Clivia or Kaffir Lily

The clivia or Kaffir Lily is a tender evergreen with attractive lily-like flowers of yellow, red or orange colouring. The flowers are borne between March and June, depending on the temperature which is provided: the higher the temperature the earlier the flowers appear. Most of those grown are forms of Clivia miniata, or, less commonly, C. nobilis.


The fleshy roots should be potted in February into 5- to 10-in. pots (depending on the size of the roots). using John Innes No. 1 Potting Compost. Place the pots in a sunny position and provide a temperature of around 13°C. (55”F.). From the time growth commences until September water the plants freely and feed with liquid or soluble fertiliser at regular intervals. Such feeding – and topdressing in spring – is particularly important as this is a plant which should not be repotted too often. It likes to be pot-bound and dividing and repotting most certainly hinders flowering. Shade should be provided against strong sunshine to prevent scorching, and the handsome leaves need occasional sponging over to keep them glossy.

Clivia miniata

Clivia miniata (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The plants can be stood in a sunny frame or outside under a south- or west-facing wall or fence from June to September. Provided watering and feeding is not neglected.

From September to spring watering must be done with especial care – only enough being given to avoid drying out – and the temperature must be kept at or above 7°C. (45°F.).


The usual method of increase is by division of the crowns in February at the time of repotting, but plants can also be raised from seed sown at a temperature of 21°C. (70°F.). In the latter case, though, it will be three or four years before the plants which result, bear their first flowers.

01. March 2012 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Featured Articles, Greenhouse Gardening, Plants & Trees | Tags: , , , | Comments Off on Clivia or Kaffir Lily


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