Clivia plants, close relatives of Amaryllis plants, are easy- care almost indestructible flowering plants from South Africa. Named after a Duchess belonging to the Clive family, Clivias have long, thick, dark-green arching leaves growing out of a large plant bulb. The trumpet or lily- shaped flowers are 2″-3″ in size and can be orange, orange/red, yellow, or cream colored. Clivia flowers appear as a dense cluster of 15-20 small blooms at the end of a long stem. Clivia plants bloom for about 4 weeks during the late spring and early summer when the weather is warm and the days are long. A Clivia plant is a very poisonous plant and should be kept way from small children and pets. Read more about common houseplants that can be dangerous in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants. Clivias are large plants that can grow 2-3 feet tall and almost as wide. Planting a Clivia in a heavy clay or ceramic pot prevents it from tipping over. The older a Clivia plant gets the more beautiful it becomes
A Clivia plant requires bright, indirect light but no direct sun. Direct sun scorches the leaves and ruins the beautiful flowers. During the summer, a Clivia loves to go outside as long as you keep it in the shade.
During the spring and summer, water well and then allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering again. Reduce your water in the fall; and allow the soil dry out before you water during the winter. Pale green or orange lesions on the leaves indicate you are over-watering.
Once a Clivia plant has finished blooming, usually in the early summer, feed monthly with a balanced indoor plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Never fertilize during the 4-6 weeks in the winter when the plant is resting. After the plant has rested, feed with a fertilizer high in potassium to encourage the plant to flower.
A Clivia Plant prefers temperatures between 65°-70° F (18.3°-21.1° C) during the spring summer, and early fall. From November to February, when your Clivia plant is “resting” the temperature should be 50°-55° F (10°-12.8°C). A Clivia plant does not do well in temperatures below 50° F (10°C).
Average household humidity is adequate for a Clivia.
Keep a Clivia plant root-bound in a small pot to help it bloom more often. Allowing a Clivia plant to rest for about 6 weeks during the winter, in a cool area, helps it flower the following year. After this resting period, move the plant back into a bright, warm area and feed with a fertilizer high in potassium diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength.
Plant insects rarely bother Clivia plants. If mealy bugs do appear, wipe them off with a Qtip dipped in alcohol.
Bacterial and viral problems such as root rot, damping-off, rust, leaf spots and bacterial rot.
Use a fast -draining soil that has a lot of peat moss and some sand in it to prevent the roots of your Clivia plant from staying too wet.
A Clivia plant blooms best when it is root-bound in a small pot. Repot every three or four years. If the plant seems very top- heavy and is falling over, use a tall heavy pot to provide stability.
Clivia plants need little or no pruning. Cut off any dying flowers at the base of their stalk as soon as they appear.
These plants are easily propagated by plant division and offsets. Don’t be concerned if the Clivia offsets have no roots, roots will develop after a few weeks.
A Clivia is a bulb plant that needs to rest for about 8 weeks during the winter. Move your plant to a cool 50°F (10°C) dark area in January and water when the soil dries out. In March, move your Clivia back to a warmer 65°F ( 18.3°C), brighter location.
Poisonous Plant Info
A Clivia plant is a very poisonous houseplant with a #3 toxicity level.
A Clivia blooms more and grows best when it is root-bound in a small pot and really only needs a new pot about every three or four years. If your Clivia Plant is falling over, you may need a heavier deeper pot but no wider.
The only pruning you need to do on a Clivia is to cut off the dead flowers at the base of their stalk and remove any brown or dead leaves, otherwise this beautiful plant never needs any trimming.
The most common reason a Clivia plant gets brown spots on its leaves is sun burn from too much direct sun. Move your Clivia to an area of bright indirect light. The intense sun is also making the area too warm and probably causing the blooms on your plant to fade rapidly.
Over-watering or severe under-watering are the main reasons Clivia plant leaves have problems. Check the soil and see if it’s too wet or too dry.