These guys caught my eye as we were going into the store. I love taking pictures of flowers so something vibrant and different like this is almost certainly going to come home with me! Does not seem to be a lot of information online about it though.
You can find Sun Star care instructions here, and in the comments below. I'm glad to help your plants, but 95% of the questions posted to this page have already been answered..
These guys caught my eye as we were going into the store. I love taking pictures of flowers so something vibrant and different like this is almost certainly going to come home with me! Does not seem to be a lot of information online about it though.
You can find Sun Star care instructions here, and in the comments below. I'm glad to help your plants, but 95% of the questions posted to this page have already been answered..
Browse related images by keyword:
Chesapeake Blaze 7 | Chesapeake Sunburst 7 | Chesapeake Sunset 7 | flower 364 | hybrid 11 | orange 58 | Ornithogalum 8 | perennial 7 | pistil 29 | stamen 31 | Sun Star 8
Chesapeake Blaze 7 | Chesapeake Sunburst 7 | Chesapeake Sunset 7 | flower 364 | hybrid 11 | orange 58 | Ornithogalum 8 | perennial 7 | pistil 29 | stamen 31 | Sun Star 8
Feedback for Sun Star:
|Auntie G||April 2, 2006 4:55 pm|
|Chesapeake Series Star-of-Bethlehem
Botanical Name: Ornithogalum 'Chesapeake Blaze', 'Chesapeake Sunburst', and 'Chesapeake Sunset'
Ornithogalum 'Sun Star'
|Bill Heller||April 19, 2006 1:40 am|
|Ahh, what a genius! Thank you!
So, it is a hybrid of a common cut flower called Ornithogalum. It is designed to live in a small container and so far mine has been very happy in the little pot it came in.
"combining the dense floral display and large flowers of Ornithogalum thyrsoides, compact habit of O. multifolium, and intense orange color and short stature of O. dubium." -U.S. National Arboretum
There are several variations as mentioned above. I believe this is a Sunburst.
|Kiana||April 22, 2006 4:31 pm|
|A friend just gave me the Chesapeake Sunburst, it's drop dead stunning. Could you give me growing instructions? I can't seem to find out much about it. Thank you.|
|Bill Heller||April 23, 2006 4:00 am|
|RE: Chesapeake Sunburst.|
Oh yeah, it really is beautiful, I love this plant. The store where I got mine has a white one and a yellow one now. I can't decide which one to get! I'll probably have to get them both so I have a full set. :-)
As far as care, first of all I don't know how much you know about plants, but it is a perennial bulb. So when the leaves turn yellow and die in a few months don't feel bad! It is supposed to do that, it will be back in the winter.
The tag on mine says...
Keep potting mix uniformly moist, good drainage. Remove dead flower spikes at base.
USDA ZOnes 9 and 10, not tolerant of frost. Transplant to garden in sandy loam after spring bloom. Protect from frost.
When leaves die back gradually withhold water and allow plant to dry out. Avoid summer watering, plants will grow with winter rain. (or, I guess, winter waterings inside)
Fertilizer: Use a blended household fertilizer at 1/2 reccomended rate. Apply in early spring once plant shows new growth."
Hope that helps!!
|Gail||May 22, 2006 7:07 am|
|My daughter bought me one for Mothers Day / Orange, It's beautiful. Keeping mine indoors. I'm one year into gardening and have alot of learning ahead. When you say remove dead flower spikes at base I'm not exactly sure where to remove, Just the flower head ? stem ? or am I totally off base? Thanks Any other information will be appreciated. Thanks Gail|
|Takeo Tomiokak||March 31, 2007 5:32 am|
I can know this splendid flower, and Ornithogalum hybrids Chesapeake is
Please show a place selling a bulb.
|Angie||April 28, 2007 10:34 am|
|care of SunStar|
|I received a SunStar plant for mother's day a few years back. I finally found the instructions for caring for it. I am going to copy it all here.
Sunstar prefer to live in a well lit location that's just shy of full sun. Check or water every couple of days until you become familiar with your plant's needs. The soil shold be moist at all times. If you would like to transplant your Sunstar into the garden or an outdoor container, choose a spot that gets bright, morning light. Let the top of the soil dry out between waterings and be sure to use a soil that includes some organic matter.
|Peggy||May 12, 2007 7:34 am|
|remove spikes at base?|
|I have the same question Gail has, posted on May 22nd. Do we remove spikes (flowers) at base of plant or base of flower?
|Bill Heller||May 12, 2007 2:11 pm|
|RE: remove spikes at base?|
|We have always removed them at the base of the spike. That is how I read this...
"Remove dead flower spikes at base."
That is from the tag of my original plant. (full text above.) I assumed it would say "remove at base of flower" otherwise.
Either way, the whole plant dies back after blooming, so it will be a moot point in a month or two. :-D
Of course, the leaves are still important after it blooms. I would let them get as much sun as they can tolerate in your area until they dry up.
How much exactly? Well, I have read "Full sun" as others have posted here. But I can tell you full sun here (Southern CA) would burn the leaves in about a day. So you will have to experiment a little and watch how it does. It is going to depend heavily upon your location but also your particular plant and whether you have it in a pot or the ground.
|Gloria||May 13, 2007 10:55 am|
|This beautiful Sun Star|
|Does this mean that you can't just plant outside and leave the bulb in the ground (Michigan) like a tulip? Do these have to be dug out and replanted in the house for winter keeping? Anyone have any thoughts or experiences regarding this?|
|Bill Heller||May 13, 2007 5:08 pm|
|RE: This beautiful Sun Star|
|They don't like frost, at all.
Most of the actual Sun Stars I have seen say "zones 9 and 10," I do have a similar plant called a snake flower [Ornithogalum dubium] (which is one of the Ornithogalums that the Sun Star was bred from) that says it is hardy to zone 7.
Michigan is zones 4,5 or 6 so I would say there is no chance unless you dig up the bulbs in the winter. You don't have to plant them in the house though, you can dig them up and let them dry out after they die back in the summer. Then in spring, plant them in the garden after the last threat of frost.
There are Tulips that are supposed to be safe as low as zone 3 so it probably would not be safe to assume Sun Stars would be safe just because Tulips survive.
|Andy czupofski||May 15, 2007 11:32 am|
|sun star flower|
|we bought a real nice looking sun star plant for mothers day. we live in zone 8, can we plant it outside or should we leave it in the pot we got it in and keep it inside
thank you im new to doing flowers around the house and garden and i dont want to wreck this one
|Bill Heller||May 15, 2007 12:13 pm|
|RE: sun star flower|
|Unless you live in zones 9 or 10 you will need to protect the Sun Star bulbs from frost in the winter. Keep them close to a heated building or cover the flower bed in the winter if you only get very light frost. (We are in zone 9 bordering on zone 10 and we get frost from time to time)
Otherwise you can plant them in the garden and enjoy them all spring.
And, like I said before, don't feel bad when the flower dies in the summer, they are supposed to do that. The bulbs will come up again next year.
There are more tips and questions & answers on the Sun Star main page too.
|Beth A McGovney||May 24, 2007 9:30 am|
You seem to have been elected President of the of the Sun Star FanClub! Why is there so little on the net about them? Yours is the only site - other than a picture - that I found. I had one last year and loved it, so bought another yesterday when it showed up in Walmart. Last year's didn't survive the winter in my zone 3 garden. I had no clue ;-)
Thanks for your help! Do you have any that have survived their initial blooming cycle? Beth
|Bill Heller||May 24, 2007 1:26 pm|
LOL, I guess so, and that's OK with me. I love my plants as much as I love taking pictures. That's why there are so many plant pictures on the site!
I don't know that much about the big business side of plants, so this is just speculation. But the Sun Star is a fairly new Hybrid. The earliest mention of it I have found is from 1999. It was hybridized by the US National Arboretum and in my experience the plants that are hybridized by smaller groups and individuals get more information out there because they are usually members of clubs and do a lot of talking about their "babies" which ends up in lot more coverage.
