Why Clivias Stop Flowering | How to Encourage More Blooms

Clivias can stop flowering if there is too much nitrogen in the soil. The plant will focus on growing lots of leaves and not flowers. Plants that are too young will not produce flowers until they are at least 3 years old and those in deep shade may also struggle to flower. Clivias need 4-6 months of cooler weather around 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit to flower in Spring.

Clivia plants can flower at different times of the year depending on the species of clivia and the climate. In sub-tropical regions clivias flower in spring and again in fall and into winter. In cooler climates that generally start flower in spring and summer.

How to get lots of large blooms on clivias.

1. Too much nitrogen

Clivia plants grown in soil that contains too much nitrogen will focus most of their energy on growing leaves and not flowers. If the nitrogen ratio is too high you will get rapid plant growth and good healthy green leaves but no flowers.

To fix this problem, give your clivias a feed of flower and fruit promoting fertilizer. This can be given in liquid form or slow release granules. This will decrease the nitrogen to phosphorus to potassium ratio and encourage the plant to flower.

2. Young plants

Young clivia plants that are less than three years old will not always flower. The plant will spend the first 3 years establishing a strong root system and lots of leaves. After this time the plant will be ready for its first flowers in the next spring.

For flowers as quick a possible purchase a larger established plant from your garden center. Plants sold in spring will usually have a flower head already appearing. You can leave the plant in this pot until fall or plant it out into your garden.

3. Too much shade

Clivia plants are shade-lovers but too much shade can stop them from flowering. Those planted in deep shade that get no filtered light are less likely to flower.

To encourage clivias to flower it is idea that the plants get bright, filtered light for at least 3-4 hours in the morning. Make sure they are protected from the harsh afternoon sun otherwise they could get sunburnt.

For more on protecting clivias from sunburn check out my previous article here: Sunburnt Clivias | 5 Ways to Help Plants Recover

4. Missed out on the cold period

Clivias need a cold period of 4-6 weeks over winter to allow the plant to flower in spring. Indoor clivias can be moved outdoors to a protected area if you get mild winters. For regions that get very cold winters, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, move them inside a garage or basement.

Remember to keep the plant moist throughout this time, adding water every few weeks. Do not add fertilizer during winter as they will be dormant. Bring them outside again when the weather warms in spring. They will be ready to form their first flower buds in spring and can continue to bloom throughout summer.

How to get more flowers on clivias

There are lots of ways to get more flowers on clivia plants. Here are my top tips for getting the most flowers out of your clivia plants.

1. Add a fruit and flower promoting fertilizer

The first thing you can do if you have lots of leaf growth but no flower buds by spring is to add a fruit and flower promoting fertilizer. This will increase the ratio of phosphorus compared to nitrogen stimulating the plant to produce blooms.

If you have planted clivias in soil that contains lots of nitrogen the plant will focus its energy on lots of leaf growth. This is great for your plant in the long term but if you want flowers it is time to tip the balance to more phosphorus and less nitrogen.

2. Move them outside for a cold period in winter

For indoor clivia plants it is important to move them outside for a 4-6 week period to experience a cold snap. If you get mild winters, you can move them outdoors in a protected spot. They can be damaged from frost so keep them undercover.

For very cold regions, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, move clivias into a garage or basement. Keep the soil moist but don’t give them fertilizer. This will help to prompt the plant to develop flower buds which will sprout in spring.

3. Make sure they have enough light

The next step is to make sure that clivias are getting enough light. While these are shade loving plants, they still need enough light to promote flowers. I find that clivias that get the most sunlight in early spring will flower before any of the others.

Plant clivias in a position that gets morning filtered light and afternoons shade. Filtered light can come from shade from trees which will allow some light to flow through between leaves and branches but still protect clivias.

You will need to find a happy balance between light to get flowers early but prevent sunburn in late spring and summer.

Why Clivias Stop Flowering | Summary

Clivias can stop flowering if the plant is growing in too much shade, if there is too much nitrogen in the soil or if they don’t get the cold snap they need over winter. Clivias can bounce back and produce flowers in spring, summer and continue into fall.

Clivias have a long flowering period in areas with mild climates. Choose a variety of clivia varieties to get different colored flowers throughout the year.

Happy growing.