“Queen of the shade”.

Common name – Kaffir Lily

Clivia Gardening NZ

Here’s a Clivia cultivar more towards the red end of their colour range.


A native to southern Africa. They are members of the family Amaryllidaceae, subfamily Amaryllidoideae
Clivia miniata, is the most commonly cultivated species.

Flowering time –

Varies between species and cultivars. Typically C. miniata, C. nobilis and C. caulescens flower in late winter and spring. C. miniata can have flowers at almost any time. C. robusta and C. gardenii flower in the autumn. Interspecific hybrids and cultivars can flower at any time of the year depending on the local climate and the flowering habit of their parent species.

Uses –

If you’ve got a shady spot such as under trees or the shady side of the house and want a low growing ground cover (about 400mm {16 inches}) with red, orange or yellow flowers. This plant could be the solution for that shady spot under trees where other plants just die! They can also be grown in pots, but they don’t really like full sun though. Full sun will usually cause yellowing and burning of the leaves which then go brown and look unsightly and are a time consuming job to remove. They’re perennials so the clump will gradually get wider. One clump can easily cove more than 600mm (2 feet) in diameter. Either mixed in with other plants or as a stand alone mass planting. There aren’t many low growing hardy plants that will beat Clivia for hardiness.

Propagation –

Warning – Wear gloves when handling clivias, as they contain a small amount of alkaloids that can irritate the human skin.

They can easily be divided by prizing the roots apart with two full size forks inserted back to back and levered against each other. Or chop your way through the roots with a spade being careful to leave as much roots attached to the stem as possible.
The three images show two cultivars and one self seeded un-named cultivar. There are also variegated leaf varieties although they tend to revert to green leaves. There’s potential for enthusiasts to breed their own varieties from seed. The seed is quite large (about the size of a pea) and is produced after flowering inside a fleshy fruit. The fruit can be harvested. To sow scrape off the flesh and sown in the normal fashion in potting mix in a container in a warm shady position keeping the soil moist but not water logged. This will create your own unique un-named variety since with seed propagation you get a recombination of the parent genes! It’s possible to grow 20 or more plants per year from a single parent clump. The flower colour and size and leaf shape can vary between seedlings to add a bit of interest.

Clivia Yellow variety

Here’s a yellow cultivar of Clivia.

This Clivia is an un-named variety that I bred from a seedling.

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