ladysingsthblusApril 9, 2013

This plant was given to me about seven years ago and has always looked like this but with more leaves (or fronds) It was suggested to me that it might be clivia but it's never showed signs of flowering, even though the fronds are nice and shiny and look healthy.

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Here is another angle.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:55PM
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...and the base...

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 8:56PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Leaves do have the darkness of Clivia. But I am not sure about the bulbs being so papery on the outside.

A good way to get bulbs to bloom is to keep them well-fertilized. Many kinds, even Hippeastrum will make big clumps when well fed.

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:20PM
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I suspect that papery skin is actually the remnants of long dead fronds that I peeled off at the base over the years.
Is that possible?

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 10:15PM
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With cilvia, yes - they do leave papery remnants of older foliage at the base.

Clivias must reach a specifc maturity before they bloom. That occurs anywhere from two to four years or when they have produced at least eight leaves. Leaves are produced in sets of four, followed by a latent bud or inflorescense. If grown indoors under a uniform regime of care these buds can remain latent or inactive indefinitely.

To induce a mature clivia plant to flower, the growth cycle must be interrupted. It is easiest to time this interruption with winter. It is usually advisable to stop watering the plant at this time. The plant must be exposed to cool temperatures for the equivalent of about 25 to 30 days and nights. The temperatures should be kept between 55ðF (13ðC) and 34ðF (1ðC) during this period. Do not expose the plant to freezing temperatures (32ðF or 0ðC) at any time. If warmer temperatures are unavoidable occasionally during this critical cooling period, the overall cooling time may have to be extended. Without adequate cooling, the latent flower structure will not be activated, and the plant will not bloom, no matter how mature and otherwise healthy it is. Under this cooling period (which tends to occur naturally in my home in winter) and the withholding of water, my clivia blooms pretty reliably every May with a frequent rebloom in late summer.

Clivia may be the exception to needing to be routinely fertilized. I find that just a dilute houseplant fertilize or the same liquid fertilizer I use on all my other container plants once a month or so in summer is sufficient. Like all my other houseplants, I treat them to a summer vacation outdoors from late May to the beginning of October. And they like to be rootbound. Do not repot until the roots show on the soil surface.......or they crack the sides of the plastic nursery pot :-)

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Thanks, garden gal! I plan on trying that. I would love to see it bloom. Is it too late in the year though? I don't live in a particularly warm climate (suburb of Seattle).

    Bookmark   April 10, 2013 at 6:00PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I had one for decades that bloomed without any changes in conditions, other than whatever effect outdoor seasonal variations had on the spot where it sat indoors, all the time. But it did not flower heavily, or more than once per year - one or two spikes would come out to the side, and not reach above the height of the leaves. An interesting side note was that a portion of the blooms would often go on to produce fruits, which sometimes eventually germinated right on the plant.

This post was edited by bboy on Thu, Apr 11, 13 at 13:18

    Bookmark   April 11, 2013 at 1:16PM
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