Sunday, January 1

New Year - New Challenge

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 ...


  1. Hi Sue; Happy New Year! You certainly have one of the gardener's most desirable characteristics - patience. Raising those plants is almost as big a commitment as raising one's own kids! And isn't it great to be able to find such useful info so easily (on the internet) these days?

  2. You certainly like a challenge. Happy New Year, Sue and Martyn, and may I take this opportunity to thank you for your continued regular visits to my blog over the past year and your very generous comments, they're very much appreciated. Let's hope that 2012 brings optiumum weather conditions so that we get bountiful harvests.

  3. Good luck, I am sure the resulting plants will be worth it.

  4. Oh this is going to be interesting!

    Happy New Gardening Year to you and Mrtyn!

  5. Happy New Year! That is a challenge!

  6. If anyone can get them growing Sue, I think it's got to be you! Happy New Year to you both x

  7. It is useful to be able to find info on the Internet, Mark only maybe I'll learn to look first next time

    Thank you too Jo - it's a two way thing. Fingers crossed fro a good season

    If I get any resulting plants BW - big IF!

    Thanks and to you too Robin - it may end up being a damp squib

    You too Damo - I think the challenge may be more than I can chew!

    You too FRG and oh dear what Great Expectations you have of me!

  8. Good luck with your challenge - I don't think I would have the patience to wait that long and end up throwing them away. I have enjoyed reading your posts in 2011 and look forward to reading more in 2012.

  9. Thanks Elaine and I'm glad to have fond your blog too this year.

  10. Re Herr Jeeves the duck... Do you fancy having a go at enhancing him like you did with Mickey the potato?

  11. Jeg kom lige forbi.
    Held og lykke med din ny udfordring.
    Tak for kigget.

    Godt nytår.

  12. Godt Nytår til dig også Landbohaven Jeg vil besøge yout blog snart, så jeg håber Google oversætter arbejder

  13. You do have patience. I admire that and it was great to learn from your blog about letting the seed mature, and that they had to be laid on their side...all so interesting. Happy New Year to you as well.

  14. I don't know about patience Bren - I'll just leave it and see what happens - probably forget all about it. At the moment the pot of seeds are in a plastic bag on the floor bedsides a radiator.

  15. Exciting it is always fun to experiment something new. Good Luck.

  16. I love this! Oh you have to keep us up to date, I hope they take. Little things like this really do make my day - so unusual and makes one feel the joy of experimenting.

    Best wishes for your 3 new babies, your 'real family', the lottie and garden and your own health. May you be happy in 2012 and continue to share your successes xx

  17. The seeds look a lot like chestnuts but poisonous I suspect. I hope they germinate for you - gardening challenges are always exciting.

  18. Thanks Diana - no sign of anything happening yet.

    I will Carrie even the failures too

    They do look like chestnuts Liz but I won't be roasting any!


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