Corn Lily Ixia 'Spotlight'

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
corn lily 'Spotlight'


Ixia 'Spotlight' is a captivating plant known for its distinctive and striking flowers. The blooms of 'Spotlight' are star-shaped and typically appear in a vibrant shade of yellow that often has a contrasting darker center, which can be a brown or burgundy hue. The flowers are arranged in a cluster at the top of a slender, upright flowering stalk. Each flower consists of six flaring petals that spread outwards, giving the plant an elegant and graceful appearance. These blooms are borne on long, thin stems that emerge from sword-shaped, green foliage. The leaves are glossy and create a lovely backdrop for the eye-catching flowers. The foliage is arranged in a clumping manner, adding to the dense and lush appearance of the plant. Overall, the Ixia 'Spotlight' exudes a sense of brightness and cheerfulness in the garden, with its beautiful sunny-colored flowers making it a popular choice for adding a pop of color to garden beds, borders, and containers. Its blossoms are also admired for their long-lasting nature both on the plant and as cut flowers in floral arrangements.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      African Corn Lily, Wand Flower, Cornflower.

    • Common names

      Ixia 'Spotlight'.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Ixia 'Spotlight', commonly known as Corn Lily, may be mildly toxic if ingested. It contains compounds that can potentially cause gastrointestinal upset, including vomiting and diarrhea. Consumption of any parts of the plant, such as the bulbs, leaves, or flowers, should be avoided to prevent these symptoms. Ingestion of substantial quantities may require medical attention, so it's important to seek medical advice if ingestion occurs and symptoms develop.

    • To pets

      The Corn Lily can be toxic to pets if ingested. It contains compounds that can cause gastrointestinal distress, such as vomiting and diarrhea, which are common symptoms of poisoning. If a pet consumes any part of the plant, including the bulbs, leaves, or flowers, it's important to monitor them for any signs of illness and consult with a veterinarian. Ingestion of larger amounts may lead to more severe symptoms and should be addressed by a professional.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      0.5-1 feet (15-30 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      South Africa


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Decorative Appeal: Ixia 'Spotlight', commonly known as African Corn Lily, features striking blooms that add a splash of color to gardens and landscapes.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The bright flowers of the African Corn Lily attract bees, butterflies, and other beneficial pollinators, aiding in the health of the garden ecosystem.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, Ixia 'Spotlight' is relatively drought-resistant, making it suitable for xeriscaping and low-water gardens.
    • Easy to Grow: This plant is generally low-maintenance, which is perfect for novice gardeners or those with limited gardening time.
    • Works as Cut Flowers: The blooms of the African Corn Lily make beautiful and long-lasting cut flowers for displays and bouquets.
    • Versatility in Planting: It can be used in flower beds, borders, containers, and rock gardens, offering flexibility in different garden designs and settings.
    • Seasonal Interest: Ixia 'Spotlight' blooms in the late spring to early summer, providing a burst of color at a time when many other plants are just starting to grow.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Photography prop: The vibrant and striking blooms of the Ixia 'Spotlight' make it an excellent subject for photographers looking to capture the intricate details and vivid colors of flowers.
    • Educational tool: This plant can be used in botany classes to teach about bulbous plant growth patterns, pollination, and the diversity of South African flora.
    • Art inspiration: Artists may use Ixia 'Spotlight' as a muse for paintings, drawings, or fabric designs due to its appealing color and form.
    • Floral design competitions: As an unusual and eye-catching bloom, Ixia 'Spotlight' can be incorporated into arrangements for competitive floral design.
    • Theme gardens: Ixia 'Spotlight' can be featured in a rainbow or monochromatic themed garden, showcasing its particular color amidst other plants.
    • Culinary presentation: Although not edible, the flowers can be used as a non-toxic garnish for plating high-end culinary dishes.
    • Craft projects: Dried Ixia 'Spotlight' flowers can be used in scrapbooking, card making, or other paper craft projects.
    • Weddings and events: The unique bulbs of Ixia 'Spotlight' can be used as part of wedding favors by attaching a card with event details or as part of the table centerpieces.
    • Color therapy: The vibrant color of Ixia 'Spotlight' can be employed in horticultural therapy settings to create an environment that fosters positivity and emotional well-being.
    • Film and theater sets: The Ixia 'Spotlight' can be used on set to create a specific atmosphere or to visually enhance a garden scene.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Ixia is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Ixia is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Elegance: The Ixia 'Spotlight', with its slender stems and striking star-shaped flowers, represents an embodiment of grace and refinement.
    • Diversity: Native to South Africa and available in a variety of colors, the plant stands for diversity and adaptability, symbolizing our ability to flourish in various conditions.
    • Happiness: With its bright and cheerful blooms, the Ixia 'Spotlight' signifies joy and the spread of happiness, similar to a spotlight shining and capturing attention.
    • Renewal: As a bulb that erupts into bloom with the arrival of the warm season, this plant is often associated with the theme of renewal and new beginnings.