Here is the official announcement from the USNA (If that link ever dries up, just drop me a note, I grabbed a backup copy and I would be happy to send it to you)
This was my first Sun Star, and so far it is the only one I have had for a full year. It is alive, but it has not bloomed again yet. In it's defense, I started watering it late in it's season and I have not fed it yet. Since we don't own our home and only have a small back yard/patio area most of my plants, including this one, are in containers. (Not that it would have made a difference, we have had next to no rain this year.) The bulbs were dried up and brown in the soil, as they should be in the off season. When I started watering they turned a nice healthy green color and look like they are just about to sprout. (yes, I was bad, I peeked. But if you want to do that yourself be gentle! New baby roots are extremely delicate! I lightly dusted the dirt off the top of mine without disturbing the bulbs.)
This brings up an interesting point. Sometimes when you get this type of flower the blooms can be forced. Especially if the source is a place that is not a reputable nursery (I got mine at the grocery store, and not saying anything bad about them or WalMart, but "jack of all trades..." you know). When they are forced, they are given an extreme amount of plant food in just the right way to make them bloom all at once and like crazy just in the desired season. (don't ask me how, I know it sounds like it would burn the poor thing and kill it right away.) But what it can do is actually weaken the plant because it gives it's all for the blossoms and after it is done blooming the plant dies. If the plant survives, or even just from the change in environment, it may take it a bit of time to adjust to it's new environment.
Hopefully that will come as some solace to those of you who feel like you always kill your plants.
Of course, the frost was probably the culprit in your case, but there are bulbs that survive in zone three. So, in the absence of real information, it is not unreasonable to think it may have survived. It's all a learning process.
|sophia v.||May 26, 2007 3:49 pm|
|Love this flower!|
|I have mine in a pot outside where it gets shade and sun... so far so good. I can see that the stems reach toward the sun, changing direction during the day... amazingly beautiful and graceful.
I got mine from the local OSH hardware... wish I had bought 10 of them! how gorgeous would a grouping be!? I too am an ameteur gardner though... lots of learning to do. Mine said that it is very tolerant of different types of light. I have a feeling this may just be a great plant... what a gift! By the way... love the site.
|Penny||May 30, 2007 11:41 am|
|Got mine for mothers day and loved it. I'm new to gardening in a sense. I quit completely cause I just seemed to kill everything I touched. I got very dicouraged. Then I saw where this was a perennial and would love to treat it right and change my luck. I don't know what zone I live in but I'm in Tulsa, Ok. It's taller but drooping heavily with all the blooms and turning a little yellow on the leaf tips. Any tips?|
|Dorothy Hefner||June 2, 2007 10:34 am|
|I live in N.C., zone 7. Can I plant my Sun Star plant in my flower garden? If so, what time of the year should the bulbs be planted? The tag on mine says S. African, if that makes a difference. Thanks.|
|Sheri Mabe||June 6, 2007 10:53 am|
|Sun Star Beautiful Orange|
|I am in the Dallas Fort Worth area and believe we are Zone 7 or 8. You had mentioned earlier, "Unless you live in zones 9 or 10 you will need to protect the Sun Star bulbs from frost in the winter. Keep them close to a heated building or cover the flower bed in the winter if you only get very light frost." Can a thick layer of Mulch cover them thru the winter? I bought two and they are the most beautiful color of orange I have ever seen. A book that I have says to contrast Oranges with Blues...I wanted to put them in my garden with my blue "mealy cup" salvia....but I don't know much about them....how tall do they get? Do they spread? Bill, you have a wonderful site here...I hope we can find out more about this beauty. My tag reads the same as your April 23rd response to Kiana. I plan to keep them indoors in the pots they came in until I see something new on your site about outdoor planting.|
|April||June 17, 2007 7:51 am|
|I also received one of these beauties for Mother's Day and unfortunately I put it outside on the porch and it rained very heavily, drowning the poor thing. I poured off as much water as I could, replanted it into a clay pot, and some of the stalks fell off like overcooked asparagus. Now it looks pretty sad, yet one stalk is still blooming. What can I do to get it to come back?|
|mae Sundholm||June 22, 2007 11:03 pm|
|I live in oregon and i would like to know how they do in this state.I do i treat them? And is there any other plants like them that are different colors that i could get here. Thanks|
|Jill Jagemann||April 15, 2008 10:38 am|
|I would like to keep my "Star" in my sunroom. Do I let it completely die back as the leaves yellow and then can I store it in the original pot until next spring?? Is a dark, cool area necessary? Does it need any water after it dies back? I understand that I would be watering it again in spring. thanks!!|
|Bill Heller||April 19, 2008 1:44 am|
|RE: Orange Star|
Once the flowers fade you won't be able to keep the leaves around. It will die back quickly. That's why most people think they kill their houseplants actually. Most bulbs do this sort of thing. You can dig them up, or keep them in the pot. As far as your other questions they are actually related. By the books... "no water and a cool dark area". If they stay wet when they are dormant they will rot. But the thing is, if you have them in the ground it may get hot enough and there may be enough drainage that some water would not hurt. And at the extreme, my first SunStar is in it's original pot, on the edge of my fence under a dripper all year long (drips once a day for a few minutes). It is SO hot up there the bulbs are fine with the water in the summer. But I would not recommend trying that. The thermometer on my fence regularly breaks a hundred, even if the air temp is in the high eighties.
One other thing, don't be disappointed if your SunStar does not bloom, or even grow next year. Mine seem to need a year to rest. I'm not sure if it is really an every other year thing, or if they are forced when you get them and need a break. But as long as the bulbs are not completely shriveled or slimy and rotten you should be good, even if they don't seem to grow one year. Most of mine actually look healthy and green when I dig them up, but even so, they don't all grow every year.
|kelly||April 19, 2008 12:21 pm|
|safe for cats|
|I was wondering if they are ok to be around cats. I have two cats and would hate to have to get rid of the plant. Please let me know . Thanks!|
|Bill Heller||April 19, 2008 2:25 pm|
|RE: safe for cats|
I would keep them away from your cats. I don't know anything specific about the Sun Star, but it's most common relative is the Star-of-Bethlehem or Ornithogalum which is actually a genus of plants that includes the Sun Star and the three flowers the that Sun Star was hybridized from. And most of the genus is poisonous, leaves, bulbs and all. Exactly how poisonous seems to depend upon the specific variety and be up for debate. I see information online saying everything from some Ornithogalum are used as vegetables to some kill livestock. But more specifically the Ornithogalum dubium, one of the Sun Star's three closest relatives seems to be moderately poisonous.
Ornithogalum and specifically dubium seem to contain glycosides, which are more commonly thought of in Foxglove. Digitalis, the heart medication, is a type of glycoside derived from the Foxglove. Glycosides are also the compound in Milkweed that Monarch caterpillars eat making the adult butterflies poisonous to most predators.
|Robin Hirst||April 26, 2008 7:16 am|
|sun star and cats|
Thank you for the kind and educational info. The photos are breath taking!
I have 8 stray/rescue cats on my horse farm. They are indoor/outdoor cats as they have a job to do. None of them have shown any interest in the sun star, foxgloves, flowering tobacco, milkweed or or poisonous plants. They do have access to catnip plants and whatever grass they want. They can also be trained to leave plants and other things alone, if they have ok alternatives. The NPR radio show "Calling All Pets" can be extremely helpful. they have a web site.
By the way, my sun star came in a non-draining container, so your comments have been helpful for me.
|Sonal Doshi||May 8, 2008 5:57 am|
|Temp Zone 9-10 for ( Sun Star)|
I Just bought this beautiful plant, We are in PA Philadelphia area . I have no clue what zone we fall under? Can you guide me how can I find outabout the Zone?
|Susan||May 9, 2008 2:32 pm|
|Found mine at Home Depot and love it! There are no planting instructions so I have 3 in a 12 inch pot. Too close? and again, how tall do they get? I am in Colorado and will bring it in before the frost!|
|Susan d||May 9, 2008 2:34 pm|
|PS Love the rest of your photos...you are great!|
|Barbara||May 28, 2008 2:30 pm|
|After all the stems and blossoms dry up, BTW, it's still in the pot it arrived in, what do I do next. Place in paper bag and stick in closet (until when?)...Help! I do not have a green thumb. Silk is my flower of choice, but I'm trying living plants and ones beside bamboo.
|Tricia||May 29, 2008 8:29 pm|
|Just found this wee guy today!|
|Hello! I came across your blog in a search for care on the Sunstar. I love this little guy! I bought one today and just doing some research on care...
