How to grow Ixia bulbs

Written by drue tibbits
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How to grow Ixia bulbs
Ixia is also called the corn lily. (Wikimedia Commons)

Ixia, a member of the [ris family of flowers, is a deciduous perennial that grows in the winter and is dormant in the summer. There are about 50 species of Ixia, and numerous hybrids have been developed. Ixia blooms in late spring with charming, star-shaped flowers. Depending on the cultivar, the flowers can be pink, white, red, yellow or even turquoise-blue. Ixia can be grown outdoors in areas that have hot, dry summers, but they are more commonly grown in pots or hanging baskets.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • 4.5 litre (1 gallon) planting container
  • Stone chips
  • Potting mix
  • Sand
  • Ixia corms (sometimes called bulbs)
  • Fertiliser

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  1. 1

    Place stone chips in the bottom quarter of a planting container, then fill the rest of the container with a mixture of potting mix and sand in equal measures. Autumn is the best time to plant Ixia.

  2. 2

    Dig a hole in the planting container 7.5 m (3 inches) wide and 15 cm (6 inches) deep. Put 2.5 cm (1 inch) of sand in the hole.

  3. 3

    Place the Ixia corm in the hole. Position the corm so that the pointed end faces upward and the flatter end is at the bottom of the hole.

  4. 4

    Fill in the hole with potting mix. Water the planting container thoroughly until the soil is moist.

  5. 5

    Place the planting container in a location that receives at least six hours of sun. Once the shoots appear above the soil, place the Ixia in a location that receives full sunlight exposure.

  6. 6

    Water the Ixia thoroughly, once a week, during its growing season. Flowers will bloom in the late spring.

  7. 7

    Fertilise the growing Ixia sparingly. Use only low-nitrogen organic fertilisers and follow the package directions.

Tips and warnings

  • When the Ixia's leaves begin to dry, that signals the beginning of their dormant period. They should not receive any water when they are dormant.
  • Ixia can be planted in groups. Plant them 7.5 cm (3 inches) apart.

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