How to Grow Ixiolirion Plants in your Garden

Gardener's HQ Guide to Growing Mountain Lily, Tartar Lily and Siberian Lily

Members of the Ixiolirion genus can be grown as either hardy bulbs or annuals in the garden.

They reach from 30 to 40 cm (12 to 16 inches) in height and carry delightful funnel shaped flowers of blue.

Their size makes them good plants for rock gardens use to fill in the gaps of dry stone walls.

Some of the common names for Ixiolirion include Tartar Lily, Siberian Lily and Lily of the Altai.

Ixiolirion by Knoxilla; Creative Commons.

Tartar Lilies
Ixiolirion Plant by Knoxilla.

Ixiolirion Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Mountain Lily, Siberian Lily, Tartar Lily, Lily of the Altai
Life Cycle: Hardy bulb commonly grown as an annual by gardeners.
Height: 15 to 20 inches (38 to 50 cm).
Native: Southwest Asia.
Northern America: Annual: zones 3 to 6. Perennial in zones 7 to 10.

Flowers: Late spring and summer.
Flower Details: Blue, purple. Funnel. Sword shaped petals.
Foliage: Grass-like.

Sow Outside:
Seed: cover seed. Just before the last frost. Spacing 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12 cm).
Bulb: bury 5 inches (from bulb base). Plant in spring, or in autumn in warmer areas.
Sow Inside: Germination time: one to three months. Temperature 50°F (10°C). Two to three months in advance. Transplant outdoors following the last frost.

Requirements: Full sunlight. Good drainage. Dry soil. Sandy soil. In spring add a top dressing of manure. Bulbs cannot survive temperatures below 23°F (-5°C) bring indoors in cold area once leaves have wilted. Propagate: Plant offsets.
Miscellaneous: Can take up to four years for seed grown Ixiolirion to flower.

How to Grow Mountain Lily, Tartar lily and other Ixiolirion Plants in the Garden

The bulbs of tartar lilies (Ixiolirion Plants) should be buried about 5 cm (2 inches) deep.

Space bulbs at 10 cm (4 inches) apart in the spring; into a sunny part of the garden.

Ideally the soil should be dry and sandy. If you are growing Tartar lilies and other Ixiolirion species members from seed then sow on the surface and lightly cover the seed; this should be done before the last frost of spring.

If you are first planning to grow Ixiolirion indoors then they should be started about two to two and a half months before putting out (following the last frost of spring).

Tartar lilies will take from one to three months to germinate at a temperature of 10 degrees centigrade (50°F).

Caring for Tartar lily and other Ixiolirion Genus Members

Once growing it is necessary to apply a top dressing of manure in the spring.

In very cold areas, bring the bulbs of Ixiolirion indoors and store in a cool dry place through the winter.

Common Questions

How many members does the Ixiolirion genus have?

The Ixiolirion genus is quite small, with only four species. These plants are known for their lovely blue or purple flowers.

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

Yes, Ixiolirion species can make charming additions to a garden, especially rock gardens, due to their bright, eye-catching flowers.

Which Ixiolirion species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Ixiolirion tataricum, also known as the Siberian Lily or Lavender Mountain Lily, is the most commonly grown species in this genus.

Are members of the Ixiolirion plant genus fragrant?

Ixiolirion plants are not particularly known for their fragrance, but they do offer beautiful blooms.

What is the perfect location to grow Ixiolirion?

Ixiolirion plants thrive in full sun to partial shade and require well-drained soil. They are drought-tolerant and perfect for dry or rock gardens.

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

Presently, there are no Ixiolirion species considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Ixiolirion plants from my garden?

To remove Ixiolirion, the best method is to dig up the bulbs when the plant is not actively growing. Make sure to remove all bulbs to prevent regrowth.


The Ixiolirion genus, part of the Ixioliriaceae family, comprises bulbous perennials native to Asia. Known for their bell-shaped, blue or purple flowers, these plants are often used in rock gardens and borders.

Ixiolirion enjoys full sun and well-drained soil. Plant the bulbs in the fall for spring blooms. Regular watering is necessary during growth and bloom periods. Propagation is typically done through bulbs.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Ixiolirion plants. You may also enjoy my gardening guides on how to grow Miscanthus, Lapeirousia plant, and Rhodohypoxis plants.