Clivia Care

The clivia plant, with its vibrant blossoms and lush foliage, adds a tropical touch to any indoor setting. Originating from South Africa, this plant is a popular choice for homes due to its low maintenance requirements and ability to thrive in indoor conditions. Effective care for your clivia plant ensures it remains a lively and blooming addition to your space. Let’s delve into the essentials of clivia plant care to keep it healthy and flourishing.

Scientific Classification

Every living thing, including the Clivia plant, has a unique set of names that scientists use to identify it. This is called the scientific classification. Here’s how the Clivia plant fits into this system:

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Subkingdom: Tracheobionta
  • Superdivision: Spermatophyta
  • Division: Magnoliophyta
  • Class: Liliopsida
  • Subclass: Liliidae
  • Order: Asparagales
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Genus: Clivia
  • Species: Depends on the specific type of Clivia plant (for example, Clivia miniata)


Clivia plants enjoy light, but not direct sunlight. Place your Clivia in a spot where it gets plenty of light, but make sure it’s filtered or indirect. Direct sunlight can harm the leaves, causing them to burn. If you notice the leaves turning yellow or pale, it could mean that your plant is getting too much light. For the best growth, find a place with bright, but not harsh, light. This will keep your Clivia happy and healthy. East or north-facing windows are usually ideal spots for your Clivia, as they offer light without the intense midday sun. Remember, adequate light is crucial for flowering. No flowers might mean the plant needs more light.


When you care for a Clivia plant, you need to think about how much water it gets. Clivia plants like their soil to dry out a bit between waterings. This means you shouldn’t water it too much or too often. You’ll want to give it a good drink when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. Then, wait until the soil dries out again before giving it more water. Over-watering can cause the roots to rot, so be careful not to let the plant sit in water. A good rule is to check the soil once a week to see if it’s time to water. If you stick to this, your Clivia should be pretty happy. Remember, less is often more with watering these plants.


The soil for a Clivia plant needs to be well-draining and rich. Imagine a sponge that holds water but doesn’t stay wet for too long. This is what your Clivia’s roots like. You can mix potting soil with some perlite or coarse sand. These materials help water flow through easily. This stops the roots from getting too wet and rotting. Remember, Clivia prefers to be snug in its pot, so don’t rush to repot it into a much larger container. When you do repot, choose a pot that is just a bit bigger. Use fresh soil that has the same well-draining quality. This will keep your Clivia healthy and happy.


The Clivia plant likes to stay cozy but not too hot. Imagine how you feel when spring rolls around; that’s the kind of warmth this plant enjoys. Keep your Clivia in temperatures ranging from 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (10 to 21 degrees Celsius). During the winter, it’s crucial to let the plant feel a bit cooler, which helps it to bloom later. But, be careful not to let it get too cold. Clivia doesn’t like temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit; it could harm the plant. So, keep your Clivia away from drafty windows or doors during the chilly months to protect it from sudden temperature drops.


Humidity is the amount of water vapor in the air. Clivia plants like air that is a little moist. This means they grow well when the air is not too dry. To keep your Clivia happy, you should try to have the humidity around them medium to high. However, most homes have drier air, especially when heaters or air conditioners are used. To raise the humidity for your Clivia, you can mist the leaves with water, or place a tray of water near the plant. You can also use a humidifier. By keeping the air around your Clivia a bit damp, you will help your plant to thrive. Remember, too much humidity can lead to mold or rot, so balance is key. Keep an eye on your Clivia to make sure it’s getting just the right amount of humidity.


Fertilizer is like vitamins for your Clivia plant. It helps your plant grow strong and healthy. You should feed your Clivia with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer. This means the nutrients can dissolve in water, making it easy for the plant to take them in. Fertilize your Clivia every two to three weeks during the growing season, which is from spring to early fall. However, during the winter, your Clivia needs to rest, so you must stop fertilizing. Too much fertilizer can hurt your plant, so make sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package. Remember, a little goes a long way.

Size & Growth Rate

Clivia plants are known for their moderate growth rate and manageable size. They grow slowly over the years. A fully grown Clivia can reach up to two feet in height. Its leaves are long and strap-like, and they usually grow in a clump about two feet wide. You won’t see your Clivia shoot up overnight. In fact, it might take several years before it reaches its full size. This slow growth means you won’t have to repot it often. It also makes Clivia a good choice if you have limited space. Remember, they grow at their own pace, so patience is key.

Common Issues

When you care for a Clivia plant, sometimes problems can arise. The leaves might turn yellow or brown. This often happens when the plant gets too much direct sunlight. Overwatering can cause root rot, where the roots start to decay. This makes it hard for the plant to absorb water and nutrients. Pests like spider mites and mealybugs can also bother your Clivia plant. These tiny bugs suck on the sap from the leaves, weakening the plant. Mold might grow on the plant if the air around it is too still and moist. By giving your Clivia the right amount of light, water, and air circulation, you can keep it healthy and avoid these common issues.


Toxicity means how poisonous a plant is. The Clivia plant, while beautiful, is not safe if eaten. It has chemicals that are toxic to both humans and pets. If someone eats part of a Clivia plant, it can make them feel sick. Symptoms might include vomiting, saliva increase, or discomfort in the mouth. For cats and dogs, eating Clivia can lead to more serious health problems, even leading to a visit to the vet. If you have a Clivia, make sure it’s out of reach from children and pets. If you think someone has eaten part of the plant, you should get help from a doctor or vet right away. Remember, it’s better to be safe and keep plants that can be poisonous in a place where they can’t be accidentally eaten.

Pro Tips

When caring for your Clivia plant, these proven suggestions can help you keep it healthy and vibrant:

  • Choose the right spot: Place your Clivia in bright, indirect light away from the harsh sun.
  • Avoid overwatering: Let the soil dry a bit before watering again.
  • Check the temperature: Keep your Clivia in a room that’s between 50-70°F (10-21°C).
  • Know when to feed: Use a balanced fertilizer in spring and summer, but ease up in fall and winter.
  • Repot with care: Do this every 2-3 years to give your plant more room to grow.
  • Look out for signs: Yellow leaves can mean too much sun or water, while droopy leaves may signal thirst.
  • Give it a rest: In late fall, reduce watering to prompt the flowering cycle.
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