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Herbaceous Perennial

Dietes grandiflora

fairy iris

somewhat iris-like, to 10cm across, with broad white "falls" with a stripe of rich yellow near the base, and erect violet-blue "standards". Blooms may last several days, and may be produced in flushes, every few weeks, throughout summer

Synonyms
Dietes grandiflora 'Reen Lelie'
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Size
Ultimate height
1–1.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Green
Summer Purple White Yellow Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H3
Botanical details
Family
Iridaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Columnar upright
Genus

Dietes are rhizomatous evergreen perennials forming loose clumps of leathery, linear or sword-shaped leaves, with erect stems bearing a succession of short-lived, iris-like flowers with 3 large outer segments and 3 small inner ones, in spring and summer

Name status

Correct

Plant range
SE Africa

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How to grow

Cultivation

Under glass, grow in loam-based potting compost (JI No2) in full light with good ventilation. Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser monthly. Reduce water after flowering; keep barely moist when dormant. Outdoors, grow in moist but well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. Tolerant of poor, dry soils

Propagation

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

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Patio and container plants
  • Mediterranean climate plants
  • Gravel garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

None required

Pests

Generally trouble free

Diseases

Generally trouble free

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