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What is the Origin of Clivia Plant

Updated: April 20, 2022

Clivia Plant, also known as Clivia miniata, is a popular ornamental plant that belongs to the Amaryllidaceae family. It is native to South Africa, particularly in the eastern part of the country. The plant was discovered by John Lindley, an English botanist, in 1828. Since then, it has become a favorite among gardeners and plant enthusiasts worldwide.

Historical Background

The Clivia plant was named after Lady Charlotte Clive, the Duchess of Northumberland. She was a prominent figure in English society during the 19th century and had a passion for gardening. Lady Clive was one of the first people to cultivate this plant outside of its native environment. She received a specimen of the plant from a friend who had traveled to South Africa and fell in love with its beauty.

Lady Clive’s success in growing the plant sparked interest among other gardeners and nursery owners in England. They began importing seeds and bulbs from South Africa and cultivating the plant themselves. The demand for Clivia plants grew rapidly, and it soon became a popular ornamental plant around the world.


Clivia plants are native to the eastern parts of South Africa, particularly in the province of KwaZulu-Natal. They are usually found in coastal forests or on rocky outcrops near streams and rivers. The plant thrives in warm and humid environments with temperatures ranging from 15-30°C (59-86°F). It grows best in partial shade, making it an ideal indoor plant.


The Clivia plant is an evergreen perennial that can grow up to 60cm (24 inches) tall. It has long, strap-like leaves that grow in a fan-like shape from a central base. The leaves are dark green and glossy and can grow up to 60cm (24 inches) long and 6cm (2.5 inches) wide.

The plant produces clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers that bloom in shades of orange, yellow, and red. The flowers are fragrant and can last for several weeks. The fruit of the Clivia plant is a bright red or orange berry that contains several seeds.


Clivia plants are relatively easy to grow and care for. They prefer well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. The plant should be watered regularly but not overwatered as this can cause root rot. Clivia plants should be fertilized once a month during the growing season with a balanced fertilizer.

Propagation of the Clivia plant is usually done by dividing the plant’s clumps or by planting seeds. The plant can also be propagated through tissue culture, which is a more advanced method.


The Clivia plant is primarily grown as an ornamental plant due to its beautiful flowers and foliage. It is a popular choice for indoor gardens and adds a splash of color to any room. The plant is also used for landscaping purposes and can be planted in shaded areas or under trees.

In traditional medicine, the Clivia plant has been used to treat various ailments such as headaches, stomach pains, and arthritis. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims.


The Clivia plant is a beautiful and easy-to-grow ornamental plant that has captured the hearts of gardeners and plant enthusiasts worldwide. Its origin in South Africa and its cultivation by Lady Charlotte Clive have contributed to its popularity today.

Whether you’re looking to add some color to your indoor garden or beautify your outdoor space, the Clivia plant is an excellent choice.


Is the Clivia plant toxic?

Yes, the Clivia plant is toxic to pets such as cats and dogs if ingested. It contains lycorine, which can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Can the Clivia plant grow outdoors?

Yes, the Clivia plant can grow outdoors in shaded areas or under trees. It thrives in warm and humid environments and can tolerate temperatures ranging from 15-30°C (59-86°F).

How often should I water my Clivia plant?

Clivia plants should be watered regularly but not overwatered as this can cause root rot. Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.