Lily of the Amazon - Dietes bicolor


The dietes bicolor or lily of the amazonia is an evergreen herbaceous plant, with a rhizomatous root, native to southern Africa. It is a species that produces large clumps consisting of long ribbon-like leaves, up to 90-120 cm long, 2-3 cm wide, divided by a striking central grain; as for other iridaceae the foliage at the base joins in flattened tufts, is of a bright light green color; from the beginning of spring to the end of summer it produces innumerable medium-sized flowers, white, with dark spots, consisting of three identical, very particular segments placed side by side. The flowers of dietes bicolor have a short duration, but the plant produces numerous, which bloom in succession for a long period of time.
The name of this bulbosa derives from the Greek "dis" which means two and "etes" which means an association and more specifically a union between Morea and Iris, which are two plants very close genetically.


The rhizomes of the species of dietes bicolor are planted in a preferably sunny place, even if they have been shown to develop without serious problems even in a partially shady place. They fear frost, especially if prolonged, so in areas with very cold winters it is necessary to bury the rhizomes in a container, in order to move the pots in a sheltered place during the winter months; It is also possible, after the leaves have withered, to extract the rhizomes from the soil, and place them in a dark, cool and dry place, until the following spring.


As for watering, generally the bicolor dietes are satisfied with the rains, preferring a fairly dry climate; in the case of very prolonged drought, during the summer months, we can intervene sporadically with more irrigation. Every 15-20 days, from March to September, we supply plants with a specific fertilizer for flowering plants to allow better plant development.


The Amazon lily is grown in a good soft and deep soil, not particularly rich, but very well drained. The rhizomes fear water stagnation, so we avoid excessively compact or moist soils. In places where temperatures tend to be rather low and fall below zero, it is necessary to cultivate our bicolor dietes in pots to be able to move them to more sheltered and protected logos when needed.


The multiplication of the Amazon lily occurs by seed; these plants have a fairly rapid development, but the multiplication by division of the tufts or rhizomes is often preferred to seed propagation, in this way, in autumn, some new plants are obtained from each head.
The division of the bulbs can also be an alternative method to be associated with normal reproduction and the division of the tufts.

Lily of the Amazon - Dietes bicolor: Pests and diseases

In general, the Amazon lily does not fear the attack of pests or diseases. It is a rather resistant plant that requires minimal cultivation care. It is advisable to remove the stems and dry leaves periodically when needed.
Sometimes, if the soil is subjected to excessive watering, radical rot phenomena may occur.