July 27, 2022
Searles Gardening Team
One well known flowering plant which signals the start of spring is the showy orange trumpet flower head of the Clivia or the Kaffir lily. The traditional Clivia variety (Clivia miniata) exhibits stunning orange trumpet flower heads proudly floating above a tight clump of deeply green coloured evergreen foliage.
This variety is the original form of Clivia and most readily available, but modern breeders have been busy developing other striking colours, ranging from red to yellow and cream, to delight gardeners.
Clivias originated from South Africa and are a trouble-free hardy plant given a shaded area with good drainage and sufficient water during the warmer months of spring and summer. Too much exposure to full sun and dry conditions will bleach their deep green strappy foliage and weaken the health of the plant. They are easily grown in most Australian gardens, providing they are protected from frosts and extremely cold weather. They grow well in most climatic zones from the top of Australia in the tropics to the colder regions of Tasmania.
Clivias are a successful choice for all year round lush foliage in shade loving areas of the gardens, under canopies of trees and in pots on a shady patio. They are often planted en masse for stunning displays of spring colour. They also grow well in large pots, planted in Searles Platinum Potting Mix and positioned in a shady area. If you can spare a few flower heads from the garden, Clivias make ideal long-lasting cut flowers for home decor arrangements.
If planting Clivias in the garden, dig Searles Premium Compost Mix into existing soil before planting for healthy growth and water well afterwards.
To promote flowering, liquid feed with Searles Flourish Soluble Plant Food every fortnight during flowering. Searles Flourish dual action formula enables nutrients to be absorbed through plant foliage and root system delivering fast acting nutrients ensuring better growth and flowering.
After flowering has finished, Clivias can be carefully dug up and divided to reduce overcrowding and create an opportunity for new gardens. Gently separate the roots of each plant and check for diseases. Division of clivia plants and replanting is a quicker option than sowing new plants from seeds. Clivias take several years to reach maturity and produce flowers from seed.
Clivias are not easily affected by pests and diseases. The most common and annoying leaf chewers are snails and slugs, which can be easily controlled by a few roaming household chickens or a sprinkle of snail pellets. If caterpillars are spotted on the leaves and are severely affecting the plant, spray the caterpillar directly with Searles Bug Beater. Aphids, thrips and mites can be controlled with a systemic spray of Searles Conguard.