The white flowers bloom on the ends of 3-foot tall stalks from spring through the fall. Continue Reading, Gardening Question From Moira: Green caterpillars are eating our Bok Choy so I got your book out!!!! To prevent self-seeding in your own garden or your neighbors’ gardens, clip off the green seed capsules after bloom but leave the stems of the white variety on the plant as long as they continue bearing flowers for several years. Do not remove flower stems as they continue to flower for several years. I am trying to do it as organically as possible. They appear on branched stalks over an incredibly long season, extending from spring to fall and sometimes well into winter in mild climates. Thanks for writing. Would rectangular boxes… These plants were formerly placed in the genus Moraea, but were reclassified because they are rhizomatous.Some references mention the species Dietes vegeta or D. vegeta variegata, springing from some confusion with Moraea vegata (which grows from a corm, not a rhizome).The name D. vegeta is commonly misapplied to both D. iridioides and D. grandiflora. Not only are the clumps huge but some of the leaves have gotten brown and messy-looking with dead foliage and debris mixed in with fresh growth. Pruning of Dietes Bicolor is not essential as it is quite an easy to maintained plant but doing so, will enhance the beauty and appearance of the plant. The flower spikes are topped with 3-inch white flowers marked with yellow and blue. Dietes iridioides. It is a rhizomatous evergreen perennials that generally resemble beardless iris and grows 2-4’ tall. 2. “All Dietes are extraordinarily drought-resistant” (Macoboy 1986). Blooms occur in waves at intervals of approximately two weeks, hence the name. We remove the pods from the plant before they start to split open. The hardy fortnight lily (Dietes iridioide) is a perennial flower that originates from Africa. I’ve heard of people tackling bird of paradise with a chain saw but never dietes. Our bottle may be 5 years old. I looked up about 20 sites before I found yours. I used a chainsaw to cut the dense clump close to the ground. Remove leaves from the roots and store indoors in a box of perlite or crumpled newspapers. A: This Iris family member is Dietes bicolor, sometimes called African iris or fortnight lily. The plant is more widely available at local garden centers in these areas. Suggested uses. Seed pods are formed after flowering on the stems where the flowers were. Dietes iridioides is a very common perennial grass-like plant. Thank you so very much for your very kind comment! African iris (Dietes iridioides), also known as a fortnight lily or a butterfly iris, is a perennial evergreen flowering plant that grows in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through 11. Then, using a garden fork, dig the clump out of the ground. When white dietes (D. iridioides, D. vegeta) have finshed blooming, remove all the seedpods but leave the stems in place. Although I'm impressed by the hardiness of dietes, the bermuda grass coming up through the middle of the tight dietes clumps has been nearly impossible to weed. The two species most often grown in our area are Dietes iridioides, which has six-petaled white flowers with yellow and purple accents, and Dietes bicolor, which has cream colored flowers with maroon accents. Continue Reading, Gardening Question From Crystal: I am going to be doing some container gardening this summer for the first time. This job can be done with sharp electric hedge shears or even with a very sharp pair of hand held hedge shears. Getting started: Dietes iridioides is readily available at nurseries. About Dietes ‘Lemon Drops’ (African Iris) This evergreen upright plant is called Dietes ‘Lemon Drops’ or commonly as Fortnight Lily and African Iris. It costs around $16 for a 200mm (8″) pot. Dietes iridioides: With a height of 50cm the wood iris makes an excellent ground cover in difficult parts of the garden – it spreads rapidly to cover the ground. Just grab a pruning shears and let’s go! Thank you, for sharing your expansive knowledge. Removing old flower stems keeps the plant’s energy focused on vigorous growth instead of seed production. The flowers are similar to those of D. grandiflora, but smaller, and the leaves are wider, resembling those of bearded iris. Cultivation. The name dietes refers to the close association the plant has with two of its relatives. Cultivation. It did well for a while; then all leaves dropped but coming back now… I tested the soil this year and it still shows too alkaline. We have dietes in the small front planter of about 50 homes that have spread into other shrubs in 27 years. Use your pruning shears to cut off 12 to 18 inches, so only a few inches of the stems remain. I'm hoping to find a spray that kills the bermuda, but not the dietes. Gardenality is a gardening-centric site made by gardeners for gardeners with tools that enhance any gardening for the expert to the weekend gardener. Question from Karen: More gardeners are growing a Dietes iris (Dietes iridioides) than in the past, especially in USDA hardiness zones 8b and higher. How to Prune an African Iris Fortnight Lily. Depending on the flowering habit, snip off faded blooms individually, or wait until the blooming period is over and remove entire flower stalk down to the base of the plant. They’re grown both for their attractive leaves and pretty flowers. A: This Iris family member is Dietes bicolor, sometimes called African iris or fortnight lily. Your information was just what I needed! She spent six years working in a private boarding school, where her focus was English, algebra and geometry. When white dietes (D. iridioides, D. vegeta) have finshed blooming, remove all the seedpods but leave the stems in place. Dietes iridioides, commonly called African iris, comes from eastern and southern Africa. Edward F. Gilman 2. More gardeners are growing a Dietes iris (Dietes iridioides) than in the past, especially in USDA hardiness zones 8b and higher. (Some incredibly sharp types of hedge shears are available from purveyors of garden supplies.) The same goes for the foliage, any dead or yellowing foliage can be cut off at the base to reserve energy for new growth. Water Needs. It occurs in clumps along the margins of perennial streams and in marshy areas, in full sun or light shade, and grows to a height of 1.2 m (GAMA 2009). It is an easy, well-adapted plant for growing in Southern California. Lemon Drops is ivory with yellow blotches, 'Orange Drops' ivory with orange blotches. The African iris (Dietes iridioides) is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8b through 11, where it can be planted and grown year-round and is known for its striking characteristics. Although I'm impressed by the hardiness of dietes, the bermuda grass coming up through the middle of the tight dietes clumps has been nearly impossible to weed. Light Needs. Continue Reading. 