Growing Spring Starflowers In Containers: How To Plant Ipheion Bulbs In Pots

Growing Spring Starflowers In Containers: How To Plant Ipheion Bulbs In Pots

By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist

Spring bulbs are a saving grace after a long winter. Ipheion spring starflowers are small flowering bulbs from South America. They spice up the garden with onion scented leaves and white star-shaped blooms. That said, growing spring starflowers in containers is just as easy and creates just as much impact. The key is having the appropriate container, good soil and knowledge on how to plant Ipheion bulbs in pots.

Ipheion Spring Starflower Information

Spring starflower bulbs need to be installed in fall so they can experience dormancy and chilling periods that force the embryonic plant to emerge when temperatures warm. As the bulbs mature, they will produce bulblets and new growth in successive years.

As a South American native, Ipheion thrives in warm temperatures and full sun. While the bulbs are hardy to United States Department of Agriculture zone 5, many people enjoy growing starflowers in containers, especially those in colder climates. Spring starflower bulbs can achieve 6 to 8 inches in height and are topped with 1-inch wide white flowers with 6 petals.

Ipheion is a relative of the onion, which explains the scent of its leaves when crushed. Bloom time is February to April but, occasionally, a late bloomer will appear.

How to Plant Ipheion Bulbs in Pots

Good drainage is the most crucial need for Ipheion bulbs in containers, as well as the ground. You’ll need a container large enough to accommodate the number of bulbs planted and one that provides adequate drainage. Choose a mixture of peat and loam for the planting medium. Install bulbs 2 to 3 inches deep with the pointed side upward.

Incorporate bone meal or a good bulb food at planting for best growth.

Care of Spring Starflowers in Containers

When you plant Ipheion in containers, keep pots moderately moist until you see the first sprouts and thereafter water when the top inch of soil is dry.

Allow the foliage to persist even after the flowers have stopped appearing so the plant can gather solar energy to store for the next season’s growth.

If you live in a cool zone, it is recommended that you bring in the containers to overwinter. Let foliage die back and place pots in a cool, dark, dry area. Alternatively, you can remove the bulbs in fall, allow them to dry for a few days and place them in a mesh bag with peat moss. Store the bag where it is cool and dry and plant the bulbs as soon as soil is workable in spring.

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8 Best Flowering Container Garden Plants for Sunny Areas

If you have a sunny spot on your patio, deck, or porch or need an accent for a bright spot in your garden, a container garden is perfect for you. These flowering container garden plants are hard to kill and will thrive in container gardens in full sun. They are also lovely and common enough to easily find. Just because they are common, does not mean you cannot make them look spectacular in the right container. In this list you'll discover eight easy-to-find, colorful plants that can brighten up your outdoor environment.

Keep a close eye on the soil in your plant containers and check regularly to be sure they are not waterlogged. Be sure that all your containers drain well.


Most Dormant Bareroot, Potted Perennials & Shrubs

*Fertilizer and other supplies ordered apart from plant orders are typically shipped within 5 business days.

We aim for your order to be in your hands at the ideal time to plant, every time. Our growers must anticipate their supply based on the season they expect. Our experts predict weather patterns as best they can to set suitable shipping windows for each growing zone. However, as any gardener knows, nature is not so predictable. The type of product you order, along with the weather in your area or ours, may affect the anticipated shipping schedule.

Based on the contents of your order, we always strive to ship the order complete and as early as possible. However, sometimes this may result in a delay of some items that are ready before others. Our customers have suggested that they would rather wait to receive their order as complete as possible. If you would like to receive part of your order ahead of time, please reach out to our customer service department and we can accommodate. Orders with large items may be shipped in more than one package. There is no extra charge if your order requires more than one package.

Bareroot perennials, trees and shrubs are kept in the nursery row until fully dormant. This promotes optimum transit conditions and provides your new plant with the best opportunity for success in your garden.

Trees and other oversize items cannot be shipped to PO boxes.

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Please note that we cannot ship outside of the 48 contiguous states.


