Dierama

Common name: Angel’s fishing rod.

Dierama pulcherrimum is a hardy semi-evergreen plant with arching stems, tipped with bell-shaped flowers that appear from July to August.

They require a substantial amount of space and a sunny sheltered spot to look at their best, although they will grow quite well in semi-shade.

The grass-like mid-green leaves are formed in tufts, and can grow to around 1500 mm (5ft) high and spread to around 900mm (3ft)

They require moist fertile well-drained, soil, that does not dry out in summer or become waterlogged in winter.

Heavy clay and sandy soils should be improved by incorporating plenty well-rotted organic matter.

They make splendid architectural plants!

For example: they can be used as a centre piece in an island bed, or by a pond side* to replicate a series of fishing rods suspended over the water.

*Ensure that the roots do not get too wet particularly in winter!



Plants can be planted out in large pots of Ji 2 but they generally grow better when planted directly into the soil.

It is essential that they should never be allowed to completely dry out, and should be watered well during dry summers, particulary pot grown specimens!

Cultivation

Week 40-20: Plant out the corms 75-100mm (3"-4") deep in the border or bed.

In colder areas it is best to leave this task to around Week 15-20.

Week 20: Plant out autumn and spring sown seedlings in their final quarters.

Prior to planting out, rake in a dressing of general fertiliser.

Established plants should also receive a similar dressing of fertiliser during this period if ground conditions allow.

Pre-prepared containerised plants can be planted out at anytime, and should be planted to the same depth as they were in their original container.

Propagation:

Basically there are two ways to increase stock namely, seed and division.

Seed:

Seed Pods
January

Collect seed when it is ripe and sow thinly into pots/trays of seed compost and germinate in a coldframe.

Commercially purchased seeds can be sown in a similar manner around Week 13.

Prick out the plants into 75mm(3") pots of potting compost when they are large enough to handle, and grow on till planting out time.

Seedlings grown from fresh autumn seed should be protected from frost during their growing on period.

Plants grown from seed can take up to five years to flower!

Division:

Plants can be lifted after flowering to remove the young offsets.

Take care not to damage the brittle, fleshy roots.

Reduce the foliage on the offsets by half, then pot them up and grow them on in a frost free environment till planting out time!

Alternatively, wait till spring and grow the off setts on in pots until planting out time the following year.

The established plants should be replanted immediately after this task is completed.

Plant divisions can take up to two years to flower again.

It is unwise to do this task annualy as plants are slow to re-establish, three or four years is a more relistic period.

Pruning:

Dieramas need very little pruning, trimming back old or wayward foliage should suffice.

This is usually done circa Week 15-20

The flowering stems should be removed after flowering.





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