Plant of the Month: August

Dierama – one gardener’s experience

by Pat Hunter

Dierama are evergreen perennials which grow from corms and belong to the Iris family. They originate from southern Africa, there are 45 species and are  commonly known as Angel’s fishing rods or wand flowers. Dierama are flowering in my garden in early July.

I had tried growing these from plants bought at nurseries for several years with no success. I had tried several different situations in the garden but come the following year no Dierama could be found.

Reducing the size

I changed tack and decided to try growing from seed. I bought seed from Plantworld seeds (a true sweetie shop for seeds). This was a great success. I had a great germination rate and decided to plant them out in the vegetable plot. As these were increasing in size well, I decided to get some seeds of other varieties, these also germinated and grew.

After having several years of a fantastic display on the edge of the veg plot I decided to move a clump to the front edge of the border, a larger variety over the pond and a clump over the rill. There were still a lot left over, I have brought some to HPS auction in the past. This year, the clump at the front of the border I decided to reduce in size (too much time on my hands). Dieramas are not quick to recover, I was told by fellow hardy planters.

The corms

The corms lay down a new corm on top of the last one, year on year. I stripped down all the growth in the first picture to 3 or 4 clumps and replanted on the 10th April.

I presumed I would lose any flowers this year, and on June 10th (one month on) this is the result.

June 10th

Dieramas in the garden now are so numerous that they decide where they will grow as can be seen below

Finally on the subject of the clump that was split and replanted, on the 11th July I have 2 flower stalks with plenty of flowers.

The replanted clump

A few pictures of the varieties around the garden now

Most are seedling crosses now, hence no species given.

This picture shows the variety of heights of the seedlings left in the vegetable plot

And finally, for the observant, the seedling that decided where it wants to grow is now flowering.

The conclusion, then, is to grow from seed and let them get on with it.