Ornithogalum Planting Guide

Ornithogalum (aka Star of Bethlehem, Chincherinchee, and a few other weird and wonderful nicknames) are a stunning South African variety - their blooms are prized as cut-flowers…. With a vase life of 2 weeks, there’s no wonder!

Ornithogalums are incredibly hardy, and will make a lovely spectacle in pots or straight into the garden.

These beauties are happy even in dry sites, as long as they have reasonable amounts of moisture during the Spring flowering season.

  • Find somewhere in the garden that’s free-draining, and gets full sun or part shade.
  • Loosen the soil to a depth of 15cm, and mix in some Bulb Food, or a general purpose fertilizer.
  • Plant just 4-6cm deep, and about the same distance for spacings (pointy side of the bulb facing upwards)
  • Give them a good watering to get the Bulbs kickstarted.

After flowering, it’s important to let the foliage die down completely before removing it - the leaves will gather sunlight, create food through photosynthesis, and fill the Bulb with all it needs to produce a stunning display next season.

Ornithogalum’s do well year after year without having to lift the Bulbs, however after around 4 years you may see a decline in flower numbers. If you do, it’ll be caused by an overcrowding of Bulbs. We’d recommend lifting the Bulbs and replanting.

Ensure that the leaves have fully died down before lifting (the ideal time to be doing this is around mid to late January). Once you’ve dug the Bulbs out, and separated the clumps, let the Bulbs dry for a few days.

Once the Bulbs have had their drying period, store them somewhere cool and dry until planting time (late March through to May).

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