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How to Grow a Sunstar Plant

By M.H. Dyer ; Updated September 21, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Will Need

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


  • If you have problems with squirrels digging up freshly-planted bulbs, put a layer of chicken wire over the bulbs and then cover the area with mulch. Remove the chicken wire when the ground has frozen.

About the Author


M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.