How to Divide and Repot Clivia Miniata

Miss Clivia, in all her glory

Miss Clivia, in all her glory

My son's plant is not really overcrowded but it can be divided to give them two pots.

My son’s plant is not really overcrowded but it can be divided to give them two pots.

When the plant is removed from the pot, the roots are tightly intertwined.  Working gently, these roots can be loosened and separated.

When the plant is removed from the pot, the roots are tightly intertwined. Working gently, these roots can be loosened and separated.

Once you open it up some, you can find a good place to cut the plants apart.  Then tease the roots some more until the two plants can be separated.

Once you open it up some, you can find a good place to cut the plants apart. Then tease the roots some more until the two plants can be separated.

To repot, put some potting soil in the bottom, about 1/3 of the way up.  Hold the plant over this and fill in around the roots, jiggling the plant as you go to try afill the air spaces between the roots.

To repot, put some potting soil in the bottom, about 1/3 of the way up. Hold the plant over this and fill in around the roots, jiggling the plant as you go to try afill the air spaces between the roots.

When you reach the top, end at the natural place where the plant shows a change in color, then water it in and fill any gaps.

When you reach the top, end at the natural place where the plant shows a change in color, then water it in and fill any gaps.

These will come right along and give years of enjoyment.

These will come right along and give years of enjoyment.

Clivia miniata (Natal Lily or Bush Lily) is a sensational houseplant.  It is native to south Africa and requires little care.  It has attractive foliage and stunning flowers.  I find mine blooms best when it spends the summer outside in a shady spot (they do get sunburned) and has a cooling rest period in fall and winter.  I don’t take it inside until just before frost is threatened (be sure you get it in before frost).  Follow this link for full care instructions.  I was chatting with my son earlier in the week and he told me he was worried about his (an off shoot of mine when I repotted, some years ago).  After some discussion, we decided it needed repotting so I went down this morning to help him, as he had never done this before.  The following series of pictures detail the process.

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12 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Doug said,

    Thanks Mom! They are doing very well after the surgery. As soon as the Wisteria gets it’s leaves and makes shade I’ll put them outside for the summer. Love Doug, xoxoxoxo!

    Like

  2. 2

    Barry Spicer said,

    Good article. Author should have commented on the fact that clivias naturally grow in the leaf litter in cool, subtropical deciduous forests. They have a very shallow root system that grow just below the surface and in deep shade above the surface. When transplanting, note how the majority of the roots are on the surface or against the inside of the pot and the centre is almost empty. This is a good indicator that they are best potted in shallow pots with good drainage. If planted in standard pots then fill btm half with broken pots or st foam chips.
    Spicer KZN South Africa

    Like

  3. 4

    Annie Brenman-West said,

    I have found this very helpful. My clivia is blooming now and beside the parent (which has 3 blooming stems) the 3 children have 1 blooming stem each. I plan to repot when it has stopped blooming.

    Like

  4. 5

    stevenschlah said,

    Great instructive article.
    I have had a ‘variant’ of Clivia miniata, that I have ‘split’ about 5 times (and have never lost a plant yet), since my parents and I (age 13) moved from Inglewood to Santa Barbara in 1959. We got ours from a neighbor’s Japanese gardener (Hag) and he told us that this “variety” was “made” by him. I looks similar to the normal Orange/Red type, but with a deeper hue. I would love to hear about other “varieties”, other than the ‘Yellow’ that I also have.
    Further, I was told in 1959, that it was pronounced “C-LIVE-ea”. But my present neighbor, whose father owned a nursery in Santa Monica, swears it was C-Liv-ia, if you follow the difference here. What is your take?

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    • 6

      I have only the yellow and the standard orange color. Yours sounds lovely! I grew my yellow from seed, so I suspect letting the blooms go to seed and planting the seeds from the darkest flowers would eventually lead to a plant like yours, but I always cut off the stalk when the bloom has dropped. Might be fun to try! I pronounce it Cliv’-ee-a, (short “i”) but I just looked it up in the dictionary and the name comes from Lady Charlotte Clive (probably like the “live” in “alive”), so it’s probably supposed to be a long “i” in the first syllable. We could always call it by its South African name, Kaffir Lily and avoid all this. Thanks for your interesting comment!

      Like

  5. 7

    Carol Wright said,

    Hi I have a clivia miniata plant and its just started to flower and I allso see it has two more plants growing from each side of the main plant.
    Please can you tell me how to take the two plants of the sides without killing the main plant.
    allso should I wait till its finished flowering.

    yours sincerly
    carol wright.

    Like

    • 8

      If you have space in the pot, I would simply leave the side shoots as they will grow larger and eventually also send up flower stalks. My plant has 6 such side plants now. If you do need to remove them definitely wait until it has finished flowering and then follow the directions I gave in the post. Good luck!

      Like

    • 9

      Annie Brenman-West said,

      I, also, would make sure that they flower once. I separated mine in September. Three of the four plants flowered this year. I think that the 4th hasn’t had enough sun. New pot, and the mother plant has sprouted another baby.

      Like

  6. 10

    Hanna, a gardener said,

    Languages, Clivia is pronounced like C-leave-e-a if you mean the latin form.

    Like

  7. 11

    Andrew said,

    How long did the offshoot take to reach bloom size?

    Like


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