Clivias plants which is also known as kaffir lilies (C. miniata) are luminous and lovely on a gloomy winter’s day as they shine like little beacons of orange, red, yellow and cream under the shade of a tree. The bright colors of the plant bring a touch of the tropics to your winter garden. You can easily grow them indoors where you can have a roaring blaze of color brightening the dark corners of your room.

And in summer when the flowers have finished you can easily collect the big, bold seeds to grow more, and also use the dense, dark-green foliage as a backdrop to your summer specials. That’s called being cluey with clivias!


Clivias Plant Care

Planting: Before planting them in spring or autumn, prepare the soil by digging over with a generous quantity of compost. Position each of the plant 50cm apart and also ensure that the white part of the stem is almost buried. 

Location: A dappled shade, morning sunlight only. In heavy shade the plant will grow leggy and not flower so well.

Climate requirement: The plant is drought tolerant but not frost tolerant.

Soil requirement: Loamy and free-draining. Not clay.

Feeding: Make sure you water the soil regularly in spring and summer, and then sparingly in autumn and winter. Do not let water settle in foliage crowns as this encourages fungal rot. The plant actually like dry shade and will flower more prolifically. In autumn you can spread compost over the soil and after flowering has finished apply organic fertilizer.

Mulch: You can spread organic mulch between plants once a year.



When flowering has finished you can easily remove the stems close to the base, unless you want the seeds.


How to divide Clivias Plant

To ensure that your Clivias plants stay healthy and blooming, replant every 4 to 5 years in late spring or early summer when they’ve finished flowering. This is also a good time to divide them or separate the offsets so you can double your stock. 

When an offset has 4 of its own leaves, dig up the whole plant and then cut the offset from the parent with a clean, sharp knife – be sure to include some roots – and place the offset in potting mix or equal parts of peat moss and coarse sand or perlite and keep warm in medium light.

You can water to keep the medium moist, but not saturated. Plant them in the garden when the roots appear on the medium’s surface. Replant the parent but, before replanting, dig over the soil with compost to aerate and nourish it.


How to grow Clivia from Seed

The big red or yellow berries (it depends on flower color) actually arrive in early spring as flowering dies down. You can pick the berries and then remove the flesh around the dark, pearl-like seeds.

Wash the seeds in a mild fungicide solution and then press into seed-raising mix or very fine pine bark, but don’t bury them. The seeds will germinate in about a month and in 6 months they can be transferred to larger pots.

Or you can leave the berries on the plant until they are shriveled and the flesh dry. Wash the seeds in fungicide and plant them immediately so they don’t dry out.

The Clivias plants are slow growers and it can take up to 5 years for a seed to grow into a flowering plant. Keep in a warm, protected, ventilated spot out of direct sunlight. Water in spring and summer, ensuring soil is damp but not wet and fertilize every couple of weeks. Pot up regularly until they are strong enough for your garden bed.


How to Grow Clivia in Pots

The position: Indoors near a window that gets morning sunlight, or in a shady spot on your veranda, deck or courtyard.

Temperature requirement: The plant enjoy a warm spot but need about 2 months of cool temperatures (about 10C) in winter to ensure good flowering.

Water requirement: Keep potting mix moist in spring and summer. Over-watering can easily cause root rot, so allow excess water to drain away. Do not use a pot saucer but put your pots on feet instead. Terracotta pots are actually the best as they absorb excess moisture. Reduce watering in autumn and stop watering in winter. You can resume watering when flower stalks appear at the end of winter. Do not mist spray the leaves.

Feeding: You can apply liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks from when the flower stalks are half developed, and then continue until autumn.

Fertilizer requirement: You can feed immediately after flowering with a general purpose fertilizer plus top ups until mid summer.

Flowering: Avoid moving when in flower. After flowering remove stalk with a clean, sharp blade, otherwise berries will emerge and will take so much energy there won’t be enough left for flowering next year.

Repotting: Pot up every 3 to 4 years when the roots fill the pot, they flower best when becoming pot bound - and separate offsets. Leave 5cm from rim of pot to the top of fresh potting mix because, as roots grow, they lift the mix. Enrich mix with blood and bone. Repot in late winter as flower stalks start to grow.


Clivia Plant Problems

Snails and slugs actually eat foliage, new growth, buds and flowers. You can easily pick them off and destroy or lay sharp objects on top of your soil.

Fungus gnats produce larvae that eat new roots and carry fungal spores. You can use yellow sticky card traps to attract adults. Ditto for white fly and thrips.

The black and yellow striped amaryllis caterpillar is hungry for greens. You can pick them off and destroy or use an organic pesticide.

Aphids, mealybugs, scale and mites thrive in warm, damp conditions and suck the vital sap juices from the Clivia plant. You can wash with soapy water or dab with alcohol-saturated cotton swabs.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post