Position – Full sun or part shade
Soil – Well-drained
Flowering Period – Spring, summer
Hardiness – Tender to fully hardy (dependent on variety)
Ornithogalum are bulbous perennials with elegant open-mouthed blooms and strap-shaped foliage that greet us during spring and summer. Most species are Native to South Africa and Southern Europe. They are best suited to flower beds, borders and containers, making an attractive addition as cut flowers in a vase too. You should expect to see Ornithogalum grow to an approximate height of 25cm (10”) and a spread of 50cm (20”). PLEASE NOTE: All parts of this plant may cause severe discomfort if ingested and may irritate your skin.
Ornithogalum are best planted in well-drained soil of loam set within an acidic, alkaline or neutral PH balance. If you have poorly draining soil, you may wish to amend the site with grit and organic matter to improve overall drainage, preventing your plants from becoming water logged. Dig a hole and plant your bulbs about 8cm (3”) deep and 16cm (6”) watering thoroughly to settle the bulbs in place. They will thrive best in full sun, although will tolerate part shade.
When Ornithogalum are in bloom, they can be used as cut flowers within the home – this will not cause any detriment to your plants. Once the blooming period has finished, you should leave the foliage in place as the leaves gather sunlight to create a vital energy source for the following season. Water when appropriate during active periods of growth, decreasing the volume needed when necessary during the winter. As some varieties are tender, they will require winter protection and must be kept in frost free conditions.
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