Thursday, January 24, 2013

Impatience Rewarded: Blooming Clivia

Quite a few years ago, (seven seems about right) when I had a short-lived passion for growing houseplants from seed, I bought six Clivia miniata seeds on eBay. I dutifully planted them all, each in separate pots.  Surprisingly, all germinated.  At first, I tried to find an optimum location for the six pots, but frankly, they got shunted about quite a bit in favor of plants that I liked better.  Locations that were both cool and brightly lit were at a premium in my house.  Clivia seedlings aren't the most exciting plants in the world, and I figured it would be several years until they got big enough to flower, if indeed they ever did.  And the six pots were a pain. After a while, I stopped caring. They were in lousy soil, and needed to be repotted. I frequently forgot to water.  They spent years under lights in the basement.

Finally, I decided to plant the four healthiest seedlings in one big pot, and just be content with a large plant with dark glossy leaves. Then last spring I put the pot outdoors, mostly to get it out of the way.

This is what happened:

Clivia blooms from one of four separate plants in the same pot.  Three different views.

I'm curious to see if any of the others bloom, and what the colors will look like.  According to the seller of the seeds,  the parent plant had dark orange, nearly red flowers. But even if they are the usual orange, like the blooms pictured above, I'll be happy.  The plant will be happy too. It has a nice spot in my kitchen window this winter, with good soil and regular watering.

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