Ixia Plant Growing & Care Guide for Gardeners

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

African Corn Lily, African Iris, & Wand flower: Cultivation & Garden Use

Ixia species are grown from half hardy bulbs.

They have grass like leaves and stellar flowers of blue, purple, red or white.

Ixia viridiflora
Ixia viridiflora photograph by Enez35.

They come into bloom from spring into summer.

Some of the common names for Ixia include Corn lily, African Iris, Wand flower, and African Corn lily.

Ixia hybrid 'Buttercup' by FarOutFlora.

Commonly Grown Ixia Species

Ixia viridiflora

Ixia viridiflora
Ixia viridiflora (Turquoise Ixia), photograph by Jean-Michel Moullec; CC.

Ixia maculata

Ixia maculata
Ixia maculata (Spotted African Corn lily), picture by Wilferd Duckitt; CC.

Ixia dubia

Ixia dubia
Ixia dubia (Ixia corn lily), Image by Wilferd Duckitt; CC.

Ixia monadelpha

Ixia monadelpha
Ixia monadelpha (African Iris), photograph by Sacha Dowding; CC.

Ixia paniculata

Ixia paniculata
Ixia paniculata (Wand Flower), photograph by Andrew massyn; CC 3.0.

Commonly Grown Ixia / Corn Lily Cultivars

White Ixia Cultivar

Ixia viridiflora white
White Ixia cultivar photograph by 阿橋 HQ; CC.

Yellow Ixia Cultivar

Ixia viridiflora yellow
Yellow Ixia cultivar photograph by 阿橋 HQ; CC.

Ixia Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: African Corn Lily, African Iris, Corn Lily, Wand flower, Turquoise Ixia.
Life Cycle: Half hardy bulb.
Height: 12 to 36 inches (30 to 90 cm).
Native: Southern Africa.
Growing Region: Zones 3 to 10.
Flowers: Species dependent: Spring and/or summer.
Flower Details: Blue, white, purple, red, pale green, orange, yellow. Spikes of 12 to 20 flowers. Star-shaped. Six petals.
Foliage: Grass-like.
Growing Ixia Outside: Usually grown from Ixia bulbs as seed grown plants will not bear flowers for about three years.
Bulbs: 4 inches (10 cm). Plant on a sand base. Spring in cooler areas; late autumn in warmer areas. Spacing 4 to 20 inches (10 to 50 cm).
Seeds: Cover. Following the last frost.
Sow Inside: Temperature: 60 to 65°F (16 to 18°C). Autumn. Grow indoors for two years then transplant outside in the spring in cool areas or the autumn in warm areas.
Requirements and care: Full sunlight or partial shade. Good drainage. Rich soil. Regular watering during periods of growth. Winter mulch in warmer areas. Bring bulbs indoors and store in a cool dry place over the winter in cooler areas; replant in the spring. Propagate: by dividing corms when planting; will self seed successfully in dry areas.
Miscellaneous: Attractive to bees and other insects such as monkey beetles. The name Ixia is named after the Greek name for bird droppings; a reference to the consistency of the plant’s sap.

How to Grow Ixia

Corn lilies and other Ixia species are usually grown from corms; these should be planted on top of sand at a depth of 10 cm (4 inches). Space out about 10 cm (4 inches) apart into a rich well drained soil.

The corms can be planted in spring for flowers at the end of summer or at the beginning of winter for spring flowers.

It is possible to grow Ixia plants from seed, though it may take more than three years for them to flower, simply cover the seed in soil after the last frost of spring.

Ixia members can be grown in either sunny or partially shaded areas of the garden.

Caring for African Iris, Corn lily, and Other Ixia Plants

It is fairly easy to look after Corn Lily, African Iris, and other Ixia in the grden. They require regular watering whilst growing and flowering.

In very cold areas bring the corms indoors and store in a dry place; replant in the spring.

If you require more plants then the corms can be divided in the spring.

Common Questions

How many members does the Ixia genus have?

The Ixia genus consists of around 50 species, known for their colorful and decorative flowers.

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

Yes, Ixia plants are excellent for gardens and landscapes. Their vibrant flowers add a splash of color to any setting.

Which Ixia species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

The most commonly grown species include Ixia viridiflora and Ixia maculata, both loved for their bright and unusual flower colors.

Are members of the Ixia plant genus fragrant?

Some Ixia species do have a light, pleasing fragrance, but they are primarily grown for their visual appeal rather than scent.

What is the perfect location to grow Ixia?

Ixia plants prefer a sunny location with well-drained soil. They're perfect for rock gardens, borders, or as cut flowers.

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

Currently, Ixia species are not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Ixia plants from my garden?

If you need to remove Ixia, dig up the bulbs when the plant is dormant. Ensure all bulbs are removed to prevent regrowth.


The Ixia genus, part of the Iridaceae family, includes perennial plants native to South Africa. Recognized for their tall, slender stems and star-shaped flowers, these plants are often used in cut flower arrangements.

Ixia prefers full sun and well-drained soil. Plant the corms in the fall for spring blooms. Regular watering is needed during growth and bloom periods. Propagation is primarily through corms.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Ixia plants. You may also enjoy the following plang growing guides: How to grow Prunella; Herniaria Plant Growing Guide; Viola Odorata; and Yucca Plants.