The Kaffir lily is a stemless plant with sword-like resilient leaves. Dark green leaves grow in length by 40-70 cm, and in breadth by 5-8 cm. A rosette is formed from the basal leaves, by tightly covering each other. The structure of the outlet resembles a fan. The leaves grow slowly and only 5-10 new ones are added per season.

Peduncles with ribbed edges may be several. The boom pasture is 20-40 cm in height. The umbellate inflorescence has from 12 to 30 bell flowers, up to 15-20 cm in diameter. 

The flowering period falls on March-August and lasts 3-4 weeks. The most common are red-orange bell-shaped flowers. In a number of hybrid species, the color changes from pink to yellow or white. When flowering, Kaffir lily exudes a light aroma.

Kaffir lily also has a fruit in the form of a berry.

Kaffir lily is considered a transitional species from bulbous to rhizomatous plants. The plant has a short rhizome with thick and succulent roots.

A characteristic difference between a flower and other plants is the absence of a bulb.

Kaffir Lily Features

  1. Kaffir lily is actively used in pharmacology. Its roots and leaves contain the toxic substance lycorine. When it enters the body, it causes salivation and vomiting, and in large quantities, paralysis.
  2. When keeping Kaffir lily at home, rest time is required when it is placed in a cool room and watering is limited.
  3. For comfortable conditions, the Kaffir lily will “thank” in adulthood by flowering twice a year.
  4. The flower does not like change. No need to once again move the pot from place to place, turn it in the flowering or budding phase. Replanting often is also not worth it until the rhizomes emerge from the drainage hole.

Kaffir lily is a long-lived plant. With proper care, the flower lives up to 40 years.

Kaffir Lily

Landing and Transplanting Kaffir Lily

When preparing to plant a Kaffir lily, take care of choosing a pot. It should be high and deep, with drainage holes. This is due to the fact that the plant has powerful roots growing deep into the soil. It is better to purchase a ceramic pot, it is more stable and slightly larger than the previous one – the difference should be literally a couple of centimeters. Kaffir lily feels much more comfortable in a cramped pot and blooms more readily.

Kaffir Lily in pot

The soil is loose, light, well-permeable to moisture and air, and slightly acidic – with a pH of about 6. Most often, gardeners use this mixture for planting:

  1. Sod land – 2 parts.
  2. Leaf humus – 1 part.
  3. Peat – 1 part.
  4. Perlite or coarse sand can be added as a baking powder, and charcoal acts as an antiseptic.

Only young Kaffir lilies are transplanted annually. It is better not to touch adult plants for 2-3 years. It is necessary to transplant them only if the roots have sprouted through the drainage hole, or the plant is sick.

The transplant process begins only after the flowering of the Kaffir lily.

Step-by-step Process

Kaffir Lily in black pot
  1. Pour a layer of drainage into the new pot so that it completely covers the bottom. Then add earthen substrate.
  2. Carefully remove the plant from the old pot. It is not necessary to shake off the earth by force. Your task is not to harm the fragile roots. Injured roots can cause the death of the plant. Sprinkle damage immediately with crushed coal or ash.
  3. Transfer the Kaffir lily to the prepared pot, filling the sides with the remaining moist soil.
  4. Try not to deepen the root collar.
  5. After transplanting, do not water the Kaffir lily for several days, you can only lightly spray the top layer of the substrate. The wounds on the roots will heal during this time.
  6. Then continue the watering process as usual.
Kaffir Lily roots

After transplanting, try to put the plant exactly as it stood before. It is not necessary to turn the Kaffir lily with different sides to the light source every now and then.

Care Tips for Kaffir Lily

An undemanding flower with beautiful flowers will grow well on a windowsill oriented to the west or east.

For Kaffir lily, a lighted place is allocated, protected from direct sunlight in the summer months. Kaffir lilies can be transferred to the garden or balcony in the summer and placed in partial shade.

