Clivea or Kaffir Lily is a stunning flowering houseplant that is belonging to South Africa. Of all the blooming houseplants, Clivea is one of the easiest to grow. Tough and long-lived, this plant will reward very little care with a cluster of aromatic blooms in late winter season or in spring. It is among the few blooming houseplants that grows in reasonably low-light conditions.
But the flower is not all there is to this houseplant. The good-looking foliage includes deep-green, strappy leaves that emerge overlapped from a central base, growing out in a fan-shaped pattern. Leaves can be approximately 3 feet long.
In the U.S., Clivea can be grown outdoors in United States Zone 9-11. In cooler environments, it can be planted outside in a shady spot once the weather condition heats up and past the frost date in your location.
Note: Clivea is likewise known as Fire Lily, Bush Lily,
Clivea was first brought to Britain in the 19th century and cultivated by Woman Charlotte Clive, Duchess of Northumberland, hence the name.
In late winter season or in spring, a stalk emerges from between the tight clutch of leaves. As the stalk grows, buds at the top of the thick stalk begin to swell. The clusters of flowers bloom in a soft medium orange color with a yellow throat. Other colors are offered, however more rare, including deep orange, reddish orange, yellow, or cream. The flowers are somewhat aromatic, tubular, and appear practically luminous.
Clivea’s roots are thick and look like white worms. Roots typically mature out of the top of the soil. This is normal though certainly not Clivea’s most attractive function.
Container and Planting:
Clivea is perfectly happy living in the same old pot for years and appears to like being a bit pot bound. Plant in standard potting soil. Place stones or broken pottery in the bottom of the container, over the drain hole.
Set the pot on a plate or plant tray so that wetness does not destroy your table or floor. Terra cotta plant dishes won’t work here as wetness passes through the terra cotta and can mess up wood. Of course, a terra-cotta container works well for this plant.
Many sites suggest positioning Clivea in bright sunshine however that is too easily puzzled with direct sunlight. Never put this plant in a South dealing with window or outdoors completely sun as the leaves will develop white spots and wilt.
In nature, Clivea grow in dappled sunshine. In the home, a North East facing window is the very best positioning. If you want to encourage flowers, the NE window allows a low light pause in Winter season. When the sun starts to move North in Spring, the increased light signals the plant to flower.
Clivea chooses a dryish soil– although I have actually seen a rather waterlogged plant grow outdoors. Keep the plant extremely dry during the winter pause, watering every other week to every 2 weeks.
In late Winter when the sun cheers up that NE window, gradually increase watering. Do the finger test: Push your finger down into the soil. If it feels dry, water.
Feed with a weak, liquid fertilizer when the stalk emerges and once again after blooming. Consist of a little splash of liquid fertilizer in the water as soon as a month up until Fall.
Cool winter season temperature levels assist the plant to rest. Obviously, cool does not suggest cold. Clivea can not endure cold temperature levels. Standard home temps between 55 – 68 degrees Fahrenheit will do. You may want to set it in a basement window if you keep your house very warm. Remember that it’s most likely a bit chillier near the window than in the rest of the space.
Tidy the Plant:
Occasionally, dust off the leaves with a somewhat wet, soft fabric. Check for issues, odd areas, or bugs at this time.
Prune the Plant:
After the flower blooms, when the blooms fade, cut off the stalk close to the plant.
You can see the small shoots growing in the pot. Collect the new shoot to grow a new plant. Beware to keep roots attached. Just position the shoot in loose, damp soil. Water the recently planted shoot more frequently than you would water a mature plant. The new Clivea may take a couple of years to bloom.
In the picture above, you can see a new shoot in the soil. Just behind the larger plant, to the left, is a small Clivea removed the larger one a year or two back.