Clivias should be potted in a rich, well-drained soil. We use washed, sharp, coarse, concrete sand or perlite mixed with shredded, pine bark mulch or some other coarse, organic material plus ½ inch grade gravelite or other rock or gravel about the same size. Our mixture is 1 part sand or perlite, 2 parts shredded pine bark mulch plus 3 parts gravelite. A little crushed limestone, charcoal or pea gravel mixed into the soil can be used in place of the gravelite. The soil should never become soggy or water sodden, but should drain well even when watered often. Placing one or more small, empty pots upside down on the bottom of the container will enhance drainage.
Do not plant your clivia too deep! The roots should be covered with only about ¼ inch of soil. Regular fertilization and regular irrigation are beneficial. We use slow release, Osmocote 14-14-14 at the rate of one teaspoon per gallon of soil every three months, but any complete fertilizer will do. Clivias bloom and perform best when allowed to become rootbound, so don’t overpot them in a pot that is too large. We feel that a 2-gallon size pot is best to plant your clivia. As your clivia multiplies and begins to clump up, you can shift it into a 3-gallon container.
The temperature should be kept above 50° Fahrenheit while in active growth, but clivia can tolerate much warmer temperatures. They do not like direct sunlight, but prefer filtered light or a shaded area. They will grow well under trees, on the north side of your house, in a shaded area in the greenhouse or in rooms of your house that receives indirect light or curtain filtered light. Clivia grown as houseplants should be moved into a shaded spot outdoors when night temperatures get above 50° Fahrenheit and returned to the house before the first frost in the fall.
Clivia plants should be kept moist and humid as long as it is warm enough to promote growth. In a cool greenhouse (40 to 50 degrees Fahrenheit), it is best to slow down on watering and fertilization. Clivias usually bloom in late winter and early summer but some flowering can occur at any time. Exposing clivia to 40 to 50° Fahrenheit temperatures during the dormant season usually initiates blooming. Young plants need not receive this treatment.
Your plant may bloom the first spring but the smaller ones will sometimes take longer to begin blooming. Once your plant blooms the first time, it will usually bloom about the same time each year. Established clumps will often have from 3 to 15 bloom stalks in bloom simultaneously. All of these beautiful selections are well worth the wait.
Your clivia will usually produce seed, especially if you pollinate the flowers. These can be planted when ripe (the green seedpod will enlarge and eventually turn red or yellow) and new plants will be produced. It is important to remember however that these will be different from the plant you purchased and may or may not be similar. Clumps can also be divided to produce plants that are genetically identical to the parent plants (except in rare cases involving mutations). The best time to divide clivia plants is immediately after they bloom, but you can divide them at any time that it is necessary or desired.
We hope that your clivia plants do well for you and that you enjoy growing them. Even the common, orange flowered clivia are beautiful and a joy to grow. The fragrant yellow, red and variegated forms are extremely rare and a mature plant is a delight to see when in bloom. There are less than 50 of some of these rare cultivars in the world so value them as you would a rare painting!
Clivia caulescens - This is a very rare species of clivia that produces stems (trunks) up to 18 inches tall. The long leaves get up to 2 inches wide and the umbels usually contain about 20 pretty, drooping, curved, deep salmon-red flowers tipped with a ¼ to ½ inch wide, green and yellow band along the edge. This is a unique and beautiful species that is sought after by the collector as well as the hybridizer.
Clivia cyrtanthiflora 'Orange Drops' - This is a pretty hybrid between Clivia miniata and Clivia nobilis. The beautiful, pendulous flowers have a narrow perianth tube and are borne in showy clusters of between 15 and 30 per 2½ to 3 foot stalk. Each flower opens having a greenish yellow interior and a greenish orange exterior. As they age, the interior becomes orange and the exterior a reddish orange. The broad, deep green leaves are much larger than those of Clivia nobilis. This lovely, easy to grow, shade loving houseplant blooms 2 to 3 times yearly. For those who live in zones 9 and 10, you may also enjoy its beauty out of doors.
Clivia gardenii - A very unusual and exciting species which is endemic to Natal and Transkel. This winter through spring blooming clivia has beautiful, narrowly funnelform, semi-pendulous flowers. These flowers are pale to rich orange, tinged red with showy, greenish tips and clearly protruding stigmas. The attractive, deep green leaves are a little softer than those of other species and have more pointed tips. This species is very attractive, easy to grow and excellent for use in a clivia breeding program. Like its cousins, it is hardy only in zones 9 and 10.
