Clivia is a beautiful and long-lasting flowering plant that originates from South Africa. It belongs to the amaryllis family and has broad, dark green, strap-like leaves that grow from a fleshy root. The leaves produce a flower stalk that bears clusters of orange, red, yellow or cream flowers in late winter or early spring.
Clivia contains toxic substances, so it should be handled with care. Clivia care is not difficult, if you follow some basic rules. Here is an essential guide to growing and maintaining clivia.
Clivia prefers bright but indirect light, and avoids direct sunlight and hot rooms. Direct sun can scorch the leaves, while low light can reduce flowering. In summer, clivia can be moved outdoors to a shaded spot. In winter, clivia needs a cool (8-13 °C) and dark place to rest and induce flowering.
Clivia likes moderate but regular watering in summer, but not overwatering, which can cause root rot. The soil should be kept moist but not wet. In winter, from November to March, clivia should be watered sparingly and kept in a cool place. When the flower stalk appears, water more frequently and feed once a week with a general houseplant fertilizer until the end of summer.
Clivia likes well-drained, loamy soil with plenty of organic matter. A good potting mix for clivia is one part peat moss, one part perlite and one part compost. Clivia should be repotted only when the pot is full of roots, and only to the next pot size. The fleshy root should be slightly above the soil level.
Clivia does not need pruning, except for removing the flower stalk after flowering, unless you want to collect seeds. The seeds are large and colorful and can be sown in pots of moist peat moss. They may take up to two years to germinate.
Clivia can be propagated by dividing the plant or separating the offsets in spring or summer after flowering. When an offset has four leaves of its own, cut it from the parent plant with a sharp knife and include some roots. Pot it in a mix of peat moss and perlite and keep it warm and moist until it roots.
Pests and diseases
Clivia is generally resistant to pests and diseases, but sometimes scale insects or mealybugs may infest it. These can be removed with a cotton swab dipped in alcohol. Root rot can occur if the plant is overwatered or kept in poorly drained soil. To prevent this, water moderately and use a well-drained potting mix.