Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Bush Lily, Clivia Lily, St. John's Lily, Boslelie, Fire Lily
Clivia miniata

Family: Amaryllidaceae (am-uh-ril-id-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Clivia (KLY-vee-uh) (Info)
Species: miniata (min-ee-AH-tuh) (Info)

Synonym:Imantophyllum miniatum

5 vendors have this plant for sale.

42 members have or want this plant for trade.

View this plant in a garden

Tropicals and Tender Perennials

18-24 in. (45-60 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)
USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)
USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)
USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Sun Exposure:
Sun to Partial Shade

Seed is poisonous if ingested
Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested
All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:
Gold (Yellow-Orange)
Pale Yellow
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer


Other details:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater
This plant is suitable for growing indoors

Soil pH requirements:
6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)
From woody stem cuttings
From seed; winter sow in vented containers, coldframe or unheated greenhouse

Seed Collecting:
Allow seedheads to dry on plants; remove and collect seeds
Remove fleshy coating on seeds before storing
Wear gloves to protect hands when handling seeds

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23 positives
4 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive FlowerGem1 On Apr 15, 2014, FlowerGem1 from San Francisco, CA wrote:

I bought a Clivia miniata plant at a discount store at least a dozen years ago. I have neither transplanted it nor fed it in all the years I have had it. I keep the soil moist, and the pot has remained outside in bright shade with no direct sunlight. The leaves remain lush and dark green in the shade. Again this year I was rewarded with three huge stalks of stunning, deep orange flowers that lasted for weeks. I love this plant! I think this year I will replant it- the pot it's in is about to burst.

Positive piptwo On Jun 1, 2010, piptwo from Taos, NM wrote:

great plant. mine enjoys the summer outside, but beware intense summer sun!
the leaves can sunburn and turn brown. my clivia gets a spot of bright but totally indirect light.

Neutral lauraja On May 23, 2010, lauraja from Madison, WI wrote:

Should I "oversummer" my clivia plant outside in zone 5 (or just keep it inside as a houseplant)?

Positive Gitagal On Apr 15, 2010, Gitagal from Baltimore, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I acquired an Orange Clivia from a friend in March-2008.
It came to me in a 12" pot where it had resided for more than 30 years--never having been fertilized ot watered regularly for all that time. It was a gift from a friend. It was also in full bloom. SO lovely to look at!

I had it outside in filtered shade the rest of that Summer and then brought it inside for the Winter and had it it in so-so light in my LR. The next Summer--I took it back outside and kept it in shade--but it did not flower too well.

Having read all the comments here--I was aware that it needed a cool rest period. Tried to give it to the plant inside that Winter--but it was still just average home temps.....
The Summer of 2009, I could not stand the awful crowded condition it was growing in and decided to divide it....a bold step!

What a chore that was!!!!! I could not get it out of the 12" pot it had lived in for 30+ years.....Every nook and cranny was solid with the roots of this plant. I pounded and pounded on the pot with my small sledge hammer--forever! I was amazed that the pot never even cracked!
Eventually--it loosened from the pot and I was able to remove the root mass.....holding my breath that all would be well when i was done...Hosed it off and was amazedat the fleshy root system that was there! Like a HUGE pile of white, fat worms.....

Well--Out of this OLD plant--I eventually got 12 divisions--only by getting my sharp kitchen knife and, literally, butchering the whole root-mass apart. I re-potted these in various sized pots (6"-10").

These pots spent the following Winter in my cool, dark Shop with just ONE 4' shop light above them during the day and total dark every night. I did not really water them at all--just a sprinkle now and then to keep them from totally drying out.

This month (4/2010) two of the divisions have produced blooms.
Several others have them coming through the base of the plant.

Today--4/15/10--I put them all outside and gave them all some time released fertilizer and watered them well. They will receive early AM light--and then shade the rest of the day.

I will take good care of them this Summer and then, hopefully, sell these plants next Spring as theu start budding up....

This has been my first experience with Clivia. So far--I can vouch for the hardiness of this plant....It is a keeper!!!!

