How to grow Star of Bethlehem flowers

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How to grow Star of Bethlehem flowers
Star of Bethlehem blooms in the spring. (Getty creative)

Star of Bethlehem, or Ornithogalum umbellatum, is a perennial with small, delicate white flowers. It's native to parts of the Middle East and Eastern Europe, but can grow well elsewhere. The plant is generally 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 inches) in height and blooms in the spring.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Plant Star of Bethlehem flowers in full sun to partial shade. The plant may have fewer flowers or grow slower if placed in an area that is too shady.

  2. 2

    Water the plants regularly, but do not overwater. The Star of Bethlehem is generally low maintenance, but you do want well drained soil. If water is still puddling around the plant after several hours, you may want to move the plant to another location.

  3. 3

    Propagate Star of Bethlehem flowers by dividing the bulbs. Star of Bethlehem grows well in both flower beds and in pots. Space the new plants about 12 to 15 cm (5 to 6 inches) apart.

  4. 4

    Watch for invasive growth by the Star of Bethlehem flowers. This species can spread easily and overtake nearby lawn and other flowers. The waxy leaves are also resistant to herbicides so getting rid of this plant in unwanted areas can be a challenge. Digging up the bulbs is one solution but because it can propagate rapidly, you may need to stick with this over time.

  5. 5

    Recognize that the Star of Bethlehem can be poisonous to livestock and other animals. The foliage and bulbs can make animals sick from the toxic alkaloids. Plant with care in areas where dogs, cats or other animals may be tempted to sample the leaves.

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