Marshalls still have vegetable plants for sale if you have had any seed raising failures or just want to take a short cut
Suttons have a collection of lucky dip bedding plants 120 plugs for £14.99
Sunday, January 1
I've have had a clivia growing in a pot in the house for years now.
It's a bit temperamental in that some years it will produce a flower and other years it won't. Generally it doesn't really get any special treatment and is left to do it's own thing. I often forget to even water it.
Then last year I noticed that when the flower heads dropped a couple of green seed pods were left behind. I decided to leave these on the plant to see what happened. I expected that the seed pod would probably dry or do something to let me know that the seeds were ripe.
Well after what seemed like ages - well it was ages apparently the seed pod takes up to 10 months to ripen - last month the seed pods decided to turn a seasonal reddish orange.
Then the weekend before Christmas one of the seed pods fell off which I took to be a sign that if there were any seeds inside they ought to be ripe.
I opened up the seed pod to find three very large fat seeds.
I took the seeds out of the pod and cleaned up all the soft membrane from around them, rinsed them and left them to dry and then I popped them into a pot of compost.
I then decided, a bit belatedly, to try and look up on the Internet how to grow clivias from seed. Oh dear I'd done something - well in fact two or three things wrong.
Apparently it is really important which way the seed is planted - there is a brownish area on one side of the seed and this has to be pointing sideways. I'd never noticed any brown patch so I went upstairs to where I had left the seeds and promptly removed the seeds from the compost. Sure enough there was a brown area on each seed.
I also read that the seeds had to be just pressed into the compost and left uncovered - I'd previously pushed them into the soil and covered them - I thought being large seeds that would be necessary - so now they are just pushed level with the top of the soil as instructed.
Now apparently I have to pop them in a plastic bag in a shady, warm place - (and I was going to pop them under the growing light) and wait up to three weeks or maybe far longer (information varies considerably on this) to see whether they will germinate and if they do I'll be amazed.
If in the unlikely event that they do germinate, it can take up to four years for a new plant to flower! If I'm still blogging then I'll let you know how things turn out.
There is another smaller seed pod on the plant so if that seems to contain viable seeds I may even plant them correctly the first time round or I may try one of the other methods suggested - yes just to make life even more difficult different people seem to have different ideas as to how the seeds should be started off!
I thought growing cyclamen was a challenge but now this is in another league!
And to finish - a really Happy New Year to Everyone - here's hoping for a season that is not too wet but not too dry, not too hot but not too cold and not too windy and ...
Posted by Sue Garrett at 10:24 a.m.