Orange Star Plant (Ornithogalum Dubium): Care and Growing Guide (Pictures)

Orange star plant is a lovely decorative specimen with clusters of star-shaped orange blooms set amid lime-green leaves on the end of long stems. The orange star blossoms make a gorgeous bouquet of 15 to 20 little flowers with six triangular orange petals, and it is also known as the Star of Bethlehem and Sun Star. The orange star plant prefers sandy soil with plenty of sunlight throughout the day.

Growing an orange star plant in a garden setting is the subject of this article. While growing the bulbous blooming plant is simple, ensuring that the orange blossoms last the whole season requires a few particular care steps. Moreover, while growing orange-flowering plants, you’ll learn how to overcome difficulties.

Orange Star Plant Facts

The orange star plant (Ornithogalum dubium) belongs to the hyacinth family Scilloideae and is a bulbous plant. The orange star plant grows between 12 and 20 inches (30 and 50 cm) tall as an attractive perennial plant. The leaves of the plant, which are lanceolate and reach 4″ to 10″ (10 – 25 cm), are dark green to lime-green.

Orange star plants are native to South Africa, and their natural habitat is there. The plant thrives in sandy soil and gets enough sunlight in the wild. Winter or spring are typically when clusters of orange flowers bloom. Depending on the amount of light and temperature, the six-petalled blooms range in color from orange to purple.

In hot and humid climates, orange star plants flourish in USDA zones 7 through 11. In rock gardens, where it will bloom year after year from bulbs, the lovely orange plant looks spectacular. You may dig up and overwinter the bulbs before planting the following spring if you live in colder areas.

Orange star plants may be cultivated in pots indoors. Potted orange star plants don’t bloom well in the home due to the plant’s special sun requirements. Nonetheless, in floral compositions, the orange flower clusters are charming cut flowers.

How to Care For Orange Star Plant

Grow the bulbs in well-drained loamy soil in the hottest area of your garden to look after an orange star plant. When the top 2 inches of soil are dry, water the ground. To keep the ground moist on hot summer days, water frequently. Every four to six weeks, apply a diluted fertilizer. Place the plant in bright sunlight for at least six hours if you grow a potted orange star plant indoors. Never let the soil dry out or become waterlogged, and only water the potting mix when the top layer is dry.

Orange Star Flower

The decorative orange blooms of orange star flower clusters are the primary appeal. Six petals, arranged in an open cup shape, make up each star-shaped orange blossom, which is 1″ (2.5 cm) across. The orange plant is surrounded by a brown or black flower in the middle. Five to 25 orange blooms make up a cluster of flowers.

Orange Star (Ornithogalum dubium) Care Guide

Let’s explore how to cultivate an orange star plant so that it lasts for a long time and produces flowers year after year.

Where to Grow Orange Star Plant

In the brightest area in your garden, plant orange star plant (Ornithogalum dubium) bulbs. A site with sandy or loamy soil that drains well is also a good option. As a result, orange star bulbs may be planted in a rock garden or raised bed in your yard.

Orange Star Plant Light Requirements

Full sun, at least six hours of daily sunlight, is required for orange star plants. More flowers and a longer blooming period are ensured by growing sun star plants in direct light. Provide some afternoon shade on scorching sunny days. In the shade, sun star plants struggle.

Therefore, avoid putting orange star flower bulbs under trees or in flowering beds that are constantly in the shade. Fewer blooms and bulbs will develop if there isn’t enough sunlight, since they don’t perform well in soggy, chilly soil.

Slow growth, poor blooming, yellowing leaves, and flowers that wilt quickly are some other indications that your lovely orange star plant is in need of light. Move the sun star plant to a brighter location if its growth is weak and sluggish. The finest place for orange star blossoms to grow indoors is in a warm area with at least six hours of indirect light and a little direct light.

The best blooms are produced by placing the potted plant in an east-facing window. The orange star plant should get some protection from the afternoon sun in a south-facing or west-facing window.

Orange Star Plant Soil Requirements

In well-drained loamy, rich soil, orange star flowers thrive best. If the soil is too soggy or waterlogged, the bulbs of the plant are more vulnerable to rot. When growing orange star bulbs in a garden environment, make sure there is adequate drainage. Dig up the bulbs in the autumn if you live in colder regions. During the winter, cold, wet soil destroys the plants if they are not removed. How to overwinter Ornithogalum dubium bulbs will be revealed later in the article.

A fertile potting medium with sphagnum peat moss and perlite is required for potted orange star plants to thrive. For the potting soil, use three parts regular houseplant soil, one part peat moss, and one part perlite. Peat moss increases moisture retention, while perlite assists with drainage.

How to Water Orange Star Plant

Outside and indoors, water the orange star plant when the top few inches of soil are dry. Water the ground beneath the sun star plant thoroughly so that bulbs develop. Watering whenever the top 2 inches (5 cm) of soil is dry is the best way to ensure this without making the ground soggy.

During the spring and summer, an orange star plant should be watered weekly. You may have to water the ground twice a week if the weather is particularly hot. Water just enough to keep the soil moist if you leave the bulbs in the ground over winter.

To thrive, sun star plants in pots need moisture-rich soil. Only water the potting soil when the top layer is dry, just as you would with growing outdoors. Fill the pot with water until the drainage holes in the bottom are filled. Next, keep the pot in a warm, bright location to continue developing. When cultivating an orange star plant, getting a watering schedule right is the most important care factor.

Flowers falling, sluggish development, or yellowing leaves are all symptoms of underwatering the Ornithogalum plant. It’s important to understand that orange stars aren’t drought tolerant. MUSHY BLACK STEMS, WELLING GROWTH, AND ultimate plant death are all indications of overwatering an orange star flower. Throughout the winter months, potted indoor orange star plants do not need watering.