Clivia grandiflora: Please see Clivia miniata.
Clivia hybrida: Please see Clivia cyrtanthiflora.
Clivia miniata (kaffir lily) - These are very popular in Europe as flowering houseplants, porch plants or patio plants. Each produces clusters of orange flowers and strap like, deep green leaves. The flowers are produced in spring and summer and are broadly funnelform in shape with a yellow throat. They perform best if grown in the shade, kept dry during their resting period and if allowed to become root bound. If the plants are allowed to become too vigorous, they will bloom less. This species is a native of South Africa and hardy only in zones 9 and 10.
Clivia miniata “Belgian Hybrids” - These selected, large flowered, wide open, bright orange colored clivia are the result of many years of hybridizing efforts that began in Belgium many years ago and which has continued in California and Louisiana for the last 50 plus years. These have thick, broad, strap shaped, glossy, deep green foliage and large, terminal umbels of 15 to 60 beautiful, orange flowers.
Clivia miniata 'California Sunshine' - This is a splendid, new, yellow clivia selection with many pretty, large, yellow flowers on magnificent, multi-flowered umbels which are borne above handsome, broad, glossy, green, strap like leaves. This superb cultivar is superior to many yellow clivias offered in the past. These are all grown from divisions of the original mother plant, they are not seedlings!
Clivia miniata “Dark Orange-Red” - This is a splendid, large flowered, dark reddish orange clivia that gets even darker as it ages. The attractive flowers never fade. This one has thick, glossy, broad, strap shaped, deep green leaves and is a heavy bloomer. This choice clivia is much redder than typical for clivia.
Clivia miniata ‘Doris’ – This is a new and exciting, dark red clivia of good quality. The tepals are very broad and the splendid, red color goes deep into the throat. The many flowers are full and well formed. This is a beautiful clivia that can add contrast to any collection. The handsome, green leaves are in good proportion to the bloom stalks.
Clivia miniata ‘Ellexa’ - This wonderful, high quality clivia has the deepest yellow to gold flowers of all. It turns a lovely pink to reddish pink as it ages. It is sort of like the beautiful “Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” (Brunfelsia) in that you get 3 pretty colors on one plant. If you want an exciting, new, golden yellow clivia that is different then this is a worthy one for you to grow and enjoy. This very rare hybrid comes from one of the world’s most outstanding hybridizers.
Clivia miniata ‘Green Eyes’ - An outstanding new cultivar with a deep green throat. The green shows on the inside as well as on the outside. The large, wide-open, orange and green flowers are very showy and attractive. The handsome, deep green, strap shaped leaves are not as wide as some of the broad-leaved clones. This unusual cultivar slowly develops a basal stem so it evidently has some Clivia caulescens in its background. This one offers much to the clivia hybridizer or collector.
Clivia miniata ‘Helen’ – This lovely clivia is a splendid, new “color-break” and a must for clivia hybridizers. This unique beauty is often a good, near white color with yellow midribs and a pleasing, yellow throat although this color pattern is not always consistent and may vary from year to year. The tepals are broad and the form is full and round. The dark green foliage is very attractive. If you are working towards a pure white clivia, this one may help you to get there.
Clivia miniata ‘Kaitlyn’ – A bright, light lemon yellow color that progressively lightens to light yellow-white at mid-tepal and beyond. The tepals are fairly broad and it has good form. The unique color pattern is what makes this clivia so attractive.
Clivia miniata ‘Lemon Chiffon’ - This superb cultivar is one of the very best of the named yellow clivias. It was recently developed on the West Coast by one of the most recognized clivia hybridizers in the United States. It has good leaf color, large plant size and a very good, yellow flower color.
Clovis miniata ‘Lemon Ice’ - This one is a very fine yellow with a lemon yellow throat. The wonderful, bright, clear yellow flowers lighten as they age. The broad, deep green foliage is quite handsome. This heavy bloomer is very showy and a fine parent for yellow seedlings. This is a really good yellow from one of the country’s best clivia hybridizers.