Here's a question, if you have an answer:
Mine are in full bloom at the moment, but very top heavy... should I peel some back or tie them to a thin stick so they don't pull down the rest of the plant?
|Marlene||May 30, 2008 7:07 pm|
Just thought I'd share my experience with the Sun Star. I bought one in a tiny little pot at Trader Joe's last year. I fell in love with it's vibrant color and unusual features. A really beautiful flower. Had mine indoors for awhile and it seemed to get a bit leggy. Thinking it needed more light than it was getting in my sunny kitchen, I moved it to a covered, south facing back porch. It did well there. Even during our Hot summer (zone 7). In September, we suffered a tragic lose of a loved one and I neglected my outdoor potted plants for several months. The poor Sun Star even got tipped over, fell off of the three-foot high stand it was on, and spilled dirt and bulbs (2) out of pot. Having neither the time nor the interest at the time, I simply pushed the spilled contents back into the pot and set it back on it's perch. The bulbs were mostly exposed and not much dirt left in the pot. It sat like that all through the hot months (up to 112degrees). And remained this way all through winter (down to 10 degrees). And what do you know! The bulbs began to sprout again in January and are still going strong. The 2 bulbs have multiplied into 3 bulbs. The flowers are as beautiful as they were they day I first purchased them. And I just today finally repotted the poor things properly. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that they appear to be Very hardy and can withstand quite a bit of abuse and neglect. So, don't fuss and worry too much about them. Just enjoy!
|Tammie Stultz||May 30, 2008 10:09 pm|
|I was giving this Sunstar plant by a friend and was
wondering about any pest that I have to worry
|Katy||June 1, 2008 3:07 pm|
|sun star new to me|
|Thanks so much for this website. Google didn't seem to have heard of this plant. I saw some at Trader Joe's last week, but didn't buy them, then thought they were clivia, which I had already been promised by a gardener/friend. But took another look at her clivia, which are blooming right now, and realized the sun star was a whole different ballgame. So went in search of them, found 5 at Home Depot, bought them all, and will probably put them all into the same pot, outside, morning sun. I think I'll treat them like amaryllis, crowding them seems to be the right plan: rest in the winter, start again in spring. I'm in Bay Area California, so should work out OK.
Love your photography, and thanks so much for initiating this website! Good to hear that everyone in the US seems to be growing sun stars.
|Vickie Wood||June 3, 2008 10:38 am|
|I purchased this amazingly beautiful flower back in WA state. I have yet to find more :(
I live in Maryland now and am very anxious to find them here. Your website is wonderful and offers great information through your emails. Thank you so much.
|Leslie||June 4, 2008 3:38 pm|
|Sun Star - outside in Michigan?|
I have three sun stars and thought from the tag that they could be planted outside for the summer in Michigan (zone 5). Then a neighbor, who is taking a class at a greenhouse, said they must be kept indoors in pots - only in zones 9/10 can they be outside, even in the summer. Which is it? From these posts it seems that there are some people from as far north as I am that plant theirs in the garden all summer and bring them only when there is danger from frost.
|Nellie||June 7, 2008 11:04 am|
|I was wondering if I can regrow a part that fell off of the main plant. They are so beautiful that I really want another one. Does anyone know if you can regrow it in a jar of water like you can some other plants?? Thank you for your time. Emailing me would be the best way to get to me.|
|Jackie||June 12, 2008 12:49 pm|
|I just bought my sun star plant and could immediately tell it was a different plant.
I got it at WalMart and they have a ton of them.
As soon as I got home, I got on the computer to find out about them. This website is so helpful.
I have mine outdoors in a pot (it is already in bloom)
Now I know I have to bring it indoors in winter because I live in Atlanta, GA.
By the way, what zone am I in?
|Mary||June 14, 2008 5:55 am|
|Plant falling over|
|[Same question as Trish above]
I have the same question. Mine is in bloom with some dried flowers on the stem. They are leaning over as though they are dying. Are they? Are they just too top heavy?
|Wendy||June 14, 2008 10:33 am|
|Same question as Barbara|
|I, too, would like to know when to start watering it again. Mine are in the original pot and are drying out now. When do I restart the watering? I am in Michigan, and the plants stay in the house all year. Thanks!|
|Bill Heller||June 14, 2008 11:40 am|
Some of your questions have been answered on the Sun Star page. Be sure to check there.
Also, if you have posted a question and it is not approved (does not get posted to the site) it would be for one of two reasons:
1) Spam filter, yes spam even gets posted to websites. To reduce the amount of just plain nasty things that you would not want to see here we have a pretty aggressive spam filter. The site should tell you at the top of the page if your message is trapped by the filter.
2) It may be because the exact same question has already been answered and we don't want to make it harder for people to get through all of the posts to find the information they are looking for. No fun reading the same question over and over if it is not the answer you are looking for.
Not trying to discourage you from posting at all, we love to hear from you. But, please do look around here and the Sun Star page before asking a question.
|Bill Heller||June 14, 2008 12:30 pm|
|Some other answers|
|Trish & Mary:
Top heavy plants. It sounds like the plant is weak, it cold be too much water or not enough light. It could also be the way the plant was handled before you got it. I know that sounds vague but it really depends upon your conditions. Usually they dry out completely before falling over. But it is not dying. EVERYTHING you see above the ground is just there for the season and it will dry up quickly after it blooms. If the plant seems otherwise healthy but just has huge groups of flowers a stick is probably the best solution.
Which brings us to a couple of other frequent questions.... Where to buy? It is not really the right time to buy them. They bloom in spring and are planted as bulbs in the fall. You may still find them at some retailers, but for the most part they are going to be moving on to summer plants by now. If you can find them as bulbs, they will be available in the fall. You plant them in an area safe from frost (could be inside in pots) then they come up in the spring. I am currently trying to find a place they can be purchased as bulbs, when I do I'll post it here.
When to stop watering? When the plant fades on its own is the best answer. When the blooms are done and the leaves are turning brown it is time to stop watering. Of course, you have to learn to tell when it is fading because it is done for the season and when it is not happy about it's conditions. If it still has blossoms on, but it has yellow leaves and is falling over it is probably not happy about it's conditions. If you have good drainage and reasonable light you should not have to worry about withholding the water until the green is mostly gone.
Nellie: Growing from cuttings. I doubt you could get that to work. I have heard of some pretty unlikely plants growing this way but Sun Stars multiply by dividing their bulbs so I think it would be VERY unlikely the broken or cut piece would survive more than a few days in water.
Leslie: There is absolutely no reason you should not be able to have your Sun Star outside in the late spring and summer in Michigan. It does not like frost, but I have not heard of much frost in the summer there.
|Dionna||June 23, 2008 9:22 pm|
|I received a sun star from my sister as a housewarming gift. About week after I transplanted to a bigger pot and WHAM!!! it died! It got all soggy in the leaves and stems and just fell off at the base. Sniff. What did I do wrong? I have many plants and this has never happened. Should I just plant in the yard?|
|Gail||July 1, 2008 11:08 am|
|Hi, thanks for the information on the sun star plant. I hope I can keep mine for at least a year.
My question is off the subject of sun stars however, I was just wondering if you force a bulb and it blooms, can you save the bloom to grow again or force again next year? You can answer by e-mail if that is easier. Thanks, Gail
|mary lee rechtin||November 15, 2008 9:13 am|
|I bought a star palnt last summer. I read somewhere that in the fall you take the bulbs from the pot and store ina; nylon in the basement. I dont know when to plant it for next year|
|Judy||April 6, 2009 10:12 am|
|Sun Star Pests|
|I just brought home a gorgeous sun star plant that has 3 stalks with blooms. Looking at the flowers, I noticed that the centers of several of them have a white cottony substance. Is this normal or do I have an infestation? If so, what do I do? Thanks so much. I can't find anything online about this.
|taon tate||April 14, 2009 5:41 pm|
|where can i buy this flower to grow from the start of it i dnt want to buy one that has already grown i would like to grow one from the begininng|
|Terri D||April 14, 2009 7:43 pm|
|I just brought 3 small sun stars. They are beautiful. I really would like to see them in my garden. I live in Atlanta (zone 7) and that's probably not possible if I want to keep them alive. Do you really have to put them in a closet???/Dark room???? I may as well forget that and give them someone who would do it. I've never caught on to the notion of putting a pot of soil in a closet. I thought of putting them in a potted arrangement with another plant. If I don't stick it in a closet will it not bloom???|
|Bill Heller||April 16, 2009 11:43 am|
|RE: Sun Star|
Sorry for the delayed response. I had a glitch on my server that was not allowing me to see new feedback on the site or respond to it.
