Return to the Cottage Garden Forum | Post a Follow-Up

fortnight lily management

Posted by socalsis Altadena, CA (My Page) on
Sun, Jan 8, 12 at 23:57

I love these when they bloom, but they're looking increasingly ratty, with old seedpods and occasional dead leaves. What's the best way to keep them tidy, other than just clip out the dead stuff stem by stem? There's gotta be a better way!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: fortnight lily management

Hello! I live just a few miles south of you in Pasadena. And I know exactly what you mean about fortnight lilies (Dietes vegeta, sometimes still aka Moraea iridioides). The old seed pods are unsightly when they split open, and the dead and dying leaves cling to their clumps in desperation -- you tug and tug -- nuthin'. Getting them out of there ain't easy.
What was recommended to me took some bravery the first time I did it, but it's worked out. And you don't have to do it all that often. I dug up the humongous clump, separated it into smaller fans, and cleaned them up. Much easier out of the ground. Then I planted them back where they were, fans reasonably close together.
I was told not to cut green bloom stalks back to the base, just to snap or clip off the dead part at the top. New buds did indeed form. Now when the pods turn green, I snap 'em off as I go through the garden. Much easier.
Hope this helps,

RE: fortnight lily management

I had to look up what a fortnight lily was...being in zone 6, we don't see them here. They are a beautiful flower. The image I found searching showed the plant in a container with coleus. I wonder if I could bring the container in the attached garage for the winter to preserve the lily. I can do that with agapanthus.

RE: fortnight lily management

I wish there was a better way. I plant them tiny and dig them out and throw them away when they get large. My dad left his to get huge, and he had to hire tree trimmers to come in with a stump grinder to get them out. Some people cut them off about 8 inches above the ground straight across, and wait for new foliage to grow in.

As Kay noted, leave the flowering stalks intact and just cut off the green seed pods before they go to seed. The stalks can produce flowers for two years, I'm told.

Bev, these are pretty tough plants. I'd try it if I was in your position.

RE: fortnight lily management

Indeed, Bev -- what Renee said. In theory, agapanthus are at least as tender as dietes. If you've been able to winter them over in a garage, you should be successful with fortnight lilies.


RE: fortnight lily management

When you say winter over in a garage - is that in an unheated garage with minimum water and no light, or in a cold, bright place? I'm in Tehachapi - and we get winter temps sometimes through May !

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Cottage Garden Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here