How to Grow and Care for Clivias at Home: Easy Guide

How to grow and care for clivias: a guide
14 min reading time

Clivias are beautiful and easy-to-care-for plants that can thrive in many different environments. Whether you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast or a newbie to the gardening world, these lovely plants are a great choice for any home. In this article, we’ll provide you with all the information you need on how to grow and care for clivias, from the basics of plant care to more advanced tips and techniques.

Key Takeaways:

  • Clivias are easy to care for, making them a great choice for beginners.
  • Choosing the right location, soil, and pot size is key to ensuring your clivias thrive.
  • Watering, feeding, and propagating your clivias are important tasks to keep them healthy.
  • Pruning, repotting, and dealing with common problems can help your clivias stay healthy and vibrant throughout the seasons.

Understanding Clivias: A Brief Introduction

Clivias, also known as Kaffir lilies, are popular houseplants that are native to South Africa. These plants are highly valued for their vibrant and showy blooms, which typically appear in shades of orange, red, and yellow, and can last for several weeks to months.

Clivias are relatively easy to care for, making them ideal for both novice and experienced gardeners alike. However, to ensure optimal growth and health, it is important to understand their basic care requirements.

Common Name:Clivia, Kaffir lily
Botanical Name:Clivia miniata
Plant Type:Perennial; houseplant
Sun Exposure:Bright, indirect light
Soil Type:Well-draining, fertile soil
Soil pH:Neutral to slightly acidic (6.0-7.5)
Watering:Regular; allow soil to dry slightly between waterings
Fertilizer:Monthly during active growth; high phosphorus
Propagation:Division, offsets, seeds
Common Issues:Root rot, spider mites, aphids

Clivias are shade-loving plants, and they prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, while too little light can result in slow growth and poor flowering.

When it comes to soil, Clivias require a well-draining, fertile mix that is rich in organic matter. They thrive in a slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5.

Watering is crucial for the health of Clivias. They need to be watered regularly, but be sure to allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings to avoid overwatering. The use of fertilizers high in phosphorus can help promote blooming, and should be applied monthly during active growth.

Propagation of Clivias can be done through division, offsets, or seeds. Root rot, spider mites, and aphids can be common problems that affect Clivias, so it is important to monitor them regularly.

How to Grow and Care for Clivias: Choosing the Right Location

When it comes to growing and caring for clivias, choosing the right location is key to their success. Clivias are native to South Africa and thrive in warm, humid conditions with filtered or indirect light. Here are some tips to help you create the perfect environment for your clivias to grow and thrive:


Clivias prefer bright, indirect light. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight as it can burn their leaves. North-, east-, or west-facing windows are ideal. If you don’t have a window that provides enough light, you can use artificial lights, such as fluorescent or LED bulbs, to supplement the natural light.


Clivias prefer temperatures between 60°F and 80°F (15°C to 27°C). Avoid exposing them to temperatures below 50°F (10°C) or above 90°F (32°C), as this can cause damage to the plant.


Clivias thrive in humid conditions. Aim for a humidity level of around 50% to 60% by using a humidifier or placing a tray of water near the plant. Misting the leaves with water can also help increase humidity.

Pot Size and Soil

Clivias prefer to be slightly root-bound, so choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the plant’s root ball. Use a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix, such as a mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. Avoid using heavy soil, which can retain too much moisture and cause root rot.

By providing your clivias with the right conditions, you can ensure they grow and thrive, bringing color and beauty to any indoor space.

Clivia Plant Care Guide: Soil and Pot Requirements

How to grow and care for clivias: a guide

Now that you’ve chosen the perfect location for your clivia, it’s time to turn your attention to soil and potting requirements. Proper soil composition and pot selection are essential for the healthy growth and development of clivias.

Soil Composition

Clivias prefer well-draining, nutrient-rich soil that’s slightly acidic with a pH level between 5.5 and 6.5. A good potting mix for clivias should contain peat moss or coconut coir for water retention, perlite or vermiculite for drainage, and a slow-release fertilizer for added nutrients.

Avoid using heavy, clay-based soils or soils that retain too much moisture, as this can lead to root rot and other issues. It’s also a good idea to refresh the soil every year or two to ensure that it remains healthy and nutrient-rich.

Pot Requirements

When it comes to choosing the right pot for your clivia, size matters. A pot that’s too small can restrict root growth and hinder the plant’s overall health and development. Opt for a container that’s at least one-third larger than the width of the plant.