They are bulbs, and like most bulbs I think the best way to get them to bloom well is for them to be cool in the winter and get lots of moisture in the late winter. But I can tell you for sure you do not need to put them in a closet. My Sun Stars live in their pots in the back yard. They do nicely year after year. Most of them don't bloom as big as the first time, and sometimes they even take a year off. But I have several to enjoy at this point so I just don't water them as much if they are taking the year off. The main thing is don't water them when they are dormant or they will rot.
|Bill Heller||April 16, 2009 11:51 am|
Sorry for the slow response, there was a glitch on my server that was not letting me see or respond to feedback.
Well, you would be looking for bulbs, and this is not the right time of year to plant them. So even if you can find someone who sells them as bulbs they probably would not sell them right now. The time to look is in the fall. I have looked for several years and have not found a place to purchase the bulbs yet. This is actually a fairly new hybrid, so I think the people that have them are kind of keeping them to themselves. But if I find any I will post to the site.
|Bill Heller||April 16, 2009 12:11 pm|
|RE: Sun Star Pests|
Sorry for the slow response, there was a bug on my server that was not letting me see or respond to feedback.
That does sound like a pest. I have actually found that a lot of my Sun Stars seem to come home with one type of pest or another. I usually use a diluted dish soap on them. Something mild, like Palmolive works well for me. If you have a store brand or something that is harsh be really careful because they can actually burn the plants. If you put just a little soap and water in the bottom of a spray bottle or old dish soap bottle and shake it up until you have a foam that seems to coat the plant thouroughly without getting too much soap in the soil.
|Christina||April 29, 2009 9:09 pm|
|Sun Star food|
|Hi. Thanks for all your great information. I just got my plant yesterday...I couldn't resist it when I saw it. On the small info label that came with it, it says, "Liquid Fertilizer half the label rate every other month." Do you fertilize yours? If so, what do you use specifically? Thanks!|
|Kathleen Donnelly||May 3, 2009 8:58 pm|
|Orange African Star Flower|
|Hi there, May 3, 2009
It's very exciting to have this perfect new "flora" for our Kit/FR island counter.
It needs to be resurrected next year. We are in Phx Az. What's the next step now that flowers are gone and leaves are turning yellow. Bag it (?), give it 3-4 months to rest (?) new soil, start watering in fall(?) Thank you for your time
|Bill Heller||May 3, 2009 10:03 pm|
|RE: Orange African Star Flower|
Mine live in their pots in the back yard through the summer and winter with NO water. That's the main thing, don't water them when they are dormant. You can dig them up and treat them like any bulb, keep them in a cool dry place. In general they are pretty easy to please.
I'm assuming you don't have to worry about frost much, so you can plant them in late Fall and water them through the winter. We get a little frost sometimes here and they are just fine in a sheltered location.
|Mary||May 5, 2009 11:18 am|
I live in Southern Calif. Riverside to be exact. What sone am I in.
Love your web site
|Bill Heller||May 5, 2009 5:30 pm|
|Thanks Mary!! :-)
Should be 9 or 10, good and toasty, you should have no problem leaving your bulbs out unless you are in the high desert (that's still Riverside county, isn't it?).
Just keep them sheltered if you get any freak frost.
|edith||May 7, 2009 6:44 pm|
|sun star plant|
|HI BILL just bought a sun star plant do i water plant or tell me how often do the plant need water.Should i leave in the same container that i bought it in and place on my deck. Please give advise.|
|Marlo Long||May 9, 2009 5:23 am|
|Caring for Plant|
|Hello Bill. I was reading message from 5/7 and I would like the answers to that too. I bought one for my mom and grandmother and I want to be sure they take care of it the way they should. I would want it to come up every year for them. This is a plant they should just keep in a pot, and not plant outside correct? Also once fall is done should they cut all the way down so it does come back up spring/summer time frame? thank you|
|christine Munson||May 10, 2009 10:20 am|
|Bill, I received one as a gift for Easter, and it has bloomed magnificently. I belive I may have over watered it, as the flower stalks are all droopy. Some of the lower leaves are turning yellow. I have cut the stalks off, and am going to not give it any more kindness (water) and leave it in its pot out side. We live in Indiana, and hope that it will resurrect itself next spring. Anything I need to do next with it? Thanks you.|
|Lynn||May 11, 2009 10:15 am|
|Bill, my wife just got a beautiful Orange Star for mothers day, and we just love it. After reading 2 years of posts on this site, we have put it in direct morning sun in the house. Here in central Oregon, we still have cold evenings, and we can get snow ANY month of the year, so based on what we've read here, we think we'll leave it indoors permanently. We'll keep ya'all posted on our plants success. Thanks, Warren & Lynn|
|Bill Heller||May 12, 2009 3:11 am|
|RE: orange star|
Sounds like you're doing the right thing. The flower stalks turn yellow or brown and die off after they are done blooming. It was nothing you did wrong. In time all of the leaves will dry up. As that starts to happen, be sure to stop watering it all together. Keep them cool, dry and away from frost until after any threat of frost in the spring. Then start watering it again and you should get them to come back.
|Bill Heller||May 12, 2009 3:16 am|
|RE: sun star plant|
|I usually keep mine in the pots they came in, but you can plant them in the ground, but it would be best to dig them up after they are done blooming.
If you are keeping it inside, I would water it only when it is starting to get dry. If you keep it saturated all the time the bulbs may rot. Mine have drippers in the pots and are watered every day, but it was also over 100 degrees with 10% humidity one day last week here so they don't stay saturated.
|Bill Heller||May 12, 2009 3:20 am|
|RE: Sun Star food|
I have to admit I don't usually fertilize them as much as I probably should. And I would probably get better and bigger blooms if I did. We usually use an organic fertilizer "EB Stone" is the brand name I believe. It is a little better for the plants, and it is nearly impossible to over fertilize or burn the plants with it.
|Paige||May 12, 2009 10:15 am|
|Hi - I received two of these gorgeous plants for Mother's Day. Just two days later and the flower stems as well as the leaves have turned to mush, resembling an over cooked asparagus. I've seen a couple of posts here asking about this but no answers. Do you know why or at least what to do from this point? Thanks!|
|Bill Heller||May 12, 2009 3:24 pm|
|RE: Mushy Leaves|
|The only thing I could think it would be is too much water. There is probably nothing you can do to get it to come back this year, but as long as you let the bulbs dry out they should be OK for next spring. If the leaves are all dying (no good healthy green leaves or shoots) you could try digging the bulbs up to make sure they are not getting slimy. If they are, I would blot them with a paper towel and try to let them dry out. As long as you can get a good solid bulb out of it (should feel a little bit like a tiny head of garlic, not mushy or hollow) they should come back next year.
|Chris||May 15, 2009 8:04 am|
|I have also had the same exact problem with the flower turning to mush. It started near the base of one of the mature stems, and basically turned one part of the stem to what Paige said "overcooked asparagus". I noticed it because that stem had fallen over and it basically just detached when I tugged on it a bit.
The other 2 stems in the pot are perfectly fine.
I'm wondering if this is some sort of plant disease? or maybe since I'm getting over a cold I'm thinking my plant has something too ;)
|Paige||May 16, 2009 9:18 am|
|Re: Mushy Leaves|
|Thank you Bill. I have not watered the plant since bringing it home. Maybe it had already been given too much water. I'm hoping the bulbs survive. Chris, thanks for your input. It's good to know that I'm not the only one!!|
|starr||May 16, 2009 1:21 pm|
|0range Star plant|
|Mother's Day gift....what a beautiful plant! Son found it and anything with star in it's name or on it, I get. Lucky me! I hope I can keep it well and happy for a long time. Did have one stem do the mushy plant thing.....I did overwater it, I know. Will follow all the advice in all the previous posts. Thanks for all the good info.|
|Joann||May 19, 2009 12:02 pm|
|Orange Star Plant|
|I live in CT. and just received this plant for Mothers day.
