Divide and repot clivias
Clivias are shade-loving, waterwise plants that are easy to grow. They are long-lived and multiply vegetatively and after many years in a container, these evergreen perennials can become root-bound. Even though clivias like their roots potbound, when left for too long, they can become overcrowded and start to show signs of stress. Clivias can be divided, at most, every three years and the best time to divide them is after they have finished blooming in spring as this will allow the plant an entire year before the next flowering season. Here is an easy guide to dividing and repotting overcrowded clivias growing in containers.
1. Remove the clivias from the container
Carefully remove the overcrowded clivias from the container by holding onto the crown and forcefully pulling it until it pops out of the container. You may see that there is not much potting mix left in the container, which is a good sign that these plants need to be divided and repotted.
2. Loosen the roots
Gently loosen the roots and get rid of the excess soil to better see the divisions. Leave suckers for at least two years on the mother plant to make sure it is mature enough to grow on its own.
3. Carefully pull the plants apart
Hold firmly onto the two crowns of the plants that you want to divide and carefully pull them apart. You might hear a cracking sound, that is the tuberous root (rhizome) breaking in two. Ensure that each individual plant has a good root system intact and that each plant gets a portion of the rhizome.
4. Separate the off-shoots
Divide the suckers into individual plants and replant in separate pots. Remove the old potting mix and dead roots before repotting.
Fill a third of the container with a coarse medium like composted bark. To prevent burying the clivia too deep, hold it in the centre of the pot, in the position where you want it to stand, and fill the container with potting mix all the way to the top. Gardening is much more fun when doing it together, so get a friend or neighbour to help with this step.
6. Compress the soil
Once filled to the top, gently compress the mix down around the roots. Add a handful of fertilizer like 3:1:5 in the top layer.
7. Label the container
Label the container with the date to keep track of when you last divided your plants.
8. Wet thoroughly
Water your newly repotted clivia thoroughly and place in a shaded position.