Clivia miniata: A Guide to the Bush Lily

Discover the Bush Lily, a striking plant known for its vibrant flowers and evergreen leaves.

Meet the Bush Lily, a member of the Amaryllidaceae family. This plant is a real showstopper with its trumpet-shaped flowers and dark green, strap-like leaves.

Clivias come in a range of flower colours including orange, yellow and red. The bright blooms appear from late winter to early spring.

You’ll be amazed at how well these plants will bloom even in low-light conditions. If you’re looking to add a splash of colour to a shady corner of your garden, this is the plant for you.

Stick around to find out how to care for this unique plant.

Family and Subfamily: AmaryllidaceaeAmaryllidoideae

The Amaryllidaceae family is a varied group, made up of both bulbous and herbaceous perennials. Their standout feature is their striking flowers, often accompanied by strap-like leaves.

In the Australian setting, they’re represented by plants such as Crinum lilies, Hippeastrum, and of course, the Bush Lily. These adaptable plants can be seen in diverse environments, from coastal spots and rainforests to dry areas.

Within this broad family, the Amaryllidoideae subfamily is recognised by its six tepals and a prominent ovary. Many, like the Bush Lily, possess bulbs or rhizomes and are admired for their vibrant blooms.

Bush Lily: Basic Information

  • Common Name: Bush Lily
  • Scientific Name: Clivia miniata
  • Origin: South Africa
  • Family: Amaryllidaceae
  • Subfamily: Amaryllidoideae
  • Type: Perennial
  • Size: 45-60 cm high, 30-45 cm wide
  • Leaves: Dark green, strap-like, 30-60 cm long
  • Flower: Orange, red, or yellow; trumpet-shaped

Appearance and Features

Clivia miniata flower | Plant Profiles

The Bush Lily grows in clumps and typically reaches a height of 45-60 cm. Its dark green leaves are long and strap-like, measuring between 30-60 cm.

Come late winter or early spring, you’ll see clusters of trumpet-shaped flowers in shades of orange, red, or yellow. The plant also produces orange berries after the flowering season.

Natural Habitat

Originally from the eastern provinces of South Africa, the Bush Lily is commonly found in forests and grasslands.

Because this species isn’t native to Australia, be sure to check whether it’s considered an invasive species in your region.

How to Grow Bush Lily

Clivia miniata plant | Plant Profiles

People often choose to grow the Bush Lily for its vibrant flowers and low-light tolerance. However, be cautious; it can be toxic to pets.

Growing Conditions

  • Soil: Well-draining, pH 6.0-7.0
  • Light: Partial to full shade
  • Climate: Cool to temperate; not frost-tolerant

Planting Guide

Plant your Bush Lily in spring or early summer. Space the clumps about 45-60 cm apart.

Care and Maintenance

Water moderately and let the soil dry a bit between waterings. In spring, apply a balanced slow-release fertiliser.

Prune spent flowers and dead leaves in early spring. Mulch annually with organic material like compost or bark chips.

Pest and Disease Control

Look out for aphids, mealybugs, and scale insects. Treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil and remove infected leaves.

Special Features

The Bush Lily’s vibrant flowers are a garden highlight. Plus, its evergreen leaves and shade tolerance make it a versatile choice.

Wildlife and Pollinators

The Bush Lily attracts bees and butterflies and offers nectar to native Australian birds.

Uses in the Garden and Beyond

The Bush Lily works well as a border plant or in mass plantings. However, be aware that it’s toxic to pets.

Bush Lily FAQ

How tall does the Bush Lily grow?

It typically grows to a height of 45-60 cm.

Is the Bush Lily toxic to pets?

Yes, the Bush Lily can be toxic to pets if ingested.

What kind of light does the Bush Lily need?

The Bush Lily thrives in partial to full shade, making it ideal for darker areas of the garden.

Photo of author

Linda Jones

Based in sunny Brisbane, Linda has a keen interest in ornamental plants. She firmly believes that gardens are as much about aesthetics as they are about functionality. Despite being a life-long gardener, she still enjoys learning about new plants and gardening techniques and sharing her discoveries with the Ultimate Backyard community. When she's not immersed in her garden, Linda loves reading and walking.


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