Evergreen plants are widely used in Peoria landscape design and here’s one many Arizona homeowners are sure to find attractive for both outdoor living spaces and curb appeal. Dietes bicolor gives you low maintenance and four full seasons of interest.
Originally from Africa, where it is called the wild yellow lily, it is known in the greater Phoenix – Scottsdale area as the Bicolor Iris, though some areas it thrives in around the U.S. it can be referred to as the Peacock Flower. This evergreen perennial forms well behaved clumps of lovely architectural blade leaves. When not in flower, Dietes bicolor looks for all the world like a great accent grass. From May through September though it will give you waves of light to medium yellow flowers that are both beautiful and delicate looking. You may also hear the plant called the Fortnight Lily, because during the blooming season the plant puts out a fresh crop of flowers every two weeks. This makes it a desirable accent in Peoria landscaping.
While the Bicolor Iris grows along stream banks in the wild, it is also quite drought tolerant. It is a favorite among Arizona tropical plants and attractive to butterflies. The best spots to grow this plant in your yard will have excellent drainage and be sheltered from that brutal afternoon sun. In many Arizona yards, this will be on the east side of the house or in a location that large trees cast shadow throughout the afternoon and evening hours. If your soil is clay in the place you select to plant Dietes Bicolor, plan on amending it well.
For most Arizona homeowners, low water usage is high on the list of needs. Though the Bicolor Iris will tolerate dry soil, you do need to plan on giving it a good drink twice a week. With drip irrigation at the root zone, it will take less water to keep your plant thriving than traditional hose in hand means. Unlike the demands of keeping lawn areas green, light watering a couple times a week on selected plants is by no means a waste of water. Especially when the majority of the other plants in your Peoria landscape design are more drought tolerant or xeriscaping champions.
Like many perennials, you can coax the Bicolored Iris into giving you many more blooms, by deadheading. This term means trimming off the spent flowers. With some perennials, you might only need to clip back to the next set of leaves. With strap leaf plants like iris and daylilies, deadheading is far less tedious. Simply follow the flower stem down inside the clump of leaves and cut it off. Not only will this make the plant much more attractive, it will also work harder at making flowers, rather than seeds. Its also best to fertilize most plants used in Peoria landscaping, most especially those that flower.
Image one courtesy of miheko, CC 2.0. Image two courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden PlantFinder.