Bush lily Clivia nobilis

☠ Toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
green-tip forest lily


Clivia nobilis, commonly known as bush lily, is an attractive plant renowned for its striking green leaves and vibrant flowers. The leaves of the bush lily are strap-shaped, thick, and glossy, creating a lush and evergreen clump that is visually pleasing. Elegantly arching with a somewhat leathery texture, they emerge from a central point, resembling a fan in their layout. The standout feature of this plant is its colorful blooms. The flowers are borne in clusters on a sturdy stalk that rises up from the base of the plant. Each individual blossom has a tubular base that flares out into a more open, pendulous shape, and the petals are often a rich shade of orange-red, sometimes with a yellowish throat. These radiant clusters of blooms add a touch of exotic elegance to the appearance of the bush lily. The bush lily is a shade-loving plant and thrives in conditions that mimic the dappled light of its natural woodland habitats. Its robust nature and stunning flowers make it a popular choice for indoor environments and shaded garden beds where it can add a burst of color without needing direct sunlight.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Natal Lily, Bush Lily, Kaffir Lily, Fire Lily.

    • Common names

      Clivia nobilis.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Clivia nobilis, commonly known as the clivia, is indeed toxic to humans if ingested. All parts of the clivia plant contain small amounts of lycorine and other alkaloids that can cause poisoning. Symptoms of clivia poisoning in humans can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and in rare cases, more severe symptoms such as hypotension, tremors, and cardiac arrhythmias. It's important to seek medical attention if you or someone you know has ingested clivia.

    • To pets

      The clivia plant is also toxic to pets, including dogs and cats. Similar to its effects on humans, ingesting any part of the clivia can lead to symptoms such as vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, and abdominal pain due to the presence of lycorine alkaloids. In more severe cases, ingestion may result in an abnormal heart rhythm, convulsions, or low blood pressure. If you suspect your pet has ingested clivia, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Easy Maintenance: Clivia nobilis, commonly known as Bush Lily, is known for being low maintenance and requiring minimal care, making it suitable for gardeners of all experience levels.
    • Drought Tolerance: Bush Lily has a good tolerance for drought conditions once established, so it doesn’t need frequent watering.
    • Shade Loving: This plant thrives in shaded areas where other plants may struggle, making it ideal for planting under trees or in shaded garden spots.
    • Long Blooming Period: The Bush Lily can produce flowers for an extended period, often several weeks, adding long-lasting color to gardens.
    • Aesthetic Appeal: With its bright orange to red flowers, the Clivia nobilis adds vibrant color and visual interest to garden spaces.
    • Non-Invasive: Unlike some plant species, the Bush Lily is non-invasive, so it won’t overwhelm your garden or encroach on other plants.
    • Container Growth: It can be grown in pots, which is beneficial for those with limited garden space or who wish to bring the plant indoors.
    • Deer Resistance: The Bush Lily is typically not favored by deer, reducing the risk of damage from grazing in areas where deer are prevalent.
    • Evergreen Foliage: As an evergreen plant, the Bush Lily provides year-round greenery, keeping gardens looking lush even in colder months.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Clivia nobilis, commonly known as Bush Lily, can be used in floral arrangements, particularly for large displays, because of its bright and showy flowers.
    • In horticulture, Bush Lily is often used as a parent in hybridization programs to create new ornamental cultivars with various colors and forms.
    • The plant’s durable leaves can be used in arts and crafts for creating green accents in decorations or as part of natural weavings.
    • Bush Lily can be grown in containers as patio plants where winter climates are too harsh for outdoor cultivation, adding an exotic touch to the decor.
    • In photography, the striking appearance of the Bush Lily, with its vivid orange-red flowers, is popular for botanical photo shoots and plant-focused art pieces.
    • Bush Lilies are sometimes cultivated as a privacy screen in gardens, utilizing their dense foliage to create secluded areas.
    • The plant can be used as a teaching tool in botanical and horticulture education to illustrate concepts like monocot growth patterns and bulb propagation.
    • During seasonal or holiday events, the Bush Lily's blooms can be used to add natural color to thematic garden displays, especially in winter and early spring.
    • Bush Lily’s non-toxic nature makes it a safe plant to grow in households and institutions where pets or small children are present.
    • Cultural and traditional events sometimes feature the Bush Lily as a symbol of prosperity and vitality, particularly in regions where it is endemic or has cultural significance.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Clivia, also known as the Kaffir Lily, is recognized for its bright orange blooms which can be used to introduce a fire element to a space, symbolizing life energy and vitality in Feng Shui. It should be placed in living areas to stimulate good fortune or in personal growth areas to encourage development.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Kaffir Lily is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Beauty & Aesthetics: The vibrant orange-red blooms of the Clivia Miniata, commonly known as the Bush Lily, symbolize the radiance and beauty found within nature, reflecting the aesthetic pleasure we derive from plants.
    • Resilience & Survival: Bush Lilies are hardy plants that thrive in shady conditions and can tolerate drought. This resilience makes them a symbol of the ability to survive and flourish even in challenging circumstances.
    • Persistence: Their ability to bloom year after year with minimal care makes the Bush Lily a symbol of persistence and the rewards of ongoing effort.
    • Good Fortune: In some cultures, the Bush Lily is considered a plant that brings good luck to the home, symbolizing prosperity and happiness.
    • New Beginnings: The cycle of the Bush Lily's growth and blooming can symbolize new beginnings and fresh starts, representing hope and renewal.

