CLIVIA MINIATA - Beautify Your Home
Four years ago, my Mom gave me a gift certificate to a flower farm for Mother's Day. Since I lived in a very cold part of the country at the time and pretty much everything I planted outdoors died from the cold, I decided that I would use it to purchase a house plant, the Clivia Miniata - a flowering plant that is indigenous to South Africa. I first laid eyes on a Clivia that was blooming in my mother's front window and thought it was the most interestingly beautiful house plant I had ever seen. The Clivia has strong, sturdy, deep-green leaves that grow up through the center of the plant and then spread out like a fan on each side. The blooms begin the same as the leaves, growing up through the center of the plant on a long stalk. The top of the stalk holds a cluster of many buds that eventually bloom into the deepest and unique color of orange. (There are Clivias with yellow blooms, as well! It's so exciting!)
My Clivia magnificently bloomed three times after it arrived. Then, two winters ago, our temperatures plummeted to 28 below zero, and it just so happened while we were away visiting family at Christmas time. Unfortunately, for my house plants, the pilot light on our heater was blown out and they all froze. My Clivia, however, was quite the trooper and even though the ends of the leaves did eventually dry up and die, the rest of the plant remained intact and is thriving today. It even had a baby, which I transplanted and is currently blooming for me!
These plants are wonderfully hardy and tolerant. Even without a bloom, they are a bright and cheerful addition to any room. They do love the sunshine, so give them a window in a sunny location, water them when the soil dries out and they will not dissapoint you!
For more information on the origin of the Clivia Miniata, I suggest you check out http://www.americancliviasociety.org/Article-2.html.