Ixia Flower: How To Grow and Care For African Corn Lily

Ixia [IKS-ee-uh] flower includes a variety of cormous plants from the family of Iridaceae and subfamily of Ixioideae.

These plants are native to the South African regions and thrive in the sunniest and hottest areas of the garden.

Attractive Ixia Flower aka African Corn Lily

The common names for Ixia Flower include:

  • Ixia plant
  • Wand Flower
  • Corn lily
  • African Corn lily
  • African Iris

Ixia Flower Plants Care

Size & Growth

The most distinctive feature of this plant is its long wiry stems and sword-like leaves.

Ixia plant sprouts from corms rootstock also referred to as ixia bulbs.

Each Ixia species is different, mostly in terms of its structure and flower color.

However, these plants typically grow 19” inches in height.

Flowering and Fragrance

This plant sprouts star-shaped, six-petal flowers, while its stems are thin and long.

The bloom time of the corn lily is during the winter season, and it stays dormant throughout the summer season.

Ixia flowers grow up to a height of 16” inches and have varying shades of:

  • Yellow
  • Orange
  • Pale green
  • Red
  • Purple
  • White
  • Blue flowers depending on the species

Light & Temperature

This plant prefers full sun to open up properly; this is particularly true when planting Ixia Viridiflora.

It is best to place an Ixia flower in the brightest spot in the yard or garden.

It also grows well in partial shade. The USDA hardiness zone of this plant is 8 – 10.

Watering and Feeding

This plant needs regular watering throughout their growth period to help them establish.

However, it is essential to avoid overwatering as it could cause damage to the plant.

Soil & Transplanting

Ixia Flower loves highly fertile soil with good drainage.

Moreover, the soil must be kept slightly moist in their growth period.

To enhance stronger root growth, the surrounding soil must be good enough to encourage the roots to grow.

The soil’s fertility may be enhanced by using high-quality fertilizers, and also adding organic matter like mulch, manure, and compost.

Grooming and Maintenance

The planting depth of the Ixia plant should be 3” – 5” inches deep, as well as 3” inches apart for optimal growth.

Southern gardeners should plant the corms during the fall season, while those in USDA hardiness zones 4 and 5, must plant them during the spring season.

Add a dense layer of mulch in the fall.

In cold winter areas, the corms should be transferred indoors and stored in a dry location to be replanted during the late spring season.

NOTE: Treat Ixias and Sparaxis plants the same way.

How to Propagate African Corn Lily

The propagation of Ixia species is done through corms.

These must be planted on the surface of the soil with a depth of 3” to 4” inches, and 3” inches apart.

Ensure the soil is rich and has good drainage.

Plant the flower bulbs during late spring, so the flowers appear by the end of summer, or during early winter so the plant blooms during the spring season.

The propagation of this plant is also done through seeds; however, it might take three years or more for them to bloom.

The Ixia flower seeds should be covered with soil once the last spring frost has passed.

The African corn lily also propagates naturally through insects and bees.

These insects consume the nectar and pollen which stick to their bodies and are transferred while they visit other flowers, which follows the fertilization process.

African Corn Lily Pest or Diseases

This plant doesn’t experience significant pest or disease problems.

If given the right conditions, it quickly grows and blooms reasonably well.

Be sure to water well, but avoid overwatering as this will damage the plant.

The African corn lily is deer resistant and is known to attract bees and other insects which help in achieving eco-balance and restoring a level of biodiversity.

Ixia Flower Uses

This plant looks great as a house plant, in containers, and also as borders.

It adds a splash of color to a garden as it has an ornamental appeal.

It mixes well with spring-blooming annuals, stokes aster, and dianthus.

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