Orange Star Plant Care (Ornithogalum Dubium)

Last Updated on September 29, 2021 by Grow with Bovees

The Orange Star plant, also known as Sun Star or Star of Bethlehem, is a plant native to the Western Cape in South Africa, and is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 11.

It is aptly named orange star plant for its breathtaking cluster of bright orange flowers that feature a star-like appearance.

What is an Orange Star Plant or Star of Bethlehem?

The Cape Floral Region, from where this plant originates, is a protected area, has great floral diversity, and is also the home to fynbos, and many other species which are unique to the region.

The Orange Star Flower is a flowering plant species from the Asparagaceae family.

It has been featured in several leading magazines, and has also been awarded with the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

Ornithogalum dubium is a bulb-type plant that produces brilliant clusters of fragrant flowers that measure between one and two inches each in the early summer.

This plant can be grown in both containers outdoors or as a houseplant, and is topped with rich dark green leaves that are also a visual treat apart from its beautiful flowers.

Sun star plants can grow up to 20 inches in height, and will regrow again and again from the same bulbs after you’ve planted them.

The Star of Bethlehem plants aren’t grown for their fragrant flowers, but for the ornamental value their flowers provide, as well as their sturdy leaves.

How Do You Care for an Orange Star Plant?

Is the Orange Star plant an Indoor or Outdoor Plant?

An orange star plant can grow outdoors all year round when planted in sheltered outdoor areas in USDA hardiness zones 7 through 11. However, the Star of Bethlehem plants grow the best indoors in a cool, dry area.

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If you’re going to plant orange star plants indoors, keep the ornithogalum dubium plants away from drafts from open windows, air conditioner airflow, and drafts from hot radiators.

Are Orange Stars Perennial?

Orange star plants are perennial plants, meaning they come back from their bulbs every year. But take note that these star plants are sensitive to sudden temperature changes, and their bulbs can easily rot if they become waterlogged.

Orange Star Plant — Temperature Requirements

The Star of Bethlehem plants thrive in warm temperatures between 60°F and 80°F (16° – 27°C). Orange star plants do not do well in cold temperatures, so it’s best to place them in average room temperatures indoors.

Humidity Requirements

Ornithogalum dubium plants aren’t fussy about humidity, as long you allow them to grow in the right indoor or outdoor environment.

Your orange star plant will live a healthy life if you provide it with plenty of sunlight, grow the plants in well-draining sandy soil, and moist ground.

If your orange star plants are exposed to high levels of humidity and poor air circulation, fungal issues such as powdery mildew may occur.

Furthermore, you don’t need to mist the leaves of orange star plants, because doing so can cause issues with leaf spots.

How Do You Water Ornithogalum dubium?

Watering an ornithogalum dubium plant is simple, and the frequency of watering depends on the season. In the summer, water your orange star plant whenever the soil feels dry, so roughly once a week is great. In the winter, let the soil dry out completely before watering to prevent root rot.

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How to Fertilize Ornithogalum dubium

Orange star plants can benefit from regular fertilization, and will produce plenty of orange flowers when fertilized properly.

You can use an N-P-K number of 20-20-20 or 7-7-7 or a high potassium fertilizer to enhance orange star plant flower growth. Feed your orange star plant by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of the product with one gallon of water.

Some great orange plant fertilizer options include:

Southern Ag PowerPak

The Southern Ag PowerPak is a 20-20-20 water-soluble fertilizer that contains chelated minor elements. It can be used to feed your orange star plant, and other plants such as roses, and vegetables.

EON NATURAL Indoor Plant Food

The EON organic fertilizer features an optimal 3-1-2 NPK ratio, and is formulated to support your organic star plant’s health and natural growth.

This potent green formula is easy to use, and can be fed to your other potted plants as well including orchids and lilies.

How to Propagate Ornithogalum Dubium?

You can propagate Star of Bethlehem plants using offsets or seeds. To propagate from seeds, you need to remove the orange star plants seed pods before they drop. Collect the star plant pods in a paper shack, and allow them to dry for roughly a week.

After the star plant seed pods have dried, shake them, and carefully extract the seeds. Fill some 6-inch pots with regular potting soil, sprinkle the orange star plant seeds over the surface, and then scatter a little bit of potting soil over the seeds.

To lock in the moisture, add the thin layer of gravel on the top of the potting soil. The orange star plant seedlings should emerge by spring. You need to wait until the leaves develop before transplanting to larger pots.

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You can use a shovel or spade to propagate orange star plant offsets. The best time to propagate from offsets is during the summer to fall when the leaves of the star plant start to die back.

Start by separating the group of orange star plant offsets into individual bulbs, and get rid of the dead or withered offsets.

Choose pots that have a few drainage holes at the bottom, and fill them with well-drained soil. When planting the bulbs, be sure to space them at least two inches apart, after which you can place the pots in a cool area.

Water the orange star plant bulbs regularly to keep the soil moist. You should notice new orange star plant growth by spring.

Final Thoughts

Orange star plants orange aka Star of Bethlehem plants have earned their name for their showy orange flowers. These beautiful ornamental plants require full sun, and well-drained moist soil to thrive.

When you care for an orange star plant cared properly, you will be rewarded with dazzling orange flowers over the course of one to two months.