Fire Lily Plant Care

What is Fire Lily Plant?

The flame will be the new color of your houseplant, but it won’t burn your house down. Fire Lily is one houseplant that can add up to the fantastic view of your collections, for its cluster of blossoms lasts until the few weeks of spring. So, when every plant around you is still in its sleepy (dormant) season, and spring is still a little long way ahead, you can count on Fire Lily to brighten up your home.

Native in South Africa, Fire Lily prefers tropical climates and blooms its best during the dry season. A family of Amaryllidaceae, this easy to grow but slow-growing plant is best planted anytime except summer.

Fire Lily Plant Care Basics

The fire lily, like any other South African plant, is a strong and powerful specimen. It needs frequent attention. Too much watering or light will damage the plant, so it’s better to know what’s good or bad for them. Be sure to read the content below for more information.

Gloriosa superba plant

Botanical Name: Gloriosa superba

Other names: Fire lily, natal lily, bush lily, clivia miniata, lily clivia

Plant Type: Evergreen Perennial, tubers 

Exposure to Sunlight: Partially shaded, bright indirect

Soil Type: Average and well-drained soil

Color: Green leaves, Yellow, Orange, Cream, Pink, Red flowers

Water: Moderate

Favorable Climate: Partly shady conditions

Preferable Fertilizer: Houseplant fertilizer

Propagation: Seeds, Basal Offset Division

Toxicity Warning: Toxic

Status: Rare

Height: 2 feet tall, 2-3 feet wide

Origin: South Africa

Below are the basic care tips on growing your own Fire lilies at home. Be sure to keep in mind each tip.

Recommended Potting Mix

A healthy fire lily plant requires good drainage. A container-grown plant will benefit from a thick and well-drained soil mix with shredded bark, such as those used for orchids. A cactus combination with sand is also an excellent option.

cactus soil mix

Watering Needs

Fire lilies require a moderate amount of water. Between waterings, leave the soil to dry out. Minimize watering during the early winter dormancy phase to keep the soil slightly below bone dry. Allow the top third of the soil to dry out between waterings, with the amount of time between waterings decreasing somewhat throughout the autumn and winter.

From late autumn onwards, your plant may lose its foliage, which is normal behavior for specimens at that time of year.

Ideal Lighting

Because fire lilies enjoy slightly shady environments, they make excellent houseplants. If you’re going to keep your plant indoors all year, make sure it’s in a bright window. Put your plant in a position with dappled sunshine or morning sun if you’re giving it an outside vacation during the summer months.

For quality growth, an hour or two of direct sunlight is ideal. Never place your plant in a dark location since bacterial diseases such as basal collapse are far too common for such a lovely specimen. The amount of sunshine determines irrigation frequency received each day; those in slightly darker areas must have significantly fewer irrigations than those in bright light.

Temperature & Humidity 

The beauty of a Gloriosa’s flowering is enhanced by the chilly dormant period. In November and December, store the plants in an unheated shed or garage to grow appropriately. During this time, the temperature of the plants should be between 40 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit (4 to 16oC).

It’s preferable to acclimate fire lilies gently when moving their location from indoors to outdoors if the temperature difference is significant. Make sure to bring them inside before the temperature drops below freezing.

misting plants

The standard room humidity is more than enough to grow a Gloriosa, as too much moisture and poor air circulation will result in powdery mildew. Misting the flowers will produce botrytis petal blight, which can spread swiftly if not appropriately treated.


Your plants will benefit from a slow-release houseplant fertilizer. From January to August, apply a balanced 10-10-10 fertilizer, then in September and October, use a fertilizer designed to stimulate blooming. During the winter months preceding up to bloom time, do not fertilize.

Use a potassium-rich fertilizer at biweekly intervals to extend the blossoms during the holiday season – a Tomato Feed is a good example. Regular fertilizers, such as BabyBio or Miracle-Gro, will still work, favoring foliar development over root growth.


You can propagate fire lilies by gently digging and cutting them. The plant’s bottom will grow into thick roots that are easy to separate. Take the fire lilies from their pot and use a hose or a sink sprayer to remove the soil. One fan of leaves should be present in each division. Your fire lilies will not flower unless it has at least a dozen leaves.

Growth Zone

Fire Lilies can grow anywhere from USDA zones 9 (8) to 13. These areas will suit the plant’s growth and development. So make sure to check if your location will suit your plant’s needs.

It can grow from 20 to 60 centimeters in length or height, depending on the species. They’re all from the same bulbed type and have sword-shaped leaves. The oddly formed leaves emerge from the bulb straight up into the air, twisting a little as they go. The bulb size varies from half an inch to five inches in diameter, with the ends growing above the soil surface.

fire lily growth zone


Fire lilies will thrive for years in a container. A porous terra cotta pot will allow air to circulate the roots, which will help prevent decay. Instead of placing a saucer under the pot, use pot feet to allow excess water to drain.

Because fire lilies are slow-growing and prefer to be root bound, you won’t have to re-pot them very often. If the soil mix you used becomes compacted over time, give the fire lily a new pot of soil to keep the aeration going.


Its foliage will turn yellow shortly after blossoming and fade off in the early autumn. Once all of the foliage has discolored, cut it back an inch above the soil line with a clean pair of scissors or secateurs. You can either compost the tuber or take it from the ground and prune the tuber’s roots to leave it bare for the winter.

Fire Lily Varieties and Similar Plants

Fire Lily comes in varieties of colors like yellow, cream, pink, and red. Some types that are the only difference is the color would be Jenny, Doris, and Tiny Tim. Amaryllis is one plant similar to Fire Lily.

Fire Lily Diseases & Pests

The ever-consistent mealybugs can be one of the minor problems in your plant. Spider mites and lily borer or Amaryllis Caterpillar may also visit your precious plant. Spraying insecticidal soaps can help remove all these in no time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fire Lily is also best known as Flame Lily. Its genus name Gloriosa is derived from the Latin word ‘gloriosus,’ which refers to the flower’s appearance and may also mean fame and honor. Some also call the plant Glory Lily.

Fire Lily is poisonous because it contains a small amount of lycorine. Ingestion of large amounts of the plant can be dangerous. Kindly note that this plant is also toxic for your dog and cat pet.

Some research says Fire Lily promotes easing or labor pain. Some people also use it for treatments on gout, open wounds, snakebites, and some types of internal parasites.

Are you now confident of growing your own Fire lily plant and do some gardening? You can see some of this here on Plantly and grow your own fire lilies at the comfort of your home!

Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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