A member of the Hyacinth family, Ornithogalum (Star of Bethlehem) are bulbous perennials grown for their clusters of typically star-shaped, white flowers in spring or summer, depending on the species. They quickly form large clumps of grassy or strap-like leaves. Perfect for the early summer garden, they are beautiful garden plants and deserve a spot in borders, open woodlands, rockeries or large containers. They also make outstanding cut flowers, lasting 1-3 weeks in a vase.
1. Select The Right Site
- Best flowering occurs in full sun or light shade.
- Ornithogalum perform best in organically rich, medium moisture, well-drained soil.
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2. Planting Your Ornithogalum Bulbs
- Plant in fall for spring flowering.
- Dig a hole and plant your Ornithogalum bulbs 3-6 in. deep (7-15 cm) and 4-6 in. apart (10-15 cm).
- If you feel you live in an environment that might be borderline for plant hardiness, place the bulb deeper below the soil line. Not sure about your growing zone? Check here.
- Set the Ornithogalum bulb with the pointed ends facing up. Cover the bulb with soil and water as needed. Protect in colder areas with a deep mulch over winter.
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- Water lightly until top growth emerges, then moderately during the growing season.
- After the blooms from the flower bulbs have faded, deadhead them by clipping off the spent blooms so that they do not go to seed to prevent spreading.
- After blooming is over, keep the leaves so that the plant can put its energy back into its bulb for next spring’s blooming. The leaves give an energy charge to the bulb through photosynthesis and for this they need to keep their leaves!
- When the leaves begin to yellow, withhold water. Remove the foliage when it withers and dies back.
- Dig and divide plantings of all species only when plant vigor and bloom quality decline.