Growing A Dietes Iris Plant: Info On The Care Of Dietes Flowers

By Becca Badgett
(Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden)

More gardeners are growing a Dietes iris (Dietes iridioides) than in the past, especially in USDA hardiness zones 8b and higher. Dietes cultivation is growing more popular because of the plant’s attractive, stiff, spiky foliage and multiple, showy blooms. The plant is more widely available at local garden centers in these areas. Add to it the ease of care and fact that that Dietes cultivation is possible in a range of growing situations.

About Dietes Flowers

Dietes plant information says this plant is commonly called African iris or Butterfly iris. Dietes plant blossoms are showy and last just a day, sometimes two. Dietes iris normally has a long period of bloom, so you can expect continued blossoms for several weeks.


Learning how to take care of Dietes flowers is not difficult, but will vary depending upon the location in which they’re planted.

Multiple blooms appear on upright stalks during the bloom season in spring and early summer and often sporadically throughout the year. Three-inch flowers are white, often marked with yellow and blue.

How to Grow Dietes

Growing a Dietes iris, which is actually an herbaceous ornamental grass that flowers, is simple. Growing Dietes iris is adaptable to the amount of sun it gets, although blooms are more prolific in sunny spots.

You can grow a Dietes iris successfully in either soil or as a water plant. Plants grown in water may reach 5 feet in height, while those growing in soil normally grow to just 2 to 3 feet. Learning how to grow dietes in your water garden is not different from other plants that grow in water.

Plant it in a boggy area of the landscape or anywhere near the outdoor faucet. When growing the plant in an area other than a bog, regular watering accelerates performance. This plant will even grow well in sandy soil, with enough watering. Dietes vegeta may be grown indoors, as well.

Other than watering the soil grown plant, limited fertilization is another aspect in the care of Dietes flowers. Use a high phosphorus flower food at the beginning of bloom season.

The plant grows from rhizomes, so occasional division is required or it can be started from seed.

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