Jessie Spring Starflower

Known as one of the easiest bulbs to grow

Known as one of the easiest bulbs to grow

We have received your request. You will be notified when this product is in stock.

  • A strong naturalizer for growing in drifts
  • Easy to grow with hardly any maintenance
  • Refreshing blue tones for your spring garden
  • Zone 5-9
  • Height 3 - 6 inches
  • Flowering Date Blooms mid to late spring
  • Sun Exposure Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Ship As 4+ CM BULB

We ship this item in Fall.


Ipheion uniflorum (spring starflower)

Otherwise known as the spring starflower, Ipheion uniflorum produces exquisite star-shaped blooms in early spring. Each stem bears a single, sweet-scented flower (reflecting the Latin uniflorum - single flower), with six pointed petals and colours varying through shades of pale silvery-blue to lilac. The narrow leaves appear before the flowers and, being a close relation to alliums, give off an onion-like aroma when crushed.

This small, herbaceous perennial is perfect for mixing with other low-level, spring-flowering bulbs in rock and alpine gardens, borders, beds and containers, and is also good for underplanting shrubs and roses. It naturalises easily, rewarding you with more profuse displays year after year.

Easy to grow, the bulbs will thrive in full sun or partial shade, preferring a sheltered position with moderately fertile, well-drained soil.

Supplied as a pack of 75 bulbs for planting in the autumn, they will flower from March to May, and your displays will get better every year!

What Is Supplied

Supplied as a pack of 75 bulbs ready for planting.

Flowers in March-May, reaching 25cm height and 15cm spread.


Plant Library

Wisley Blue Spring Starflower

Ipheion uniflorum 'Wisley Blue'

Wisley Blue Spring Starflower flowers

Wisley Blue Spring Starflower flowers

Other Names: syn. Triteleia uniflorum

Beautiful blue, star shaped flowers that are sweetly fragrant in early to mid-spring grass-like foliage smells like garlic when crushed a pest resistant variety, great for edging, containers and beds

Wisley Blue Spring Starflower is bathed in stunning fragrant blue star-shaped flowers with gold eyes at the ends of the stems from late winter to mid spring. Its fragrant grassy leaves remain emerald green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Wisley Blue Spring Starflower is an herbaceous perennial with a ground-hugging habit of growth. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This is a relatively low maintenance plant, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Wisley Blue Spring Starflower is recommended for the following landscape applications

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Wisley Blue Spring Starflower will grow to be only 3 inches tall at maturity extending to 5 inches tall with the flowers, with a spread of 8 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a fast rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 5 years. As this plant tends to go dormant in summer, it is best interplanted with late-season bloomers to hide the dying foliage.

This plant does best in full sun to partial shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This is a selected variety of a species not originally from North America. It can be propagated by multiplication of the underground bulbs however, as a cultivated variety, be aware that it may be subject to certain restrictions or prohibitions on propagation.

Wisley Blue Spring Starflower is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. Because of its spreading habit of growth, it is ideally suited for use as a 'spiller' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination plant it near the edges where it can spill gracefully over the pot. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.


Best Flowers to Plant in Florida

1. Coreopsis

Botanical Name: Coreopsis spp.

USDA Zones: 4-9

Coreopsis is also known as tickseed and pot of gold. It produces pink, orange, red, and yellow flowers. This drought-tolerant, low-maintenance plant is ideal for borders or as a filler. You can grow this variety in well-draining, sandy soil, under full sun to partial shade.

2. Gerbera

Botanical Name: Gerbera

USDA Zone: 8-11

Gerbera daisy is a herbaceous perennial that can grow up to 10-18 inches tall and 1-2 feet wide. The plant features ray-like petals, of pale pastel yellow, pink to bold orange color and red flowers. This vivid colored plant prefers rich, moist soil and full sun to partial shade.

3. Bolivian Sunset Gloxinia

Botanical Name: Gloxinia sylvatica

USDA Zone: 9-11

‘Bolivian Sunset,’ is a herbaceous perennial and is perfect for Florida snowbirds. The plant flowers from fall till spring and forms beautiful red-orange blossoms. Grow this winter-flowering shrub in partial shade in well-draining and moist soil.

