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Kaffir lily, Fire lily
are rhizomes and have long, bright green, straplike leaves and
clusters of stunning trumpet-shaped flowers that resemble small
These plants flower in vibrant hues of red, yellow, orange and
cream. The flowers are followed by showy berries, extending the
ornamental season of the plants.
bloom naturally in the spring and summer, but they are
increasingly available year-round.
There are only six known species of Clivia plants:
Clivia miniata - The most commonly sold species, it has
clusters of 10 to 20 trumpet-shaped flowers on top of a tall
stalk. The flowers are available in hues of orange, red, yellow
C. caulescens - This species has orange to cream-colored
C. gardenii - It has curved flowers that aren’t as
pendulous as C. caulescens. The colors range from yellow
to brownish red. The leaves have long, tapering points.
C. nobilis - It has pendulous flowers and blunt or
dimpled leaves with rough edges. Colors include pinkish yellow,
orange and dark red.
C. mirabilis - This newly discovered species has rigid,
erect leaves and orange-red, tubular flowers.
C. robusta - The biggest of the Clivias, it grows
nearly 6 feet tall. It has pendulous, orange-red flowers.
in-store and consumer care
LIGHT Bright, indirect light is
best for plants displayed indoors.
WATER Keep the soil moist during
growing and flowering periods, but avoid standing water. Water
should be practically withheld during resting periods (following
blooming). Over- and underwatering can cause root rot.
TEMPERATURE These plants do best in
average, constant temperatures. Do not refrigerate them, or leaf
blackening may result.
HUMIDITY The plants’ moderate
humidity needs can be satisfied by misting or sponging the
FERTILIZER Healthy, fertilized
plants are more tolerant of insect attacks. Be sure the plants
are well-watered before applying a half-strength solution of
fertilizer about once a month.
SOIL Clivias do best in a
well-drained, organic soil mix.
REBLOOMING These plants need winter
rest to keep their flowers coming back year after year. Leave
Clivias in unheated rooms, do not fertilize and water only
enough to prevent wilting. Do not move or disturb the pots when
the flowers are in bud or bloom.
WHAT'S IN A NAME The Clivia genus, introduced in 1828,
was named for Lady Charlotte Clive, Duchess of Northumberland
County in England (1787-1866).
FAMILY Clivias are members of the Amaryllidaceae
(amaryllis) family. Relatives include Agapanthus
(lily-of-the-nile), Hippeastrum (amaryllis) and
HOME SWEET HOME The plants are native to southern Africa.
ETHYLENE SENSITIVITY Clivias do not show sensitivity to
PESTS Check the plants frequently for aphids, scale and
whiteflies. Control them with insecticidal soap.
information provided by:
The House Plant
Expert, by Dr. D.G. Hessayon
American Clivia Society
Reach “Blooming Plant of the Month” writer Steven
W. Brown, AIFD, at email@example.com or (415) 239-3140
of The John Henry Company
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