Rachel is a passionate plantsperson, YouTuber and author living in Ireland. She grows a wide range of hardy subtropical and tropical plants.
The Clivia, or forest lily, is an evergreen bulb that comes from woodlands in South Africa, but it's commonly grown as a house plant elsewhere. If grown correctly, it provides glorious orange or yellow flowers once a year in spring.
Tips for Growing Clivia (Clivia miniata)
- Grow Clivia in dappled shade in a house or greenhouse at temperatures that don't go below 40˚F (5˚C).
- Good drainage is the key to potting. The best mix is two parts orchid bark, one part ericaceous potting mix and one part perlite. Make sure the neck of the bulb is above soil level.
- It's very important not to overpot your Clivia. This plant does best when pot-bound. If the pot is too big, it just won't flower. Use a pot that gives your plant one inch of space all the way around.
- Avoid unnecessary repotting as Clivia's resent disturbance.
- Normally, your Clivia should be watered only when the soil has dried out completely. At every second watering, apply a half-strength liquid fertilizer.
- Plants may be kept outdoors in summer in a shaded area.
Tips for Getting Clivia to Reflower
- Provide a cool, bright rest over winter. A cool rest period from October to February is key to reflowering the Clivia. Place your plant in a room where temperatures remain around 50˚F (10˚C).
- Reduce watering significantly (or altogether). Over time, reduce watering until it's just a trickle. In places of high humidity, like a greenhouse, watering can be stopped altogether. When buds appear, water sparingly.
- Shift to warmer temps when blossoms start to show. At this point, you can move your plant to temperatures of 60˚F (16˚C) and enjoy the flowers.
- Deadhead as blooms wither. After flowering, make sure to deadhead your plant by removing the spent flower spikes.
Why Won't My Clivia Bloom?
If you get no flowers or flowers on very short stems, this is an indication that your temperatures were too high.
A total absence of flowers could also mean your pot was too big or your Clivia didn't take kindly to being repotted.
The Clivia is a joy in spring, and with attention to a few important basics, you can ensure many years of flowering pleasure. Happy growing!
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Rachel Darlington