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    Back to Landscape Plants    |   Kaffir Lilly

Clivia miniata - Kaffir Lily


USDA Zones 10 - 11

Climate Map

Full to part shade

Rich, loose, and fast draining

Need regular water in spring and summer, reduce watering in fall and winter

Evergreen to 18 inches (45 cm) tall with broad leaves sometimes up to 3 inches (8 cm) wide

Funnel-shaped orange to scarlet, some yellow and cream forms available, red berries follow flowers


A member of the Amaryllis family, good for garden borders, beds or containers. Grows to about 18 inches (45 cm) tall with broad leaves sometimes up to 3 inches (8 cm) wide. Produce brilliant, large clusters of funnel-shaped flowers up to 3 inches (8 cm) long, mostly orange to scarlet with a yellow throat, on 2 feet (61 cm) stalks that appear above dense clumps of dark green, strap-shaped leaves. Can flower from early winter to midspring, but most are spring bloomers. Bright, ornamental, red berries follow flowers.

Grow well outdoors in mild, frost-free climate, or in a greenhouse or home in colder climates. Like shade or part-shade. Like friable, well-drained soil. Surface roots don't like to be disturbed. Keep fairly dry in the fall and winter and increase water in the spring and summer.

Set them 1-1/2 to 2 feet (46-61 cm) apart and let clumps grow undisturbed for years. In areas too cold for year-round outdoor growing, grow in pots; move to shelter or bring indoors (and water sparingly) in winter. Container plants flower best with regular balanced fertilizer like a 20-20-20 and crowded roots. Remove stalks when they start to shrivel to keep plants tidy.

Propagate by division after flowering. Seed can also be used but plants can be slow to flower. Never divide Clivia during the winter. The best time is in the spring, after the berries have ripened, and before a new flower emerges. The side shoot should have at least 5 to 6 leaves. If the plant is grown inside, you may have to adjust the timing; it should coincide with the time of new growth and before blooming.

Remove your plant from the container, or lift from the garden, taking care not to damage the roots. Take a water hose and rinse all potting soil from the roots. Soak the plant bare rooted in water for at least 2 hours. Then divide the offsets from the mother plant with a sharp knife, again careful not to damage roots too much. Dust each "wound" thoroughly with garden sulfur, and let dry for at least an hour before repotting.

When repotting, ensure that the potting medium is fairly wet beforehand so that you do not need to water immediately. Water the new offsets about 7 days later. This will give the wound the time to heal.


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