Alphabetical Plant Listing

Dietes grandiflora (Fairy Iris)

Fairy Iris, Wild Iris, Large Wild Iris, Dietes grandiflora 'Reen Lelie'


Native to eastern and southern Africa, Dietes grandiflora (Fairy Iris) is a rhizomatous evergreen perennial with large, iris-like flowers, 4 in. across (10 cm), borne on erect, slender stalks atop clumps of long, upright, stiff, sword-like green leaves. Each waxy white flower consists of 3 outer petals adorned with a stripe of rich yellow near their base, and 3 inner segments flecked with brown at their heart. Radiating from the bloom's center are 3 pale violet style arms. The flowers last up to 3 days, but are quickly followed by new ones. Blooming in summer, in flushes that seem to occur at 2 week intervals, they are on display almost year-round in mild climates. This plant is occasionally called the "Fairy Iris" because the fragile white petals not only look like fairy wings, but also have a tendency to disappear mysteriously overnight! A spectacular plant in mass plantings or in containers.

  • Grows up to 3-4 ft. tall (90-120 cm) and 2-3 ft. wide (60-90 cm).
  • Easy to grow, this plant performs best in full sun or part shade, in moist,well-drained soils. Best flower production occurs in full sun, but light afternoon shade is welcomed. It is fairly drought tolerant.
  • No serious insect or disease problems.
  • A welcomed addition to Mediterranean gardens, cottage gardens, gravel gardens. Most spectacular when planted in large groupings where it develops a bouquet effect
  • Remove seed pods to promote additional bloom. Flower stems should not be removed after flowering. Clip off any leaves that die. Self-sows freely; deadhead if you do not want volunteer seedlings next season.
  • Propagate by seed at 13-15°C (55-59°F) in autumn or spring. Alternatively, propagate by division of rhizomes after flowering. Plants may be difficult to establish.

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Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 12
Climate Zones 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Dietes
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

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westhimal / 123RF Stock Photo, Alybaba/Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 8 – 11
Heat Zones 8 – 12
Climate Zones 8, 9, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, H1, H2
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Dietes
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Height 3' – 4' (90cm – 120cm)
Spread 2' – 3' (60cm – 90cm)
Spacing 36" (90cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Chalk, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Cut Flowers, Showy, Evergreen
Tolerance Drought
Garden Uses Beds and Borders, Patio and Containers
Garden Styles City and Courtyard, Gravel and Rock Garden, Informal and Cottage, Mediterranean Garden

Great Plant Combination Ideas with Dietes

Guides with Dietes

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