Growing Dierama in Zone 9

Mary Sue Ittner
Tue, 25 Feb 2014 07:11:36 PST

In this discussion of Dierama one thing hasn't been mentioned. This 
is for the most part a genus of the southern African summer-rainfall 
region with only one species that extends into the Cape Floral 
Region, Dierama pendulum. Even it grows in the southeastern cape 
which I believe has some rain year round. In the Color Encyclopedia 
of Cape Bulbs it says there are 44 species, mostly summer growing, 
coastal and montane. The ones we saw on the wonderful Eastern Cape 
trip with Cameron were mostly high elevation ones. But we only saw a 
few of the species.

In my coastal Northern California garden Dierama had been planted on 
our property. I've never been sure whether it is a hybrid or the 
winter rainfall one or D. pulcherrimum, an evergreen species.  I 
didn't deadhead at first and it reseeded about.  Even though it is 
evergreen, it has grown in areas with very little summer water and 
been very tolerant of a lot of rain in winter. In my garden it blooms 
best in sunny areas.

I'm glad that Lee pointed out that you have to think of more than how 
cold it gets in winter when you are considering what you can grow. 
That's what Mike Mace's wonderful wiki climate pages are all about. 
Using Zones is not enough.

In the early days of the wiki the only photos we had of Dierama were 
taken by Rob Hamilton who was growing them in Tasmania, the state in 
Australia with the coolest temperatures. Are there any others in our 
group who have grown any of the species successfully besides D. 
pendulum or pulcherrimun? If so, please describe your climate.

I think the one to try would be Dierama pulcherrimum. And perhaps 
direct seeding is also helpful or transplanting in the ground when 
plants are young. Many years ago I was tossing some clumps of corms 
and had a request to try them from Marilyn in the Bay Area. She found 
that they did sprout for her, but they never grew well and eventually 
she got rid of them.

Mary Sue

Mary Sue Ittner
California's North Coast
Wet mild winters with occasional frost
Dry mild summers 

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