Clivia Plant Care
A friend gave me her 2 large Clivia plants last fall. I gave them indirect light and a rest period withholding fertilizer and providing only small amounts of water since October. How do I water these huge plants (it will take two people to lift one) and what type of fertilizer should I use to get it to bloom? In this climate, it can only be outside between June and September. Carol
Certified GKH Gardening Expert
An important consideration with watering is that water needs to be able to run out through the drainage holes at the bottom and not get reabsorbed (the plant should not sit in water). Since it will be difficult to move these plants, it may be best to keep it in a place where water can run onto the floor. Either that, or put the container on a saucer or tray and then somehow siphon off the water after it drains. Also, make sure the top inch of soil dries out between waterings, but water frequently enough so that the plant doesn't wilt.
If the plant was chilled during the rest period (between 35 and 55 degrees is recommended), gradually raise the temperature to 60 degrees. The buds should start appearing a few weeks later. If they weren't chilled, they should bloom in summer. Start fertilizing just after the Clivias bloom, or at the point when you bring them outside if they haven't bloomed yet, and fertilize once a month until September when they are brought indoors. Any balanced fertilizer, like a 20-20-20, is fine.