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How to Plant Ixia Bulbs

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How to Plant Ixia Bulbs

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Overview

Ixia bulbs are commonly called African corn lily or corn flower and belong to the Iridaceae family. Ixia bulbs include 50 species, originate in South Africa and are available in an array of colors. Planting Ixia bulbs in the fall provides you with an abundance of beautiful blossoms late in the following spring. Ixia bulbs will survive outside in USDA hardiness zones 6 to 7 mulched, or in zones 8 and 9 without mulch, according to the North Carolina State University.

Step 1

Select locations to plant Ixia bulbs providing full sun and rich, well draining soil. Plant several ixia bulbs together in areas protected from the wind.

Step 2

Dig holes deep enough to allow 4 inches from the tops of the bulbs to the surface of the soil. Space the bulbs 4 inches apart.

Step 3

Place a bulb with the tip up in the hole and cover with soil. Soak the soil with water after planting to remove air pockets.

Step 4

Cover the area around the ixia bulbs with 3 to 4 inches of mulch. This retains moisture, deters weeds and provides cold protection through the winter.

Step 5

Water the growing ixia bulbs throughout the next year's growing season but only during extreme dry periods.

Step 6

Supply a water-soluble basic fertilizer one time in the fall to supply needed nutrients to the growing bulbs. According to Easy to Grow Bulbs, this is not necessary, but "encourages more flowers, larger blossoms and longer life for your bulbs."

Things You'll Need

  • Hand trowel
  • Water
  • Shovel
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer

References

  • North Carolina State University: Ixia Hybrids
  • Easy to Grow Bulbs: Ixia (African Corn Lily) Growing Instructions

Who Can Help

  • Pacific Bulb Society: Ixia
  • Washington State University: Ixia (Iridaceae)
Keywords: African corn lily, corn flower, planting Ixia bulbs, growing ixia bulbs

About this Author

Diane Dilov-Schultheis has been writing professionally since 2000. She is a food and travel writer who also specializes in gaming, satellites, RV repair, gardening, finances and electronics. She is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and has been published on Yahoo!, the Travel Channel and Intel.