I have it in the pot it came in and is in my office right now. I have watered it twice since I got it. It is growing like a weed so tall. the Base is now getting yellow around the leaves. My question is dose any one know what Zone CT. is especially the north east part of CT. North Haven. Also with all I have read will I be able to separate the bulbs and give them to other people to share and if so when is that a good time to do that? Now do I have to put this away when it get all dried up and then take it out in the spring. I am not good with plants and understanding things. If any one out there can fill me in on any of this please I would appreacte it.
|Audrey McCord, Mobile, AL||May 20, 2009 9:44 am|
|Was looking for info and found this wonderful site! Printed info (not realizing the extent) and came up with 12 pages! Believe me, I've bookmarked this site!!|
|Robin Woods||May 28, 2009 12:40 am|
|I was blessed with one of these beauties in March for my birthday and just love it. I was so greatful to find this site today! My plant is "dying down" I guess you would say. Do I just keep it moist or damp to the touch until it is ready to be put in dormancy? How should I prepare it? When do I bring it back out and start watering? I'm in WI, in zone 5 or 6, it's still cold here! I know I'll need to keep it in-doors or I'll lose it! Thanks for your help! :-)|
|Phyllis||May 28, 2009 5:24 pm|
|It seems an awful lot of mothers got lucky for Mothers Day, as did I. After reading thru all this, my questions have all been answered. Thank you for this site. I hope to enjoy my Orange Star for years to come.|
|Patricia o'connell||May 29, 2009 3:56 pm|
|I just received one as a gift from a dear friend......and I just love it! The orange color is outrageously gorgeous. I live in Buffalo NY - what to do? Plant outside, or keep indoors?
Will bulbs re-vitalize after a Buffalo-inground winter?
|TByrd||May 31, 2009 7:36 am|
|I bought one of these lovely plants - from me to me for mother's day. I had never seen one before - what a happy plant. I'm glad to know that I can save the bulbs and replant. I live in an apartment in Maryland; the plant sits on a plant stand at my balcony door and just blooms and blooms. What a wonderful added attraction to my home. Thnaks very much for this wealth of info.|
|Bill Heller||May 31, 2009 11:55 am|
|RE: Orange Star|
|If you plant it outside, you'll have to dig up the bulbs when they are done blooming and the foliage dies back. The bulbs will die in the frost. Replant them in the spring after the threat of frost, or start them in a pot inside in a well lit area.
|mary lee rechtin||June 1, 2009 10:22 am|
|Orange star flower|
|I have taken the bulbs from the pot from last fall and planted them in a pot this May. Is this too late? Only 1 bulb seems to have survived. I love them, but can't seem to find them this year.|
|Bill Heller||June 1, 2009 11:01 am|
|RE: Orange star flower|
|It's probably a bit late. Depends on your area really. But, even if you plant them on time sometimes they take a year off. When you dig the bulb up that grew this year, hopefully you will find the others too.|
|Gloria||June 5, 2009 7:41 pm|
I received this beautiful plant for my birthday. I live in N.E. Ohio. What zone am I in?
Love your web site
|Dani||June 9, 2009 10:40 am|
|Bug take over|
|I bought my Orange Star about two months ago, and recently I've noticed a small brown bug take over. The adults are all over the leaves as well as eggs that they have laid. Any ideas what is taking over my flower? Is there anything I can use to kill the bugs that won't damage the plant?|
|Nicole||June 13, 2009 5:55 am|
|So glad I found this site|
|I got an Orange Star for Mother's Day and had it sitting in my living room. It didn't come with any instructions, so I played it by ear. It seemed to want quite a bit of water (I just fill water in the saucer and let the plant suck it up) and I had many stalks of beautiful flowers.
For the last week or so, though, the flower stalks drooped and the leaves started turning yellow. I thought I killed the plant and was literally one internet search away from throwing it out.
If I hadn't found this website, the plant would have been gone with the next trash pick up.
Thanks for your informative site!!!
|Lorri||June 13, 2009 10:48 am|
|I am so glad to see I have been doing the right things. I thought when my Orange Star started turning yellow I had donesomething wrong. I received it for Mothers day, and I really love it. When do I cut it back down and when do I start watering it again?
|Bill Heller||June 14, 2009 11:37 am|
|RE: Sun Star|
I usually trim off the really yellow or dry parts, anything that is green could still be supplying energy that the bulbs will need next spring. Once the flowers are gone go really easy on the water. And once all of the leaves look like they are on their way out you can stop watering all together.
When you start depends totally upon your climate. Keep the bulbs safe from frost and start watering them after the last chance of frost. If you don't get frost in your area, you can start watering them in late winter to early spring. But make sure they have good drainage. And don't be disappointed if some of them take a year off. As long as the bulbs are healthy, not soft and mushy or dry and shriveled, they should come back.
|AUDREY QUARTERMAIN||March 22, 2010 3:33 pm|
|bought one today @ safeway.what a gorgeous plant.bless it every day|
|Alice||March 26, 2010 4:02 pm|
|Orange Star of Bethlehem|
|I could not resist purchasing this beautiful potted plant at our local grocery store, We live in Canada, zone 5, I believe. Thanks for all the info...what can I do to bring it back next year? I don't think I will bother putting it outside at all.|
|Bill Heller||March 27, 2010 9:07 pm|
|RE: Orange Star of Bethlehem|
|Most importantly, don't water it when it goes dormant and keep it safe from frost. Water it after the last chance of frost and you should be good. I usually give my plants a little organic fertilizer too, which is easier to use than the regular fertilizer which is easy to overuse. They are actually very easy to take care of!
|Bill Heller||March 30, 2010 12:00 am|
|RE: Orange Star|
|Hmmm how bizarre.
It could be some sort of fungus, or more likely it could have been over watered somewhere along the way. Probably before you even got it. Unfortunately, there is probably not much you can do for the bloom and leaves that you see, but that part all goes away after the season anyway. I would let the bulbs dry out and you can plant them again next spring. I'm sorry I can't be more help. Unfortunately those kind of things move pretty quickly and when you see the signs the damage has already been done.
|Bill Heller||April 11, 2010 11:34 pm|
|Looks like it's right on the border of 9 and 10...
|David||April 26, 2010 8:10 pm|
|Bill, thanks for the blog! Went to Homedepot and could not resist them. Tried to resist and walked away, then came back to them. I went thorugh the entire shipment (two selves) trying to choose "mine." I found one and got one for my mother for an early mother's day gift.|
|Kathy O.||May 3, 2010 12:20 pm|
|Orange Star Rescued|
|I've been admiring an office mate's Orange Star for weeks. However, I just rescued it from her trash because she thought it was dead! Other than looking very over watered, the leaves were still in good health so I will be taking it home to be with my orchids (zone 9-10).|
|Bill Heller||May 3, 2010 1:54 pm|
|RE: Orange Star Rescued|
|That's so nice of you to save the plant!
Many of my plants came to me in a similar way. Just realize it is a bulb, so it will probably die back for the summer, but you can plant the bulbs again in the spring.
|Anna Fichera||May 4, 2010 12:55 pm|
|What a beautiful plant! Received an orange one for Administrative Professional Day and she is sitting on my desk with her majestic orange blossoms filling the air with sweetness. Thank you for telling me how to care for this plant as there were no directions in the pot.
|Danielle Anderson||May 8, 2010 5:37 am|
|Hi! Recieved one of these plants for my anniversary and would really like to keep it outside because I have a cat....that being said, I live in Florida where it is very warm already. I see a lot of information about keeping the plant out of frost but not much about heat. I am familiar with other bromeliads and how they can handle the heat. I have a spot that would recieve direct sunlight through a porch screen for a couple of hours then would be shaded? Would this work...also I have one stalk that is mushy like aspargus...should I just pull that stalk out? Thanks so much, I am new to all this gardening stuff and just want to keep the plant a live:)|
|Bill Heller||May 8, 2010 5:33 pm|
|RE: Florida heat|
Hmmm mushy is not good, I would definitely remove it. Perhaps cut back on the water too. You should let the soil get fairly dry between waterings. Better too dry than too wet within reason. Dry will hasten the drying of blooms and leaves this season, too wet will kill the whole plant bulbs and all.
