How to Grow Clivias from Seeds

Overview

The clivia is an African flower plant that is commonly grown in North America as a houseplant or ornamental outdoor plant. Gardeners enjoy the plant's stark foliage and large, warm-colored flower blossoms. Though clivia can be started by dividing a mature clivia plant, the plant can also be grown by harvesting seeds from within the clivia's berries. Growing clivia from seeds is the best way to start multiple clivia plants, and is less labor-intensive than dividing a mature plant clump.

Step 1

Harvest the clivia berry. If you have commercially ordered clivia seeds, skip to Step 4. The clivia plant will produce berries after its flowers bloom and fall off. The berries will ripen in 9-10 months. Pluck off the berries when they are soft and orange or yellow in color.

Step 2

Remove the seeds. Squeeze the berry to open it. Use your fingers to separate the seeds from the pulp. Peel off the thin membrane surrounding the seeds.

Step 3

Sterilize the seeds. Place them in a solution of one cup of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide, available from most pharmacies and general retailers, and two cups of water. Soak for 30 minutes. Remove the seeds and pat them with a paper towel or rag to dry them.

Step 4

Fill a standard pot with vermiculite or perlite. The pot should have drainage holes on the bottom. Place the pot in a tray of water so that the water can enter through the bottom drainage holes.

Step 5

Plant the clivia seeds. Place them on the top of the vermiculite or perlite. Cover the pot with plastic food wrap and secure with a piece of twine or a rubber band.

Step 6

Wait for the clivia seeds to germinate. This typically takes 2-3 weeks.

Step 7

Fill a plant pot with soilless potting mix. Once the seeds germinate and have two to four leaves, transplant them into the potting mix. Water twice daily, or as often as needed to keep the soil moist. The plants can be transplanted into a soil mixture or outdoors once they reach 4-5 inches in height.

Things You'll Need

  • Clivia plant with berries, or clivia seeds
  • Hydrogen peroxide, three percent-strength
  • Plant pots with bottom drainage holes
  • Plastic trap
  • Vermiculite or perlite
  • Plastic food wrap
  • Twine or rubber band
  • Soilless potting mix

References

  • University of Connecticut: About Clivia
  • "The Complete Garden Guide: A Comprehensive Reference for All Your Garden Needs;" Time-Life Books; 1999

Who Can Help

  • North American Clivia Society
Keywords: clivia seeds, grow clivia, start seeds

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.