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Dierama pulcherimum (Angels Fishing Rods)

yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782

End of last year I bought 2 of these Dierama pulcherimum.  I over-wintered them both in the same 32" wide/29" deep resin pot - and now want to decide their individual futures e.g. big pot for each or into the garden.

The foliage now is exactly the same as it was when I bought them; some leaves just over 20".  I have no idea what age these plants are and they came in 12" deep 8" wide pots.

I think I have identified two reasonable spots for them, reasonably sheltered, good space for growth and where they will make an impact. 

But -  I've been told they are very slow growers and as I have no idea how old these plants were when sold, am wondering if you can tell by the size of the foliage whether these plants are mature enough to reach a flowering stage maybe this year (doubtful?), in the next 2 years - or, as an amateur gardener suggested could be 5 years?

I've been told they don't do well in pots - my original thought was that I wanted each of them planted in separate very large pots so that I could move these pots around to use the plants (when at flowering stage) to make an impact in different places.  I would still favour having both in pots - especially if they are too young to grow to flower as yet.  But - has anyone kept them in pots and were they a success?

I'm on 'the horns of a dilemma' thinking about this - but leaning towards wanting them in pots - but concerned that pots is a considered  big 'no no' for Dierama.  

Any advice gratefully received.

Many thanks.image

Last edited: 29 April 2017 11:01:32



  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,681

    I don't see why they couldn't be grown in pots, although I'd rather grow in the ground, where I think they'd do better. They like free draining but moist soil, so maybe a soil based compost with a bit of grit and regular watering. I have seen them in flower. While the plant itself is fairly small, they occupy a lot of space - gracefully - when in flower. Kind of like Stipa gigantea. The edge of a patio would be good spot, giving the 'fishing rods' room to dangle and overhang.

    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782

    Thanks for responding WillDB.  I'm sure I've seen them in pots before - but that was before I got the gardening bug a few years ago and never had the interest to take a closer look at such things.

    I have two of these 32" width by 29" depth cream resin pots - they were used before for new roses up to two years before I planted them in the garden.  I'm wondering if one plant in each of these pots would be sensibly big enough with some good drainage grit and a mixture of multi-p and John Innes 2 or 3.

    I think I'll give it a try - especially since the weather is so up and down these days, I'd quite like to move them around if we're not going to get sustained decent weather for a while yet.  Mind you, they don't seem to have sustained any damage being out in that pot all winter at the 'experiment' end of the garden which is part-exposed and part-sheltered.

    The spots I thought would be good for them in the garden, would still have impact when the flowers are dangling on those lovely wand-like stalks - but in my beds you could only view them from one side, i.e. the front.  I'd thought if they could be sustained in pots - the pots can be moved with the weather and also where you could walk right around them.

    I've been asking for advice here, but it sounds as if I'm just trying to convince myself of the pot idea - and get enough encouragement to make me just go and do it!!!!  Gardening eh!  This is what it does to you!

    Thanks again WillDB.

    Last edited: 29 April 2017 11:54:53

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,681

    I'm sure they're okay in pots, the only advice I can turn up is they perform a bit better in the ground although they can grow in pots. I wouldn't go with such a large pot. The one in the photo is plenty big enough. It's only the flower stalks that take up such a big circumference - the actual plant is a fairly small clump. Being sat in a large amount of compost that isn't require for the roots may cause more harm than good.

    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
  • YviestevieYviestevie Posts: 7,063

    I've had two in the ground for a year or so and they don't seem to have budged an inch.  I've not pampered them so if they survive all well and good.  If they don't do something in the next year or so then they are out.  Don't have a big garden so plants have to earn their keep.

    Hi from Kingswinford in the West Midlands
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,003

    They can be slow to establish.   There's some good advice on cultivation on this site -

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 4,207

    A very useful  link,  Obelisk. 

    I planted 4 specimens in my garden 3 years ago. Two have died, one is quite small and doesn't flower. The last one is lovely. They are difficult plants but we'll worth it when they work! See 

    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • ObelixxObelixx Posts: 30,003

    Lovely Papi Jo.  I sowed seed a few years ago and had good germination rates but very few grew after pricking out and none made it to maturity in the garden.  I shall try again here but not this year.

    Vendée - 20kms from Atlantic coast.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • MuddyForkMuddyFork Posts: 435

    This plant has almost taken over one of my beds by self seeding.  Beautiful but difficult to dig out once established.  Obelix try sowing directly where you want them as they don't like being distributed.

    Last edited: 29 April 2017 16:53:32

  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053

    I have had a dierama next to the pond for about 15 years. It has come through Scottish winters unscathed and seeds around. It did take a while to get established - maybe flowered in its 2nd or third year. I would have bought it in nothing bigger than a 2-3 litre pot. It is now in a clump about 12-15inches across. This year I have sheared all the leaves down to about 6 inches as it was just getting too untidy. 

    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • yarrow2yarrow2 Posts: 782

    imageMight end up with two posts here by mistake.  I had already typed this one, it disappeared - and I THINK I'm re-typing the same info.

    Update to my '2' plants in the big pot.  Decided to put one in the garden.  Cautiously removed it with soil ball, held it mid-way down the stem and dipped it a few times in the water bucket to clear off the soil.  As I lifted it out it split into three sections - as per photo.  Face fell at this as when I bought both plants, I chose these ones as they looked as if they had enough shoots/leaves to signify a maturity which would mean they were likely to flower over the next 2-3 years at least.  But this one came apart with no human intervention other than a dip in water.  Perhaps I'm unreasonable to be a bit disappointed it's broken up with no pressure, they were quite expensive as single plants - OR maybe they are just like this and come apart so easily?   

    Didn't know what to do about these three sections, so have planted them a couple of inches apart in a sort of circle.  I put 3 inches of horticultural grit in the base of the hole and mixed fish,blood and bone with the in-fill soil and watered.  But to be honest, I'm not hoping for anything now for years - if these three cormy bits survive.  (The pot both plants were in had horticultural grit mixed in for over-wintering supposedly to stop too much wet over winter and rotting - maybe it wasn't enough).

    The second 'plant' - I just moved to the centre of the pot with it's soil ball so didn't see if it too would likely have split into bits.  Again, just put grit in bottom of hole in pot, fish blood and bone, watered and firmed in.

    Not feeling very hopeful about these as I'm imagining that they are not the easiest to get established having read the posts above and am thinking I'll have to wait years and years now in hope of anything near flowering.  But, not the end of the world of course but had I anticipated this fuss (self-inflicted I admit), I might have felt I'd spent the money more wisely.  image

    Last edited: 29 April 2017 18:35:44

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