After they bloom, they will die back. They are like Tulips or other bulbs. They come up each spring and are gone by the heat of the summer. But if you take care of the bulbs they will be back next year. The spot you suggested sounds good. Mine are under the very edge of an umbrella on my fence. They get shade from just the direct afternoon sun, and they seem pretty happy there.
|Danielle||May 8, 2010 6:54 pm|
|Thanks for the quick reply. I haven't watered it at all since I recieved it on Thursday. Maybe the store over watered. I cut off the mushy stuff and have it in a well lit area inside my house. I will move it outside tomorrow. Hoping for the best!|
|Theresa||June 5, 2010 10:14 am|
|I have been searching for care tips for my beautiful Sun Star plant. I just found your site. Wow! What beautiful photos and what a wealth of great information! Thank you so much for taking the time to share!
All the best to you! :)
|Karen||June 9, 2010 4:02 pm|
|Orange star plant|
|My orange star plant most the leaves have turned yellow and fallen off. I thought it was dying till I read it was like a tulip and bulb plant. I have a few leaves that are left and some spikes left with a few flowers on them. I am wondering how to keep the bulbs since I live in Nebraska where it gets very cold. Should I leave in the pot and just let it dry up and start watering next spring or remove the bulbs from the pot ? Any help would be appreciated|
|sue||June 14, 2010 9:28 am|
|ORANGE STAR FLOWERS|
|My son got me a orange star flower and I am not good with flowers in the house they die so I would like to know if I could plant it out side your help would appreciated .Thank you and GOD BLESS YOU|
|Bill Heller||June 15, 2010 2:22 pm|
|RE: ORANGE STAR FLOWERS|
|Yes you can. Just protect it from frost in the winter. And let it dry out, or dig up the bulbs in the summer after they dye back. If you dig them up you can plant them again after the last threat of frost.
There are lots more details on the main Sun Star page here...
|Linda||July 31, 2010 10:08 am|
|orange star indoors|
|In reading over all of the discussion provided here, I am one of many who was completely taken in by the unique and brilliant blooms on this plant, a gift from someone very special on Mother's Day. The information that came with the plant itself was a bit vague. It is now July 31, and all of the blooms and leaves have withered and died. From what I have read here, I should just walk away from the plant until perhaps March, at which point I should begin watering, and it will bloom again in late spring as a houseplant. I do not want to lose this plant, so please let me know if I am correct. I know that I have two small bulbs in the pot. Thank you so much for this very informative site.|
|Jessica||October 19, 2010 1:01 am|
|watering the bulbs|
I am not very good at growing things, and I have never attempted to take care of a bulb plant. I picked up an orange star last spring, took care of it, let it go dormant, and now its fall and I don't know what to do next. It lives indoors, when do I begin watering it? I just recently loosened the soil and replanted the bulbs, and the have a nice bit of green at the top. Your advice is appreciated.
|Bill Heller||October 19, 2010 7:15 pm|
|RE: watering the bulbs|
They are a spring flower, so I would not start watering them until the early spring indoors. We get rain all winter here, but mine are outside so they get a lot of sun in the afternoons to keep them from getting too wet.
|Angie||October 21, 2010 11:04 am|
|What to do|
Thanks so much for this great resource. I got my orange star last March. It's October now and the orange star had dired all it leaves since June. I have been keeping it in the same pot and leave it in the same place it was before (on a table by the window under the shade of some other house plants and it receive a lot of indirect light). For a week now, I've noticed the 3 bulbs get green and the tiny tips are growing and get darker green everyday. Should I water it or not? It looks like it wants to grow and has started growing. But then this is not the season when it should start growing new leaves. What do I do now? I really want to keep it year after year and I am just afraid if I do somethign wrong now, it might not survive. Your advice will be much appreciated. Thank you.
|Bill Heller||October 21, 2010 12:11 pm|
|RE: What to do|
You're right it's not really the time of year for them to grow and bloom. But if it is sooo happy that it wants to start growing I sure would not argue with it! I'm speaking of an indoor potted plant of course, if it was outside and going to get killed by cold weather or soggy winter soil I would be worried that the bulbs were going to spend all their energy for no return.
I would definitely start to water it gradually as long as it keeps wanting to grow. You might want to give it a full spectrum plant light if you live in a part of the world with particularly dim or cold winters.
I would give them a little organic fertilizer too. Not the chemical stuff, that burns delicate little bulbs too easy since it is mainly made of salts, especially in a pot. I like EB Stone... http://www.ebstone.org/
One thing to know, even if you keep them happy the individual bulbs won't live forever. Some bulbs bloom as little as three years, some types of flowers have bulbs that keep coming back for a hundred years. I'm not sure where these guys fall in that range. But if you keep them really happy they should multiply before the original bulbs are done.
It sounds like you are doing great!
|Angie||October 22, 2010 7:40 am|
|Thanks so much for such a fast response. I will follow your advice and start watering it. I 'm in Washington DC area and the window where it is in faces South. It gets lots of light all day. It could be the reason why it grows so early. I will share my experience with you. It'll be interesting to see if it flowers in the wrong season. Thanks again.
P/S. I love your pictures.
|Bill Heller||October 22, 2010 9:15 am|
|RE: Thank you!|
|Thank you Angie!
I'd love to hear how it goes!
|Samantha||November 27, 2010 8:32 am|
|Orange star growing already??|
Thanks for this site and for answering so many questions; I bought an Orange Star back in March of this year and have found your site very helpful. I live in Atlanta, zone 7-8 (depending on which map you look at). My Star stayed inside and died back during the summer, so as recommended I quit watering it. I was going to dig up the bulbs but kept forgetting, so they ended up staying in the pot. I moved it outside a month or two ago, since the weather was nice and so that it could feel the seasons, and now it has started growing. My question is, should I bring it inside for the winter? It's currently outside on my covered porch, but I worry that it will be too cold at night to leave it outside. We currently have lows in the 30s at night. Thanks for your help.
|Bill Heller||November 27, 2010 10:43 am|
|RE: Orange star growing already??|
|I would probably bring it inside and start watering it. Especially if there is any threat it will get colder than 30. If you leave it outside, make sure it is sheltered. We get lows in the low thirties too, but we can be pretty sure it never goes below that. We keep ours under an umbrella and close to the house so they get a little warmth and they seem to be happy.
Thanks for the kind feedback and I'm glad the site has helped you!
|Samantha||February 17, 2011 2:32 pm|
|RE: RE: Orange star growing already?? (now, not so much)|
|Hi again, Bill...
So back in November my Orange Star bulbs began sprouting again. It has been inside since the temperatures started getting into the low 40s/upper 30s or so at night. At first it was growing like a weed; sometimes it seemed like I could have measured the growth from day to day. For the two months or so, though, it seems to have faltered. The shoots look healthy and green, but they are very, very fragile. One of them broke off completely at the base a couple of weeks ago when I accidentally brushed my hand against it, and it doesn't show any signs of coming back. The other two are currently tied loosely to bamboo skewers that I put in the soil to prop them up; they won't stand on their own anymore. This limpness has been progressive. I water them about once a week and wait until the top of the soil is dry until watering again, and for a while I tried watering them a little more to see if they were being under-watered, but that didn't help. I've fertilized a couple of times with a very diluted organic fertilizer (the same one I use on my orchids). The only windows I have face north and north-northeast, so I have the Orange Star in the sunroom with all of these windows' blinds open during the day. Might it be getting too little sunlight? Is it normal for them to be so fragile and limp, or can you tell me what I might be doing wrong? They've grown very little in the last couple of months, especially compared to how fast they were growing before, and at this rate I'm worried they'll never get to full size.
|Bill Heller||April 6, 2011 2:29 pm|
|RE: Harmful to cats?|
|Someone, left a message asking if the Sun Star was safe for cats, but no email address. If you search this page for "cats" using the search feature in your browser you can find the information you are looking for. There is a lot of good information on these pages and I don't want to keep duplicating it.|
|Bobbie||April 16, 2011 10:43 am|
|My Orange Star|
|Bill, I really appreciate your site, and this is some of the best info on this plant I've found anywhere on the Net. So, thanks!!!
Warning ... this could be long! Living here in Tallahassee, FL, I seem to recall purchasing my Orange Star around Easter (April) last year (2010). Obviously, it stood out from all the hyacinths, azaleas and Easter lilies - I couldn't resist it! It was at Publix and in a green plastic pot set tight inside a green plastic jardiniere or holeless pot. It had 3 bulbs in bloom, and when all the flowers died, I cut them off first under the flowers instead of at the base, where I now know I should have cut. Eventually, the stalks died back, and I removed them at the base, but the foliage began fading almost immediately.
