Ixias--also known as African corn lilies--are exotic flowering plants that have clusters of little blooms on each stem. Ixias are available in many colors and are favorite among gardeners who prefer a garden with a rainbow of colors. Ixias have small bulbous root systems and should be planted in the spring in USDA Zones 7 to 10.
Growing Ixias Outdoors
Select an area in your garden that receives full sun and is sheltered from heavy winds.
Amend the soil so that it is well draining, if necessary. If after several hours of a hard rain, puddles remain on top of the ground, the soil is not well draining. To fix, till in several inches of organic matter (e.g. compost, peat moss) to the top 12 inches of your soil.
Plant ixia bulbs so that the tips are four inches below the top of the soil. Space multiple bulbs about four inches apart.
Backfill the soil and use the palms of your hands to firm down the soil. Water the area well and push down on the soil again. This helps avoid any air pockets, which can eventually lead to root rot.
Water your ixia bulbs during dry spells and feel free to cut the blooms for fresh cut flowers. Ixias do not need fertilizer to do well.
Store ixias during the winter in a cool dry location, if necessary. Ixias are hardy bulbs that can survive underground during most winters. However, a hard winter, especially in zones 7 or 8, can kill them.
Growing Ixias Indoors
Choose a pot that has drainage holes and is at least eight inches deep.
Fill with a high quality potting soil so that it stops and inch or so below the rim of the pot.
Plant ixia bulbs so that the tips are four inches below the top of the soil. Space the bulbs only one inch apart.
Firm down the soil with the palms of your hands. Then water the newly planted bulbs well and push down on the soil again. This helps avoid any air pockets, which can eventually lead to root rot.
Place the container in full sun (near a south facing window, if possible) and keep the soil evenly moist.