Clivia: maintenance, repotting, watering and flowering


Clivia is a plant native to South Africa belonging to the family of Amaryllidaceae. It is cultivated as a houseplant in our latitudes. We love its dark, shiny green ribboned leaves, arranged in a fan shape, and its spectacular inflorescences. Let’s find out how to take care of a Clivia, how often to repot and water it and let’s take a look at the tips to make it bloom again each year.

Caring for a Clivia

The Clivia, also called Lily (or Lily) of Natal or sometimes Lily of Saint Joseph, does not pose any particular difficulty. At most, it is sometimes the target of mealybugs it is enough to dislodge using a cotton ball soaked in methylated spirits and a little black soap. You also have to think from time to time about dust off its leaves with a damp, lint-free cloth or with a wet sponge.

From May and until the end of August or during September, do not hesitate to take out the Clivia because it can quite well spend the beautiful season in the garden, on the terrace or the balcony, provided however that it is not never located in direct sunlight for it would burn its leaves. Better to choose its outdoor location from the start because this plant hates being moved too often. Chilly, it must imperatively be returned before the arrival of the first frost.

As for its indoor exposure, it must be luminous, but it is very important not to position your Clivia too close to a window exposed to the sun whose direct rays are seriously damaging to it.

Repot a Clivia

Ideally, the Clivia is to be repotted as soon as its roots come out of the pot or fill the entire tank, because it is one of the plants that rather likes cramped. Moreover, this greatly promotes the formation of flowers. In general, it is therefore only necessary to change the Clivia pot once every 3 or 4 years and always after the flowering period.

The Natal Lily is repotted in a pot barely larger than the previous one, with a pierced bottom covered with a layer of drainage such as gravel or clay balls. As for the substrate, it consists of a mixture of 50% of potting soil, 30% of sand and 20% of good garden soil well furnished.

Water a Clivia

The Clivia does not tolerate having the roots in water as this causes them to rot. In summer we make sure water moderately but regularly and watering is reduced throughout the dormant period which we will detail later.

Flowering of Clivia

Splendid flowers of a beautiful orange red, or an elegant yellow for variety Clivia Citrina‘, emerge from the heart of the fan formed by the leaves. They bloom in groups of 10 to 20 and are elegantly arranged in umbels at the top of a very rigid stalk that can reach 60 cm in height. The effect of its beautiful trumpet flowers is spectacular.

Every year, the Clivia usually blooms between February and April. However, this period may vary somewhat since it must be preceded by 8 to 12 weeks of vegetative rest. This resting of the Clivia must begin in November. It involves:

  • A scarcity of watering,
  • Total cessation of fertilization,
  • Placing the plant in a bright room but where the ambient temperature is between 7 and 10 ° C.

After these three months of resting, we can finally see the appearance of an inflorescence. You must then install the Clivia in a room 15 ° C. As soon as the flower stalk is at least 15 cm high we can finally place the plant at home, at about 20 ° C. Now is the time to water a little more, but not excessively so as to keep the soil sufficiently cool.

When the flowers of Clivia are faded, the flower stalk should be cut off at the base. We can then give it liquid fertilizer to dilute in the irrigation water every two weeks until September.