Saturday, February 03, 2007

African Iris on a Different Day

Appearing almost white


And Horizontally


Annie in Austin said...

Mine have been all leaves so far - how I hope they'll bloom this year, so I can see these shapes up close!


Pam/Digging said...

They do look white. Mine are always pale yellow.

I like this plant's shape and sturdiness, but I have one that, after four or five years, is looking a bit tired. The center is dying, the edges are ragged. I may dig it up and divide it, or I may take it out entirely and try something new.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

It was the late evening light that made them appear almost white in the picture. They are pale yellow.

Like most sturdy clumping perennials they benefit from division when they start to get too thick. A delaying tactic to division is to mow them to the ground like grass and they come back all fresh with new growth.

mmw said...

So that's Dietes bicolor? Sorry to be so lame, but I 'm not very good with the common names.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

Yes this is Dietes bicolor as opposed to Dietes vegeta which has a more white and blue color arrangement of the flower. Better to be lame with common names than the botanical ones.

mmw said...

Such shocking light -- these flowers are so overwhelmingly cream-colored here.

They are definitely vigorous (here): I saw someone "pruning" these this summer with hedge clippers. Division is a much better idea, Pam.

Anyway, I looked up Dietes, recalling some kind of taxonomic hijinks, and found that your D. vegeta is really a Moraea, at least according to wikipedia.

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

I believe the Dietes was formerly known as Moraea. Hortus Third refers you back to Dietes under Moraea bicolor and vegeta

Anonymous said...

I am dividing all of mine. My only problem with this plant is the brown leaves it has. What can you do to keep the brown leaves to a minimum? What fertilizer do you use on them?

Christopher C. in Hawaii said...

The older leaves will turn brown naturally and can just be pulled off by pulling the leaf in the opposite direction of the growing point if they bug you. In a healthy clump they shouldn't be that noticeable.

If they have a large amount of brown then the clump is old and needs to be divided or you may have a pest problem or a cultural practice problem.

African Iris can get scale and whitefly which can cause leaf damage. A damaged leaf will not turn green again. Only new growth minus the bugs will make them look fresh again. That is when removing all the old leaves down to an inch above the rhizome will work plus pest control.

They need a moisture retentive soil. If they dry out or get stong winds with roots that are too dry the edges and tips can burn and turn brown. Add compost and mulch to the soil.

Any basic flowering plant fertilizer is fine in a 1-2-2 ratio. Fertilizing twice a year is plenty.

Fertilizer is not the solution to your brown leaf problem.