After all the leaves died too, by then I had learned to let the soil dry out, so I did. But, after all the leaves were dead and gone, I decided to lift the bulbs, and for the longest time, I just kept them dry in a plastic cup, as I've sometimes done with gladiola corms.
Then, in early fall, I believe maybe Sept., I noticed the bulbs had begun sending out roots. So, I placed all 3 back in the same pots with new potting soil with the bulb tips just beneath the surface, covered maybe a 1/4". All 3 began regrowing in a couple weeks and I kept the soil fairly moist with light drying out periods. (I think they call the procedure "benign neglect"!) I really think they got too wet too soon, though, as one died, so I cut back the water a bit and the other 2 kept going. BTW, I also have never given them any fertilizer, but the potting soil has some organic matter in it.
I kept them in a southern window, but we have tons of trees in Tally, so the light was never blazingly strong. In fact, the leaves, and there are many of them, grew into long, droopy straps up to 12" long! So, the pot has been set on a makeshift pedestal all fall and winter and the leaves drape down all around.
However, flower they did!! I think the stalks began emerging in mid-winter, maybe late January. Only one at first, but eventually 2 came up. It's now mid-April and the first has now finished and the dead flowers hang down, but the second is still actively blooming. The flowering is not as vigorous as they were in Publix, (the long stems are 10" high,) but the blooms have lasted over a longer period of time. Also, the stronger light they got while the neighbor's sycamore was leafless made the newest leaves shorter, sturdier and more upright, so next year I may try leaving the plants outside during milder days in the fall and winter and HOPE to remember to bring them during our several really chilly spells in this part of Florida.
BTW, the first blooming bulb as divided into 2 large bulbs and one small offshoot. I can't tell yet if the second one is dividing, but it doesn't appear to be so far. All the strange, long leaves are still healthy and green, but I see yellow appearing at some tips now. Each kind of resembles a puny, unvariegated spider plant with an odd, tall, orange flower stalk rising out of the center. I'm not sure if I will lift them again this year, but the success of reflowering is a difficult incentive to ignore!
One more thing, I have a cat, and since lilies of many kinds are poisonous to them, I was worried she would eat the leaves as she often lies in the same window next to them. I do think she may have sampled one leaf but has never messed with the plant again, except to playfully swat at the dangly leaves on breezy days sometimes. Besides, I grow oat grass for her, and it's always in a pot on the other side of the same window! Still, she's pretty smart, as cat's go, so I would caution anyone with feline friends to keep a close eye on their interest in the Orange Star.
Well, since it's April again, I wonder if Publix has more of these dazzlers in their blooms section? I sure hope so!!!
|Bill Heller||April 17, 2011 11:30 am|
|RE: My Orange Star|
Thanks for that excellent description! I really appreciate hearing good success stories. Glad to hear you got one bulb to divide that's great! That is the way to keep them going.
They are sensitive to too much water for sure, but the individual bulbs don't last forever even in the best conditions. Some types of bulbs bloom as little as three years. I'm not sure where the Orange Star and its relatives fall, but it sounds like yours are very happy! With success like that I would definitely do the same thing this year. Hopefully the new bulbs as they divide will be even more hearty in your particular climate. So if you get them into a good routine that they like you should continue to have great results.
I have seen them already in the grocery stores near us already, so it is definitely time to look for them.
Thanks so much for your note! I'm glad you like the site!
|Bobbie||April 18, 2011 10:59 am|
|Re: My Orange Star|
|Thanks for posting my comments, Bill, and for your response. I did see some errors I made near the end of that 'dissertation' where it should have read this way:
"... next year I may try leaving the plants outside during milder days in the fall and winter and HOPE to remember to bring them in during our several really chilly spells in this part of Florida.
BTW, the first blooming bulb has divided into 2 large bulbs and one small offshoot..."
(Don't need to have folks any more confused than I am!!)
I recall someone earlier mentioning how the Orange Star blooms really bend to follow the sun's path across the sky. Nutation, or circumnutation, in plants has always been one of nature's most interesting botanical processes to me, and these longer flower stalks on my Orange Star really do demonstrate the phenomenon. What fascinates me most is how nutating plants are also ready and aimed in the direction of the sun before sunrise! Amazing, and very cool!!
Perhaps that also explains where they got another of their names, "Sun Star". Who knows? Anyway, I have bookmarked your site and will try to let you all know of any future interesting developments on the Orange Star front.
Happy Spring All!
|Angie||May 11, 2011 1:20 pm|
|Update on my Orange Star|
This is Angie who sent you a question to which you answered on 10/21/10 about my orange stars which started growing in the wrong season (in October). I promised to send update so I am now writing with my happy story. And I want you to know if I had not tumbled into your site when I first got my orange stars, there would have been no chance I could have them re-bloom again this year. I must have thought they died when their leaves all dried. So many thanks to you and your site!
Last Oct I followed your advice and started watering my plants. They grew nice leaves but did not have any sign of flowers for a long time. I thought it must be taking a year off. But in February it started growing healthy new stalks of flowers, one by one. Five of them! When I bought them there were only 3 bulbs with three flower stalks. It looks to me one bulb has multiplied and given me 2 new ones. They started blooming in mid March and now itís May, I still have 3 stalks left with their last flowers still blooming. The flowers are as healthy and big as they were when I got them from the store last year. The stalks are all healthy and firm from beginning to end. (Last year I had them in the shade. They got so flimsy I had to tie them to some sticks because they could not stand by themselves). The leaves that came out last Oct and Nov are getting yellowish. But for the past 5 weeks all bulbs are growing new leaves to replace them.
Theyíve been indoors all the time and still are in the same small pot they came in. Hereís what I did differently. I moved them to a window facing South and let them stand out of any shade. They get full sun from early morning to noon. They get a lots of light in the afternoon but no direct pm sun so they do not get burned. (Note I live in DC area. You might not want to do the same if you live in the South). Once a month I give them orchid food, but extremely light, just a tiny trace of it, nowhere near the recommended amount for orchid. I water them once every 2 days, sometimes even once a day depending on the weather and the air humidity. I rarely wait until the upper soil gets dry like some recommend. But I make sure the pot drains very well, so they donít sit in water at all.
Thought my experience may be helpful for other orange star lovers. Thank you again, Bill.
|Jacqueline Irwin||June 2, 2011 9:06 pm|
|I got my Orange Star for Mother's day and absolutely adore it. I was trying to find some for my wedding bouquet but didn't have any luck. I would even settle for silk but alas still no luck. Anyone know where I might be able to order some silk or real? I would really appreciate it.
To Bill ~ I love your pictures and hope to find a bouquet as beautiful as that.
|Laurie||May 10, 2012 11:03 am|
I ive in Connecticut. Today I bought 2 beautiful sun star plants, thinking that they were outdoor garden perennials. Not liking the information that came w/the flower I found your website. I have read all the emails from others, but I still have some questions. What zone do I live in? Can I plant it in my garden with success or should it be kept indoors? I would like to put it outside, I believe that in a morning sun spot is best. How long can I expect it to bloom? How tall will it get? If in the garden I cannot be in total control of the amount of water, do I just let mother nature take it's course? Lastly, I believe that I should dig up the bulbs for longer life, when should I do that, and where would you put them for the winter and what care will they need.
It is such an outstanding plant/flower that I truly want to know how to keep it alive and flourishing.
|Bill Heller||May 10, 2012 3:32 pm|
|RE: Sun Stars|
Not sure exactly what zone you are in, there are a number of really detailed maps online. You'll have several different zones in your state. But regardless you'll be able to get them to be happy outside with some general bulb good practices...
They bloom in the spring for a month or two and should be given good light until the green foliage starts to fade in the summer. You can prop top-heavy blooms with a small stick, and you can trim away anything that looks dry and dead. Leave anything that is green and healthy as long as you can. Green = photosynthesis = strength for the bulbs. Yellow or slimy probably means too much water. You'll need to protect them from frost in the winter, that probably means digging the bulbs up (and they are small) let them dry out in a cool dry dark area probably in a paper bag. Then you can plant and water them after the last threat of frost. They should be ok in the ground if the soil has good drainage. If they sit in a small layer of topsoil over clay or hard packed dirt that holds the water there they will rot easily.
