Clivia roots are not invasive but will clump together and the plant will reproduce from a rhizome. Clivia plants are easy to grow and are easy to remove if they start to grow too big. Their roots are soft and tuberous similar to bird of paradise roots and are easy to cut with a spade.
This article will explore all you need to know about clivia roots, how deep they grow and where you should plant them.
How deep clivia roots grow
Clivia plants grow roots that usually grow to around 1 foot deep. Very advanced clivias that have grown into a clump that is 2 feet wide can have slightly deeper roots but they will still be easy to lift.
You can simply dig your spade in around the outside of the roots and lift the plant. You can cut off some roots with your spade and the clivia will still survive. As long as the clivia has at least 3-4 inches of roots left on they can be replanted and they will grow.
Although clivia clumps can grow large their roots remain relatively shallow. They grow from a rhizome which holds water making them drought tolerant. As long as they are planted in shade they will grow well with little water and healthy roots.
Do clivia roots invade other plants?
Clivia plants generally stay in their own clump and will not disturb or invade other plants with their roots. I have clivia plants growing very close to a lime tree and both are thriving well. I have planted these clivia plants near a wall which have thrived well.
These clivia plants had damaged roots when I planted them and they were lifted from a large clump. After 2-3 months they had established new roots and new, deep green leaves.
Should you plant clivia near your house?
Clivia do not have invasive roots so they won’t cause any problems if planted near your house. The best guide is to always leave at least 1-2 feet of room between any plants and the foundations of your house so that extra water is not absorbed away from the base of your house just to be safe.
Can you divide clivia plants and their roots?
Clivia plants can be lifted and divided as they grow larger. Clivia grow multiple stems from the same rhizome which can be split and be divided into individual plants.
Clivia can be lifted in fall or spring and split into more plants. Plant them into soil that has been improved with compost and aged cow manure and water them in well. Take care to bury them in the ground to the same level that they came out.
You can usually see the original soil level as the plant will become lighter in color where the stem was under the ground. Within a few weeks your clivia will have settled in and will start to grow new leaves and even flowers.
My clivias produced flowers within a few weeks after being replanted in fall. By winter they were covered in bright flowers and had grown new leaves.
Will clivias grow from roots?
Clivias will not grow from roots alone but can grow from a rhizome. If they have at least some stem and some roots they will grow from the central root base.
Clivias can be pruned back harshly when they are moved even removing up to 2/3 of the roots. These hardy plants will grow back rapidly if they are planted in good quality soil and are watered well. Once these plants are established they will survive on rainfall alone in a shady position.
How do you get rid of clivias?
If you have decided that clivia plants have taken over a space the solution is to lift the clump, divide it and give them to friends and family. Simply take a spade and dig around the outside of the plant. Dig the spade down with your foot as deep as possible.
Dig a circle around the clump until you start to feel it lift. You can then grab the top stems and lift the whole clump out of the hole. You can then shake off the extra soil so you can see each individual stem. You can then pull the individual stems apart or use your spade to split the clump.
Grab each individual stem and put it aside and this is a great gift for a friend. You can pot them up and give them away to neighbors or hand them out at a family barbeque.
What to do with old clivia roots
Once you remove a clivia clump and clean them up removing old, damaged roots you need to work out what to do with them. You can compost old roots pieces as they will not grow back if they are cut into small pieces.
Are clivia roots invasive? | Summary
Clivia roots are not invasive and they are the perfect plant to grow in a shady spot. They have soft roots that are great at absorbing moisture so will be drought hardy. These plants will grow in a clump over a number of years.
You can lift up clivia plants every 2-3 years, remove the extra stems and move them to a new place or give them away. Clivia plants are easy to dig up and simple to transplant.
Clivias are my favorite plant for filling a small gap between shrubs or a shady corner where nothing else will grow. Plant clivias in the best soil you can and add some aged cow manure before planting them. Clivias flower over winter and will grow beautiful orange flowers that last for weeks.
Clivia roots that are trimmed off can be composted as the roots will not grow back on their own. Clivia stems with a few roots can grow so don’t worry if a few roots get damaged when you are moving them. Clivia are forgiving so you can still grow a healthy plant from what looks like a damaged plant.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.