How to Grow and Care for White Lace Flower

White Lace Flower (Orlaya grandiflora) in a meadow

Katya / Flckr / Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0)

 

White lace flower (Orlaya grandiflora) is a sturdy, elegant, and low-maintenance annual plant that produces an abundance of delicate pure white flowers that grow in umbels above lush, interesting, gray-green, fern-like foliage. There are typically around 8 to 10 flowers that grow in clusters on each plant. The pattern created by the extending flowering umbels is often said to resemble a lace design, and this is where the plant gets its common name. White lace flower has a long flowering period that lasts from early summer until the first frosts arrive. Growing in a compact and bushy form, its tidy growing habits makes it a fine choice for small gardens.

White lace flower is often planted from potted nursery starts in spring. But seeds can be direct sown in the fall to germinate and sprout in the spring; they will mature into flowering plants in 65 to 70 days.

Common Name White lace flower, Minoan lacea
Botanical Name Orlaya grandiflora
Family Apiaceae
Plant Type Herbaceous annual
Mature Size 2–3 ft. tall, 1 ft. wide
Sun Exposure Full, partial
Soil Type Moist but well-drained
Soil pH Acidic to alkaline (6.0 to 8.0)
Bloom Time Summer, fall
Flower Color White
Hardiness Zones 2-11 (true annual)
Native Area Europe
Close up of the white lace flower (Orlaya grandiflora)
Karayuschij / Getty Images

White Lace Flower Care

White lace flowers are known for being easy to grow, low-maintenance plants, provided they get the right conditions. They're drought-tolerant once established and self-seed readily. Bees, butterflies, and other pollinating insects get drawn to this graceful plant, and it slots in well in a variety of settings, including cottage gardens, beds, and borders. The hoverfly is a particular fan of this species, and their larvae can help to keep bothersome pests, such as aphids, at bay.

Light

White lace flower prefers full but will tolerate partial sun. They don't appreciate too much shade and a warm, south-facing garden is an ideal spot.

Soil

To see the most abundant flowering, white lace flower should be planted in well-drained and fertile soil. It can still grow in nutrient-poor soils, but this will impact both the length of the bloom period length and the abundance of blossoms. This plant isn't particular about soil pH levels.

Water

White lace flower appreciates regular watering. It doesn't do well in standing water, however, so it's better to water lightly and often instead of less frequent deep waterings.

Once established, these plants are relatively drought-tolerant, although the blooms might not be as prolific.

Temperature and Humidity

As you would expect of a plant that is native to the Mediterranean, the white lace flowers prefer warm and dry conditions. If you live in an overly humid or excessively cold region, this won't be the plant for you.

Fertilizer

If you plant your white lace flowers in rich soils, they may not need additional feeding. When grown in nutrient-poor soils, they'll appreciate occasional feeding with a slow-release fertilizer during the growing season.

Pruning

Deadheading and cutting back your white lace flowers during the growing season can extend the bloom period. Pruning of this annual isn't generally required, however.

Propagating White Lace Flower

The best way to grow white lace flowers is from seed. Direct sowing in the garden is best.

How to Grow White Lace Flowers From Seed

White lace flowers are considered hardy annuals, with seeds that readily survive winter cold, so it's possible to sow them in the fall or spring. For best results, however, autumn sowing is recommended. This will result in more robust plants that will germinate very early and bloom by early summer. If seeding in the spring, it's best to start them indoors six to eight weeks before the last frost, transplanting them outdoors once they are hardened off and all danger of frost has passed.

Potting and Repotting White Lace Flower

White lace flower can be rather easily grown in medium- to large-sized pots filled with ordinary peat-based potting mix. This is often done in warmer regions where white lace flower is grown over the winter, as it allows the plants to be moved temporarily to shelter on days where frost threatens. Pots will need to be at least 6 inches deep and well-draining.

Don't expect to move potted plants indoors to grow permanently as houseplants. These are true annuals that will wither and die shortly after the long bloom season ends.

Overwintering

When grown as a traditional annual in the garden, the plants are simply pulled from the ground and discarded as cold weather sets in.

In warm climates, white lace flower is sometimes sown in the fall to bloom over winter, and in these frost-free zones, they generally survive with no protection from winter cold. Where mild frost is a possibility, you might want to bring potted white lace flowers inside or put them in a greenhouse to survive the cold.

How to Get White Lace Flowers to Bloom

If your white lace flower isn't blooming, look at the drainage. They need well-drained soil and not too much water, as sitting in too much moisture can lead to root rot. If the soil is poor in nutrients, work in compost or fertilizer to amend it for more blooms.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

White lace flowers aren't known to have any significant problems with pests and diseases. Because they're so attractive to pollinators, including the hoverfly, this can help to keep pests at bay.

FAQ
  • What plants are similar to white lace flowers?

    White lace flower is frequently confused with lace-cap hydrangeas, thanks to flowers that are very similar in appearance.

  • What is the difference between white lace flowers and Queen Anne's lace?

    While these two plants are cousins, they are two distinct flowers; the confusion comes from the proliferation of white blooms from each plant, as well as "lace" in the name. Queen Anne's lace (Daucus carota) is a taller, weedier plant

  • Can white lace flower grow indoors?

    Though white lace flowers can do well indoors during the winter months, they will do much better when planted outside after all danger of frost has passed. These plants are true annuals that will die back after flowering; they do not work as permanent houseplants.

  • Does white lace flower self-seed?

    Yes, these plants will readily self-seed in the garden, and provided the growing season is long enough, they can establish ongoing colonies that allow the plants to be virtually perennial.