I bought 3 Kaffir (Bush) lilies recently that were grown at a Charleston area nursery. The tag info stated they were cold hardy to zone 8, but when I got them home and checked with DG planfiles, I learned they're only cold hardy to zone 9b. Has anyone out there in zone 8a had any luck growing this lily in ground year round? I posed this question in the Carolina forum, but only I got one response from a zone 9a gardener who was successfully growing it outdoors year round in a container. Also, just curious, when did Atlanta's climate zone change to 8b?
P Clivia (Kaffir Lily) in zone 8a
Hi, I have grown these for many years from one my mom gave me.. (Orange Clivia Miniata) I have tried planting them in the ground.. and have to say that they MIGHT come back. I have 2 now that I planted in the ground last fall, and I can see the tops, but not sure if they will come back after the cold hard winter we had. I have found that even in pots, they will die back below 38 degrees. I keep mine in the greenhouse at the cooler end. They do like some cooler weather in the winter time. I mostly keep mine in pots.
Hope this helps.
Thank you for your input. I'm going to call the nursery that grows these lilies today and ask if they're truly cold hardy in my zone. Since I've never seen any growing in ground locally, I have serious doubts. I had one as a houseplant when I lived in the Phila region, and I loved the foliage even when it wasn't blooming. I'm curious about the 2 that you planted last fall - did you mulch them and are the exposed tops green? Thanks again, Elaine. I'll let you know any additional info I learn.
Neither of the two have put up new growth yet, but the top roots are green. One is planted beside my pond with lots of rock/slate. Yes, I covered over with leaves and pinestraw.
Would love to know how yours turn out.
I grow them, but only indoors so can't help there, but mine bloom twice a year. Once around Jan/Feb (which I'd guess yours would not be doing outside) and again in spring. They do seem to enjoy cooler weather months. Mine stay out until hard freeze and go out first thing in spring.
Regarding the zone change for Atlanta...I wasn't aware of it but am not surprised. The weather highs for Atlanta proper vs. Roswell, a suburb twenty minutes north, can vary ten degrees a day according to the weather channel. I'm halfway between, in Sandy Springs, so I split the difference when wanting to know what to do plant-wise. lol
I finally spoke with someone at Carolina Nurseries, who assured me that Kaffir lilies are cold hardy in zone 8a. I was told that although the foliage will burn, the bulbs will be unharmed.
Yes I agree. I've grown them for over thirty years and can attest that this is NOT a bulbing plant. Even in ground, I'd keep one specimen indoors for insurance. The plants are so beautiful and low maintenance, indoors over winter, why burn them up in the cold?
How silly of me -and I had a dwarf clivia houseplant for many years in Phila-of course they aren't bulbs. I meant to convey the thought that the larger the root ball, the better chance for surviving our winter. I bought two last week - one orange and one yellow. The foliage is so gorgeous, I don't think I have the heart to let it die back. I planted them in their containers so I can lift them before a freeze. (this also protects them from ground voles). I'm now also planting liatris, agapanthus, and lilium bulbs in buried containers to protect them from ground voles. If I had a dollar for every plant I've lost to voles...
Donna, LOVE your on-line name! I'm envious about the yellow Clivia. BTW I know someone on Orchids Forum who has a peach. They and the yellow are more rare. Well if I had a dollar for the voles and twenty five cents for the deer... :)
If you bring your plant indoors and keep it on the cool side, like a ten degree drop at night, it will winter bloom and then bloom again in spring. Mine is still sending up new blooms from the same leaf clusters that bloomed this winter! I grow it in my orchid room and put it out after danger of hard freeze. It's fine under an overhang with light frost.
Yellow clivia is beautiful,,, but I have to say that I love the orange.. I guess because it is sooo vibrant.
Laurel, I am going to bring several of mine in this winter and see if I can get 2 bloomings.
I pollinated my yellow clivia this year with self and also with the orange. Interested to see what I get... probably a washed out bloom.. LOL
Elaine, you are so industrious. I need to photo mine which was looking gorgeous this past week. The winter blooms are not as profuse, but very welcome. :)
Hcmcdole, yours is the most beautiful specimen I've ever seen! How long have you had the plant?
looks like it needs to be split to me. i have one i had to split due to the roots rooted on one side. i was scared to split it but they seem to be doing ok.
I have to take a small saw to cut mine apart when I replant them,,, they are very hardy once they get growing. They will generate their own new roots.
mine is still green so maybe i didnt kill it. gave it rootone just in case to help with the roots. dont want to loose it. keeping fingers crossed
I've neglected this cool forum too long. Thanks MaypopLaurel and everyone else for all the info. DEATH TO GROUND VOLES!!
I wish we could grow these hardy in the ground. I love orange. I'd love to try them inside but DH REQUIRES that the heat be warmer at night than in the day (except in summer, when I must be frozen out at night). We have very opposite heat and cooling schedules :)
I've been growing clivia for about 35 years now. Started 5 plants from seed 35 years ago and have divided them MANY times. They do like to be root bound, but eventually the pot is ALL roots with almost no soil. I just pry them out of their pots (plastic pots are best for these plants...makes it easier to get them out when they need to be divided), cut the roots so each plant has as many as can be salvaged, and put the new plants back into pots. I've never lost one yet, and they keep growing like weeds. But since I am originally from the North, I have never grown them in the ground. They all spend the winter in my unheated garage (and they did even when I lived in Chicago, except w hen the temps went below zero up there). I pull them out in February or sooner if they start putting out flower buds, and have flowers during February and March. I put them outside in a shaded spot in the spring, summer and fall and often they will bloom again during the summer.
I have found them to be impossible to kill if you keep them from freezing.
Suz is right on. And those clivia roots will break that pretty pot if you leave them too long. It looks like they need separating.
Actually, they were just sitting in that pot. They are in a hanging basket pot. You can't really see in that photo, but it has 'lifted' itself up out of the pot. I would say it definately needs repotting. Add that to my many list of things to do. LOL