It’s also essential to choose a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from pooling at the bottom, which can lead to root rot. Use a saucer or tray beneath the pot to catch excess water and prevent damage to surfaces.

Repotting Clivias

Clivias generally don’t need frequent repotting, as they prefer to be slightly root-bound. However, if the plant has outgrown its container or the soil has become depleted, it may be time to repot.

Spring is the best time to repot clivias, as they are beginning their active growth phase. Gently remove the plant from its current pot, loosen any tight roots, and place it in a new pot with fresh soil. Water the plant thoroughly and allow it to settle in its new home.

By providing your clivia with the right soil composition and potting requirements, you’ll set them up for success and ensure they thrive in their new environment.

Clivia Care Essentials: Watering and Feeding

Proper watering and feeding are essential for the healthy growth and development of clivias. Here are some tips to ensure your plants receive the care they need:

Watering Clivias

Clivias prefer to be kept moist but not waterlogged. Watering frequency will depend on factors such as temperature, humidity, and soil type. In general, it’s best to water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

When watering clivias, it’s crucial to avoid getting water on the foliage, as this can lead to fungal diseases. Instead, water the soil directly at the base of the plant.

In addition to regular watering, clivias benefit from occasional deep watering to flush out any accumulated salts in the soil.

Feeding Clivias

Clivias benefit from regular feeding with a balanced fertilizer. During the growing season (typically spring and summer), feed your plants every two to four weeks. In the fall and winter, when growth slows down, reduce feeding to once a month.

When feeding clivias, it’s essential to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package carefully. Overfeeding can lead to fertilizer burn and other problems.

Alternatively, you may use organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion, which is gentle on the plants and provides essential nutrients.

By following these basic guidelines for watering and feeding, you can help your clivias thrive and produce vibrant blooms.

Growing Clivias: Propagation Techniques

Clivias can be propagated through various methods, including division, offsets, and seeds. Here are some clivia plant care tips for each technique:


One way to propagate clivias is by dividing the plant. This is best done when the plant has become too large for its pot or when it has outgrown its current location. Follow these steps:

  1. Carefully remove the clivia plant from its pot, being mindful of the roots.
  2. Divide the plant into sections, ensuring that each section has a healthy root system and at least one leaf fan.
  3. Plant each section in a suitable pot with fresh, well-draining soil.
  4. Water the new plants thoroughly and place them in a location with bright, indirect light.


Offsets are small clivia plants that develop from the base of the mother plant. They can be removed and potted on to create new plants. Here’s how:

  1. Carefully remove the offset from the mother plant, taking care not to damage the root system.
  2. Plant the offset in a pot with fresh, well-draining soil.
  3. Water the new plant thoroughly and place it in a location with bright, indirect light.


Clivias can also be grown from seeds, although it can be a slow and challenging process. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Harvest ripe seeds from the clivia plant, usually in late summer or early fall.
  2. Prepare a well-draining soil mix and plant the seeds about 1/2 inch deep.
  3. Water the soil gently and cover the pot with plastic wrap to create a humid environment.
  4. Place the pot in a warm location with bright, filtered light.
  5. Once the seedlings have developed true leaves, remove the plastic wrap and continue to water and care for them as mature clivias.

With these propagation techniques, you can grow a thriving collection of clivias and share their beauty with others. Keep in mind that propagation can be stressful for clivia plants, so take care to provide optimal growing conditions and monitor their progress closely.

Dealing with Common Clivia Problems

While clivias are generally hardy plants, they can still experience problems from time to time. Here are some common issues you may encounter:

Yellowing leavesLeaves turning yellow or brown and wiltingCheck for overwatering, adjust watering schedule if necessary. Ensure proper drainage and avoid waterlogged soil.
No bloomsNo flower buds appearing despite proper careEnsure the plant is getting enough sunlight and proper fertilization. It may need to be divided or the pot size may need to be increased.
Leaf spot diseaseBrown or black spots on leavesRemove affected leaves and increase airflow around the plant. Avoid getting water on the leaves, and use a fungicide if necessary.

Prevention is the best strategy for keeping your clivias healthy. Regularly inspect your plants for signs of pests or disease, and act quickly if you notice any issues. Proper care and maintenance will also help prevent problems from occurring in the first place.

Remember to always follow proper clivia care instructions, and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if you are unsure how to proceed.

