Clivia Miniata

Kaffir Lily Plant
"with clusters of bell shaped blooms"

The clusters of spring time flowers the kaffir lily blooms makes this species well worth the effort needed to enable it to flower well.

The Clivia Miniata (scientific name) needs a resting period during the winter, and very little disturbance - to prevent it from wilting.

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Growing and size: The K.lily is fairly easy to grow (within a greenhouse, conservatory or house), if basic care instructions are followed (see below). They also enjoy a period of time outdoors at summertime, shaded. It can grow up to 18 inches in height and width once it's fully matured, although they are slow growers so expect two to five years, for full maturity.

Blooming: You can expect these to bloom early spring time, although some growers can get them to produce flowers at other times. They can also bloom sporadically at other times..earlier than spring or much later than spring. You will need some patience to see your first years bloom, which could be approximately 2 -3 years. The flowers last for a couple of days and then they should be removed (when they are deteriorating) to allow new growth and others to bloom. When they are in bloom, do avoid moving the plant.

How they look: When the Kaffir is in full bloom (usually between spring to summer) it's a beautiful looking species, with approximatively 10 - 20 trumpet shaped, orange petalled and yellow centred flowers. There are also a variety of other colors (red, yellow and white), although these are by far, the most popular.

The leaves are a wide straped shape and fairly dark green in colour, which arch over each other. The cluster of flowers produced grow from the end of a stem, so they sit displaying themselves above the foliage.

Poisonous: These should be kept a way from cats and pets that like to nibble plant leaves. They contain a poisonous substance - called Lycorine. In small doses it may upset the stomach and the digestive system, however, large amounts can be dangerous.


Origin: South Africa.
Names: Kaffir and bush lily (common) -- Clivia miniata (botanical/scientific).
Max Growth (approx): 18 inches in height.
Poisonous for pets: Toxic to cats and dogs.

Picture of the clivia miniata plant

Close up of Kaffir Lily Flowers

Picture of kaffir lily flowers – close up

Kaffir lily with pink flowers

Kaffir Lily Care

Temperature: Temperatures from cool to average room 60°F/15.5°C - 75°F/23.8°C are best suited. The resting period needed within the winter needs the temperature to be much cooler - at 40°F/4.5°C - 50°F/10°C.
Light: Bright light is best (it can also be fine with less) and avoid direct sunlight.
Watering: Keeping the soil fairly moist (to touch) within summer is advisable. Water sparingly at winter time and allow the soil to become quite dry, for about two months (this may encourage an early bloom).
Soil: A good organic soil that drains well is ideal to use.
Re-Potting: The kaffir lily would prefer you not to disturb it, so only re-pot when necessary and after it has flowered. Becoming pot bound is something this plant enjoys, and is suitable for it to grow well.
Humidity: If the temperature is correct there will be no need for concern about the humidity. Sponging the leaves gently will help. Stuffy rooms with central heating should be avoided.
Propagation: These are propagated through division (from the parent plant and roots attached) or seeds. Propagating should be done after flowering, with great care taken when dividing them.
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