January 26, 2023
Clivia miniata or Kaffir Lily

Clivia miniata or Kaffir Lily

Clivia miniata is native to South Africa. It is part of the Amaryllidaceae family of plants. A beautiful plant for the shade it forms clumps and produces beautiful flowers. The word miniata in Latin, when used as an adjective, is vermilion or cinnabar red which refers to the beautiful color of the flowers. Clivia miniata is also known as Natal Lily, Bush Lily, or Kaffir Lily. Clivia miniata is an evergreen perennial from a bulb-like base.

Clivia miniata or Kaffir Lily
Clivia miniata or Kaffir Lily planted outdoors in Los Angeles

Growing Clivia miniata in different climates:

Clivia miniata grows to about 45cm or 18in. It is planted outside and in containers indoor, obviously, in colder climates, it is grown only indoors or in glasshouses. It does like light, but indirect light. Clivia miniata flowers from April to August. It has deep orange-red trumpet-shaped flowers, with bright yellow central anthers. The leaves are strap-like glossy and thick. The flowers appear on a stout erect stem.

Clivia miniata is frost tender. So in colder climates you can cut them after flowering and go through a dormant season. Reduce moisture but not completely generally it withstands temperatures of 5°C or 40°F. However, I know the Los Angeles climate in the winter can drop below that and they do alright. In climates, like southern California, they are planted outside in the garden in the shade where they remain and thrive.

Clivia miniata or Natal Lily
Clivia miniata or Natal Lily

Clivia miniata usually flowers more profusely when it is undisturbed and forms clumps. So even in a pot do not disturb or repot unless it is necessary. Use a well-drained compost and do not plant the bulb too deep. The neck of the bulb should be close to the surface. If you keep them indoors remember they will need the cold to bloom. Just deadhead flowers and any leaves that might need removing.

Propagate Clivia miniata from division or seeds. If you are dividing them try to wash the compost away from the roots and pull them apart. As to the seeds sow them immediately after you harvest before it has a chance to dry, it could take eight weeks to germinate and will take almost three years before they mature to flower.

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