Clivia Plant Care Instructions: Maintenance and Pruning

Regular maintenance is essential to keep your clivias healthy and promote blooming. Here are some tips for maintaining and pruning your plants:


Clivias do not need much pruning, but it is important to remove any dead or yellowing leaves to prevent fungal infections. You should also prune off spent flower stalks after the blooms have faded to keep the plant looking neat.


Deadheading is the process of removing spent flowers from the plant to encourage more blooms. Once the flower stalk has finished blooming, clip it off close to the base of the plant to promote new growth.


Clivias prefer to be slightly root-bound and do not need frequent repotting. However, if the roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot or the soil has become compacted, it may be time to repot. Choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the current one and use a well-draining potting mix.


Dust and debris can collect on the leaves of your clivias, which can impede their growth. Use a soft, damp cloth to gently wipe down the leaves and remove any buildup.

By following these simple maintenance tips, you can keep your clivias looking healthy and beautiful all year round.

Clivia Care Guide in Different Seasons

How to grow and care for clivias: a guide

Clivias are known for their hardiness and adaptability, but they do have specific care requirements that vary according to the season. By understanding and following these guidelines, you can help your plant thrive year-round.


Spring is the optimal time to repot your clivia, as the plant will have plenty of time to adjust to its new surroundings and grow before the hot summer months. Be sure to use a well-draining soil mix and a container with ample drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

During this season, you can also increase the frequency of fertilization to once every two weeks. Use a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength.


Summer can be a challenging season for clivias, as they prefer moderate temperatures and humidity. To protect your plant from the heat, move it to a spot with indirect light and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. If possible, mist the leaves daily to increase humidity levels.

During this season, reduce the frequency of fertilization to once a month to prevent overfeeding. Avoid fertilizing during heatwaves or drought conditions.


Fall is a time of transition for clivias, as they prepare for winter dormancy and the upcoming bloom season. To promote healthy growth, reduce watering frequency and allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings. This will help the plant adjust to the lower light and cooler temperatures of fall.

During this season, you can begin fertilizing your clivia again, using a balanced, slow-release fertilizer or a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength.


Winter is the peak blooming season for clivias, but it can also be a challenging time for the plant. To promote blooming, keep your clivia in a spot with bright, indirect light and cooler temperatures between 50-60°F. Water sparingly, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.

If your clivia is not blooming, you may need to adjust its lighting or temperature to encourage the plant to enter its blooming cycle. Avoid fertilizing during the winter months, as this can disrupt the bloom cycle.


Now that you have learned the essentials of clivia care tips, you are well-equipped to grow and maintain these beautiful plants at home. Remember to choose a suitable location with the right light, temperature, and humidity levels, and to use well-draining soil in the appropriate pot size.

Water and feed your clivias regularly, adjusting your routine as the seasons change, and take care to propagatie them properly when necessary. Keep an eye out for common pests and issues and know how to address them effectively.

Maintain your clivias through routine pruning and repotting, and watch them thrive year after year. With a little patience and care, you can enjoy the rewards of these stunning plants for seasons to come!


What are clivias?

Clivias are flowering plants native to southern Africa. They are known for their vibrant blooms and glossy, dark green leaves.

How do I choose the right location for my clivias?

Clivias thrive in bright, indirect light. Choose a spot that receives filtered sunlight or place them near a north-facing window. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the leaves.

What type of soil should I use for clivias?

Clivias prefer a well-draining soil mix. Use a combination of peat moss, perlite, and organic matter to create a loose and airy soil that allows for adequate drainage.

How often should I water my clivias?

Water your clivias thoroughly when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Be careful not to overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

How can I propagate my clivias?

Clivias can be propagated through division, offsets, or seeds. To divide, carefully separate the plant into smaller sections with their own roots. Offsets can be removed from the base of the plant and replanted. Seeds should be sown in a seed-starting mix and kept moist until germination.

What are some common problems that can affect clivias?

Common issues include yellowing leaves, fungal diseases, pests like mealybugs and spider mites, and lack of blooms. Providing proper care, including adequate light and moisture, can help prevent these problems.

How do I maintain and prune my clivias?

Regular maintenance includes removing dead or yellowing leaves, deadheading spent blooms, and repotting every few years to refresh the soil. Trim any damaged or overgrown foliage to maintain the plant’s shape.

How should I care for my clivias during different seasons?

In spring and summer, clivias prefer slightly more water and regular feeding with a balanced fertilizer. Reduce watering and fertilizing in fall and winter when the plant enters a dormant period.

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