Sometimes known as a kafir-lily, the clivia is one of the most beautiful houseplants that you can grow. The leaves are heavily textured, almost strap-like, and the smooth petals come in amazing colors ranging from bright yellow to brick red and everything in between. Surprisingly these exotic plants are relatively easy to grow if you follow some basics. Most people who have never seen clivia bulbs walk straight past them in garden centers as they do not look overly exciting at this stage. But planted correctly and cared for properly the clivia has evergreen foliage and will flower once a year for a decade or so. Unlike so many other plants the clivia actually improves with age and later on in their life-cycle the blooms look stunning.
Because clivias can grow up to three feet tall and just as wide one of the problems you may encounter is the plant toppling over. That is why you should bind the roots to a heavy ceramic pot, but not too big. The ideal pot size is small to medium as this will encourage the plant to bloom for longer.
It is also good practice to repot the plant every three years, but if you are having problems with toppling then either find a heavier pot or repot into a taller but not wider pot. You should be aware that transplanting your plant will normally mean that it will not bloom the following year but as the plant grows you may have no option but to repot. The best option is to fist plant your clivia in a pot that is around eight inches, this way you will not have to think about re-potting it for at least five years. Just make sure that every year you replace the old top soil with new.
Really to maintain a clivia is really easy, the plant needs little regular pruning. Just occasionally check for dead flowers and cut them away at the base of the stalk ready for the next bloom. This is one of the main benefits of growing a clivia in that they are really easy to maintain. The only downside of a clivia plant is that it is highly toxic, rated at level three. So always wear gloves when tending your plant and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards.
Growing a Clivia Outdoors
If you have no more room left indoors you may want to think about planting your clivia outdoors, but always look for a nice shady spot in your garden as a clivia does not flourish in the direct sunlight. A good tip is to keep your plant in a portable container, this way you can always bring it inside if the weather gets inclement or overly cold. Clivia’s are marvelous plants to grow at home for all the reasons we have listed, and they will bring a host of color to brighten up your house or apartment. With a little tenderness and minimal care they will keep on flowering up to fifteen years from seedling.