Clivia Houseplant Care & Maintenance
Soil and Light
- It is important to use a potting mix that drains well and is composed of at least 50-percent organic matter, such as peat moss or fir bark. Medium or coarse orchid mixes are sufficient as well. Potting mix that contains the needed medium can be found at most gardening supply stores. The roots of the clivia plant tolerate crowding and will actually grow better if root bound. In some cases, the roots of the plant will make their way to the top of the soil. This is normal and nothing to worry about. Repot the clivia plant every 3 to 5 years once it has bloomed for the season. When repotting your clivia, choose a pot that is one size up from the current pot.
Clivias are native to South Africa where they grow in forests on the ground at the base of trees. They thrive in indirect or filtered sunlight. They can tolerate shade, but it is not ideal for optimum growing. Do not place your clivia plant in direct sunlight. This could result in scorching and injuring your plant.
Water and Nutrition
- In the wild, the clivia plant gets nearly all of its water during the summer and spends most of the winter completely dry. Clivia plants prefer to be kept on the dry side, so extensive watering is unnecessary and not healthy for your plant. When you do water, it is important to water thoroughly so that the roots extend through the whole pot. Potting mix that remains constantly wet can cause root rot, which will kill your plant. It is not necessary to water your plant every week; instead, water only when your plant requires it, which is usually when the top inch of the soil is completely dry.
Clivia plants do not require much fertilizer. In fact, the less fertilizer you use the better for the plant. Using a balanced water-soluble fertilizer monthly is a good idea, but only after the plant has finished blooming and only mixed at half its strength. Stop fertilizing by mid-September as the plant is nearing its blooming period.