Galtonia Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

In this Gardener's HQ guide, we'll explore cultivating Galtonia plants in your garden, indoor spaces, and other settings.

Summer Hyacinth: Cultivation & Garden Use

Galtonia species are usually grown from hardy bulbs in the garden and reach a height of between 90 cm and 1.2 metres.

They have a long blooming period from the middle of summer and throughout autumn.

When in bloom they carry white bell shaped flowers atop long upright stems.

Some common names of Galtonia include Summer Hyacinth and Giant Summer Hyacinth.

Galtonia candicans
Galtonia candicans by lilli2de.

Galtonia Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Giant Summer Hyacinth, Summer Hyacinth, Cape Hyacinth, Spire Lily.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial.
Height: 24 to 48 inches (60 to 120cm).
Native: Southern Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 6 to 10. As an annual in cooler areas.
Flowers: Middle of summer and autumn.
Flower Details: White, cream. Bell-shaped. Fragrant.
Foliage: Straplike. Linear. Grey-green. Dark green.
Growing Outside: Usually grown from bulbs as seed grown plants will not bear flowers for about five years.
Galtonia Bulbs: 5 to 6 inches (12 to 15 cm). Start of spring. Spacing; Small 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm); Large 14 to 18 inches (35 to 45 cm).
Seeds: Cover. Start of spring through to the summer.
Sow Inside: Germination time: two to three weeks. Temperature: 70°F (21°C).
Seven or eight weeks in advance. Transplant outdoors early in spring or in autumn.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight to slight shade. Good drainage. Moist soil. Regular watering during dry periods. Winter mulch. Bring indoors over the winter and store in a dry and cool place in cooler regions. Propagate: offsets can be planted in early spring or towards the end of autumn.

How to Grow Summer Hyacinth - Galtonia

For quicker results you should grow Summer Hyacinth from bulbs. This is because seed grown Galtonia can take as long as five years before they will first flower.

The bulbs should be planted about 12 to 15 cm (5 to 6 inches) deep at the start of spring.

If growing from seed, then sow in spring or summer, and lightly cover the seed.

The spacing of Galtonia plants is species dependent, plant small Galtonia varieties from 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) apart and tall ones about 40 to 50 cm (16 to 20 inches) apart.

Ideally, summer hyacinth should be grown in a sunny part of the garden. Locate in an area that has good drainage and a moist soil.

If you start Galtonia species off indoors from seeds, then start about 7 or 8 weeks in advance. It should take two or three weeks for seeds to germinate at a temperature of about 20°C (68°F). Transplant Galtonia out in the garden in autumn, or at the start of spring.

Caring for Galtonia plants in the Garden

It is pretty easy to look after Galtonia species such as giant summer hyacinth. They prefer a moist soil, so keep well watered in dry periods. If you live in a very cold area it is a good idea to bring bulbs inside during the winter.

If you require more Galtonia plants for your garden, then propagate by planting the offsets that they produce. This can be done in autumn or spring.

Common Questions

How many members does the Galtonia genus have?

The Galtonia genus has four species.

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

Yes, Galtonia, or Summer Hyacinths, are excellent for gardens, producing tall spikes of elegant, bell-shaped flowers in summer.

Which Galtonia species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Galtonia candicans, known for its white, fragrant flowers, is a popular choice among gardeners.

Are members of the Galtonia plant genus fragrant?

Yes, Galtonia species are known for their sweet fragrance, especially Galtonia candicans.

What is the perfect location to grow Galtonia?

Galtonia prefers a sunny to lightly shaded location with well-drained soil. They do particularly well on sunny slopes.

Is Galtonia invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Currently, Galtonia is not recognized as an invasive species in the USA.

How do I remove Galtonia plants from my garden?

To remove Galtonia, dig up the bulbs when the plant is dormant, usually in late fall.


The Galtonia genus, commonly known as Summer Hyacinth, belongs to the Asparagaceae family. Originating from South Africa, these bulbous perennials are admired for their pendulous, bell-shaped flowers that bloom in late summer.

Plant Galtonia bulbs in spring, about 4 inches deep and 8 inches apart, in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. They prefer regular watering during their growth and blooming period. In cooler climates, the bulbs may need to be lifted and stored indoors over winter.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Galtonia plants. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Corydalis, Winter daffodil, and Ixiolirion plants.