How to Grow Chlorogalum Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Soap Plant and Amoles

The Chlorogalum plant is grown as a hardy bulb.

It is a tall plant with long green-grey leaves, and grows from 60 cm to 2.5 metres (2 to 8 feet) in height.

It blooms at the beginning of Summer, with white, blue, or pink terminal flowers.

Chlorogalum pomeridianum
Chlorogalum pomeridianum (Soap plant) picture by Aotus.

Soap Plant
Soap Plant by Tom Hilton.

Interestingly, Chlorogalum plants only bloom in the afternoon. Some of the common names that they are known by includeSoap plant, Amoles, and Soaproot.

Chlorogalum Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Soap Plant, Amoles, Soaproot, Amole Lily.
Life Cycle: Hardy bulb.
Height: 24 to 96 inches (60 to 240 cm).
Native: Northern America.
Family: Asparagaceae.

Growing Region: Zones 8 to 10.
Flowers: Early summer.
Flower Details: White, pink, blue. Lily-like. Narrow tepals.
Foliage: Grey-green. Leaves from the base. The leaves of some species have wavy or toothed edges.

Sow Outside: Easiest to grow from bulbs. Measure diameter of the bulb and bury at twice that depth in the autumn.
Seeds: 1/8 inch. Germination time: one to three months. Spacing 4 inches (10 cm).
Seed: Method 1: Seeds should first be sown into flats in the autumn. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Bring the flats indoors at the beginning of spring and keep at 60°F (16°C). Transplant seedlings in the autumn.
Seed: Method 2: Mix seeds in a moist growing medium, then put in flats, wrap in a large plastic bag, then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Next bury the flat as described above. Once seedlings emerge transplant them to their final location.
Sow Inside: No.

Requirements: Full sunlight or light shade. Good drainage. Fertile soil, moist soil. Regular watering. Cut back stems once flowering has completed. Winter compost mulch. Propagate: offsets can be planted in either spring or autumn.

Miscellaneous: The plant gets the name soap plant because Chlorogalum bulbs were traditionally squashed to make a detergent that was used to wash clothes.

How to Grow Chlorogalum

The bulbs of the Chlorogalum plant should be planted at a depth that is about twice their size.

If planning to sow from seeds, then Soap plant seeds should be chilled by placing the seeds in pots (with soil) in a black bag, then placing in the fridge for two weeks.

The pots should then be planted outdoors, buried to the rim in the spring-time.

Once seedlings appear, they should be transplanted at a spacing of about 7 to 10 cm (3 to 4 inches) into a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden. This location should have good drainage.

Caring for Chlorogalum

The ideal soil for growing Chlorogalum plants should be fertile. Plants should be kept moist by watering, and cut back following flowering.

Common Questions

How many members does the Chlorogalum genus have?

The Chlorogalum genus includes around six species, such as the Soap Plant or Amole.

Do members of Chlorogalum make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Chlorogalum species aren't commonly grown in gardens, but they can add interest to native plant or wildflower gardens.

Which Chlorogalum species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Chlorogalum pomeridianum, also known as Soap Plant or Amole, is sometimes grown for its interesting flowers and ethnobotanical history.

Are members of the Chlorogalum plant genus fragrant?

Chlorogalum pomeridianum has fragrant, evening-blooming flowers that attract pollinators like moths.

What is the perfect location to grow Chlorogalum?

Chlorogalum prefers sunny locations with well-drained soil. It's a drought-tolerant plant perfect for California native plant gardens.

Is Chlorogalum invasive in the USA?

Currently, Chlorogalum is not considered invasive in the USA. It's a North American native plant, particularly in California.

How do I remove Chlorogalum plants from my garden?

To remove Chlorogalum, dig out the large bulbs, ensuring that all bulb fragments are removed to prevent regrowth.


The Chlorogalum genus, part of the Asparagaceae family, is native to western North America. Also known as soap plant or amole, these perennial bulbous plants are recognized for their grass-like leaves and tall stalks of small, star-shaped white or purple flowers that bloom in summer.

To grow Chlorogalum, plant them in a sunny location with well-drained soil. They can be grown from seeds or bulbs. Regular watering is necessary, but they are quite drought-tolerant once established. They are often used in meadows, borders, or as cut flowers for their attractive, starry blooms.

I hope that you found this guide on how to grow Chlorogalum plants in your garden. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Yucca filamentosa, Agave americana, and Scilla plants.