Clivia - Amaryllidaceae - How to care for and grow Clivia plants

 Clivia - Amaryllidaceae - How to care for and grow Clivia plants



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We insert this testimony to highlight the passion, dedication, skill, patience but above all the love that Dario has towards these creatures, demonstrating that love has no sex, no shape, no color. (editor's note)

I am a fan of amaryllidaceae, of which I have several examples: boophane, ammocharis, crinum, amaryllis belladonna, hippeastrum, cyrthanthus, zephyranthes, rhodophiala, amarine, chlidanthus, brunsvigia, haemanthus, griffiniopsis, lycoris, lycoris , eucharis, pancratium, polianthes and, of course, also clivia, of which I have several varieties (miniata, citrina, lutea, cyrtanthiflora, variegata, etc.). I wanted to bring you my experience on the clivie.

I state that I have a house in the mountains (800 meters) where, in spring, I literally MOVE a multitude of plants that winter with me in Milan (suburbs). at that altitude the majority of my potted amaryllidaceae are gradually accustomed to exposure in full sun (belladonna, several crinum, and more, are planted in the ground, with nocturnal winter peaks even above 15 degrees below zero: naturally only the deciduous species can withstand this !!!).

in general, the brightness is high and the light rich in ultraviolet (you get tanned quickly ...). all these plants, while enduring some initial burns, show a great appreciation for this direct exposure (summer temperatures do not reach 30 degrees, if anything, they are on average around 22 - 24 during the day and at night they regularly drop to 15 - 18) with a very luxuriant growth. the humidity of the air (especially at night) favors.

in winter the move is to Milan and these plants stay a little in my apartment and a little on the landings of the entire building (there are so many; I live in a house with a railing and the staircase is exposed outside).

clivias, when in adulthood, stay outdoors and my experience is that they even tolerate the occasional night frost. currently with night lows close to zero or even -1 (month of December), mine

clivia cyrtanthiflora

(photo on the side) is in splendid bloom (if you don't believe me, I invite you to come and see it live!). moreover, in general, all of them are also tagging. the daytime sun, with its heat, in fact, compensates for the nocturnal effort. the walls against which the pots are positioned shield the icy wind (which also tears up my plants), but the clivias are not currently showing the slightest sign of suffering.

of course with this mine I do not intend to "stimulate" readers to useless experiments to the detriment of their plants: if my house was not already overflowing with vegetation (I have listed only the amaryllidaceae but it is not the only family I am passionate about ...) even my clivia would be warm ... however the extreme conditions to which I have subjected them over the years seem to me to have favored a greater ability to adapt and stimulated abundant flowering several times a year.

here are two small variegated leaf clivia

about a year, grown from seeds. the soil is peaty and enriched with slow release fertilizer, but also with rock flour and volcanic lava grains (which in addition to maintaining a basically acid pH, favor the drainage of water).

I bathe them abundantly once a week and let the soil almost dry before the next watering. unlike their "sisters" placed outside in the cold and frost of December, these grow happily on ... HEAT! (note 1) a real injustice :-)! however they too stayed outside this summer, gradually brought into full sun (in the mountains at about 800 meters above sea level) and under continuous showers (and two terrible night hailstorms) that characterized this summer 2008.

these are two and a half years old

. it is the foliage, already showy because it is fleshy and shiny in all the clivie, which represents the real attraction. I haven't seen any flowering yet (it will take at least a couple of years) so I can't know what the flower will look like. This is a "very normal" one (I find it wonderful!)

clivia minata

(photo below) in bloom (February 2008).

the "spotted trunk" that can be seen on the right is of a young amorphophallus titanum (sooner or later I will send some files on these araceae of which I have a remarkable collection).

instead here is the flowering of one

clivia citrina

(photo below). The first buds open when the flower stem has not even emerged from the leaves yet.

this is another

clivia cyrtanthiflora

(photo below), darker red than the one in bloom now, which bloomed in the last week of July 2008 (the berries are currently ripening).

I am currently growing two seedlings of

Clivia miniata Pastel yellow Giant

and of

Clivia citrina Magic Green



(1) a wooden board separates the plants from direct contact with the heater. however they are still exposed to a considerable bombardment of heat, even if they keep (I have an autonomous system) the temperature in the house around 18 °. given the quantity of plants in the house, the humidity in the air is considerable (like a heated greenhouse .....). however, the plants placed on the tables above the radiators are sprinkled with water at any time possible and in any case at least twice a day (on leaves and soil that I bathe but only once a week to avoid creating mold or rot that would have the best of all). therefore a greater heat in exchange for greater drought of the soil (nature teaches), but in exchange for humidity on the leaves.

If you wish to ask Dario Toffolon for clarification, you can write to our editorial [email protected]

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