Positive MotorcycleMar On Mar 12, 2010, MotorcycleMar from Maryland Heights, MO wrote:

I've had a pot of Clivia lilies for more years than I can remember. I've got several plants in a large pot, and they are pot bound; their fleshy roots are growing over the top. The leaf spread for the bunch of them is probably 3 feet. They bloom every year, in February-March. In November I bring them inside and put them in a cool basement when the temperature approaches freezing outside. I basically ignore them inside, with little water and less light than they got on the shaded porch. They go back outside in mid-April when danger of frost is gone ( USA, Zone 7). I water them very little, maybe a good dousing every 3 weeks to a month, even outside in the hot summer. I love this plant!

Neutral Wikkie On Jan 5, 2010, Wikkie from Oranjemund
Namibia wrote:

I am a beginner gardener and got fire lily seeds from my friend, it's these red round seeds alot of them, I planted them in pots with compost and water them regularly and it's been 2 weeks and nothing is happening..he said i should dig one up to see and it's now a dark colour.How do I get them to grow?

Positive Opoetree On Aug 10, 2007, Opoetree from Oak View, CA wrote:

Love this lily! In my experience it should be grown in a shady area...I have noticed specimens growing well under the shelter of my bank's roof and also the roof of the high school where I work. The ones we have in our yard seem to sunburn and then the foliage is rough-looking. So -- I think we need to move ours to a more consistently shady area of the yard! Would hate to miss out on the fiery loveliness of the blossoms!

Positive omegabook On Mar 19, 2007, omegabook from La Mesa, CA wrote:

Fantastic. A real pleasure to grow, and it only gets better as the plant ages. I grow them under an old oak tree, giving an average amount of water. They also make great cut flowers. One bloom stalk lasts more than two weeks.

Positive suzmyers On Feb 20, 2006, suzmyers from Turnerville, GA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I started my first Clivia from seed over 24 years ago. The original 4 plants are still going strong and have been divided many times. They bloom religiously for me if I start cooling them down in November and basically stop watering. I put them in my attached garage and ignore them for the months of Nov, Dec and Jan as long as the temps in the garage are above freezing. Then I start watering and fertilizing...within a few weeks I have buds and then flowers. During the summer they are on my shaded deck and given slow release fertilizer like Osmocote. Some of my blooms are all orange, some orange with yellow throats and some more yellow with just a little orange. They love to be rootbound and you have to break the plastic pot to divide them. They are great plants and often bloom several times during the early spring and summer for me. Those 4 seeds have produced about 30 plants over the years.
Sue M

Positive aprilwillis On Jan 6, 2006, aprilwillis from Missouri City, TX (Zone 9a) wrote:

Always been a favorite of mine, in So. Cal my grandfather grew them outside in the ground year round, in Houston area I grow them outside in pots and only in the event of severe cold do I bring them inside. My daughter and others I have seen grow them outside in the ground year round here, I am not so brave! Easy non-demanding plant.

Positive grikdog On Aug 14, 2005, grikdog from St. Paul, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This is the houseplant bar none. It takes dry conditions, it endures neglect and thrives and blooms. Everyone should grow this plant in their homes.

If you put it outside it does much better in the shade otherwise the leaves will scorch. It also likes well drained soil and wet conditions can rot the roots. It is difficult to repot without damaging the fleshy roots but fortunately it is tough.

Positive careyjane On Apr 21, 2005, careyjane from Rabat
Morocco wrote:

I think happygardening is right about Clivia enjoying lower temperatures in order to flower. I started about 10 years ago with one plant in a pot, and now have at least four pots each full of plants, not to count the ones that I have given away over the years. To my surprise, they flowered the year after I divided as I thought they hated being moved, but this year I have never had blooms like it before. And I'm sure it's because we had unseasonably cold weather here in Morocco this winter -- it got to 2C below here and my clivia outside on a 4th floor terrace didn't seem to mind!

Positive happygardening On Dec 9, 2004, happygardening from Fox, AR wrote:

Very easy care. In winter, give it a rest. Only water enough to keep the plants from wilting(in other words, keep it on the dry side), and drop the temporature to in the fifties or so. Not doing so is the main cause of not flowering. Needs a airy soil, needs to be well drained.

