How to grow and care for Star of Bethlehem Plants
The Star of Bethlehem is a bulb type plant that produces upright clusters of fragrant 1-2" flowers in early summer. Ornithogalums can be grown in containers or as a House Plant These plants grow best in full sun but will tolerate partial shade in hotter regions.
Well draining soil is essential or the bulbs may rot rather than blooming. Star of Bethlehem are hardy in USDA zones 7-9 They are easily grown from bulbs planted in the spring for summer flowering or in the fall for spring blooms in the following year.
After flowering, Ornithogalum plants go into a dormant stage. Remove the old foliage after it dies back, then repot it in fresh soil, making sure only the base of the bulb is covered.
Feed monthly with a water soluble fertilizer while in growth.
How to Care for Orange Star Plants
The Orange Star Plant is a long blooming (1-3 months), frost tender bulb type plant that is native to the mountains and flats of South Africa. It is mainly grown for cut flowers and as flowering house plants. Orange Star Plants produce upright spires of beautiful, lightly fragrant, yellow to orange cup shaped flowers.
Propagating Star of Bethlehem Plants
Star of Bethlehem plants and other members of the Ornithogalum family can be grown from seeds sown in flats of moist mixture of peat moss and perlite in the spring. Cover the seeds lightly with peat moss, then seal the flat in a plastic bag and chill in the refrigerator for about three weeks.
Keep the flat watered under flourescent grow lights or in a shady part of the garden until germination, which can take anywhere from from one to six months. When the young seedlings develop their true leaves you can transplant them to their final location where it will take four years before you see their first flowers.
Star of Bethlehem can also be propagated by offset bulbs removed from the cluster and planted 4" deep in the spring through summer.