How to Plant Nutans Silver Bells


The "Silver Bells" plant is also called drooping star-of-Bethlehem, and has the scientific name of ornithogalum nutans. It is a bulb plant and a member of the hyacinth family. It is fairly easy to grow and produces white star-shaped belled flowers that give off a sweet scent as well. They are semi cold-hardy and are best suited for gardeners in zones 6 to 10, or can be grown indoors.

Step 1

Choose a good location to plant your bulbs. Silver bells plants like either partial or full sun and prefer well-drained soil. Make sure a container, if used, is big enough to handle this mid-size plant; it grows to be a foot tall with good care.

Step 2

Timing is not key in planting bulbs; they can go in the ground in the spring as early as May if the last frost danger is past in your area. Or, you can start them indoors in containers and move them outside when it is warm enough. You also can plant them in the fall or winter if you are in an area where the ground does not freeze. They will go dormant for the colder months and sprout in the spring.

Step 3

In a container, use balanced potting soil designed for bulb plants. It should be labeled as such, or may be labeled for hyacinth, tulips, or orchids. Outdoors, amend soil if needed with mulch, compost and organic material; it should be loose, not wet, and rich.

Step 4

Prepare holes for the bulbs. Dig small holes about three inches deep and half a foot apart from each other to give the plants room to grow. Plant bulbs with the pointed ends up.

Step 5

Water the bulbs. Give them a good soaking to encourage rooting. They will bloom in late spring or early summer.

Things You'll Need

  • Silver bells bulbs
  • Appropriate container
  • Balanced potting soil
  • Hand cultivator
  • Garden gloves, if desired
  • Water


Keywords: how to plant silver bells, ornithogalum nutans planting, growing silver bells bulbs

About this Author

Kim Hoyum is a Michigan-based freelance writer. She has been a proofreader, writer, reporter and editor at monthly, weekly and daily publications for five years. She has a Bachelor of Science in writing and minor in journalism from Northern Michigan University.