Amaryllis and Hippeastrum forum: Clivia - the Amaryllis cousin

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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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tarev
Feb 11, 2015 12:58 PM CST
I was inspired to try Clivia through the good people at the Bulbs forum and by @AnnaZ clivia. At least while waiting for some blooming action on my other amaryllises..a cousin plant helps fill the gap nicely!

The thread "Clivia" in Bulbs forum

I got a good mature plant in Nov 2014, and thankfully, following suggestions and pointers..it is now in bloom indoors. Truly fun!
[Last edited by tarev - Feb 11, 2015 12:59 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Feb 12, 2015 11:42 AM CST
So what have I learned so far with Clivia - being related to Amaryllis:

Price:
Clivia is a bit more expensive if you try to get a blooming size plant. The rationale being it is such a very slow growing plant, so it takes years to mature, they say it takes about 4 to 7 years, that is indeed a very long time. Of course you can get seeds, but you have to be really extremely patient to wait for it to grow and mature. Or if your are lucky enough to get an off the rack clearance sale, go for it. But patience will be your next friend.

Amaryllis on the other hand, is sold easily in bulb form, so during Fall, so many bulbs are out for sale.

Leaves:
Both have long spade-like leaves. But Clivia is really longer, a bigger plant. The number of leaves helps you determine how old the plant is. The more leaves Clivia has, the more mature it is. The more mature it is, the greater potential to make bloomstalks. When I acquired my Clivia it has 9 leaves. Not the best looking leaves, seems a bit bumped out veins and some tips were brown. At present it has managed to make 3 new leaves, so plant has 12 leaves. The new leaves forms from the center and newer ones are smoother and deeper green.

Now unlike Amaryllis, Clivia does not like full sun. So it has to be in a shady spot. I have read it needed a cool and dry winter rest. I acquired the plant in late Fall, so timing seemed right. It was placed by our front door with the alcove protecting it from the rain. I left it in that spot from late November 2014 to first week of January. I just gave it some water during repot, after that nothing more, leaving it as dry as it can.

There are some Clivia's that have variegated leaves, and sometimes this variety is a smaller breed, with roundish tips. I am not sure if Amaryllis has variegated leaves, since I have seen only solid greens. I would for sure try to get a variegated-leaf Clivia..at least if it does take longer to grow..the variegated leaves will make it tolerable and fun wait.

Roots:
Clivia roots are very fat; fat like noodles, if you grow Chlorophytum comosum (spider plants) it resembles those engorged roots. So it makes sense that these roots can store water and can afford to go drier for a long time. Careful watering is important, so media has to be really well draining, can be grown in a mix used for cymbidiums or in my case I used some compost, mixed in with cactus soil, kanuma, akadama, some smaller lava rock, and pumice. I guess I have planted it like I am planting a succulent. To mulch the soil, I just put some lava rock.

Amaryllis roots on the other hand, I have always found them to enjoy much more moistened media. Moist but not too soggy. Though I have tested it to endure being planted in water in a glass container with no drainage, as long as I use clay rocks and some gel beads, so it allows some air on the root zone. Amaryllis roots are thinner, it does get fat too, but for the most part thinner.

Flowers:
Both grow trumpet-like blooms in an umbel on a long bloom stalk. Amaryllis has typically 3 to 5 blooms per umbel. Clivia on the other hand can have 14 to 25 buds in one umbel. But the blooms are smaller in size compared to its cousin Amaryllis. Both would do the bloom stalk dance of following the direction of the sun as the bloom stalk continues to grow taller and the buds continue to mature.
There are, however some types of Clivia that has more tubular looking blooms. But for the most part, most are trumpet-like. I was advised to give a bit stepped up watering once the plant shows the formation of a bloom stalk, just a bit, to help the plant push up that umbel. Sometimes they say it gets stuck in the middle. So I have carefully watered the plant at about 5 to 7 days interval once it showed the bloom stalk with buds at the very center, thankfully, it was able to grow the stalk longer in due course.

I have read and was advised to give the Clivia plant a cool and dry rest while not yet in bloom last Fall. I followed that and thankfully it did start to make the bloom stalk a few days after I have pulled it indoors. Since this is the first time, I still will have to see next Fall season, if it will follow the same manner of blooming. But so far, it worked.

With the Amaryllis, if the bulb is bought for indoor forcing, it will bloom, but afterwards, it follows the Spring time blooming pattern, or it may not. I am still learning what I really need to do to get it to re-bloom next season. Typically Amaryllis does not need any cold rest. But, it does rest on its own after summer, leaves will naturally die-off. Maybe it just needs a dry rest, similar to Clivia. Sometimes it really helps to know how similar attributes run along same family of plants, plus following a good fertilizing regimen to help further bring back the nutrition and energy the plant needs. Amaryllis once in bloom really loves the sun. Clivia is okay with the north facing sun, so it is nice to grow indoors.

Bloomtime:
In my area, Clivia followed the mid-winter bloomtime indoors after getting its cold, dry rest in late Fall. They are still currently in bloom, so will update later how long the entire umbel lasted.