Positive pokerboy On Oct 31, 2004, pokerboy from Canberra
Australia (Zone 8b) wrote:

This plant prefers shade and is apparently very drought tolerant. It produces many red, orange or yellow blooms in my area throughoutn spring. pokerboy.

Positive RWhiz On May 4, 2004, RWhiz from Spring Valley, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I had two HUGE pots of Clivia. One was a clump of the Orange and the other was a clump of the Yellow. Each pot was about two feet in diameter and the plants were literally on the verge of bursting their pots. This was four years ago.

In the fall, I broke the pots up and carefully divided each plant into four smaller plants. So, I had four smaller plants of the Orange and four smaller plants of the Yellow.

I have a shady area under a couple of Melaleuca trees where I put all eight plants. Every single one bloomed the following year! Two years ago I got two Bullmastiff puppies who proceeded to trample through my bed of Clivias! I was not hopeful. This year I had 19 bloom spikes off of those eight very large and healthy Clivias.

What have I learned? In the right environment, these plants can be easily divided and even when they are trampled on, they recover very quickly. They recover much quicker than their slow-growing reputation seems to indicate.

Go ahead and divide your Clivias. Just give them plenty of shade and DON'T OVERWATER. Otherwise, they will be fine.

Positive wnstarr On Mar 15, 2004, wnstarr from Puyallup, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Edgewood, Wa
Have had the same Clivia for almost 20 years. It has grown and had beautiful foliage. But no blooms. Finally decided I have had it. Threw into the greenhouse on the floor. Ignored it completely, watered only if and when I would notice it. Well it was really looking terrible, besides it had become infested with mealybugs. They love all the folds of leaves to get into. I finally felt ashamed and sprayed, cleaned the foliage, removed old dead leaves and added some fresh top soil. Guess kindness does pay, it has sprouted 2 bud spikes and am looking forward to it blooming. I have been waiting for this for 20 years. Guess sometimes "tough love" also works on plants.

Positive longlivedlily On Feb 22, 2004, longlivedlily wrote:

I was given this plant by a neighbor in West Virginia in 1974. He had had kept it alive after his wife had died, twenty years earlier. I've kept it going as well, through moves, differing climates, etc. It just lives on. I do almost nothing to it: watering and occasional repotting. It keeps on going. It keeps flowering. It is now more than fifty years old and is about to flower again. What a wonderful thing to have in your life.

Neutral sherryship On Dec 25, 2003, sherryship wrote:

I live in Sebastian, Florida, and have had two pots of clivia for 15 years. They have not bloomed for the last several years. They are outside in full shade, nicely pot bound. I fertilize them with a liquid fertilizer in the spring and summer months. The plants themselves appear to be very healthy, but they just won't bloom for me.

Positive htop On Aug 19, 2003, htop from San Antonio, TX (Zone 8b) wrote:

San Antonio, TX
I have this plant which is native to South Africa in a large pot on my patio in complete shade. It adds interest all year round and especially while in bloom. Last winter when the temperature fell into the low 20s, I covered it with a light white cloth I purchased at a local gardening center that is designed to keep frosts and freezes from damaging plants. The plant had no ill effects from the cold weather. Plants grow well in the ground when provided with a 2 to 3 inch layer of mulch. If frozen to the ground, well-mulched plants grow back from buds at the soil line. It blooms on stalks up to 18 inches tall in March to April here.

It is a no fuss plant that requires infrequent watering. In the ground, it prefers a light scattering of a general garden fertilizer every other month March through September. Do not apply right next to the plant base in order to keep from burning it. Apply a 20-20-20 liquid fertilizer or similar product monthly during the warmer weather to container plants. Slugs (kill with snail and slug bait or other means) and grasshoppers (use Sevin dust) may feed on the foliage. Control scale insects with an oil spray.

The emergence, growth and opening of the bloom provides a sense of magic in the garden.

The genus name ihonors of Charlotte Clive, duchess of Northumberland, who is thought to have first cultivated the plant (native to the south of Africa) in England in the early 19th century.

