Clivia plants are a wonderful flowering plant with many cultivars available for sale both as both seedlings and larger plants, or perhaps try growing them from seed.
They are a plant that can tolerate dry conditions once they have become established, species such as clivia miniata can be regarded as a drought tolerant plant.
These plants do not like to be planted in heavy soil, many growers use an aerated potting mixture such as perlite or composted pine bark mulch. Mature plants are readily available for sale online as bare rooted or potted plants.
The Belgian hybrid, along with the cream , yellow and Kirstenbosch varieties are a few of the species that are rivalling orchids as the ‘must have’ house plant.
Remember that clivia do not like to be planted in heavy soil, many growers use an aerated potting mixture such as perlite or composted pine bark mulch. In the ground, again they need good drainage. Look out for for C. Robusta, a giant species.
Fertilising Clivia Plants
You can feed Clivias in different ways and at different times of the year, although they require little fertiliser in good conditions.
The best time to fertilise is before flowering, from spring through to summer, this is the time that you use a fertiliser that has a high potassium content (sulphate of potash) at this time to help promote better flowering.
The second way to feed them is with a general purpose fertiliser, and you can do this if needed, two or three times from winter through to summer.
In most cases if you have prepared the soil well, you will find that Clivias will grow well with very little additional fertiliser.
Clivia Not Flowering
If your Clivias are not flowering then there a number of reasons.
- The first is that the plants are not mature enough. Generally they need to have around 12 leaves to be big enough to flower.
- Secondly, they need a cold period to bring them into flower. By cold we mean a temperature of around 10 C (50 F) over a period of 4 – 5 weeks. so if you are growing them indoors, they need to go outside over winter.
- Thirdly, they actually like to be kept dry over this cold period. So hold back on water, or keep them under cover in a cold position for this 4 – 5 weeks.
- Finally, Mealybugs that live in the soil can prevent flowering. You can simply repot the Clivia, removing all of the old potting mix and placing with a new mix and making sure that you was the pot thoroughly. You can try other remedies such as using coffee grounds as a spray. Chemical solutions are available, however we tend not to use those.
Clivia Species or varieties
These are a much hybridized plant, especially in Japan and South Africa, the ‘holly grail’ of breeders is to produce a white flowering plant. Lots of pale yellow clivia but no real pure white flowering varieties yet.
All species can be grown from seed, you need to be patient and be aware that the plant might flower true, seeds are available for sale online
- C. Nobilis Plant Profile
The first species to be described. Named after Lady Clive, Duchess of Northumberland. Dark orange pendulous tubular flowers with green tips, varying from pinkish yellow to dark red . Flowering late autumn to spring. (see picture right)
- C. Miniata Plant Profile
C. Miniata is sometimes referred to as the ‘Kaffir Lily’ and is one of the most popular of the species. The orange C. miniata flower is probably the most common variety in Australia. With flowers that point upwards, they thrive in the shade. Lots of new flower colours are available from breeders, yellows, peaches, apricots, peaches and pale green. Breeders are working on a white C. miniata flower, if you see a white one let us know. (for full information and pictures see C. miniata)
- C. Robusta Plant Profile
Previously known as “Swamp Gardenii” C. Robusta is the largest known species, flowers similar to that of gardenii and nobilis. As the previous name implies they can be grown in damp conditions .
- C. Caulescens Plant Profile
Flowers spring to summer. Tubular flowers with flower heads being smaller than those of C.miniata.
- C. Gardenii Plant Profile
Flowering autumn to late winter. Orange-red flowers with green tips, flowers varying from yellowish to a browny red. Flowers are more curved and not as pendulous as those of Caulescens and Nobilis
- C. Mirabilis Plant Profile
A variety than withstands direct sun and heat more readily than other species. Leaves with a white strip, similar to c. nobilis with orange-red pendulous flowers.
- Clivia x Nimbicola Plant Profile
Nimbicola means ‘dweller in the mist’ so maybe this gives us a clue to its natural habitat. This species habit of flowering erratically throughout the year reflects on its parents C. miniata and C. caulescens. Flowers range from pastel orange to light pink.
More Clivia Information
American Clivia Society
Clivia Plants and seeds are available for sale from the following nurseries
442 Russells Road, Pine Mountain Ipswich QLD 4306 - phone: 07 54643976
Pine Mountain Nursery is a mail order plant nursery and also specialises in breeding elite agapanthus, clivia and other warm climate bulbs.
862 Midland Highway Mount Rowan Vic 3352
We offer over 245 varieties of Fuchsia, tubestock, pots, baskets and standards. Mail order specialists. Open 7 days by appointment.
412 James Lane, Fern Hill VIC. 3458 - Phone 0419002651
Large range of Rare plants, Climbers, Bulbs, Perennials Fruit Trees, Ornamental Trees and Shrubs. Available both Retail and by Mail Order
470 Monbulk-Silvan Road Monbulk VIC 3793
"Guaranteed mail order flowering bulbs, perennials, roses, trees, landscaping plants, garden accessories and community fundraising Austra lia-wide."
357 Monbulk Road SILVAN VIC 3795
Guaranteed "garden worthy" bulbs, plants and perennials. Visit the website to browse our large range of daffodils or request the latest free catalogue.