Ixia bulbs are winter growers and should be planted in early fall and watered to start them into growth. In mild areas they may be grown outside in a sunny positions but in cold winter areas they need frost protection. They are suitable for planting directly into a bed in a cool glasshouse which is kept just-frost-free, or for growing in pots, although many of them are a little tall for this purpose. After reaching the end of their growing season in late spring they can be dried off for the summer months.
Planting ixia bulbs:
- In the Fall, choose a spot that is somewhat sunny and that has nicely well-draining soil.
- Planting ixia bulbs is fairly simple. Bulbs look much like a small onion, with wiry roots growing out of one site and a spike on the other. Plant with the roots pointing down and the spike pointing up.
- Follow the rule of thumb when planting bulbs and give the bulbs at least 2 times their height of soil above them. Dig a 3-4 inch deep hole, drop the bulb into it and cover with soil.
- Regarding the spacing between bulbs, if planting in beds, leave approx 3 inches between each cluster of bulb. If you are planting in containers, you can space them a little closer together.
- After planting, water well so that the soil above the bulbs settles.
- Ixia bulbs will begin to flower in the late Spring. After the flowers die down, the plant can enjoy a warmer rest period. You don't have to water too much during this rest period. Leaves will also die back and at this point, you can choose to tidy up the plant and remove the old leaves or just let nature take its own course.
- Sometimes, you will find Ixias are offered for spring planting in order to flower in the summer. These are ixia corms which has been stored through winter to prevent them growing. For the first flowering season after planting they will grow in summer, but after that they will try to revert to their normal autumn/winter growing habit unless they are dug up at the end of that first season and dried off again for the winter. On the whole this is not very satisfactory and it is probably best to regard them as summer bedding for one season only, then discard them.