Botanical Name: Clivia miniata
A summer flower out in the garden, Kaffir Lily can be forced into bloom indoors in late winter or early spring.
Wipe off the leaves with a damp cloth to keep them dust-free and shiny.
This member of the amaryllis family (Amaryllidaceae) bears clusters of 10-15 trumpet-shaped flowers above a thick, upright stem. Bright orange flowers with yellow centers are most common; however, red, peach, yellow or white varieties are sometimes available.
Dark-green strappy leaves are 2 in (5 cm) wide and can reach about 18 in (45 cm) long.
Give Kaffir Lily a cool, dry rest for 6-8 weeks in fall to make it bloom.
You can move it outside for a month before the first frost, then bring it back inside and keep it in a cool room until midwinter.
After this rest, the increase of water along with normal room temperatures will bring a spectacular show of blooms in March or April.
After the bloom. Cut off the spent flower head. Wait till the flower stem begins to shrivel before cutting it off at the base of the plant. You can continue to display the plant -- its glossy leaves will still be attractive.
This beautiful bloomer prefers to be slightly pot-bound and can stay in the same pot for 3 years or more.
Its thick, fleshy roots often appear on the surface of the soil. Just top dress every year by adding fresh soil as needed.
Origin: South Africa
Height: Up to 18 in (45 cm)
Light: Bright light, no direct sun.
Water: Keep soil evenly moist in spring and summer. In fall and early winter, water sparingly just to keep plant from drying out completely. Gradually increase watering in midwinter.
Humidity: Average humidity
Temperature: Winter through summer, average temperatures 60-75°F/16-24°C. In fall, a cool rest of 40-55°F/4-13°C is needed for 6-8 weeks.
Soil: Peat moss based potting mix.
Fertilizer: Feed every 2 weeks spring to fall with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
Propagation: Division. This plant's thick, fleshy roots are somewhat fragile. Carefully detach offsets with roots from the parent plant immediately after flowering and pot in separate containers.
Clivia miniata was discovered growing in KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) in the 1850s and
brought to the U.K., where this showy flower quickly became a popular indoor plant.