Clivia miniata, also known as the Natal Lily, are native to woodlands of South Africa. The seasons and climate they are adapted to differ to ours in the northern hemisphere, and in our cooler climate it is necessary to grow this in a warm, bright position in your home or in a warm conservatory. Naturally a woodland plant, whilst they like the warmth of their native country, they don’t like to be in full sun. So it is a case of finding a spot which is warm and bright, but not basking in the sunshine all day.
Clivia planting basics
Clivia is a member of the Amaryllis family and can be grown in a similar way. They like to feel slightly restricted in their space, just like an Amaryllis, and they need the consistent warmth to thrive. It can take a little time before you get to see the fantastic blooms on your Clivia plants. Usually in the first year they will start to grow a good set of glossy leaves—this is an evergreen plant so these attractive leaves will remain on the plant all through the year. The following spring/summer is when you might see the first blooms, providing they are grown in favourable conditions.
— Create a potting mix of 50% medium grade pink bark, 25% ericaceous compost and 25% perlite or grit.
— Choose a pot which allows around 5-10cm of space around the bulb and half fill with the potting mix.
— It is usually obvious where the last year’s leaves have been cut from the bulb, this is the top and it should be planted with this part exposed. You may need to fill your pot a little more with potting mix until your bulb is positioned at the right depth.
— Once your bulb is positioned correctly, fill around the sides with more potting mix until the pot is full.
— Water after planting with tepid water and allow the water to drain from the pot, before positioning it on a drip tray.
— Position the plant in a warm, bright space which is out of direct sunlight. A conservatory is ideal as this will provide filtered light throughout the day. Temperatures should ideally be 20-30°C. They also benefit from being started off on a heat mat.
— Water throughout spring and summer regularly. Water only when the top 5cm of compost feels dry.
— The bulb should start to grow within a few months of planting. If it has been on a heat mat, it can be removed from the heat mat once it is in growth and can continue to grow at room temperature.
— Once in growth, apply a general purpose plant food once every two weeks.
— Between November and February, your Clivia will need a rest and a cool season. At this point, stop feeding the plant entirely and reduce watering by 50%, only watering when the compost feels almost completely dry. Position the plant in a cool space which is between 10-15°C until February.
— In February, move the plant back into a warm position.