Native to South Africa, ixias or African corn lilies produce exotic star-shaped flowers with a dark eye dotted along slender wiry stems. Given the right conditions, they will reward you with years of blossoms and cut flowers.
Plant around 8-10 cm deep in well-drained, fertile soil that does not get water-logged in full sun, preferably against a wall for extra heat — adding a little grit or sharp sand to aid drainage, and allowing for around 50 to 100 corms per square meter. Please note that ixias are not suitable for heavy clay soils or for cold gardens and need to be protected from strong winds. 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. In late summer/early autumn, provide a deep layer of organic mulch and lift and store corms over winter in a dry frost free place with good air circulation.
Always unpack on arrival and store in cool place until ready to plant.
Potential problems, pests and diseases:
Generally, ixias do not usually suffer from any serious diseases. However, their bulbs can fail if grown in cold conditions or water-logged/poorly drained soil. Slugs and snails can also be a problem as they enjoy eating away at young shoots, stems, leaves and flowers. Watch out for damage and provide protection!