Back to Winter! and tales of Clivia's and other things.....

Well, I need to enjoy that brief whiff of Spring. We are officially back to Winter! This evening I watched as the temperatures dropped from 42o and rainy to 30o - 33o while we ran around in Knoxville trying to do last minute business. Squire and I had just gotten into the van and were contemplating going to Wallyworld when the air filled with sideways blowing sleet, then changed to snow that thickened up so fast, visibility was obscurred and it looked foggy. We decided Wallyworld could wait (not to mention people who were panicking with the idea's of snow, winter storms, get that bread and milk laid in, the lines would be horrendous).
As we threaded our way thru a detour and back street unknown to me, I began to "fess up" to Squire about a trip I had ventured on yesterday while son was turning in his mileage and hours for the two weeks he'd swapped at another Lowes. I had made the mistake of going into the small area they have designated for a tiny greenhouse at his Lowes and there she was...............a lucious thing in full straps, green, with slightly orange white buds held tight against the inside leaves, just barely emerging. The one I was looking at was just starting to peek her buds up thru the protective sheaths of leaves and on the side a bit away from the central clump of leaves, another tiny sprout was showing itself, and as I picked it up by the bulk of leaves carefully, I noticed nestled in the potting soils, another tiny tongue poking up just off the side of that one.
I sat her down, and looked thru the 12 quart pots and chose another plant. This one was much larger in girth, the just peeking bloom spike and buds were a bit more noticable, but not opening like one of the plants on the end of the table where they were displayed. My heart beat faster, and I decided that I was to have one, and the one I was to have was the one birthing two more small shoots of leaves as well as the emerging bloom spike and buds. I saw no price anywhere, and I didn't care.
Just an ordinary Clivia minata, but these were prepped and ready to bloom at another day or two's insistance and warmth. As I carefully held the plant by it's thick stalk of leaves and bloom spike, I walked to the small houseplant rack and peered thru the leaves searching for someone I was curious to find again. And I did. A blackish leafed heart philodendrum by the name of Majestic. Search the leaves and ahhhhhhhh a small pot of very healthy and happy strawberry begonia, with three threads dangling tiny leaves on their ends.
In losing the Golden Haneii sanseveria, the crocodile McCoy planter needed something more forgiving of the lack of drainage. I had the dark leafed philodendrum in mind, but not wanting to root cuttings, I decided I'd look for a pot, and if not finding it, then root tip cuttings. I hit it lucky in finding the pot tucked in amongst the rest of the plants. The strawberry Begonia or "Mother of thousands" went into the frog pot that another begonia had turned belly up in a while back. No disease, it was the aridity of the house that had killed it quickly while I wasn't looking.
I left quickly, knowing that my hands were full of sticky pots that had deliberately stuck to them, and knew I had no clue to the price to the Clivia. I know that Pen down in Wanneroo, Australia will chastise me for buying another Clivia, but I can say that once I got home with my bootie, I placed the pots on the kitchen table, went down to the cold tool room and picked up the massive pot of the ordinary pot of Clivia minata that Pen has tried and tried to get me to successfully bloom after years attempts. I've had it now for 10 years, plus Mary Emma had it for five years before me. THIS year, I put her into the tool room where it gets quite cold, but not freezing, watered it well and have let it dry out. I have checked on the condition of her over the months, using the Scheffelera as a guage for watering needs. The Scheff got watered, she got dribbles.
In another smaller pot (which I fear is way too large for her) is a precious gift that Pen sent me. A YELLOW Clivia she had seed grown and shipped to a nursery up in Michigan. Once the owner got his plants, inside his order was a baby plant with instructions to ship to me once all inspections were over. I got it as a great surprise one day in my mailbox and promptly potted her up and watered her in and she spent her first spring and summer on the balcony with the mother Clivia that sits off my son's bedroom facing the woods.
I have now moved them both into the warmer regions of Squire's Dragon Cave (where his computer resides quietly waiting for him to return off the road and tinker with it) and the moister laundry room just off the main area. Hopefully the older Clivia will reward me this year with buds like the new arrival already has. Maybe I should put them near each other so that the older will get jealous and set her buds finally?? <gbseg> The temperatures outside have plummeted 24o or more degrees, the winds are pushing the flakes and pellets sideways and all the cats have come inside. Piquito has fluffed up like the hair ball he resembles, pantaloons and all. Even the dawgs who wanted soooo badly to go outside a moment ago, have returned and actually begged and barked to be let back in. Smart dawgs. With temperatures dropping into single digits, winds gusting to 60 mph and making the wind chill temperatures resemble Minnesota and highs only in the lower 20's tomorrow, I'd say that Old Man Winter had returned with a snicker aimed towards me when I relished in the brief whiff of Spring yesterday (the temperatures actually started out today at 51o!) Keep warm and at least this chill has set the Spring bulbs back on course. madgardener up on the ridge, back in Faerie Holler, overlooking English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee
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Maddy you are wicked ( lucky, that is) to find those sticky-pots!
I know as sure as I know my own heartbeat a Clivia with a bloom scape would be a stick-to-fingers-pot and immediate new house-mate, in spite of the fact that I have several taking up space already.
I'm floored that you have a 15+ year old clivia which has never bloomed. I realize that it has some sentimental value for you. Beyond that value, I dunno why you haven't sent it to the compost pile.
My clivia live in the darkest, coolest spots in the house and I don't even BOTHER to water them between Columbus Day and Jan 15. Outer Mongolia conditions with cold, and dark as the inside of your hat, the soil in those pots actually shrinks away from the pot sides.
Long 'bout the middle of January, when I see midafternoon sunrays flirting around formerly dark windowsills, I do give them a miserly scattering of time release granules and a good dose of warm water to help plump up the potting mix, but thats IT, nothing more TILL I SEE BLOOM SCAPE peeking.
THEN I do water, because one needs to get those bloom scapes above the neck of the plant.
I have a 4 inch clay pot with 2 seedlings from one year ago, these are seedllings from my own self -fertilized blooms from a seed-raised plant. I'm never going to be a commercial clivia breeder, but , by golly, I started with seed, got bloom, NEW Seed, and new plants. Only took 12 years.
Looking this afternoon, I have some ripe seed from Last Year's bloom, I could peel and start some more seeds. But why...... been there done that. Now I want a NEW challenge
Variegated Leaf Clivia, Yellow Flowers, multi-tepals.
I'm psycho, this is not appropriate behavior for someone in their 50's
Sue Western Maine