4. Salvia

Botanical Name: Salvia spp.

USDA Zone: 8-10

Annual salvia is a tender perennial, which is prized for its rich blue, white, or red flowers. The beautiful plant can reach up to 12-24 inches tall. Grow annual salvia in an area that receives 6-8 hours of direct sunlight in well-drained, and rich soil.

5. Golden Dewdrop

Botanical Name: Duranta erecta

USDA Zone: 9-11

Golden dewdrop is a tropical flowering shrub. It features beautiful white or blue flowers all summer long. The plant can grow up to 2-3 feet tall. It does well in full sunlight, though it can manage in partial shade as well, which makes it the best flower to plant in Florida!

Note: In tropical areas, golden dewdrop flowers on and off throughout the year.

6. Evolvulus

Botanical Name: Evolvulus pilosus

USDA Zone: 8-11

This lovely plant produces ocean-blue flowers with blue-green foliage. It is drought-tolerant hence ideal for flower beds in dry, hot spots of your garden. You can grow this plant in an area with 6-8 hours of direct sun. The plant can survive in partial shade as well.

7. Purslane

Botanical Name: Portulaca oleracea

USDA Zone: 10-11

Purslane is a low maintenance plant that thrives in warm weather. It forms beautiful succulent foliage with white, orange, or rose-colored flowers and can reach up to 4-8 inches long. It is perfect for growing in window boxes, hanging baskets, or as a groundcover.

Note: Grow purslane in well-draining soil under full sun.

Check out our article on growing Purslane here !

8. Canna

Botanical Name: Canna hybrida

USDA Zone: 7-11

This easy to care tropical bulbs are admired for their large leaves. Canna plant opens in ornamental stalks of red, yellow, orange, pink, salmon, or bi-colored flowers, from mid to late summer in hot, humid conditions.

9. Mexican Petunia

Botanical Name: Ruellia brittoniana

USDA Zone: 9-11

Mexican petunia is a low-maintenance, sun-loving perennial, which is admired for its beautiful pink, blue, white petunia-like flowers, throughout the summer. Grow this plant in full sun or partial shade in moist soil, mulch the soil during dry, hot weather.

Here’s how you can grow Petunia in containers!

10. Shooting Star

Botanical Name: Pseuderanthemum laxiflorum

USDA Zone: 9a

The shooting star is a beautiful flowering shrub that commands your attention with its star-shaped purple flowers, and glossy green leaves. You can plant it beside walkways, with other shrubs, or along with perennials, where it can reach up to 3-4 feet tall and wide.

11. Coneflower

Botanical Name: Echinacea

USDA Zone: 3-8

Coneflower is one of the best flowering perennials, offering a nonstop wave of flowers all summer long! This drought and heat resistant plant feature nectar-rich, pink, red, white, yellow, and orange flowers on 18-36 inches tall stalks. The coneflower prefers 6-8 hours of direct sun and well-drained, rich soil.

12. Blanket Flower

Botanical Name: Gaillardia

USDA Zone: 5-9

The blanket flower is an easy-to-grow, sun-loving plant with patterned or solid flowers in yellow, orange, or red colors, during the entire summer. The plant can grow up to 18-22 inches tall in a sunny area, in well-drained soil with occasional watering.

Fun Fact: It attracts herds of butterflies wherever it is planted!

13. Lamium

Botanical Name: Lamium

USDA Zone: 3-8

Lamium is also known as dead nettle. It is a fast-growing, spring-flowering variety, that can grow up to 6-8 inches tall and can lighten up dark corners of your garden with pink, silver flowers! Plant Lamium in a semi-shaded area for optimum growth.

14. Zinnia

Botanical Name: Zinnia elegans

USDA Zone: 4a-9b

Zinnia is a favorite plant of many gardeners from generations as it is very less demanding. It offers appealing small-large flowers that come in a variety of colors except for blue. Grow zinnia where it gets 6-8 hours of sun, in rich, and well-drained soil. It surely is one of the best flowers to plant in Florida!

