These tiny little sprouts are the beginning of a few Clivia plants. The miracle part is that I have been trying to get them to sprout since last March.
It started early last spring when the Clivia I have blossomed profusely. I bought the plant from White Flower Farm about 10 years ago. It was just a mere shoot that came in a pot in the mail. It is now huge, completely pot bound and grows a new shoot about every other year. It’s the most common variety with orange blossoms with a yellow throat. I really thought this was the perfect plant – it really thrives on neglect as long as it likes the window it’s in. This one is sitting in front of a window that faces northeast.
I decided to search for a new variety but found that an established plant was really cost prohibitive. In my search I found seeds for different varieties on eBay. They were only $6 plus shipping so I figured there wasn’t much to lose so I bought two different varieties. The kicker – they come from China.
A month or more later I received two packages in the mail, each with 6 and 8 seeds respectively. The seeds of the Clivia are really tiny little bulbs. They are related to the Amaryllis, so unless they are dried to a brown little husk they are viable. These were beautiful little bulbs and I figured I was golden.
I did a lot of research on the web about how to start them – there are issues with fungus, everything needs to be sterile, start in damp perlite, blah, blah, blah. Yup, I did all that. Soaked them in a solution of peroxide, planted them in a sterile medium, covered to prevent bad things from happening and to keep them moist. I waited – and waited and waited.
After about a month I noticed there was some mold around the nubs on the end of the bulbs. I soaked them, changed the medium, started over again. This I did in April, May, June . . . what the heck? The bulbs still looked viable and I decided that at this point I had nothing to lose so I filled a large pot with regular potting soil and planted them around the edge. I hadn’t covered it and honestly neglected it as I do all of my houseplants when the gardens are in full force during the summer. Last week I figured I’d better water it and give them another shot. I didn’t even poke around to see if they were doing anything.
Yesterday I watered again and saw one little green shoot – woohoo! Today there’s a second. Apparently all that coddling that the websites professed I needed really lead me astray on this one. The plants start out thriving on neglect right from the beginning. Now this is my kind of houseplant!