1. I'm hoping to find a spray that kills the bermuda, but not the dietes. But even with the sharpest of hedge shears, this is a difficult job to do because the leaves and flower stems of these plants are notoriously tough and numerous. I removed a lawn and planted the area with Dietes iridioides (or, I "thought" I had removed the lawn). The local species grow mainly in the eastern summer rainfall regions of South Africa and Swaziland. Dietes cultivation is growing more popular because of the plant’s attractive, stiff, spiky foliage and multiple, showy blooms. Suggested uses. ). Partial to full sun. The flowers are similar to those of D. grandiflora, but smaller, and the leaves are wider, resembling those of bearded iris. The name fortnight lily is based on the blooming cycle of the flowers, where new blooms come up approximately every two weeks. (Plants come up easier out of moist ground.) Under glass, grow in loam-based compost in full light & good ventilation. Amend the soil by digging in a 4-inch layer of fresh compost. Native to eastern and southern Africa, Dietes iridioides (Fortnight Lily) is a rhizomatous evergreen perennial with attractive flowers resembling small Japanese Irises. I once toured a mushroom… If you want to prevent the plant from self-seeding, cut just … Kokemuller is an authorized substitute teacher and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Iowa. Another way to go, and in my opinion the best option, is to dig up and divide any clumps of dietes that have become overly large and unsightly. 1). Dietes are able to endure only very light frosts…and will tolerate sun or deep shade, poor soils and dry conditions. Both 'Lemon Drops' and 'Orange Drops' are hybrids of Dietes bicolor and resemble it save for flower color. I removed a lawn and planted the area with Dietes iridioides (or, I "thought" I had removed the lawn). learned to spray BT. The leaves are 2 feet long, thin and sword-shaped. Yes, the clumps get big and dense and are hard to damage. Answer from Pat: Posted by OldGardener (So Cal - Zone 10b) on Jul 16, 2014 9:27 AM. Thanks for the original idea, though I’m not about to try it. USES: Companion planting, erosion control, weed suppression, low maintenance gardens, landscaping, borders and edging, waterway banks. Within a short amount of time, the entire clump will renew itself and you will be pleased with the fresh, clean, bright green foliage that will result. Taxonomy. Continue Reading, Gardening Question From Martha: I have access to a commercial mushroom farm that makes its spent mushroom medium available at no charge to gardeners. Sku #6160. Thank you..I’m new to this region and have an overgrown yard too play in. Dietes iridioides (African iris) will reach a height of 0.6m and a spread of 0.3m after 2-5 years.. A great choice for mass plantings and containers or near a pool or pond; can tolerate mild coastal conditions. You will end up with a whole new planting that will resume flowering in spring and last many years before you once again need to dig up and divide the clumps. Thank you for your response which is perfect. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Cover plants with mulch before the first frost in zone 8 to keep them from freezing over the winter. Pruning Instructions. Dietes can be divided, but tend to resent disturbance and need care to re-establish (Kirsten 2004). One solution is simply to cut off all the foliage now in fall. Clumps will live for many years and look best with regular irrigation, but can survive with little irrigation once established. They will bloom for several years. Sub-Tropical, Mediterranean, Greenhouse, Flower Arranging, Containers, Beds and borders. Water and fertilize the cut plant with a balanced fertilizer, following manufacturer label rates, to help promote new growth. It produces fan-shaped clumps of iris-like, narrow, sword-shaped, basal, evergreen leaves. Eventually clumps of fornight lily become very thick with growth and the problem is that fresh new leaves mix in with the old spent leaves. They can survive winter outdoors in areas south of Macon but in north Georgia the roots must be dug in October. The two species most often grown in our area are Dietes iridioides, which has six-petaled white flowers with yellow and purple accents, and Dietes bicolor, which has cream colored flowers with maroon accents. So glad to be of help! When yellow fortnight lilies (Dietes bicolor) have finished blooming, cut off the flower stalks down to the ground. They can survive winter outdoors in areas south of Macon but in north Georgia the roots must be dug in October. I have you now in my favorites. Dietes will tolerate wind and frost (Pienaar 2004). Remove leaves from the roots and store indoors in a box of perlite or crumpled newspapers. Dietes vegeta (aka Dietes iridioides or Moraea iridioides) - Fortnight Lily or African IrisLovely Iris-like flowers rise above clumps of blade-shaped leaves on this evergreen perennial. How to Cut Back or Prune an African Iris. They grow best in soil amended with organic matter. Pruning Instructions. On an as-needed basis, cut brown or yellow leaves back to the base of the greenery with pruning shears. Depending on the flowering habit, snip off faded blooms individually, or wait until the blooming period is over and remove entire flower stalk down to the base of the plant. Valued for a long bloom period from spring to fall. Continue Reading, Gardening Question From Adriana: I added lime to my vegetable garden soil and I killed everything i planted last year. Make clean pruning cuts straight across the …