Propagating Clivias from seed

Spring is synonymous with clivias in full flower!

Their bright blooms burst forth in September and instantly banish the last lingering traces of the winter blues. Here are some steps on how to grow them from seed:

  • For successful germination, use fresh seed. Pick the berries when they start colouring and remove the pulp and membranes around them. The seeds will be large with a pearly sheen.
  • Wash the seeds with an anti-fungal solution or a weak solution of dishwashing liquid and water.
  • Fill a seed tray with coarse, damp river sand (the soil should not be sopping wet). Push the seeds into the medium so that about 50% of their surface is above ground. Alternatively, you can use coconut husk or peat as the medium. You get these in handy blocks that you submerge in water – the product then absorbs water and makes a full 5l of awesome growing medium!
  • Cover with a layer of vermiculite – this forms a warm ‘blanket’ for the seeds to be able to germinate in. Place the tray in a warm spot out of direct sunlight. Although further watering is not needed, check that the sand remains damp.
  • Sprouting should be within 4 – 6 weeks.
  • Fill small pots or a deep seed tray with milled bark or commercial potting soil. Water the soil medium well and make holes of about 2cm deep with a dowel stick. Gently plant the sprouts in them, leaving half of the seed body above ground.
  • Place the seedlings in a warm, protected spot in the shade and water them with a gentle sprayer once or twice a week.
  • The seedlings are slow-growing, and can remain in their containers for about two years before they will be strong enough to plant out.

14 thoughts on “Propagating Clivias from seed

  1. Georgina Charlesworth says:

    Hi Tanya,
    thanks for all your helpful gardening tips. Is it possible for you to give some guidance on how to propagate pelargoniums from seed ?
    Thank you .

  2. Sue Rossmann says:

    Hi Tanya,
    is it necessary to remove the membrane from around the seed before planting it?. Is there a trick to get the membranes off easily. I have over 200 hundred clivias and am looking for an easier/quicker way to get the seeds planted. It takes forever to remove all the membranes.
    Thank you
    Sue Rossmann

    • Tanya says:

      Hi Sue, with regards to the membrane on the clivia seeds it is not necessary to remove it as the seed will grow through when ready. Like a ripening fruit.

  3. Charlie says:

    Hi Tanya, i’v had my seeds in semi sun in a sealed Tupperware and in soil as advised. After a month no action yet, any advice? Thanks for your help!

  4. Peter says:

    Can Clivia grow in the tropics?
    While average temperature is 72 in the shade outdoors it can get to the high eighties. Indoors the maximum temperature does not get higher than 82 – 83.

  5. Janie Driska says:

    My clivia plant is about 10 years old and started blooming 4 years ago. The bottom leaves are, one by one, turning brown and ‘papery’ near the base of the plant. They eventually become so fragile, I pull them off. The suggestions I’ve gotten are not enough water, too much water or to place the bulb deeper in the pot. None of these seem to work. Could it be a fungus and if so how do I treat it? Thanks for any help you can give me!

  6. Janie Driska says:

    By the way, this plant has lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Colorado Springs, Colorado in the United States.

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