Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Random plant event: Clivia miniata 'Aztec Gold'

All photos are from either August 8 or August 10, except as otherwise noted.

This is the first of the two big cool things the plant collection did while I was on hiatus. I've had this plant for four years.1 It had blooms when I got it, but it was already pretty close to bloomed-out, so I only got to see them for a few days, during which time I failed to get any decent pictures of them. And then I waited for about 1,435 days, at which point I went to water the plant and saw this:

(August 2)

I gasped loud enough that the husband heard it from two rooms away and came running. (I didn't know that was even a thing that really happened: I thought gasping was something that only happened on TV, like time travel or celebrity realtors.)

Over the next week, the buds and stalk grew, until we had this:

The normal color of Clivia blooms is orange, and frankly, I think I would probably have preferred that to this cream / yellow color. I mean, I get that this is less common and stuff, and I don't find the flowers objectionable or anything, but this mostly just looks washed-out to me, and it's difficult to photograph: see below.

In close-up, it looks much nicer, though. This is pretty close to true color:

I should note that I don't actually know what I did to make this happen. The main thing that's different about this year compared to last is that the plant's been getting a whole additional year of fertilizer, so that's my best guess, but it's not really blooming at the right time of year (normal is late winter or early summer, says Google, so it's a couple months late), and I'm pretty sure I didn't give it the right temperatures during the winter either.2

Anyway. Worth waiting four years for? Maybe, maybe not. But if it's trying to get me to like it better, it has fantastic timing.


1 From Pierson's. You can tell it was a long time ago, because I still had money to buy plants with, and Pierson's was still willing to take it.
2 (Ideally, this should be between 55F/13C and 34F/1C for about a month, according to this site: what the plant actually got was more like three months of 55-60F/13-16C. I can't let the plant room get much cooler than that, because the other plants in there will complain, but I can't really keep it much warmer than that either, because the room is mostly windows, we're in Iowa, and there's only so much electricity in the world.)


Long Haired Lady Rider said...


You give me hope for mine.

Diana said...

My Clivia (which blooms a pale orange) just finished blooming. Last year it bloomed in August, too. The woman I got it from has a bunch of them and they all bloom during the winter (which is when I would really LOVE to see the blooms). So I don't know when the "right" time of year is or what triggers the blooms.

It is possible that it blooms when the weather turns cooler. Mine lives in our bedroom, which gets hot during the summer. August is usually when it gets so hot up there that we haul out the window A/C unit and cool the bedroom off in the evenings. I wonder if our artificial temperature changes are triggering the August blooms...

Unknown said...

Lovely - my normal C miniata is also flowering, but the wind got hold of them. Love the colour. LT

Lew said...

I gasp too when I unexpectedly encounter sex organs.

Paul said...

Congrats! I had one for over seven years that I had grwon from seed. Never could bloom it so finally got rid of it. (As a foliage plant it does nothing for me so if it wouldn't bloom it was a waste of space.) The seeds are quite interesting, IMO -- the ones I had were actually translucent.

kevsorchids said...

Mine bloom whenever the hell they feel like it. The trigger seems to be a dry spell under my conditions.