How to Grow a Sunstar Plant


Plant sunstar, or ornithogalum dubium, bulbs in autumn, and in early spring,and you'll have clumps of brightly-colored, star-shaped blooms in shades of yellow, tangerine and orange. Sunstar grows on short stems, making it a perfect to plant along the border of a spring garden. The blooms make great cut flowers as well, and can stay fresh and lovely in a vase of water for up to two weeks.

Step 1

Purchase sunstar bulbs in the fall, about six to eight weeks before the ground freezes. Look for bulbs that are large, firm, and free of soft spots or blemishes. Plant the bulbs as soon as possible after you bring them home. If you need to wait a few days, store the bulbs in a cool, dark place.

Step 2

Choose a spot in sun or partial shade, and prepare the soil for the sunstar bulbs. Dig a hole, and work a scoop of well-rotted manure or compost into the soil.

Step 3

Plant the bulbs about four inches deep. Sunstar is especially lovely planted in groups. To do this, dig a trench and plant the bulbs in groups of six to 24, depending on available space, or dig a hole for up to 10 bulbs. Either way, leave a space between each sunstar bulb, and don't allow them to touch.

Step 4

Water the bulbs well. When the weather cools, put a two-inch layer of organic mulch to keep the soil moist and to protect the bulbs from cold during the winter months.

Things You'll Need

  • Ornithogalum dubium (sunstar) bulbs
  • Shovel
  • Well-rotted manure or compost
  • Organic mulch


  • dubium
  • San Marcos Growers: Ornithogalum dubium
  • Flower Bulb Planting Tips
Keywords: sunstar plant, Ornithogalum dubium, organic mulch

About this Author

M.H. Dyer is a long-time writer, editor and proofreader. She has been a contributor to the East-Oregonian Newspaper and See Jane Run magazine, and is author of a memoir, “The Tumbleweed Chronicles, a Sideways Look at Life." She holds an Master of Fine Arts from National University, San Diego.