This hardy perennial brings a lush, tropical look to the garden all year round with its lush, strappy foliage and bold coloured blooms and needs little care once established. Clivias are excellent for growing in dry shade such as under the canopy of a leafy tree. They look spectacular planted en masse, especially when in flower. They also tolerate root competition from nearby plants such as shallow-rooted palms.
Clivias can be grown in just about any climate zone in Australia from Tasmania to the tropics, as long as they have protection from frosts and extreme cold. They can also become stressed and sunburnt if grown in full sun and allowed to dry out, so make sure they have plenty of shade in hot climates.
In their wild form clivias bear hot, orange blooms with yellow throats. After years of selective breeding, they are now available with bright red, apricot, yellow or cream coloured blooms.
Clivias prefer good drainage so if you have heavy soil, dig Searles Real Compost into the soil before planting. Plant them where they will have shade during the hottest times in summer. Water well after planting.
For best growth and flowering, give clivias a good soak once a week, especially while they are establishing. If the weather is dry, even established plants will benefit from occasional watering through spring and summer. Apply Searles Kickalong Fruit & Flower Organic Plant Food in spring according to the instructions.
After flowering, clivias develop seed heads that are very decorative and ripen in the following winter. These can be planted to produce new plants. Plants that are outgrowing their space in the garden can also be lifted and divided at any time of year, but spring is ideal as it gives them a long growing season to establish. Be aware that plants grown from seed will not necessarily be true to type and will take 4–5 years to flower.
Did you know?
Clivias make excellent cut flowers and can look great for more than a week in a vase.