The Best Way to Grow Clivia & Night Blooming Cereus Indoors


Night-blooming cereus and clivia are hardy, easy to grow plants, native to warm climates. Both are commonly grown as houseplants. Night-blooming cereus is a climbing cactus that bears large white, extremely fragrant flowers in the summer. These flowers open at night and close at dawn. Clivia is part of the lily family and has large orange or yellow flowers that bloom in the winter.

Night-Blooming Cereus

Step 1

Fill a large pot with slightly sandy potting soil. A mixture of potting soil, organic matter such as peat moss and perlite or course sand in equal measure is ideal. The soil must be fast draining as night blooming cereus has a shallow root system. Select a pot just large enough to accommodate the roots. Night-blooming cereus prefer to be slightly root bound.

Step 2

Provide a sturdy structure on which this plant can grow. Night-blooming cereus can reach a height of 40 feet.

Step 3

Place your potted cereus where it will receive bright light, such as near an east facing window. During the blooming season, July to October, your plant should be kept in a dark room from sunset to dawn to avoid destroying the light sensitive flowers.

Step 4

Water your night blooming cereus when the soil has dried to 3 or 4 inches deep and never more than once a week. Feed with a houseplant fertilizer at half strength once a year in the late spring.


Step 1

Fill a wide clay pot with a potting soil and organic matter such as peat moss or compost. Clivia are native to South Africa where they grow in organic-rich soil. A clay pot is recommended as this plant will reach 3 feet tall and wide upon maturity, with arching sword-like leaves. The clay will provide a heavy base to assure the plant will not topple.

Step 2

Place your clivia near a north window where it will receive filtered light. In the absence of a north window, an east facing window can be used as long as the clivia is protected from direct sun.

Step 3

Water your clivia when the top inch of soil is dry. Clivia will die if over-watered. Reduce watering in the fall. This is the resting, or dormant period, necessary for your clivia to bloom. Water only when the leaves begin to wilt.

Step 4

Feed your plant once a month with a 20-20-20 fertilizer at half strength throughout the summer months. Stop feeding after August to allow your clivia to go dormant before blooming.

Step 5

Remove spent flowers with garden shears before seeds form. This will assure your plant's energy turns toward future growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden soil
  • Coarse sand or perilite
  • Organic matter such as compost or peat moss
  • 20-20-20 fertilizer
  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Garden shears


  • Cornell University: Night-Blooming Cereus
  • Chicago Botanic: Plant Profiles: Clivia
Keywords: Night-blooming cereus, growing clivia, flowering houseplants

About this Author

Shawna Kennedy has been writing and editing professionally since 2004. She's published numerous articles for Demand Studios and two of her edited manuscripts have been contracted and published by Random House.

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