March 29, 2010
– Posted in:
The clivia is repotted, hopefully in a pot that is not too big, not too small, but just right.
Repotting a houseplant reputed to be slow-growing and expensive is almost as daunting as dividing a perennial for the first time. You are just sure you are going to kill it, so it helps to have someone more experienced to coach you through the process. Many thanks to L. T. Tran
of Idlewild Farm
, Andrew Beckman
, Brian MacDonald
, and Mark
, who all took the time to offer their advice and reassure me as I was faced with my mom’s incredibly rootbound clivia.
Some of the commenters thought the black plastic pot was too big, and clay pots are generally recommended for clivia. I went with a clay pot that was as tall as the big plastic one, but doesn’t hold as much soil because of its sloped sides. I just couldn’t see cramming the clivia into anything smaller. More importantly, I knew my mom was more likely to under-water than over-water, so I thought the clivia would be safe from the waterlogged soil that would encourage rot.
It’s a lot heavier than it used to be, so I think they are going to need my dad’s hand dolly to get it back into their apartment!
Now, the digging and dividing of perennials, the general autumn cleanup and the planting of spring bulbs are all an act of faith. One carries on before the altar of delayed gratification, until the ground freezes and you can’t do any more other than refill the bird feeder and gaze through the window, waiting for the snow. . . . Meanwhile, it helps to think of yourself as a pear tree or a tulip. You will blossom spectacularly in the spring, but only after the required period of chilling.
in The Washington Post, November 6, 2013