Friday, June 28, 2013

Random plant event: Clivia 'Aztec Gold'

You may or may not remember last summer's Clivia blooms. I apparently never bothered to say, officially, that the blooms had turned into fruits (or at least some of them did; I wound up with about a dozen), but that happened too.

In mid-May, I noticed that one of the fruits had begun to change color, which was exciting, because it signified that they were about to be ripe enough to plant up. I figured I'd wait until they turned red, like they're supposed to, then start a bunch of seeds and have a ton of new plants to play with, finally. (The "finally" is because neither of my Clivias have ever offset.)

Except that it didn't turn red. So I left it on the plant. And then more of them started to change color, but they didn't turn red either. And so I worried. Maybe they're never going to turn red. Maybe something is wrong. It's probably just as well; I don't know what to do with them once they're ripe anyway. Easy come, easy go. Etc.

But then:

Yes, that's a root growing out of the berry. Apparently this is a thing that happens sometimes, with Clivia. So the game, such as it is, is back on again. (Not that it was ever off, but I didn't know that.)

And it turns out that yellow-blooming Clivias were always supposed to produce lighter-colored fruit than the regular orange-blooming ones:
Clivia with yellow flowers will produce yellow fruit, while Clivia with orange flowers will produce red fruit. (Ref.)
It's just that nobody had ever told me.

So now I guess I have some Clivia seeds to start. I'm not going to get too excited about this just yet, since a lot of what I'm seeing on-line about starting Clivia seeds makes them sound very susceptible to fungal diseases, and goodness knows we have some fungal diseases here. But, apparently we're further along in the process than I realized, so I'd best hurry and catch up.


Paul said...

I started some Clivia seeds long time ago. Just used regular potting soil. Don't recall any great difficulty in getting them started but it has been long enough that I also don't remember how many seeds I had and how many actually germinated. The seeds did make an impression on me. I found them quite intriguing -- they were actually translucent. Did grow one plant up though eventually got rid of it. After having it for over 8-10 years I just could not bloom the stupid thing.

Diane C said...

I'm a novice gardener so found the topic quite interesting. Seems like you have to keep the eyes open to all the little things.

Anonymous said...

Its time to write my first comment in your fascianting blog :) Its always interesting to read that you have difficulties withcertain plants i actually find easy to keep. Clivia is one of them, a favourite of mine. We got a plant years ago and it quickly developed into a bush, blooming every year from spring till early summer. I keep some fruits, wait till they ripe and when i see roots or at least a bulge that indicates a germinating seed, i pick it, remove the outer parts and plant it. I guess it depends on the climate and care, it took years till the first plant started blooming. I wanted to make some pics but i was too lazy :)

Tom said...

I grew Clivia seeds once by sticking them in a pot of soil and watered it when I thought about it with great success. I tried them again a second time following the "proper" methods and they rotted off and died. I vote trust your instincts on this one. You know, those world famous instinct for tropical plants that all Iowans are born with...? (???)