Clivia miniata

Kafir Lily is a popular house plant. Besides having beautiful flowers and attractive foliage, it is very easy to care for. It was brought from its natural habitat in South Africa to England in 1854 and rapidly became widely grown for room decoration. It does not grow from a bulb like plants of the related genus Hippeastrum, but has pale fleshy roots. The closely sheathed leaves taper upwards to a height of 40-60 cm (16-24 in); they are 4-6 cm wide. The orange-red flowers with yellow throats are borne in umbels at the end of a stout, flattened stem. The berries are green for a long time, later turning bright red.

The flowers appear in spring, but if the plant is given proper care, it may produce a second crop in the autumn.

When the plant begins to form flowers, water it with tepid water. As soon as the flowers have faded, cut them off to prevent the plant’s expending unnecessary energy on the formation of seeds. Sometimes it does not produce flowers. This is usually because it did not have a rest period in winter. Transfer it to a cool place (at a temperature of 10°-15°C (50°-59°F) in winter. Withhold water almost entirely for about two months. It is rapidly propagated by means of sideshoots.

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