How to Care for an Indoor Plant Called Clivia


Clivia, sometimes called "bush lily," is a low-maintenance houseplant that will brighten up dull winter days with its clusters of bright yellow or orange flowers. Clivia is a horticulturist's favorite, but can be expensive and sometimes difficult to find. If you're interested in owning one of these sturdy, long-blooming plants, ask your local florist if she can order one for you.

Step 1

Put clivia where it will be in bright light but don't put it directly in a window, unless the window is shaded. Although clivia can grow in shade, it will do better in indirect or filtered light.

Step 2

Water clivia only when the top inch of the soil is dry to the touch. Clivia does better when it's kept slightly dry, so water only when it needs it rather than on a regular schedule.

Step 3

Feed clivia monthly after it's finished blooming, using a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength, but don't fertilize after mid-September. Clivia requires very little fertilizer, and too little is better than too much.

Step 4

Trim the clivia's stalks to the base after the blooms wilt and fade, which will focus the plant's energy on growth, rather than on producing seeds. Remove any withered or brown leaves.

Step 5

Give clivia a rest period beginning in late fall to encourage the development of new blooms. Put the plant in a room where the temperature will be consistently between 55 and 65 degrees for two to three months. Make sure the clivia has light, but don't water it unless it begins to wilt, and then water it just enough to dampen the soil. When you see new flower stalks, return the clivia to its regular room, and resume watering.

Step 6

Re-pot clivia every three to five years, after it's finished blooming for the season. Don't be in a hurry to re-pot clivia, because it actually does better when it's slightly root bound. Don't worry if some of the roots make their way to the top of the soil, because while this may seem odd, it's normal for clivia. Re-pot clivia in a container one size up, using a good quality commercial potting soil. Be sure to choose a container that has good drainage.

Things You'll Need

  • Houseplant fertilizer
  • Container for re-potting
  • Potting soil


  • Amaryllis, Clivia and Miniature Orange Trees
  • Clivia miniata
Keywords: clivia, bright yellow, orange flowers

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.