A Captivating Flowering Plant
Are you a plant lover? If yes, you must know about this plant which gives these beautiful flowers, you can’t take your eyes off of. Let’s take a closer glance at it.
Kaffir Lily is a flowering plant which belongs to the amaryllis(Amaryllidaceae) family. It is also commonly known as Clivia Lily, Natal Lily, Bush Lily, and Fire Lily. It is usually found in South Africa and is popularly grown in indoor gardens. Its scientific name or binomial name is Clivia Miniata.
Kaffir lilies produce red, yellow, pitch, or white flowers. They require average to cool temperature and well shade to grow. They grow up to 45cm that is around 18 inches tall. It’s a perennial, broad-leaved plant. The plant generally takes two to three years to produce flowers, it’s a long time but its spectacular flowers are worth the wait. It takes around two to five years to become a fully grown plant.
It belongs to kingdom plantae, (clade: Tracheophytes, clade: Angiosperms, clade: Monocots, order: Asparagales, family: Amaryllidaceae, genus: Cilvia, species: C. miniata).
Size and growth: The clivia lilies are easy to grow flowering plants, within a house, greenhouse or conservatory, if cared carefully with basic instructions. They prefer to be in a little sunlight with a little shade.
Blooming: They generally bloom in early spring, while they can be grown to produce flowers at other times as well. They can also bloom occasionally at other times like earlier than spring or much later than spring. After planting them, you require patience to enjoy the first bloom which is around 2 to 3 years. The flower stays fresh for around 2 to 3 days, after that they must be removed to let the new flowers bloom. Try to avoid moving them from one place to another when they are in bloom.
Their look: Between spring to summer, it blooms and the beautiful orange petalled and yellow centred flowers are seen. There are other various colored flowers produced by the plants and red, white and yellow are the most popular. The dark green colored leaves are wide strapped and they curve over each other,
Favourable Conditions for Kaffir Lily Cultivation
- The plant requires different amounts of water in different seasons. In summer, soil becomes dry and hard, make sure to water the plants enough in summer to keep the soil moist.
In winter, it requires a little less water, so the soil becomes dry. When it’s dormant state(state of rest or inactivity) comes to an end, in spring or late winter, water it properly to encourage its growth quickly.
- Cool to average temperature from about 60 degree F to 75 degree F is favourable temperature for the proper growth of clivia lily plant. In winter, it adopts its dormant state and during this state this plant can tolerate colder temperatures.
- Partially or fully shady areas are preferred for the kaffir lily plant. In summer, they can be kept under sunlight but make sure to keep them away from direct sunlight. Try to keep them in windows to ensure an equal amount of sunlight and shade is provided.
- Potting soil that drains well should be used while growing the plant. Peat moss is considered as the best soil but other types of potting soil can also be used, make sure it contains 50 percent organic matter like peat. The roots of kaffir lilies are very thick, they break through the surface of the soil, make sure to cover the pot with layers of soil when it is required.
- Dilute fertilizer should be used about once every two weeks.
When you see the roots of the plant starting emerging out of the pot, the plant needs a new place or a new tub. Generally, three to four years are the minimum time period for repotting.
Steps of repotting
- After the plant turns three to four years old, check the surface of the soil in the plant’s pot to examine the degree of crowding. You will see the roots of plants try to make their way out of the surface of the soil, it is a perfectly normal and natural way through which it gains abundant aeration. Soon the pot gets covered with roots all over and soil becomes invisible, if this happens it means it’s the time to transfer it to another pot. The soil might become stressed as the water is not soaking into the soil adequately.
- The roots of the plant must have strongly clinged to the bottom of the container, in order to cut the clivia plant out of the pot, take a clean, serrated knife(a sharp tooth like edge knife).
- Point the pot at about 45degree angle and hold steady. Use the pot’s drainage hole to press the open end of the garden hose flush. Turn on the plug to pour water down the bottom of the container or pot. This will forcely loose the bottom of the root from the pot. Turn the pot onto its side, put on garden gloves and grab a large bunch of the plant in each hand, plant your feet on any side of the rim of the pot. pull the leaves calmly towards yourself while pressing against the pot with your feet. You will get the plant in your hand and an unbroken container.
- Carefully have a glance at the plant and remove any damaged, dead or excessively long roots. Do not make much cutting otherwise the root ball gets disturbed. Also cut any damaged or dead leaves.
- Place small pebbles in the bottom of the container or pot. The new pot must be a little larger than the old one. Avoid using plastic pots because they are light weighted. Instead, use clay pots as the kaffir lily is extremely heavy and tips over easily.
- Use well draining potting soil, try to place the plant at the same soil level it occupied in the old container.
- Try to keep it under a little sunlight and warm shady area.
- Water the plants in a regular interval to keep the soil moist but avoid water lodging.
There are two methods through which kaffir lily can be produced: by seed or by root splitting.
Transferring of the plant from the old pot to the new one when the roots are seen to break the surface of the soil is the root splitting method.
Reproduction can also be done from the seed sowing method, though it’s a little time consuming than the root splitting method. The round or oval shaped fruits give these seeds. The berries of this plant take upto one year to mature. When the tips of the root arise through the broken seed pod, they can be carefully seized from the mother plant. Now it is exposed and the germinating seed is extracted.
Traditional uses of Clivia miniata
The root infusions of this plant are used for treating snakebites and are also effective for curing wounds. Treating fever or inducing or facilitating childbirth. An infusion named inembe was prepared using the leaves and roots of this plant to ensure an easy childbirth.