Clivia, a South African native, is related to amaryllis, but it grows from a thickened crown with many fleshy roots instead of a bulb.
Clivia has handsome dark green, straplike leaves arrayed like a fan. Between midwinter and early spring, clivia sends up one or more flower stalks topped with a cluster of up to 20 trumpet-shaped flowers.
Bright orange is the standard flower color, but hybridizers have also introduced yellow and peach shades in recent years. With a little care, this tough, long-lived plant may become a family heirloom.
Common name: Clivia
Botanical name: Clivia miniata
Plant type: Evergreen perennial; mostly grown as a houseplant
Zones: 9 to 11 outdoors (in dry-winter climates)
Height: 18 to 24 inches
- Sun: Shade outdoors; bright indirect light indoors
- Soil: Well drained loam (outdoors) or potting mix
- Moisture: Average; keep fairly dry during winter
- Pruning: Cut back flower stalks when blooms fade.
- Mulch: None
- Fertilizer: Diluted soluble fertilizer monthly from spring through fall
Pests and diseases
- ‘Good Hope’ has medium yellow flowers.
- ‘Variegata’ has green and white streaked foliage.
- If possible, move potted clivias outside for the summer after all threat of frost is over. Keep clivias in shade at all times to prevent leaf burn.
- For reliable flowering, clivia needs a two month rest period in a cool (45° to 55°F) location, like a basement (with lights) or unheated spare room in late fall to early winter.
- Clivias actually do best when somewhat potbound, so don’t repot until the roots are quite cramped.
All in the family
- Clivia is a member of the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae), a large group of bulbs and herbaceous plants.
- Other garden bulbs and houseplants in the amaryllis family include amaryllis (Hippeastrum), snowdrops (Galanthus), daffodils (Narcissus) and rain lily (Zephyranthus).
Where to buy