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I will answer you as it deserves when I get home from work tomorrow. I promise. ((hug)) maddie

then
it
who
and
son
up
the
I
plant.
two
buds.
bloom
plant
by
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Cave
road
new
are
inside.
and
course.
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Maddy,
While I've been a lady of leisure today, I've been thinking about your non-blooming Clivia, and wondering if the venerable Grand Dame holds her scapes too close to her vest.
I did miss a bloom season from my oldest Clivia a few years ago because the scapes didn't ever get enough length of stalk to rise above the neck of the plant. Remiss on my part in culture, so I thought, root bound is one thing but roots still need SOME medium!!
after that fiasco I did repot in a rather brutal matter.....
I didn't want A BIGGER POT, I just wanted some depth of potting mix under the roots. So I knocked the monster (I count 8 necks now) out of her 18 qt "barrel" , used the biggest sharpest knife in the kitchen and sliced about 3" off the bottom of the root ball. It was ALL ROOT, not a speck of planting medium at all.
I replaced that volume with new potting mix in the bottom of the pot and replanted so that I had the necks at the same level as before. She quickly threw up leaf growth and bloomed again 8 months later. I suspect I ought to investigate that rootball again ( Sooner than later!).
On another note, since daylight is extending noticably now and the sun is really warming my south facing window sills, I dragged my dormant Amaryllis pots ( 4 of them), and my dormant Jacobean Lily ( 1 LARGE pot) out of their chilly dormancy prisons and watered them up for another chance.
One needs ALL available hopes in the depths of winter !
Sue Western Maine

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well, I thought of that, but I have to tell you, their scapes aren't too close. The scapes on the one I bought are far tighter and larger than my own. I guess I need to granular food them too..............

the
the
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I will check on this, but mine haven't crammed the pot yet. I suspect there is still plenty of soil for the rhizomes to nurture off of. Maybe not the BEST soil but soil never the less. I will check it out tomorrow when I am home. and will get back to you.

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I think in my case that the plant (the older, larger one) hasn't filled the pot up tight yet as I transplanted her from a tiny pot to a much larger one when Mary Emma gave her to me years ago.

Amaryllis
their
oooooo a Jacobean lily................I myself have BLOOD lilies that haven't broken dormancy yet. I hope to see bloody tongues poking up thru the soil soon............................... I can actually say that I NEED winter more than anything. You might be surprised when I say this but I need to time to appreciate the houseplants that I have.............later friend. You've given me food for thought and actions. maddie

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then
it
who
and
son
up
the
I
plant.
two
buds.
bloom
plant
by
very
needed
look
bootie,
and
not
a
her
Cave
road
new
are
inside.
and
course.
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snipped previous ( wickedly)
Mad, I've joined the clivia-enthusiast yahoo group just recently and there is some interesting stuff coming from around the world. Do you know of it? Pen is a moderator.
Sue Western Maine
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why am I not surprised? how did you subscribe to the newsgroup? I use Outlook Express........would you like to see a picture of the new baby that is now in FULL BLOOM? I am SOOOOOOOOOOOooo pumped about the possibility of getting the old girl to bud for me now............no signs yet though....................vigilent though. e-mail me if yer interested in seeing pictures............. maddie

it?
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Maddy I'd LOVE to see pics!!!!
As for the Clivia group, its a Yahoo e-mail list, if you have Pen's e-mail she can subscribe you internally, alternately go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/clivia-enthusiast/ to join the long way.
As for my e-mail, it is munged.... simply lose the mind thats tucked in there for safekeeping.
Sue

there
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