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Growing Clivia: Prepare and Germinate Clivia Seed

Hey, remember all that text? Its still there but heres something perhaps easier to digest :)




How I plant and start Clivia Seeds 

Warning: We cannot tell you how often we get emails from people stating their seeds died (mostly non customers, not because our seed stock is superior per se, mostly because our customers either read this or asked advice) and then in the next breath stating they chose not to utilize a fungicide for whatever reason, to expensive, wanted to go "organic" etc. Clivia seeds are highly susceptible to multiple fungi. It is VERY IMPORTANT TO USE A FUNGICIDE. There are even organic fungal inhibitors out there. if you must go organic make sure to find an organic substitute for the Captan used below.

First of all I purchased some small cylindrical plastic containers about 2-2.5 inches high and between ¾-1 inches in diameter. I use these little capped containers to soak the seed before I sow.  

The soaking fluid is rather simple. I use 1 teaspoon Captan to approximately a gallon of liquid. I buy the Captan fungicide as a wettable powder in any decent garden center. It is also sold on Ebay and Amazon.


put the powder in a container first, then add water and shake it a lot.


then place the seeds in one of my small containers and add the fungicide mixture until the seeds are very covered and place the cap on the container.


let the seeds soak between 24-48 hours depending on how far they came and how long it took. 24 hours generally seems adequate.

 While the seeds are soaking or even prior, fill a container with our potting mix:

 We use these: Deeproot Clivia Growing Trays

20% medium coconut chips

30% fine coconut chips

25% composted vegetative material only No Manure of any kind.

15% small perlite (sponge rock)

10% agricultural charcoal

 (I don’t measure these items; I just make a reasonable approximation)

This mix is available here: Our Own Clivia Potting Mix 160 ounces (5 Quarts)

Use the same fungicide mixture to wet down the mix before you do anything else. Really soak it. Make sure the container you are planning on using has sufficient drainage. I have special seed trays that I use myself and sell on Ebay. They have proper drainage and I usually put 1 packing peanut on the bottom to stop the mix from draining out.

I also have successfully used plastic shoe boxes and have drilled 8-10 ½ inch holes in the bottom to support drainage. Clivia never like to be left in water once they are past the point of being just a seed.

You must either use something like Plastic Wrap to cover the seeds so they don’t dry out. If you use a drilled shoebox or other container make sure you bought the cover! (Or use Plastic Wrap)

This part is important:

I feel that the seeds need a softer area to start than the top of the mix. So I mix up a 50-50 combination of seed starting dirt and vermiculite and place about a half inch layer over the regular mix. This seems to help the little roots start going in the right direction. And yes I then wet again with my fungicide mix prior to planting

Some growers use different methods but all the seedlings you see me selling anywhere were started using the directions I have specified.

Many seeds have an obvious dark spot on them. Make sure you plant the seed with the dark side up. Otherwise the plant will wind up with the root growing the wrong way or over the seed and then into the soil. Also, the root may just not go down at all and you’ll have to replant. (There’s a chance you could break a piece of the root off if this happens) Be very careful if you must replant-it happens! Make a hole with your finger or a pencil into the soil and carefully place the root into it. I, personally, have additional soil available and re-cover the root removing most of the risk of breakage.

Even if the seed hasn’t got a dark side, plant it. You can always make the replanting adjustment if necessary.

By the way, I do not actually cover the seeds. What I do is press them into the top mix until they are even with the soil.

 After the seeds are planted I then again wet them thoroughly with the same fungicide solution. I happen to use a small sprayer which keeps the seeds from rolling out of place.

Now, cover the container as described above and wait a few weeks. The first sign of life should be that when you carefully put pressure on the seed it will feel anchored. That is a sign that the root is growing. The next step in the growth process is that you will see the beginning of a leaf.

I use my sprayer once per week using a ¼ to 1 gallon mixture of the fungicide weekly. I of course remove the covering and put it back immediately afterwards.

As time goes by the leaf will grow. When the plant has lost the seed which is used for nourishment or it has shriveled up to an obvious uselessness, you can begin fertilizing.

There are a million schools of thought on what fertilizer is best. I just use any 20-20-20 I can find. You can water once or twice per week if you have the good drainage mentioned.

I use ¼ teaspoon per gallon for three times in a row and the fourth time I just use water. I use tap water. The only time I would consider messing with water quality is I had very hard, alkaline water and it formed white precipitates on the growing container. That thinking is mine only; others may use different methods and theories.

I hope this information is helpful to you. Good luck. Write us anytime if you think we could be of assistance.