Growing Clivia.

Latest Update 20th September 2016.


  • An evergreen plant in a warm temperate climate.
  • It prefers dappled shade and is drought tolerant.
  • It is extremely hardy and almost indestructible.  Mine have survived about 20 years of neglect.
  • Its large strappy leaves are dark green and it produces a large cluster of bright orange bells in early spring.
  • If left to mature, each bell will produce an inedible green fruit ripening to a deep red.
  • Binomial Name:                                      Clivia Miniata.
  • Family:                                                    Amaryllidaceae
  • Garden bed type:                                     Drip line irrigated. 
  • Plant Spacings (centres):                          300mm. 
  • Climate:                                                  Warm Temperate.
  • Geography:                                             Southern Hemisphere. 
Growing Conditions.
  • They tolerate partial shade.
  • They are very drought and heat tolerant.
  • They survive in poor soil, but benefit greatly when fed with compost once a year, and are grown in moist soil.
  • Always minimise soil disturbances to maintain a natural soil structure.  
Soil Preparation.    
  • Prepare a new bed for them in spring by removing old mulch, fallen leaves and other decaying organic material and disposing of them in the compost heap.
  • Apply a 60mm thick top dressing of home made compost, and cover with fresh straw mulch.
  • Do not dig the soil.
  • Leave for 4 weeks so worm and microbe activity can build up in the soil.
  • Propagate Clivia by division or from seed.  They benefit from being divided every 4 or 5 years.
  • Dig the whole plant up and cut it into smaller pieces.  Each piece should have a leaf cluster and its own roots.  Remove any damaged or infected roots and reduce the height of the plant.  This video explains how to divide a Clivia plant.
  • Plant the new Clivia in the prepared soil burying it to the same depth as the original plant.  Water the plant in well with dilute seaweed extract.
Growing Instructions.
  • In winter clear the ground of waste organic material and spent straw mulch beneath the plant and dispose of it in the compost heap.
  • Feed the soil surrounding the plant in late winter by applying a dressing of about 60mm deep homemade compost and cover it with about 50mm of fresh straw mulch.
  • Remove any dead or damaged leaves.
  • Spray the foliage of the plant with aerated compost tea every month at the same time as the edible plants are sprayed.
Organic Pest Control.  
  • General.
    • If Clivia is left in the same spot for too long, its likely to be infected with a fungal disease.  This can be prevented by dividing and replanting in a new location.
    • Sensible preventive measures like regularly spraying with aerated compost tea boosts natural defences against pests and disease by colonising the leaf surfaces with beneficial microbes.
    • Similarly, proper soil preparation including regular applications of home made compost boosting the community of beneficial microbes in the soil and defending roots against plant pathogens.

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