Kaffir Lily flower

Kaffir lily should be kept at a moderate temperature. In winter, when the plant has a dormant period, the temperature is maintained within + 10-15 °. In the remaining months, Kaffir lily needs + 22 °.

Watering is transferred to moderate (every 10 days) from the end of autumn until the peduncle grows 10-15 cm high. In the winter dormant period, watering will successfully replace the spraying of leaves and soil.

The Kaffir lily flower comes from an area with a hot climate and dry air, so it is not picky about humidity. The leaves should be wiped with a damp sponge and sprayed.

Kaffir Lily flowering

In the active state, the plant is fed after 1-2 weeks with fertilizer for flowering houseplants. A mixture of organic and mineral fertilizers or preparation with Biohumus is also suitable. During the dormant period, top dressing is not carried out until the appearance of the peduncle.

An excess of nitrogen in the soil causes a delay in the flowering of Kaffir lily, and an increased content of potassium causes flowering. Kaffir lilies that have grown in tubs for many years are not transplanted but provided with nutrients for growth by fertilizing.

The rest period after flowering in young plants is shorter than in adults. They need 2 months from September to November. Kaffir lilies over 5 years old are left alone for all the autumn-winter months. The awakening of the plant signals the appearance of a peduncle.

Kaffir Lily orange flower

Flowering Kaffir lily

If you began to grow Kaffir lily from seeds, then you can wait for a full-fledged adult flower only after 3-4 years. Another way of breeding this crop can lead to the flowering of Kaffir lily already in the 2nd year after transplantation.

Kaffir Lily in pots

Sometimes Kaffir lily may not bloom at all, there may be various reasons for this.

One of them is the lack of rest and non-compliance with temperature conditions. With normal dormancy, the peduncle appears in February. Its length of 10 cm indicates that it is time to feed and water the plant, adding a temperature regime of 20 degrees. At this time, you can splash it, bathe it, or feed it with potassium in the form of potassium salt, potassium chloride, or sodium sulfate.

Reproduction of Kaffir Lily

Kaffir lily is propagated by dividing the bush, rooting children, or sowing seeds. Obtaining seeds at home greatly weakens the Kaffir lily and requires artificial pollination.

Kaffir Lily seeds

The seed ripening period occurs 7-9 months after flowering. Ripe berries should change color to red and soften. They are torn off and freshly placed in sand with peat, so as not to lose their germination. Embedding depth 1 cm.

Seedlings can be expected no earlier than after 1 month.

Kaffir lily, which was grown from seeds, will bloom only 4-5 years later, after wintering in a cool place.

Kaffir Lily Rest Period

The rest period is important for any living organism, Kaffir lily is no exception. On your part, the plant needs to be kept cool. To do this, it is desirable to clean it in a room with a 15-degree temperature.

Kaffir lily in October or early November wants to go into hibernation.

At this time, it should not be watered too often. Fertilizers are not added to the ground during this period. If your plant can rest well and recuperate, then next year you will be pleased with abundant flowering.

Kaffir Lily indoors

The hibernation period of the plant lasts 2-3 months.

It is also necessary to ensure that the body does not throw off the leaves, this is a signal for watering, but only slightly.

Pests and Diseases

Kaffir lily is resistant to pests, but its enemies include scale insects, rot, and mealybugs.

Damage by scale insects is manifested by the formation of brown plaques on the leaves. They feed on cell sap, which causes leaf discoloration and wilting.

Wiping with a sponge and soap will help to remove pests, followed by irrigation with an aqueous solution of Actellic at the rate of 2 ml per 1 liter of water.

Kaffir Lily leaves

Mealybugs infect flowers and leaves. White, woolly spots appear on a green background. The leaves curl, dry, and fall off. Possible complete death of Kaffir Lily.

At the first signs of damage, the leaves are wiped with soapy water and treated with the same preparation as for the scab. Wiping with a cotton swab moistened with methyl alcohol also helps. And subsequent spraying with melathion.

Signs of waterlogging are the brown edges of the leaves, rotting at the base. When dry, the leaves of Kaffir lily curl.