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Growing Clivia Miniata

Category: Presenting "The Curious Gardener"

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  • Growing Beautiful Clivia Miniata Indoors
  • How To Give The Perfect Back Rub

Growing Clivia Miniata Indoors–

Clivia Miniata in Bloom
Clivia Miniata in Bloom

Clivia Miniata is one of my favorite houseplants and it’s supposed to be easy to grow.  I bought a recently divided and repotted plant last Spring at a garden club sale. It had one large majestic bloom at the time. After the blooms faded I cut them back to the base as instructed, keeping the leathery leaves in place.  I watered when the plant was dry and added a bit of fertilizer, but tried not to over fertilize or over water. (Clivias prefer to be a little dry).  Fertilizing and regular watering stopped in mid-September as I prepared to let my Clivia rest for the winter. Here’s what my Clivia looks like right now experiencing “Winter Rest”. It sits in a west facing window in a cool room of our house.

Winter Rest for Dorian's Clivia
Winter Rest for Dorian’s Clivia

“Winter Rest” includes withholding fertilizer and watering sparingly. Keep an eye on your plant and only water when it looks like it’s beginning to wilt.  Try to keep the environment cool, ideally 50-65 degrees F.  Your plant should be in a north, east or west facing window (not direct sun).  Winter rest extends for about 12-14 weeks from fall to late winter.  Bring your Clivia out of winter rest by beginning to water and fertilize regularly. You can move your plant to a warmer location but avoid direct sun even during the growing season.  It should bloom in 6-12 weeks from that time.

Like so many houseplants, Clivia prefers to be potbound so don’t worry about repotting every year. White Flower Farm has done a nice job of explaining how to grow Clivia Miniata in a video: Click here.

How To Give the Perfect Back Rub– With Valentine’s Day in the air our thoughts turn to romance. We asked our friend Susan Blankensop, who is a licensed massage and physical therapist practicing in New York City, if she has a favorite technique for giving back rubs.  This is what she said


First, start with a nice massage lotion or oil (available through Womanswork Spa) and make sure the room is comfortably warm.  Next, stroke down either side of the spine with big, long strokes, keeping your hands open and firm, but soft enough to feel the muscles you are working on. Never put direct downward pressure on the spine itself! Work those tight ropey muscles all the way down to and over the pelvis. Next, go to the big tight muscles around the shoulders and upper back. Lift and knead them like you would knead dough for a loaf of bread. Work around the shoulder blades.  Make sure you ask if the pressure is OK. Some people like more pressure than others. End your massage with some gentle long strokes. “A good back rub can be fun, invigorating and sensual all rolled in one”, says Susan.

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