Sun Star, Star of Bethlehem, Yellow Chincherinchee
Ornithogalum dubium (Sun Star) is native to South Africa and available flowering in orange and yellow. It’s a winter growing species. In the northern hemisphere, it can bloom from December to March.
Ornithogalum dubium care
The difficult in growing Ornithogalum dubium here in northern Europe is, to give this from autumn to spring growing species as much sunlight as needed. because during this time we have shorter days and a often cloudy sky.
So if you don’t have a sunny window, a light bulb can be helpful. If placed to dark, it can produce long and thin leaves.
Ornithogalum dubium likes a well drained substrate. I am using a mix of potting soil, lay granulate and coarse sand (1:1:1). But a standard cacti mix can also be used.
If in growth, Ornithogalum dubium can be deep watered. What’s flowing out of the pot’s hole must be removed after a few minutes. Wet legs will cause rot. Before adding water next let the soil become moderately dry.
During the growth and flowering period a half diluted water soluble fertilizer can be given monthly. Fresh bought or recently repotted plants don’t need to be feeded for the first season.
When the blooming time is over in late spring, the leaves begin to turn yellow. Stop watering and feeding now. If the foliage has died back it can be cutted off. During its dormant period, the pot can be stored dark.
In autumn bring Ornithogalum dubium back into the light. Now you can slowly increase watering again.
Propagation can be done by seeds and daughter tubers. Self-pollination does not work. If you want to harvest seeds you should place a flowering milk star in the garden or on the balcony when frost is no longer expected. Pollination of the flowers seems to be possible only there.
Some specimens produce baby tubers. But as reliably as daffodils or tulips reproduce in this way, Ornithogalum dubium does not. It can take years for the first baby tubers to appear. If at all.
How to grow Ornithogalum dubium from Seeds
Growing Ornithogalum dubium from seed is not difficult. The seeds are placed on moist substrate and pressed. I used bird sand.
Cover the pot with a freezer bag and place in a bright place. For germination are ideal temperatures around 68 °F (20 ° C).