Every 1-2 weeks
500 - 2500 Lux
Every 3-4 years
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    For Kaffir Lily, it is essential to water them thoroughly, allowing the water to drain out completely, and then letting the soil almost dry out before the next watering. It is best to water them with approximately 16-24 ounces every 7-10 days during the growing season. In winter, water sparingly, about 8-16 ounces every 2-3 weeks, as Kaffir Lilies enter a rest period and require less moisture. Adjust the watering frequency based on the temperature and humidity levels of your environment, ensuring the plant does not sit in water as it can lead to root rot.

  • sunLight

    Kaffir Lilies thrive in bright, indirect light. They should be placed in a spot where they receive filtered sunlight, such as a north-facing or east-facing window. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, so it's important to avoid placing them in the harsh afternoon sun. However, they do need some light to bloom, so a completely shaded area is not ideal.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Kaffir Lilies prefer moderate temperatures, thriving in a range of 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. They can tolerate a minimum temperature of around 40 degrees Fahrenheit for short periods but should not be exposed to temperatures below this, as it can cause damage to the plant. The ideal temperature for promoting flowering is between 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning Kaffir Lilies is generally done to remove spent flower stalks and dead foliage to encourage new growth and maintain a tidy appearance. Prune after flowering by cutting back the flower stalks to the base. Occasional removal of yellow or damaged leaves throughout the year is also recommended. The best time for any major pruning is in the early spring before new growth begins.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for the Kaffir Lily, Clivia nobilis, should be well-draining and rich in organic matter. A mix of two parts peat, one part loam, and one part perlite or sand is suitable. The ideal soil pH for Clivia is between 5.5 and 6.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Kaffir Lilies should be repotted every 3 to 4 years, as they prefer to be somewhat pot-bound. It's best to repot them in spring, after the flowering period, into a slightly larger pot.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Kaffir Lily thrives at a humidity level between 40% and 60%. They can tolerate lower humidity, but for optimal growth, maintaining this range will help the plant to flourish.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Provide bright, indirect light and keep in temps of 50-70°F.

    • Outdoor

      Grow in dappled shade; protect from frost and harsh sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      9-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Clivia nobilis, commonly known as bush lily, begins its life cycle with seed germination, where the embryo emerges from the seed in favorable conditions. The seedling develops into a vegetative state with strap-like leaves, slowly establishing a strong root system. As it matures, the bush lily enters a growth phase of clump enlargement, where it produces offset bulbs that can be separated for asexual reproduction. The flowering stage occurs annually, typically in winter to early spring, with the plant producing a stout stalk topped with a cluster of red, orange, or yellow tubular flowers. After pollination, often by birds, it develops berry-like seed pods that ripen and release seeds, thus completing the cycle and enabling new plant generation. It is important to note that Clivia nobilis has a growth stage marked by periods of dormancy, usually in the summer months, when growth slows down before the next flowering cycle.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: Clivia nobilis, commonly known as Bush Lily, is typically propagated by division. The best time to propagate Bush Lily by division is in the spring or early summer, just after the plant has finished flowering. This popular method involves gently separating the offsets, which are the small side shoots or "pups" that develop at the base of the mother plant. Carefully remove the pups that have their own roots and a few leaves by teasing them apart from the main clump. Once the offsets are separated, pot them individually in their own containers using a well-draining potting mix. It's crucial to maintain a warm environment, ideally between 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit (about 18-24 degrees Celsius), and provide indirect light until the new plants are established. The separated offsets will then gradually develop into mature, blooming Clivia nobilis over the course of several seasons.