They won't come back forever, three to five years is probably the average. But if they are really happy they should multiply for you.
Hope that helps.
|Rebecca||May 12, 2012 11:34 am|
|Wanted to say thanks for all the helpful info. All the questions and ananswers have really helped me. I imedietly took my plant outside to dry up some of the water when you helped me realize that I have given it to much water. Hope its not to late and that I didnt make a mistake putting it in a bigger pot. I also would have thrown it out when it died not realizing it was a bulb that comes back and even multiplies. Thats great news. I just love this plant. Am also going to try growing another beautiful plant I just got a Hibiscus. Love them but have been afraid ton try one. Decided I can only kill it lol and try again. Thanks so much esspecially Bill for your kindness. God Bless|
|Sharon||June 1, 2012 9:46 am|
|This is the first Sun Star I have recieved and it is beautiful...I would like to keep it indoors for my summers are mild...I have great lighting by the sun and hope I can maintian it's beauty..My ? is it is soo tall and bending over, should I cut that stem off,it has already bloomed, or wait for it to die?|
|Bill Heller||June 1, 2012 10:16 am|
|RE: Sun Star|
|Hi Sharon, if all of the blooms are done you can trim the stalk at the base. I try to leave anything green because it is probably giving the bulbs energy and food. But it probably will fade pretty quickly after the blooms are done anyway.
They do like to get top heavy sometimes when they are blooming so propping the blooming stalks with a small stick works good too.
|Shawna||March 16, 2013 8:35 am|
My husband bought me a Sun Star plant as a gift to cheer me up, it was waiting for me on my desk when I got home from a bad day at work. I love the plant so much that I have a tattoo of it on my wrist. I am so glad that I found your sight. The plant was mislabled and I have been searching for the wrong plant care. We had thought that when the plant died off that we had killed it and set it outside. One day I went out where the plant was and about cried when I saw that there was new growth. So we brought the plant back inside and started caring for it and it bloomed again. I was so happy. We keep the plant indoors under a plant light and we water it once a week and fertilize once a month and it is a very, very happy plant. I was excited to learn that it comes in different colors and plan on getting more.
|Margaret||March 26, 2013 6:14 pm|
|Just bought one of these beautiful plants today at the grocery store. Very glad I found your site - at least I will know how to care for it! Thanks!|
|Sherry Owens||April 12, 2013 8:40 am|
|3 yr plant|
|My daughter gave me one for Mothers day 3 years ago. I had a hard time finding info, except saying "very little to no blooms the following years". I was very surprised the 2nd year that it did bloom very well (with no help except water from me). It is blooming again this year and seems a beautiful as the first year. I am SO glad I didnt just throw it away after the first year. This year I plan on seperating the bulbs as they seem to have made more and are getting crowded in the small pot. I may plant some outside, but plan on keeping some in pots just to make sure.
Sherry in Texas.
|Janice Tracia||May 11, 2013 3:16 pm|
|sun star orange|
|Well after reading all these posts for the last hour I see than ! Bill is amazing, and 2 everyone is fascinated with this beautiful flower. I laugh as I read all the entries seeing how everyone was as taken aback by this gorgeous flower as I was...and how most received it for Mothers Day. I was shopping at Walmart with my grown children and my daughter noticed my reaction to this flower and went back and got it for me for Mothers Day. I will try my best to keep this beauty happy and healthy as it brings me so much joy. I may even go back and buy a couple more just for the fun of it.. thank you Bill and all for the wonderful ideas. I have also "favorited" this page. Good luck to all with our precious find.|
|Marjorie Bill||May 17, 2013 5:26 am|
|Sun Star Orange|
|Received one for Mother's Day and love it. Will it bloom most of the summer, or is it like other bulb plants? Should I remove it from the pot, when the leaves die off and store the bulb for planting in the fall?
|Bill Heller||May 17, 2013 8:25 pm|
|RE: Sun Star Orange|
Yes, it is like other spring bulbs. Withhold water and trim the dry parts as the plant fades for the season. You can find more care instructions here Sun Star Care Instructions.
|Laurie Veal||June 23, 2013 6:06 am|
|Planting Orange Star Flower Seeds|
|Can you plant the seeds from the flowers?|
|Bill Heller||June 25, 2013 1:49 am|
|RE: Planting Orange Star Flower Seeds|
|I doubt they would have many seeds. I've never really looked. Usually they would be propagated by the bulbs dividing or growing smaller bulbs around the sides. They need to be very happy and healthy for that to happen though.
|Lori Angel||June 16, 2014 1:12 pm|
|Sun Star Orange|
|Hi Bill...so OK...I too received an Orange Sun Star for Mothers Day this year. I live in Northern CA so it gets in the 100s in the summer and we get frost in the winter...so I am assuming it would be best to keep this plant indoors. I chose a very sunny spot in my kitchen which stays relatively the same temperature all year round. As everyone else's mine is starting to get yellow and brown on the leaves at the bottom and the flowers are dying back, however, there are also some new blooms. It seems as though from what I understand I should cut off the dead flowers and leaves and not over water it. The one I received has two bulbs in a very small pot. I am not quite sure when I should stop watering it all together and whether or not I should transplant these into a bigger container...and if I should...when would be the proper time to do so? Also... when there's nothing left but the bulbs...which I'm assuming means they are in a dormant stage...do I continue to keep watering the soil? if I do...how often should I water it...and if I don't...then how do I know when to start watering it again? I have never had an indoor bulb plant so have no idea what I'm doing Lol...I'm so glad I found the site...thank you so much for your help!!!|
|Bill Heller||June 17, 2014 11:25 am|
|RE: Sun Star Orange|
Not sure which pages you saw on the site but most of the care instructions can be found here...
You can trim anything that is brown. I'm assuming there is some green on both bulbs. If not I would start to withhold water if one of the bulbs is done. If you give them too little water they will probably fade a little faster than they would have otherwise for the season. If you give them too much, the bulb that is done will rot. If the first bulb has no green left, you could always dig it up and store it in a cool dry place until next year.
If they are both still blooming and growing, then a trim; and light watering when the soil is dry is fine. If all the blooms are open, and you don't see anything new growing, I would give it very little, if any water and then only if there is still healthy green. Once the last green starts to fade you should be letting the soil dry for the season.
As far as when to start watering, they are usually a spring flower. So any time after there is no threat of frost should work for them. Make sure they have good drainage and they should come back for several years. If they are really happy, they should split and give you more bulbs.
Hope that helps.
|Sue||April 6, 2015 8:44 am|
|The Orange Star|
|Will an Orange Star plant survive outside in Florida if it only get the morning sun?|
|Bill Heller||April 8, 2015 3:45 pm|
|RE: The Orange Star|
It will probably be happy if it gets a few hours of good sunlight in the morning. The best way to tell would be to look at what else is growing there. It's like any spring bulb, if you have tulips or daffodils in the area I would bet the SunStar would be happy.
|Bill Miller||November 29, 2015 2:01 pm|
|Orange Star - Year 2|
|Got my plant last year. like many others I was taken by the blooms. When it died back, as noted in other posts, I took the bulb out of the soil and stored it without any water. Noticed new green shoots last week and have re-potted it in the same container. We will see how it does. Keep you posted.|
|Bill Heller||May 8, 2018 7:31 pm|
|RE: Orange Star|
Oh it should be fine! If it has any green left on it at all I'd replant it and let it get a little energy for next year. But it sounds like you just have the bulb, so you can just treat it like any bulb. Either put it back in the soil and withhold water until next spring as the other bulbs go dormant (assuming there are more than one). Or you can store the bulbs out of the soil in a cool dry place until next spring. Basically like you would treat tulips or any other bulb. The longer you let them grow the more energy the bulb can store for the dormant time, but if it's bloom was done it probably was about ready for a nap anyway.
Hope that helps!
|Bill Heller||May 8, 2018 7:35 pm|
|RE: Orange Sun star|
|Probably not, it's supposed to be pretty safe down to zone 7-8 as long as it's deep enough to avoid frost, but you're probably zone 5 or 6. Sounds like it would be happiest as a house plant.
|Bill Heller||May 8, 2018 7:53 pm|
|RE: Son star|
I'd wait to repot it until after it's done blooming. Or you can even take the bulbs out of the soil when they are done for the season and put them in fresh soil in a little bigger pot early next spring.