How to Divide a Clivia


Clivias are expensive compared to other plants--some large varieties can cost close to four figures. Fortunately, clivias can be divided for propagation. Keep in mind, though, that clivias do not prefer to have their roots disturbed and in fact, bloom better when they're pot bound. Therefore, only divide them once every three or more years, in the spring after the plants have finished blooming.

Step 1

Take the clivia out of its container. Run a long knife between the container and the soil to loosen it, turn the container on its side and gently pull the bottom of the plant to free it. Alternatively, cut a plastic pot with several vertical slits using a sharp utility knife to get the clivia out of the container, or break a cheap ceramic pot with a hammer.

Step 2

Remove the clivia from the ground, if it is planted outdoors. This is often difficult to do since a clivia can grow up to 3 feet in diameter. Instead, carefully remove a 6 to 12 square inch section of the plant by digging out an outer section of the plant. Start to dig the soil away with a trowel and when you begin to see roots, cut a section off with a spade, trying to disturb as few roots as possible. Leave the rest of the plant in the ground, and divide the clump you dug up.

Step 3

Shake off and remove with your hands as much soil as you can. Do not get the roots wet, which can cause rot. Divide your clivia as soon as possible.

Step 4

Examine the roots to find natural divisions. Look for rhizomes that are attached to at least three 8-to-10-inch long leaves of the parent plant. If you want them to bloom in a year or two, each section should have at least two or three crowns (where the plant meets the roots).

Step 5

Pull the divisions gently apart, or take the utility knife and cut the sections free. Replant the divisions immediately in the same manner as they were planted before.

Things You'll Need

  • Knife


  • Shields Gardens: Dividing Clivia Clumps
  • University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension: For A Sure Thing Try Clivia
  • University of Illinois Extension: Clivia
Keywords: divide clivia, propagate clivia, buy clivia

About this Author

Melissa Lewis has been a professional writer since 2005. Her work has appeared in various online publications. A former elementary classroom teacher and media specialist, Lewis is also a script writer, with a movie script, "Homecoming," she co-wrote currently in production. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.