Vegetative Propagation


May 2001

1.      What is tissue propagation? When is suitable?

Sometimes, the mother clivia will grow babies around its root, we can divide them from its mother plants and grow them into new clivia plants, this is tissue propagation, it is one of the methods of vegetative propagation. The clivia baby-new seedlings-maybe grow out in anytime, these seedlings remain the characters of its mother plant.

When is suitable for dividing the new seedlings from its mother plants then? We’d better consider following factors:

a)      When the new seeding grow to be 5-6 leaves, it is ready for dividing.

b)      It is not suitable to divide during the time of blooming and with fruit.

c)      After reaping the seeds, just before the new flower stem growing out, this time is good for dividing. Because this time is in Autumn, the clivia grow very fast during this time, it is benefit for the wound healing up. You’d not to divide in the middle summer.

2.      What is propagation of “Breaking off sprout by Hand”? How to operate?

The new baby always grow out from the area between mother plant’s sham-bulb and root, we can break it off by hand. The operation process is that hold the new seedling with one hand and hold the mother plant with another hand, then bread off the new seeding together with its root. In order to avoid wound to be rotten, we can bask them in the sun for 1-2 hours(but avoid the leaves to be burned). Then plant the new seedling into the soil.

If the new seedling has not root, we must promote new root for it. The process is: After broken from mother plant, bask it in the sun for 1-2 hours, then put it on the moist ground, when the root sprout grow out, plant it into the moist sawdust, after the root grow out completely, then plant it into the normal soil.

3.      What is propagation of “Cutting Tissue by Knife”? How to operate?

    If the connecting area is wide between the baby and mother, it is difficult to divide it, we have to depend  knife to cut. This is the propagation of “Cutting Tissue by knife”.

Before cutting, the knife must be sterilized. The easy method of sterilization is to sharpen the knife quickly, this process can not only get rid of rust but also produce high temperature to sterilize the knife. After sharpening, swab the knife with alcohol gauze swab.

Then cut off the baby seedling, attention not to damage the root and leaves of mother plant. The method of handling wound is same as previous “Breaking off sprout by Hand”.

4.      How to guide the clivia to grow side sprout?

Some good quality clivia types are rarely grow baby seedlings, sometime it doesn’t grow any side baby seedlings for many years. But some good characters can only be remained by the “vegetative propagation”, so we also hope they can grow more baby seedlings, so as to obtain more good quality sons. So growers worked out some method to guide the clivia to grow side sprout. The method is:

Cut a small wound at the sham-bulb by sterilized knife, or use a pin stick into its rootstock. The method is to promote its reproducing ability or restrain the common growing of mother plants. Through this guiding, the baby seedlings can grow from the wound, it can reproduce 3 to 5 good quality baby per year, sometimes it can reproduce 7 to10 seedlings.

5.      How to manage after tissue division?

After dividing, we must take care of baby plant more carefully. The main aim is to let the seedlings to grow out root.

a.       Watering control

The wound is easy to be infected, don’t water too much in first time watering, if the soil is moist enough, we can only water them to make the surface soil wet, don’t water the soil throughout. The wound can’t cure quickly, if we give it too much water, the germs will go into the wound easily, so the wound is very easy to be rotten. Generally, the baby seedlings have no its own root just after dividing. So it can get adequate water for its growing, so we must keep the air enough humidity to slow the evaporating of leaves. On the 10-11am and 3-5pm of everyday, we need to sprinkle some water to its leaves. On the other hand, we can seal the flower pot with poly bag to create a small moist environment.

b.  Control the temperature and sunlight

The good temperature is 20ºC.

After dividing, place the baby seedlings in the shade place, after growing out root, get rid of poly bag, we can move it to the semi-shade place, so as to absorb more sunlight.

6.      What is the propagation of dividing bulb?

When some clivia lose its leaves or its growing core due to some reasons, but the root is good. Or some clivia live for more then 10 years, bulb is to too long, losing its appreciating value. We can use its bulb to grow new plants.

Why the bulb of clivia can also grow out new plants? Because:

  1. In the clivia bulb, beside its normal sprout, it has some un-grown sprout, this sprout are restrained, as soon as this restraining is taken out, this un-grown sprout can grow to new plants.
  2. Same as other plants, all the tissues, organs, cells of clivia can be divided, multiplicated to reproduce to new plant. These new plant keep all the genes of the mother plant, so they keep all the characters of mother plant.

7.      How to use bulb to propagate new clivia?

We often use “Knife Cutting” methods. The best time propagate is March or April.

  1. For the clivia which the leaves and growing core is rotten

Cut off the rotten part, after wound dried, plant it into the soil, keep the temperature at 20-25ºC. After some days, we can found some new sprouts are grown from old bulb, we can obtain 2-7 new seedlings generally. When the new sprout grow into 3-4 leaves seedlings, we can divide them and cultivate them into new plants.

  1. For the old clivia more than 10 years

Cut off all the leaves and some bulb, then handle same as above point a.

8.      How to use old roots to grow new clivia?

The clivia root has very strong regeneration ability. When we transplant the clivia or change soil for clivia, we can take off some old root, after promote new root and sprout, we can also obtain new plant from these old roots. 

The method is:

Cut a 0.3-0.5mm wound with sterilized knife in the root, or use a pin stick into the middle of root, stimulate its regeneration ability to make it germinate new sprout. 


Generally, after 3 months we can find a green small tumor. This green small tumor will grow into new sprout after some times cultivating, and grow into a new plant finally. When we select old root, we must select the one with 1.2-1.5cm diameter. If we take too thick root, it will affect the growing of mother plant, if we take too thin root, the root regeneration will be too slow. Please attention, after physical stimulating to the root, we must keep the temperature at 20-25ºC, and apply some vitamin B12 solution over the wound. Then cover up the root 0.5cm deep under the soil.


9.      How to make old clivia to shine new life?

We don’t know the real life which clivia can be, but I have seen 40 years old clivia. After blooming for 6years(or 10years after sowing time), most clivia plants begin to grow bad. Its leaves become narrower and thinner, the shape begin to lose its good shape, flower scape become thinner, flower color become lighter. It reduces the appreciating value. This is the phenomenon of aging. But we can settle the old plant to shine its new life. The method is:

Pull out the plant, get rid of soil, cut off some brown old roots.(Though these brown old roots are lived, it lose the ability of absorbing water and nutrition from soil.). Cut off some extra part of root which is too long, and apply some vitamin B12 solution over the wound. After dry, cover the root into the sterilized sawdust, keep the temperature at 20-25ºC. After the new roots grow out, plant it into normal soil. The new roots will increase the ability of absorbing water and nutrition for plant.