February 7, 2012

A Clivia cross marks mid-season


Known as Clivia Interspecific Group, these crosses between two species of the common houseplant clivia, are often crosses between an autumn blooming species such as C. caulescens, and a spring blooming species, like C. miniata. The autumn blooming species have pendant, slender blossoms with greenish tips to the petals, and the spring blooming C. miniata, which we are all familar with, have larger, wide blossoms. These crosses have a little of both, and are variable. Look for them at plant collector sales, or cross your own ( it's not that hard, and the berries are easy to clean and plant, since the seed is large, looking very much like a macadamia nut).

Clivia are long-lasting, sturdy house plants, and they bloom indoors if you can provide them with a cool, bright room where the daylight will trigger bud formation ( meaning - no lamps near by, nor street lights - these are plants that need to experience the natural progression of day length in the spring, or the shorter day length in autumn). Allowing them to go dry all winter, is incorrect, and will not stimulate these South African plants to bloom. What triggers them is temperature shifts from day to night, and day length. It's the only way that they will know that it is spring, or autumn ( or mid-winter, as in this case!).

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