Also known as spring starflowers, ipheions produce sweetly scented star-shaped flowers held on slender stems and bear an almost semi-evergreen foliage. Gradually developping into bold clumps, these robust beauties are excellent for the garden border or rockery where they will produce at least three stems per bulb. They can also be planted in pots and be grown in a cool conservatory or glasshouse. Beautiful and inexpensive, these bulbs should be grown more widely.
Ipheions grow well in dappled shade to full sun, in moderately fertile, humus rich well-drained soil that does not dry out. Plant them around 10 cm deep and approximatively 5 cm apart, allowing for 50 to 75 bulbs per square meter. 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.
Ipheion bulbs are hardy; the flowers appearing from late march until the heat of late spring puts a stop to the flowering. Allow the foliage to die back naturally to help retain their energy and apply a layer of mulch like bark chippings in late autumn to provide added winter protection.
Lift and divide congested clumps every three to four years.
Always wear gloves when handling any part of the bulb or plant since they can cause skin irritation.
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.