Growing Ornithogalum Bulbs

In the fairly large genus of bulbous plants known as ornithogalums, there are many varieties suitable for the border or rock garden and for cutting. Most are hardy but a few need the protection of a greenhouse.

Any good, well-drained soil will suit the bulbs, which are seen at their best when planted in bold groups. Plant the hardy varieties from September to November, and with some of the choicer kinds, a light top-dressing of decayed manure or peat applied in the early part of the year will keep them in good free-flowering condition.

Ornithogalum nutans produces in May and June umbels of silvery-grey flowers, shaded green on the outside, on 6 to 9-in. stems. It is particularly good for growing in grass or under trees, where it will increase freely.

Ornithogalum umbellatum, the Star of Bethlehem, freely produces starry white flowers on 10 to 12-in. stems in May. It increases rapidly but if the clumps are lifted and divided every three years, it proves an effective and attractive subject for the front of the border.

Excellent for growing in the conservatory, but suitable also for growing out of doors in warm, well-drained positions is Ornithogalum thyrsoides, commonly known as the Chincherinchee. This has long, thickish foliage and a dense head of starry white flowers borne on stems 15 in. or more high. It has become very popular during recent years, not only for use in the conservatory and out of doors, but because it makes a first-class cut flower. If cut, when the buds are just opening, the flowers will last in water for four or five weeks.

The bulbs should be planted 3 to 4 in. deep from mid-April onwards and this species should be lifted in the autumn before frosts.


08. July 2011 by admin
Categories: Bulbs and Corms, Ornithogalum, Plants | Tags: | Comments Off on Growing Ornithogalum Bulbs


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