Clump of Clivias
image by Sarcozona: Flickr.com
Wild clivias are often seen peeking out from underneath evergreen trees in woodsy areas, but they can also be grown in the home landscape or as easy-care houseplants. Although clivias can be a bit fussy initially, once they're started, they'll grow with very little help from you. Clivias, distinctive plants with dark green foliage and thick stems, grow best in mild climates that don't have extreme temperatures. Plant them in clumps for the most dramatic effect.
Purchase clivia starts at a nursery or greenhouse, or if you already have access to a plant, it can easily be divided in early spring. To divide clivia, dig up a clump and divide it at the rhizome, which is the fleshy part of the stem that grows under the ground.
Prepare the site for the clivia by working some manure or compost into the soil. Clivia will burn in the sun, so plant it in shade or partial sun. Be sure the soil is well drained, because clivia doesn't do well if the roots are in water for an extended time. Clivia can also be grown in pots. Use high-quality potting soil and a pot with good drainage.
Water clivia when the top of the soil is dry, but be careful not to overwater. With clivia, less is better than more.
Feed clivia a good general-purpose liquid fertilizer during the summer months. It's possible to overfeed clivia, so dilute the liquid fertilizer with half water.
Move clivia into pots before the first freeze, and bring them inside for the winter. Put them in a spot where they will receive daylight but not direct sunlight.