Clivia miniata ‘Sara’ - This is the first time that we have been able to offer a good pink to salmon-pink clivia to our special clivia customers. This exciting new color has attracted attention from clivia collectors, hobbyists and hybridizers worldwide. The large, wide open, salmon-pink flowers make a splendid showing against the broad, glossy, dark green leaves.
Clivia miniata “Solomone Hybrids” - These splendid, yellow hybrids were developed by Joe Solomone (now director of research for the Saratoga Horticultural Research Foundation in California). All have been carefully selected when in bloom to insure that they exhibit good yellow color and fine plant habits. We have grown and sold these exceptional yellow clivia hybrids for several years now and we are well pleased with their quality and performance. We enjoy them very much and feel that you will too.
Clivia miniata ‘Sunrise Sunset’ - A beautiful and unusual yellow with red dots on the yellow. This superb clivia deepens to a wonderful yellow-pink as it ages. It is a favorite here at the nursery and is admired by all garden visitors who see it bloom. The colorful, large, yellow blooms and showy, dark green foliage make this one the first choice of many collectors.
Clivia miniata ‘Tessa’ - A magnificent, large, broad petaled, peach colored clivia of great beauty and dependability. This is an exciting new color that is admired by all who see it. The flowers are large and well formed and it is a splendid performer in all respects. The full flowers have broad, overlapping segments. It makes a wonderful houseplant or porch plant and is unequaled on the show table. The handsome, green leaves are strong and healthy. It has great breeding potential and is sought after by hybridizers. This rare creation comes from one of this country’s most respected clivia breeders.
Clivia miniata ‘Tiny Tim’ – This is an unusual, dwarf clivia with lots of appeal. The broad, dark green leaves are 3 inches across and 12 inches long. It usually blooms 2 times a year. The color is a nice orange with a pretty, yellow throat. The full flowers have broad tepals. This is a choice clivia, especially where a smaller plant is desired.
Clivia miniata “Twins” - This is a unique group of dwarf Clivia miniata from Australia that blooms twice a year. These superb plants are very popular because they flower in approximately 18 months from seed instead of the usual 4 or 5 years required to bloom the regular seedlings. Most have attractive, short, broad leaves that add to the beauty of the dwarf plants.
Clivia miniata “Variegated” – These are similar to the usual, large flowered, orange clivia except that they have moderately variegated foliage to add to the beauty of these appealing and easy to grow houseplants. The amount of variegation usually improves with age!
Clivia miniata “Highly Variegated” – These are similar to the above except that they are more heavily variegated and therefore even more beautiful. These very showy and delightfully colorful plants brighten a clivia collection by contrasting their highly variegated foliage with that of the deep green types. We feel that you will be very pleased with these. The amount of color usually increases as the plants age!
Clivia miniata “Yellow Hybrids” - These are remarkably beautiful, yellow hybrids from one of California’s premier clivia breeders. We have waited several years to obtain these but they were well worth the wait. All have been selected while in bloom so they are authentic “yellows”. The foliage is quite broad and exhibits a handsome, dark, glossy green color. We were very pleased with the quality of these and feel that you will like them also.
Clivia miniata ‘Yellow Showers’ - A unique, yellow clivia with delightful, large, pendulous flowers that create a beautiful, yellow, “shower” like display. These flowers are well formed. The form of the shapely clusters is somewhat reminiscent of Clivia nobilis except that the flowers are yellow and that they are wide open. It has appealing, healthy, dark green foliage and numerous bloom scapes. It evidently has some Clivia nobilis in its background. You may wish to grow this fine clivia to enjoy its great beauty or to use in your hybridizing program.
Clivia nobilis (greentip kaffir lily) - Another fine species of these wonderful houseplants. This appealing and unusual species is smaller in stature than its cousin, Clivia miniata, but is beautiful in its own respects. Although the flowers are smaller, there are 40 to 60 per umbel and they are colored red and yellow with green tips. These umbels of long lasting, pendulous flowers are produced in the spring. The strap shaped, leathery, dark green foliage is somewhat shorter and narrower than that of most other clivias. Like other clivias, this species prefers a rich, well-drained soil with ample water during the growing season and little to none while dormant. Endemic to the eastern cape of South Africa, this species is hardy in zones 9 and 10.