Every 7-10 days
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
Spring-Early Summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    The Ixia 'Spotlight', or more commonly known as African Corn Lily, should be watered deeply until the water begins to run from the drainage hole, indicating that the soil is fully saturated. This typically requires about 1 gallon of water for outdoor plants or 8-16 ounces for potted specimens, depending on the pot size. During the growing season, watering should be done every 7 to 10 days, allowing the top 2 inches of soil to dry out between waterings. Reduce the frequency of watering once the plant finishes blooming and enters dormancy. Overwatering can lead to bulb rot, so it's critical to ensure that the soil drainage is adequate.

  • sunLight

    African Corn Lily thrives in full sun exposure. The ideal spot for this plant is an area where it receives at least six to eight hours of direct sunlight daily. If grown indoors, a southern-facing window is optimal to ensure it receives enough light to bloom successfully. In regions with extremely hot summers, some afternoon shade can be beneficial to prevent leaf scorch.

  • thermometerTemperature

    African Corn Lily prefers temperatures in the range of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during its growth period and can tolerate a minimum of 50 degrees Fahrenheit during dormancy. It's important to protect the plant from freezing temperatures as it can damage the bulbs; they should not be exposed to temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Ideally, the plant should be situated in an environment where the nighttime temperatures are slightly cooler than during the day to mimic its natural habitat.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pruning the African Corn Lily is mainly for aesthetic purposes and to remove spent flowers to encourage further blooming. After flowering, cut back the flower stalks to the base to maintain a tidy appearance. Regular removal of dead or damaged foliage is also advisable. The best time for pruning is immediately after the blooms have faded. Pruning is not typically needed frequently, just as needed post-blooming and for general upkeep.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Corn Lily 'Spotlight' thrives best in well-draining, sandy soil enriched with organic matter. The ideal soil pH for this plant is slightly acidic to neutral, ranging from 6.0 to 7.0. A mixture of two parts sand, one part loam, and one part compost or peat will create a suitable growing medium.

  • plantRepotting

    Corn Lily 'Spotlight' bulbs should be lifted and divided every 2-3 years to prevent overcrowding and to maintain plant vigor. The best time to repot is after the foliage has died back at the end of the blooming season.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Corn Lily 'Spotlight' prefers moderate humidity levels but is adaptable to the typical range found in most homes. Excessive humidity can lead to bulb rot, hence good air circulation should be ensured.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Corn Lily 'Spotlight' in bright, indirect light indoors.

    • Outdoor

      Plant Corn Lily 'Spotlight' in full sun and well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      8-10 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The Ixia 'Spotlight', commonly known as African Corn Lily, begins its life cycle as a corm, which sprouts in late autumn or early winter. Upon sprouting, it develops long, slender, and grass-like leaves. As temperatures rise in spring, the Ixia 'Spotlight' produces tall, wiry stems topped with star-shaped flowers that come in an array of colors, often with contrasting centers or 'spots'. After flowering, which usually occurs from late spring to early summer, the plant sets seed, completing its reproductive cycle. During the warm summer months, the foliage dies back, and the plant enters a period of dormancy as the corm conserves energy. With the return of cooler weather and adequate moisture in autumn, the corm reactivates, and a new growth cycle begins.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-Early Summer

    • Propogation: The Ixia 'Spotlight', commonly known as the Wand Flower or African Corn Lily, is best propagated by division of corms. The ideal time for this is in late summer or early fall after the foliage has died back, signaling the plant has entered its dormant period. To propagate, carefully dig up the clumps of corms and gently separate them, making sure each division has at least one growth point or "eye." It's essential to allow the divided corms to dry for a day or two in a shaded, well-ventilated area to help prevent fungal infections. Once dried, plant the corms approximately 3 to 4 inches (about 7.6 to 10 cm) deep and 4 to 6 inches (around 10 to 15 cm) apart in well-drained soil with ample sunshine. This will encourage growth in the following season, resulting in more of the striking, star-shaped blooms that characterize the Ixia 'Spotlight'.