How to plant ipheions

Also known as spring starflowers, ipheions produce sweetly scented star-shaped flowers and almost semi-evergreen foliage on slender stems. Although they will need a year to establish, they will soon develop into large clumps and will produce at least three stems per bulb that will bloom from late march until the heat of late spring puts a stop to the flowering. Excellent for the garden border or rockery, these robust beauties can also be planted in pots or in a cool conservatory/glasshouse. Beautiful and inexpensive, they should be more widely grown. Try mixing with ornithogalums, narcissi, tulips and scillas.

Plant around 10 cm deep and approximately 5 cm apart in moderately fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil ⁠in full sun — allowing for around 50 to 75 bulbs per square meter. Ensure that the soil is not allowed to dry out and feed every couple of weeks with high potash feed; if you garden organically liquid, seaweed is ideal as it is organic and comes from a sustainable source. Allow the foliage to die back naturally after flowering to help plants retain their energy. Apply a layer of mulch such as bark chippings in late autumn to provide added winter protection. Lift and divide congested clumps every three to four years.

Always unpack bulbs on arrival and store in a cool place until ready to plant.

Potential problems, pests and diseases:

Ipheions do not usually suffer from any serious diseases or pests problem. However, slugs and snails can be an issue as they enjoy eating their foliage. To avoid this, provide protection.

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