How to Grow Spring Star
Grow Guide #2610
Binomial name: Ipheion uniflorum
Life Cycle: Perennial
This 'How to Grow' guide details everything a home gardener needs to know to plant, grow and care for Spring Star (Ipheion uniflorum).
When to Plant Spring Star Bulbs
Use the table below to identify the best time of year to plant spring star bulbs in your climate.
Spring star plants are best grown in full sun or part shade. Choose a location that will receive at least 3 hours of full sun each day.
Spring star plants can be difficult to eradicate once they are established in the garden. Choose a permanent position in a garden bed or grow them in containers to prevent them spreading into unwanted areas.
Spring star plants need a loose, well drained soil enriched with organic matter. Prepare soil by weeding it thoroughly, digging it over to at least a spade’s depth to loosen the soil, and adding aged animal manure or compost. Organic matter can be dug into heavy soil to lighten it so roots can grow freely. Keep the area free of weeds until planting. Learn more about preparing soil for planting here.
Spring star plants can be grown in containers. If possible choose a variety that’s recommended for container growing. Use a good quality potting mix and make sure your container is large enough for mature plants; a minimum of 10 litres is recommended for spring star. During the growing season, keep in mind that container grown plants may need additional fertiliser to encourage healthy growth.
How to Plant Spring Star Bulbs
Spring Star bulbs should be planted directly in their final position in the garden or a container.
- Plant individual bulbs 7cm apart and 4cm deep with the pointed tip facing upwards.
- Cover with soil and water in well.
- Keep soil moist but not wet until shoots emerge.
How to Grow Spring star
Spring star plants may need watering during the growing season. Water when the soil is dry about 5cm below the surface (test this by scratching away a little soil with your finger). Water deeply in the early morning or late afternoon. Avoid watering the leaves of plants to avoid fungal diseases. Learn more about watering here.
If soil was well prepared no extra fertiliser should be necessary. In poor soil or to give your plants an extra boost, application of a high-potassium fertiliser or one formulated for flowering plants can be beneficial:
- Apply slow release fertiliser at the recommended rate when transplanting or when seedlings are 5-10cm tall.
- Apply liquid fertiliser at the recommended rate and frequency while plants are fruiting or flowering.
Spring star plants should flower in approximately 120-150 days.
Leave foliage to die down naturally after flowering; the bulb will absorb the nutrients in the leaves and use them to form the flowers for next season. Once all foliage has died down use sharp secateurs or snips to cut individual leaves at ground level if desired.
Spring star bulbs can remain in the ground for several years without the need to lift and divide them. Mulch heavily to protect bulbs from very hot temperatures over summer. Bulbs can be lifted in areas that experience wet summers, if they become overcrowded or to move them to a different location in the garden.
Common Problems when Growing Spring Star
Like all plants, spring star is susceptible to some pests, diseases and other problems. Below is a list of the most common problems gardeners encounter when growing spring star plants:
- Rotten bulbs are caused by pathogens entering bulbs after sitting in cold, wet soil, being temporarily waterlogged or being exposed to warm temperatures in winter. Bulbs may show obvious signs of rot, have no roots or shoots, or produce stunted yellow leaves but no flowers. Plant bulbs in free-draining soil, raised garden beds or containers; do not water bulbs over winter; and lift and store bulbs over winter if recommended for your climate.
- Slugs and snails are molluscs that feed on tender leaves and shoots, mostly at night, leaving slimy trails behind them. Control them by removing their hiding places, keeping free range poultry, collecting them by torchlight or by placing traps. Read more about slugs and snails here.