Edited to add that I fertilized my plant in January and again in February. It produced more blooms this year than ever before. Perhaps fertilizing it when I did caused this to happen.

Neutral frogsrus On Jul 8, 2003, frogsrus from San Diego, CA (Zone 10a) wrote:

I have them in the ground and while they are beautiful and growing famously, they have nasty roots that take over and area much larger that I ever imagined. They need a place of their own as they don't share well with others. I may pot them since everyone else seems to have done it.

Positive lowtech On Jul 3, 2003, lowtech from Cascade, MD (Zone 6a) wrote:

What a lovely color! I have the miniata (red-orange) and would love to find a yellow or white variety. The Clivia is strictly a house plant where I live in the mountains of Maryland.

Positive joholt On Jul 2, 2003, joholt wrote:

This is used as one of my house plants, when purchasd it had 1 large bloom. When the bloom died I cut off the stem, now it is begining to bloom again but this time with much smaller blooms.

Positive daveguitar On Mar 21, 2003, daveguitar from skegness
United Kingdom wrote:

From England - This plant came with a job lot that I bought from a retired person's conservatory. I didn't know what it was, stashed it under the greenhouse bench and forgot all about it.Early this month [ March ] it produced a wonderful bloom. Minimum temperature all winter in the greenhouse was 7C.

Positive IslandJim On Mar 15, 2003, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

This is a "no sweat" plant here in southwest Florida. I'm growing the yellow one in a pot on the front patio, year around. I think it's attractive whether it's blooming or not--although I prefer blooming.

Positive jkom51 On Feb 13, 2003, jkom51 from Oakland, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

On the West Coast clivias will live outdoors in no-frost areas. You can see them as huge clumps in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, where they are a staple in the shaded areas.

There is now a true red clivia, name unknown, in addition to the usual orange and rarer yellow forms.

Positive gonedutch On Nov 30, 2002, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

Cliveas are a robust plant, easy to care for, and well worth the effort for the beautiful orange or yellow flowers and deep green strapping foliage.

Positive moscheuto On Oct 16, 2001, moscheuto from Westland, MI (Zone 5a) wrote:

Kaffir's produce a beautiful cluster of tubular orange flowers with yellow throats. If the flowers are pollinated they each produce a cherry sized, green berry which slowly turns red over many weeks.

Kaffir's are an easy to care for plant which tolerates typical house hold conditions. Although good lighting is required for bloom, non-blooming plants are still visually interesting. They sucker readily so sharing with friends is easy. No wonder these plants are so popular as houseplants!

Kaffir Lily can become a rather large house plant. The orange flowers have yellow throats and are usually produced in the spring. The plant are easily grown. Eventually the plants will become so large that they must be divided. Fertilize regularly with a product formulated for house plants.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Aliso Viejo, California
Bakersfield, California
Brentwood, California
Camarillo, California
Casa De Oro-mount Helix, California
Castro Valley, California
Claremont, California
Elk Grove, California (2 reports)
Fresno, California
Huntington Beach, California
Irvine, California
La Mesa, California
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles, California
Merced, California
Oak View, California
Oceanside, California
Palm Springs, California
Paradise, California
Sacramento, California
San Diego, California
San Francisco, California (2 reports)
San Jose, California
San Leandro, California
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Clara, California
Thousand Oaks, California
Upland, California
Walnut Creek, California
Yorba Linda, California
Brooksville, Florida
Deltona, Florida
Fort Myers, Florida
Lake Mary, Florida
Lutz, Florida
Oldsmar, Florida
Sarasota, Florida
Umatilla, Florida
Venice, Florida
Wauchula, Florida
Collins, Georgia
Hinsdale, Illinois
Davenport, Iowa
Nottingham, Maryland
Plympton, Massachusetts
Ada, Michigan
Garden City, Michigan
Nashua, New Hampshire
Durham, North Carolina
Ellerbe, North Carolina
Nags Head, North Carolina
Cayce, South Carolina
Columbia, South Carolina
Boerne, Texas
Broaddus, Texas
Houston, Texas
Missouri City, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
Kalama, Washington
Puyallup, Washington

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