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Zones 7-9, 12-31
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Ixia hybrids

Bulbs and bulblike plants, Perennials

Hybrids derived primarily from South African native Ixia maculata. Clumps of narrow, almost grasslike leaves send up wiry, 18–20-in. stems topped by short spikes of 2-in. flowers in late spring. Each six-petaled blossom opens out nearly flat in full sun but remains cup shaped or closed on overcast days. Colors include cream, yellow, red, orange, and pink, typically with dark centers.

Grow in well-drained soil. Where winter lows usually stay above 20°F/–7°C, plant corms in early fall, setting them 2 in. deep and about 3 in. apart. In climate zones where temperatures may drop down to 10°F/–12°C, plant them in late fall, setting the corms 4 in. deep; cover planting with mulch. In colder areas, plant in spring for flowers in early summer. Let soil go dry when foliage yellows after bloom. Where corms won’t be subject to rainfall or irrigation during dormant period, they can be left undisturbed until the planting becomes crowded or flowering declines. When this occurs, dig corms in summer and store as for gladiolus until the recommended planting time in your area. Where corms will receive summer moisture, dig and store them after the foliage dies back; or treat as annuals. Potted corms (planted close together and about 1 in. deep) can be stored in pots of dry soil.

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