Temperature Requirements for Orange Star Flower

Between 60°F and 80°F (16° – 27°C), orange star plants flourish. In colder climes, the plants aren’t cold-hardy and don’t grow in the dirt. As a result, indoor plant cultivation is optimal when average room temperatures are maintained. USDA zones 7 to 11 are ideal for orange star plants. The plants will benefit from some protection from the afternoon sun in the hottest climates.

If you overwinter them indoors in a cool, dry place, orange star plants may be grown in the ground in zones 6 and below. Or you could bring the heat-loving orange plants inside from fall through early spring and keep them in containers. Sudden temperature fluctuations are harmful to the orange star plant. Keep the container plant away from air conditioning breezes, open window drafts, and hot radiators if it is indoors.

Humidity Requirements for Orange Star Plant

In the appropriate outdoor environment, an orange star plant requires little humidity. You should have no growing problems if the plant is getting enough sunlight and is growing in well-drained sandy soil. Make sure that there is adequate air circulation for the foliage.

Only average room humidity is required for potted indoor orange star plants to thrive. Fungal disorders like powdery mildew may develop if there are high levels of humidity and inadequate air circulation. Moreover, because leaf spot can be a problem, there is no need to mist the leaves.

Fertilizing Orange Star

If you want a lot of orange flowers, fertilize the orange star plant on a regular basis. A high-potassium fertilizer can help boost flower growth. Nutrient replenishment in the soil required by an ornamental plant should be supplied by a fertilizer.

There are many types of organic fertilizers suitable for flowering garden plants. However, it is always important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines in the amount of fertilizer to use. Additionally, digging in organic compost in spring can help boost orange star plant growth.

Give a diluted all-purpose houseplant feed to potted orange star plants once a month. The orange blooming plant will grow throughout the spring and summer. You should, however, refrain from watering and fertilizing throughout the winter months.

Pruning Orange Star Plants

Only yellowing or dead leaves should be removed from an orange star plant. To help the plant appear better and concentrate growth in healthy foliage, you may cut the leaves to the ground. The leaves of the orange star plant will fall off after it blooms and go dormant.

Orange Star Plant Propagation

Separating offsets from the bulbs in the autumn is one of the best ways to grow an orange star plant. Dig up the bulbs and remove any little bulbs that are connected to the main plant. Next, separate the bulbs using a sharp, sterile knife and place them in pots or in the ground. Every five or six years, you can divide the bulbs. Throughout the winter, propagate orange star bulbs in pots in a cool location with moist dirt. In the spring, new growth should emerge.

Collecting seeds after blooming is another method to develop a new Ornithogalum dubium plant. The seed pods become brown towards the end of the summer. Allow the seed pods to dry for a week before removing them from the plant. After that, carefully remove the seeds and keep them in a cool, dry place.

In a light, moist potting mix made up of peat moss, fine bark, and perlite, you can plant seeds in the autumn or spring. Keep the seeds in a shady spot until they are covered with a little amount of soil. Seedlings should have sprouted by spring. To bloom, an orange star plant may take up to four years.

Repotting Orange Star Plants

Around the end of summer, repot orange star plants. The bulbs have more space to develop when they’re repotted in a bigger pot. You might also check the health of the plant’s bulb, refresh the potting soil, and remove offsets for propagation. Remove the bulb from the existing pot to repot the orange star plant. Put the bulb at the same depth as before in a new pot filled with the appropriate potting soil. Put the freshly potted orange star plant in a sunny area and thoroughly water it.

Sun Star Plant Winter Care

Ornithogalum bulbs in colder areas must be protected from frost. It’s important to remove the bulbs from the ground and clean up any foliage before the first frost date. To dry the bulbs, place them in a cool, dark area. After the danger of frost has passed, you may then replant the bulbs in the ground the next spring. You can protect the bulbs from the elements by spreading a thick layer of mulch over them if you leave them in the garden during mild winters.

Pests Affecting Orange Star Plant Growth

The hardiness of orange star plants makes them resistant to houseplant pests. The sole pest that affects a sun star plant’s growth is thrips, which may be grown indoors or outdoors. Using a hose and a forceful stream of water, you may wash thrips off of garden plants.

You’ll have to isolate the orange star plant from your other houseplants if you’ve got thrips on it. Damage the thrips’ lifecycle by spraying the plant with neem oil once a week. Afterwards, use the natural pesticide spray on a regular basis until all signs of pests are gone.

Diseases Affecting Orange Star Plant Growth

Root rot is the most prevalent problem that affects an orange star plant. Bulbs may rot, become rancid, or even die as a result of overwatering a plant. Moreover, bulbs stored in damp conditions during the winter might rot. Always water the orange star plant thoroughly to prevent root rot. As a result, wait until the top layer of your soil or potting mix is dry. After that, give the bulbs a good soaking to hydrate them. When the soil has mostly dried again, the plant is watered for the next time.

Orange Star Plant Care – FAQs

Is the orange star plant toxic?

If eaten, all sections of the orange star plant (Ornithogalum dubium) are deadly. Dogs, cats, and people should not eat the plant’s leaves, roots, or blossoms.

Why are my orange star plant leaves becoming yellow?

Lack of sunlight, bad soil condition, or excessive water are the most common reasons orange star plants turn yellow. Growing the plant in a bright location and watering it just when the soil is dry helps to restore its health.

Do Sun Star plants come back every year?

If the bulbs survive the winter, orange star plants will come back year after year. If you live in zone 7 and above, grow the plants in sandy soil to ensure consistent blooming. Bring the orange star bulbs inside during the winter in colder areas to protect them from frost.

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