The Clivia Miniata, also known as Bush Lily, Natal Lily, and Kaffir Lily, is a clump-forming flowering plant that originates from the woodlands of South Africa and Eswatini. The plant has a history of being cultivated for over two centuries in various regions. It has since been introduced to the United States. It is one of the easiest plants to grow, rarely needing extra care. The eye-popping green of the leaves forms an excellent contrast with the color of the flowers. They come in red, yellow, and orange shades, perfect for any garden, indoors and out.
- Clivia Miniata Main Characteristics
- Clivia Miniata Care
- Propagating Clivia miniata
- Potting and Repotting Clivia miniata
- Common Pests
- Common Problems
- Clivia Miniata (Bush Lily): How to Grow, and Care (Video)
Clivia Miniata Main Characteristics
|Common Name||Bush Lily, Natal Lily, Kaffir Lily|
|Botanical Name||Clivia miniata|
|Native Range||South Africa, Swaziland|
|Common Cultivars||Debutante, Fireworks, Sunrise, Aurea, Citrina, Kirstenbosch Splendour|
|USDA Hardiness Zones||9 to 11|
|Mature Size||Height: 1-2 feet; Spread: 2-3 feet|
|Bloom Time||Seasonal bloomer|
|Propagation methods||by seed, by division|
|Sun||Part shade or Deep shade|
|Soil||Dry or Moist, Well Drained|
Clivia Miniata Care
Bush Lily has many different variations with various colors and patterns available for purchase, depending on your preference. Some people use them as houseplants while others leave them outside year-round in their garden beds. Regardless of where you plant them, these plants require very little care, making them ideal for people of all gardening levels.
Light and Location
Optimally, try to place them in bright indirect light. Preferably near a window shaded from direct sunlight. And you can give them some more sun when needed.
You can move them outside during summer. Unlike many other plants which have trouble with the direct sun, these guys thrive as long as there’s enough partial shade around for them to get acclimated first. But remember to bring them back when the first signs of winter start to show.
To ensure the health of your Clivia Miniata, they must receive proper care during their growing season. Water regularly but wait for the soil to dry before the subsequent watering sessions by letting excess water runoff before giving the next dose.
Flowering usually happens in late winter to early spring. If no flowers appear after the plant has matured, this could mean you’ve been watering too much from late autumn onwards. Better to be stingy during this time (about nine weeks) until the first flower stems appear. After that, return to the previous routine.
A brief rest period is essential for the Bush lily to bloom. Keep these flowers in a colder dark spot with temperatures above 10°C (50°F) at night, and they should blossom in the flowering season without a problem. For the rest of the plant’s lifecycle, keep it at room temperatures.
These plants are hardy enough to thrive in many conditions. Luckily, they need no special considerations regarding the humidity. They neither like nor dislike being in humid locations.
You can fertilize the Bush Lily plant monthly with a half-strength fertilizer solution. But start giving it less the nearer it gets to the flowering season. And stop entirely in winter. But resume their regular feeding schedule as soon as you begin to see flower buds form.
Propagating Clivia miniata
Usually, you take stem cuttings from the mother plant to propagate these plants. After it has matured, which takes about three years, it begins producing offsets each year. You can use an offset with three or four leaves for division. The time to do this would be around the end of the winter season.
Alternatively, you can also opt for seed propagation, which takes a year to ripen and about five years to bloom. Either way, this is a time-consuming process. And you might be better off buying a mature plant that’s about to blossom.
Potting and Repotting Clivia miniata
When potting, go for well-drained soil rich with humus or a soilless mix. But remember to carefully select its container as it prefers when its roots are tightly bound, as you’ll be using the same pot for quite some time.
You can repot this plant at any time of the year; just be careful not to damage the roots. This can severely impact the health of this plant. Usually, it takes about three years for the plant to get big enough to need repotting. If the flowering season is around the corner, wait for the flower to grow before committing to a new pot. When the roots are straining to break out of their container is the optimum time for it to relocate.
All parts of the Natal Lily are toxic. The toxicity is considered mild, but it can get serious if large quantities are ingested. Keep your pets away, especially if they are the curious types. Both dogs and cats are at risk. Although all plant parts are somewhat toxic, the bulbs are the most dangerous.
It is crucial to watch for mealybugs, scale insects, and red spider mites when caring for this plant. Mealybugs like to burrow into tight spaces, closely examine every part of the plant when checking up on it; they’re easy to miss. Around flowering season, snails become the most significant concern as they like to feed on the flowers. So keep an eye out; that’s three years of work down the drain!
Bleached or brown patches on the leaves?
Discoloration on the leaves is a clear sign of the foliage getting sunburnt. Get the plant out of the sun immediately, or else it might die out completely.
Are there brown leaves at the base of your plant?
These leaves are at the end of their natural lifecycle. Gently peel them back, and they should come off quite cleanly.
Yellow leaves could occur due to a few reasons. You’re either
- Underfeeding – Increase the amount of fertilizer you give to the plant. But make sure not to go above the recommended dosage (Half strength fertilizer every month).
- Underwatering or Overwatering – Refer to our guide on how (and when) to water and how often. Your plant should recover soon.
Short flower spike? No flower in spring?
If you’ve forgotten to let your Natal Lily rest during the winter preceding this spring, then this is the natural result. Remember to let it rest next year. But if you’ve been sticking the script, it’s most likely because the pot is too big. Remember how we talked about this plant liking being rootbound? Loose pots don’t allow it to get rootbound, which shows its effects during blooming season.
Another possible reason is that it didn’t get enough water once the rest period was over. Remember to water it properly next season, and you should be okay.
Clivia Miniata (Bush Lily): How to Grow, and Care (Video)
How to grow clivia miniata fast?
There is no quick and easy shortcut to growing a Natal Lily. It takes three years at a minimum to grow one of these plants until they can start to flower.
How to plant clivia miniata?
Take an appropriate-sized pot filled with humus-rich soil or soilless potting mix. Gently place the cutting in the pot. Make sure all roots are under the ground. Start watering when the soil settles.
How to divide clivia miniata?
Clivia miniata naturally forms clumps of leaves when mature. Pull apart a group of these leaves bound together by a root system. Cut them off from the parent and plant them in a new potting mix.