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Dietes

Phonetic Spelling
dy-EE-teez
Description

Fortnight Lily is a rhizomatous perennial producing clumps of long, upright narrow leaves that reach 2-4 feet tall. The flowers rise above the foliage and look like small Japenese irises. It produces many flowers from spring to late summer, with a fortnight (two weeks) of rest between each flowering period. It freely self-seeds so deadhead to reduce seed production.

This plant looks amazing as a groundcover, in a potted container, or in a rock or woodland garden. It has grass-like features and dainty flowers that allow it to stand its own in any garden. Plus, it is low maintenance which can be a plus for any busy gardener. Grow as an annual or dig up rhizomes and store for winter in colder climates. Potted plants can be brought indoors.

When planting, place the woody rhizomes 12 in. apart, 1 per sq. ft., and bury to a depth of 1 in. (2.5 cm).  They are injured by temperatures below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C) but are tolerant of drought.

Nematodes are the main pest problem. Scales can cover the foliage and cause a severe problem.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Lemon Drops'
  • 'Orange Drops'
'Lemon Drops', 'Orange Drops'
Tags:
#purple#white#yellow#drought tolerant#violet#white flowers#container plant#purple flowers#yellow flowers#low maintenance#grass#dainty#groundcover#bee friendly
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Lemon Drops'
  • 'Orange Drops'
'Lemon Drops', 'Orange Drops'
Tags:
#purple#white#yellow#drought tolerant#violet#white flowers#container plant#purple flowers#yellow flowers#low maintenance#grass#dainty#groundcover#bee friendly
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Dietes
    Family:
    Iridaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Used in traditional medicine to treat cold, flu, headache, toothache, malaria, bruise and various infections.
    Life Cycle:
    Bulb
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Ethiopia to S.outhAfrica, Lord Howe Island
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    Drought tolerant
    Bulb Storage:
    Store rhizomes in peat or vermiculite at 41-50 degrees F (5-10 degrees C). Place container plants indoors at 50-65 degrees F (10-18 degrees C).
    Dimensions:
    Height: 2 ft. 0 in. - 4 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 1 ft. 0 in. - 1 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Bulb
    Ground Cover
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Erect
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    9b, 9a, 10b, 10a, 11b, 11a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Green
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    0.5-1 inch obovoid capsule with several seeds
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    3 inch wide flowers are white with yellow and blue markings resembling a small Japenese Iris.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Narrow, sword-shaped, basal, evergreen iris-like leaves.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought