the plant; for this reason, if possible, we have to choose to place it in a staircase, in a greenhouse, or in a room of the house not too much heated.
If we cannot find a position of this kind, it is essential at least to avoid that the air around the plant is excessively dry; therefore we shall avoid in any way to place the clivia close to sources of direct heat; the pot is placed in a wide pot holder, containing gravel or expanded clay, in a layer at least 4-5 cm high, where we shall always leave two or three cm of water, so that it evaporates constantly, to increase the ambient humidity.
Periodically, we vaporize the foliage, both in winter in the heated apartments, and in summer if our clivia is in a very hot and sultry area.
Clivia miniata: Propagating the clivia
As said before, climates produce small berries, which contain fertile seeds; typically, however, when the flowers wither, the floral stem tends to be cut off, as it tends to be not very decorative; besides this, the fruits take some months for ripening, and it is therefore quite difficult to find clivia seeds.
If, however, we wish to keep some fruits on our clivia plant, we remind you that the seeds are to be extracted when the fruit is well ripe, and therefore no more green, but of a nice glossy red colour (yellow in the varieties with yellow flower); the seeds extracted from the pulp are to be sown immediately, in a rich compound, which is to be kept humid till when the germination has taken place, which might happen in the space of about one and a half months; the seeds are to be placed immediately, at the moment of the sowing, in a small pot, rather than in a sowing tray, as we shall let them develop the rosette of leaves before repotting them, that is, we shall cultivate them in the same pot for at least two or three years before repotting them.
A clivia obtained from seed can take up to six or eight years to flower, and therefore this method of propagation is not much appreciated. Clivia plants tend to tiller over the years, producing new basal suckers, which give rise to new rosettes of leaves; we can remove a basal sucker to give rise to a new plant. In autumn, let’s remove the outermost suckers, and place them in a single pot, growing them immediately as we did for the mother plant.
After this type of “pruning” it will typically take one or two years before the plants have stabilized well in the new (or renewed) pot and can flourish again.
- The Clivia is a common herbaceous plant stoloniferous, native to southern Africa4africa, particularly in Italy is very
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- This enchanting perennial herbaceous plant comes from the African continent and is part of the dense and varied grouping of taxis.
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