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If you are after a crisp white bulb for your spring garden, take a look at the tongue twisting Ornithogalums (Ornithogalum spp.). There are many species available, all providing lovely white blooms in compact forms. Some arescented and some have the ability to be dyed different colours after picking. Great for mass plantings, around borders and rockeries.


How to grow ornithogalums in a garden

  1. Choose a well drained spot in the garden that attracts full sun to part shade.
  2. Enrich the soil with some compost and Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser before planting.
  3. Place bulbs directly where the plant is to grow at a depth of 7 cm and space 15 cm apart.
  4. Cover with soil.
  5. Keep the soil nice and moist ensuring not to overwater.
  6. When flower buds appear feed every 1 to 2 weeks with Yates Thrive Roses and Flowers Liquid Plant Food
  7. After the flowers and foliage die, lift the bulbs from the soil and store them in a cool dry place ready for the next season.  Otherwise, bulbs can be left in the soil undisturbed until the following season.

     
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How to grow ornithogalums in a pot

  1. Choose a pot that has adequate drainage holes and place it in a position that gets full sun to part shade.
  2. Fill the pot with Yates Potting Mix with Dynamic Lifter.
  3. Place bulbs directly into the pot at a depth of 7 cm deep and 15 cm apart.
  4. Cover with soil.
  5. Keep the soil nice and moist ensuring not to overwater.
  6. When flower buds appear feed every 1 to 2 weeks with Yates Thrive Roses and Flowers Liquid Plant Food
  7. After the flowers and foliage die, lift the bulbs from the soil and store them in a cool, dry place ready for the next season.

Growing tips

  • These bulbs dislike having wet feet but don’t like to dry out as well. Try to keep the soil lightly moist to give them the best chance at growth.
  • Great for planting in clumps and mass displays.
  • Take care when planting where young kids play or pets roam, as the plant can be poisonous.
  • There are three widely grown species. These include

Chincherinchee (O.thyroides)
This species grows to approximately 30 cm tall and produces a mass of papery white flowers when in bloom. The uniqueness of this variety is that the flower colour can easily be changed by dipping the stems in dye or ink.

Arab’s Eye (O. arabicum
This species gets its name from the eye that is formed by the papery white petals of the flower that surround a black centre. This is a great choice for strong scents in the garden.

Star of Bethlehem (O.umbellatum)
This differs from the other species in that the flowers have a waxy form with green stripes appearing on the underside of the petals.

 


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