15. Firebush

Botanical Name: Hamelia patens

USDA Zone: 9-10

Native to Florida, the firebush is a tropical flowering shrub, that exhibits tube-shaped orange and yellow-colored flowers. It can reach up to 8-10 feet tall, as an annual. Firebush prefers full sun for best flowering, though it can do well in partial shade as well.

16. Persian Shield

Botanical Name: Strobilanthes dyerianus

USDA Zone: 8-11

Gardeners admire Persian shield due to its striking purple foliage that has a pearly shine. The distinct color makes it an outstanding specimen plant, perfect for garden beds, borders, or containers. Grow Persian shield in full sun to part shade.

17. Sanchezia

Botanical Name: Sanchezia nobilis

USDA Zone: 10a-11

The main feature of this plant is its colorful foliage. The leaves are veined in cream, gold, or white color. It also produces beautiful yellow flowers from orange bracts in spring, summer, and fall. You can grow this shrub in the shade or partial shade.

18. Lantana

Botanical Name: Lantana Camara

USDA Zone: 9-11

This beautiful plant offers a nonstop wave of nectar-rich, sparkling yellow, red, white, pink, orange, lavender, and bi-color flowers. Lantana plant is ideal for growing in garden beds, in pots, and with other sun-loving blossoms. The plant prefers a warm, sunny climate.

Want to grow Lantana? Here’s how you can easily!

19. Pentas

Botanical Name: Penta lanceolata

USDA Zone: 10-11

Pentas forms bright, star-shaped flowers, during the entire summer, in bold shades of purple, red, white, pink, or purple. This perennial plant can grow up to 18-36 inches long, in a sunny spot, that receives 5-6 hours of bright light.

20. Jacobinia

Botanical Name: Justicia carnea

USDA Zone: 8b-11

Also known as Justicia and Brazilian plume, it is a wonderful tropical flowering shrub that offers a cluster of white or pink flowers that resemble fireworks. This is one of the easy-to-grow plants in tropical areas like Southern Florida. It can also be grown as a hedge or as a foundation plant in shady areas.

21. Butterfly Bush

Botanical Name: Buddleia davidii

USDA Zone: 5-10

Butterfly bush is a fragrant plant, that features long spikes of colorful, nectar-rich pink, blue, purple, yellow flowers on 1-6 feet tall stalks. It is drought-tolerant plant and disease-free, growing well in a sunny spot with 4-5 hours of direct sunlight.

22. Cuphea

Botanical Name: Cuphea spp.

USDA Zone: 8

Cuphea is grown as an annual in most countries and as a perennial in frost-free regions. It is praised for its hot, fiery red flowers, that the plant produces throughout the summer. It is is heat and drought tolerant and works excellently as a bedding plant.

23. Plumbago

Botanical Name: Plumbago auriculata

USDA Zone: 9-10

Plumbago is a tropical flowering shrub with a bunch of sky-blue blossoms. The plant can grow up to 4-5 feet tall and can be planted with other shrubs as well, in big containers, landscape borders or beds.

24. Verbena

Botanical Name: Verbena spp.

USDA Zone: 7-10

Verbena flowers without pause from early summer to fall. This tender perennial showcases a cluster of nectar-rich red, white, yellow, orange, or bi-colored flowers. It is sun-loving and attains a height up to 12-30 inches in a trailing or upright form.

25. Scaevola

Botanical Name: Scaevola spp.

USDA Zone: 10-11

Occasionally called a fan flower, this sun-loving annual is valued for its encrusted pink, blue, or white flowers and cascading branches that makes it a perfect choice for hanging baskets, window boxes, or containers.

26. Oyster Plant

Botanical Name: Rhoeo spathacea

USDA Zone: 9-11

Also known as Moses-in-the-cradle, the oyster plant is a popular, easy to grow indoor and garden plant. This plant is ideal for tabletops, desks and can be grown in bedrooms and kitchens as well. As an indoor plant, grow this in medium to bright light and water it frequently, once or twice a week, according to the climatic conditions.


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