Amaryllis, if first time forced, will bloom nicely during the holidays and winter. But afterwards, that is where some varies...with my Amaryllis, some followed the typical mid-Spring bloom time, some did not..it is still a mixed bag..but usually one or so will bloom in Spring. Blooms typically last for 2 weeks. Bulb may start growing first some new leaves before the bloom stalk, or may grow first the bloom stalk before the leaves..or may simultaneously grow both at the same time.

Container size:
I plant both Clivia and Amaryllis in a container. However, Clivia with it long and fat roots, you have to use a bigger, heavier container, so it will not topple over. If you got it as a small plant, then just have to use size appropriate container, it will really take awhile before you need to repot since it is very slow growing. Clivia is really a heavy plant, so depending on how the leaves grow, it may be a challenge to make quarter turns if trying to adjust the direction the plant bloom stalk faces.

With Amaryllis, I just use shallower and smaller containers, much easier to move and handle. That really makes it easy to adjust the plant positon in quarter turns as it starts to follow the sun when getting ready to bloom.

Bulblets and Offsets:
Since Clivia is really more on those fat roots, it will grow offsets to further increase the fold. My Clivia right now is making 3 offsets near the base of the plant.

Amaryllis grows bulblets around the base of the main bulb. It will cluster around and continue on growing with the mommy bulb or if you accidentally remove it from the mommy bulb, it's okay, it will grow its own roots eventually. But typically wait a bit for the bulblet to grow almost near the size of mommy bulb before you remove. it.


That's it for now..will add more observations later. Smiling
Name: Barbara
Palm Coast, FL
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bsharf
Feb 12, 2015 4:45 PM CST

Moderator

Your post would make a good "article" for the ATP newsletter. Its complete and very informative. Hurray!
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
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tarev
Feb 12, 2015 6:46 PM CST
Thanks Barbara! I still have a lot to learn about both..so just in case some wants to try, hope it guides them. Just returning the favor from the tips a lot of ATP folks guided me. Big Grin
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Feb 12, 2015 9:51 PM CST
Just a size comparison of the plants as I have them in containers:
This was in April 2013 when I had a real good Amaryllis bloom Big Grin
Thumb of 2015-02-13/tarev/1896f9


This is the currently blooming Clivia miniata 'Solomone Yellow' - Winter 2015
Thumb of 2015-02-13/tarev/5b8878 Thumb of 2015-02-13/tarev/229258

Two beautiful plants..now I have a winter bloomer and a spring bloomer. Big Grin

I do have a summer bloomer, their other cousin Hymenocallis Ismene Festalis..just adding it here as a tidbit:
During its early Summer bloom in 2012
Thumb of 2015-02-13/tarev/2b7d60 Thumb of 2015-02-13/tarev/c33af3

Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 21, 2015 7:53 PM CST
The clivia I got from my Mother In Law some 20+ years ago just keeps on blooming for me. It is the only plant that loves being in that dark garage to over winter. I bring it out every spring and it is filled with scapes. I have had it in the very same pot for 20+ years. It loves being crowded but I think it's going a little overboard! I might have to dynamite it out!

This year there are about 10 bright red seeds from last year's flowers for me to try to propogate. I have successfully grown 1 seed. It currently has 2-2" leaves and is 1 year old. I think it might bloom by the time I am 70 years old! Rolling on the floor laughing
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Mar 22, 2015 7:38 PM CST
Wow! 20+ years! That is wonderful! Hurray!
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 23, 2015 9:33 PM CST
@tarev Thought you might see this tangles mess of roots i will have to deal with eventually. There are 5-6 plants in a 3 gallon pot. Thinking of putting some into the ground. But I would hate to lose them to a freak freeze.

Thumb of 2015-03-24/ShadyGreenThumb/6e72bc

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
[Last edited by ShadyGreenThumb - Mar 23, 2015 9:55 PM (+)]
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Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Mar 23, 2015 10:51 PM CST
Wow, like fat green noodles! Maybe just put in several containers? What color were the blooms of your Clivia?
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Mar 23, 2015 11:12 PM CST
Mine are orange. But I think I like your yellow. I will search for them here. They also call them Kaffir Lily here.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 1, 2015 11:56 AM CST
Soon to explode with color in a garden near you.

Thumb of 2015-04-01/ShadyGreenThumb/34c8cc

Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
Image
tarev
Apr 1, 2015 1:11 PM CST
Exciting! Hurray!
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 1, 2015 1:31 PM CST
@tarev Did I ever mention I spent my "Formative Years" age 8-13 in Visalia?
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Always count your blessings in life
Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter
Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder Amaryllis Container Gardener Xeriscape
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tarev
Apr 1, 2015 1:39 PM CST
I don't remember if you have mentioned it before..but that is good to know. Smiling Visalia is about 166 miles to our south, we usually pass through that area when we head down to Los Angeles.

Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Greenhouse Composter Plant Identifier Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Amaryllis
Plumerias Ponds Foliage Fan Enjoys or suffers hot summers Tropicals Garden Ideas: Master Level
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ShadyGreenThumb
Apr 1, 2015 1:58 PM CST
Dad worked between Visalia and Oildale at his two stores. Our vet was in Tulare. We often visited the Fresno Zoo as kids and Storybook Land. I recall there was some mud house or some kind of attraction of a home tunneled into the soil. It gave me the creeps.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.

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