Monday, February 12

Second attempt at growing clivias

We haven't been able to do much outdoor gardening at all this year but I have been carrying out a little indoor project. 

When I posted photos of our clivia, some eagle eyed visitors may I have noticed that there were some green bud like growths visible behind the flowers - I know Carrie did.
You may have thought that these were flower buds but they are in fact seed pods.

Very gradually the seed pods turn red. It takes quite a long time.
A few years ago I tried germinating some seeds, following instructions found online. It didn't work, and the seeds never developed. I wanted to try again and so researched more and found some YouTube videos describing a different method.
Apparently the seeds are ripe when the pods become soft, so I kept giving the red pods a little squeeze, but they never seemed to become what I would call soft. After a while the pods started to split so I eventually decided to open them.
I was surprised to find that two of the seeds had already germinated and had developed small roots.

The new instructions stated that the seeds, even if they had started to germinate, should be soaked in water for up to 24 hours.
The instructions also stated that I should spray the seeds with a fungicide before planting but I hadn't any so I didn't.

I needed a deep container preferably with a clear top in which to sow the seeds and we had some yoghurt cartons that seemed perfect for the job.
I filled about three quarters of tub with compost. It had to be made very soggy. so no drainage holes were made in the tub.
On top of this was placed a layer of vermiculite leaving space for any early growth.
The seeds were pushed half way into the vermiculite. It was easy to determine the correct way to plant for the two seeds that already had roots. The instructions stated that the dark side of the seed should be uppermost and so this helped when placing the third rootless seed.
The lid was placed on the carton and it was placed on our bedroom windowsill.
Quickly the seeds with roots seemed to lift up out from the surface of the vermiculite which I assumed meant that the roots were growing.
Then last week, just about a week after sowing the seeds, I noticed what looked to be a green shoot. The two pre-germinated seeds appear to have shoots. Let's look closer at one.
So what do you think? Do we have the beginnings of a clivia leaf? If so there is still a long way to go before I can chalk up a success.

If it doesn't work there are still a few green pods ripening on the plant so I'll just have to try again.


  1. I was waiting for my clivia seeds to set - and then Brenda had a tidy up and they were gone!
    Just as well as I could never be bothered with all that work!
    Yours looking good

    1. The seeds are from the plant that you gave me, Roger. Did you see the photos of it in flower that I posted on 31 January

  2. How cool. I found your post super interesting. I can't wait to see how they turn out.

  3. Looking very good. I’ve had those seed pods many times and never thought to try germinating them. Well I will now!

  4. What an interesting experiment Sue! perhaps I did wrong throwing away the seed buds of my clivia. The next time I will follow you.

  5. Fascinating! I was engrossed, looks like you are winning for sure!xxx

    1. There’s a long way to go yet, Dina but it’s further than I got last time.

  6. A fascinating experiment Sue. I imagine that you are monitoring progress daily. I hadn't thought about using a yoghurt pot like that almost as as mini-propagator. I hope that you will do an update at some point in the future.


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