Q. Is it no no to repot /divide clivia in August? I have a very pot bound mature plant.
Clivias can be divided or transplanted at any time during the year without detrimental results. Given the choice, however, spring and summer are preferable for these operations, as the divided/transplanted plants will establish more quickly.
In the case of a single offset to be removed, disturb the plant as little as possible and gently pull the roots apart. If, however, you are dividing an old well-established plant with many growing points and the plant is potbound as well, it is a good idea to use a jet of water from a hose to remove all the soil around the root ball, before teasing the roots apart. Where offshoots are still attached to the mother plant these should be cut off and the cuts dusted with flowers of sulphur or copper oxychloride before repotting.
a) Texture, structure and pH: Clivias do not like wet feet, hence good drainage is essential. In the preparation of compost a sandy or sandy-loam soil should be used. More important, however, in ensuring good drainage is an open structure of the growing medium. Adequate compost and milled bark will ensure this. The pH of this mixture should be in the region of 5.5 to 6.5 which approximates that of the leaf litter in the clivia’s natural habitat.
b) Nutrition: As already mentioned, I do not believe in the feeding of clivias grown in a compost-rich medium. Where cultivation occurs in sand or milled bark only – where available nutrients are virtually absent, or are leached out rapidly as there are few colloids to retain them – feeding is desirable. When fertilizer is added to the growing medium a slow-release formulation such as Osmocote is recommended. Where foliar feeding is resorted to, spring applications should contain more nitrogen to stimulate vegetative growth. During summer the emphasis should be on phosphorus to strengthen growth while late summer applications should concentrate on potassium to stimulate the developing flowers. No feeding is recommended during the dormant winter months. 30:10:10, 18:18:18 and 10:20:30 or similar formulations are suggested for the progressing season.
Watering: Liberal watering should commence immediately the plants show signs of life in spring. This should continue throughout the growing season but be curtailed as temperatures drop in late autumn. Many growers discontinue watering completely during the winter months.
Hope this is helpful.