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Starfish Iris Care and growing instructions – You may have been surprised to learn that there is a wealth of information available on a plant, but not enough to assist you in picking the best one for your needs. Ferraria crispa, a plant that is regarded as a star in the Iridaceae family, has met with a similar end.
In fact, there are more references to this term on the internet than there are web sites dedicated to it. Black flag, ferraria curved, krullefjie, starfish iris, starfish lily, and sea spider iris are just a few of the varieties available. Ferraria obtusifolia and Ferraria undulata are other names for this plant that have been used to sell it.
Perpetual flowers are a South African innovation that has become popular worldwide. Nonetheless, it has grown so prevalent in Australia that it is easy to believe it is from the country where it originated.
Guides to Growing and Caring for Starfish Iris
In terms of Size and Growth
Despite the fact that it is not a real iris or lily, it is easy to understand why it was given those names. If plants are not pruned on a regular basis, they may produce thick clusters that are difficult to remove, resulting in corms that are tough to remove. Each plant grows to be between 12 and 18 inches tall, and the plant grows at a somewhat modest rate overall.
The gorgeous sword-shaped leaves have a lovely blue-green hue to them. It may emerge in the spring and autumn depending on your area and the attitude of the plant, but it may die back in the summer and winter depending on your location and the mood of the plant. It is possible that it has just one growth season in a given year.
Floral and Scent Elements
In this plant’s case, the most astonishing part of its behavior is also one of the most hardest to comprehend. People may be able to tell when the plant is blooming based on where it is, as well as how different it is from other plants.
The Starfish Iris blooms from late winter to mid-summer, depending on the climate. Additionally, according to some stories, they bloom throughout the autumn. These velvety-edged, frilly-edged flowers are often available in yellow (with occasional exceptions in white, green, and brown), and they may have patches of black, brown, or purple on their petals.
Each bloom is roughly 1 1/2 inches in diameter and has three long petals and three shorter petals on each side. These flowers may arise swiftly from a number of stem branches, with two to three branches per corm, and can last for many days.
Each individual flower only lasts for a day, despite the fact that the entire bloom length might last for over a year. Before purchasing plants from a grower, inquire about certain odors.
A frequent aroma in starfish iris is sweet vanilla, which draws butterflies and hummingbirds to the blooms. Others have odors that are more like the stench of decaying flesh, and these are intended to attract other types of pollinating insects to their colonies.
Lighting and Temperature Considerations
Despite the fact that this Starfish Iris prefers full sun, it may be able to survive a midday shadow under more severe weather conditions. USDA zones 3 through 11 are suitable for growing it outdoors. In zones 3 through 8, you will need to bring the corms indoors for the winter. Zones 9 through 11 may be retained on the ground if necessary.
Despite the fact that they are not frost resistant, they can grow in temperatures ranging from 40 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.is preferable if evening temperatures are about 65 degrees Fahrenheit. It will fall dormant if temperatures rise above 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius).
Watering and Feeding the Starfish Iris
This is why the soak-and-dry method is effective for these plants. Here are some suggestions that may be of assistance.
Using a gentle pouring motion, water the soil when it feels dry, 1 inch deep, until the soil can no longer absorb the water at the same rate you’re pouring it.
The moment wetness can be seen in the drainage holes of container plants, it’s time to put the plants down. If the plant goes into dormancy, limit the amount of water it receives and wait until fall. Before storing the dirt, it must be totally dry.
It works really well when used with a balanced liquid fertilizer for houseplants that has been lowered to half its original concentration. It’s important to know how your plant grows so that you can change its feeding schedule in the right way.
When new growth appears, the first feed should be given roughly 2 to 3 weeks after the development of new growth.
Whether the plant continues to develop throughout summer (at which time you will need to feed it again 2 to 3 months after the initial feeding) or whether it is dormant in summer and active in autumn will decide how many further feedings you will need (at which point, provide once as you did in spring).
Transplanting and Soil Improvement
This consistency is best suited for loamy to sandy soils that drain fast. To attain this consistency, you may amend your garden soil with coconut coir or perlite. 1 to 2 pieces of African violet mixed with coarse sand or perlite is adequate for potted specimens of this plant.
These plants should be split every three to five years. Otherwise, they will become too crowded and their ability to produce blooms will be severely limited, so they should be split every few years.
When digging your garden, be careful to dig approximately 12 inches below the corm level in order to turn the soil and prevent damaging any corms that are there. In fact, very little care is necessary, including the removal of sick or dead leaves.
What Method do You Use to Propagate the Plants?
Because of how diverse this Starfish Iris, may be and because many cultivars are published without a cultivar name, utilizing seeds to develop it might be a bit of a risk unless you don’t mind the possibility of getting a surprise plant in the end.
Plant division, on the other hand, may be a very effective method of increasing the number of plants. Corms are harvested roughly every three to five years, so why not take advantage of this opportunity to harvest them?
Diseases and Pests of the Starfish Iris
The plants may seem picky at first since they are sensitive to a variety of factors, including:
- As long as they have a sunny location with reasonable temperatures, they’ll flourish.
- Some plants also appeal to butterflies and hummingbirds, which are attracted to them.
- Mealybugs and aphids may infest starfish lilies, but this is an uncommon occurrence.
- Snails and slugs are two of the most prevalent predators. If you are pollinating with a cultivar that is a variation of another cultivar, you may have to deal with them (these plants will emit a pungent smell).
- The most dangerous disease, iris root rot, may also be caused by over-watering or sitting on the leaves of the plant.
- This plant’s ingestion has the potential to create major health issues in both dogs and humans.
This group of plants can be used in a wide range of gardens, from rock or border gardens to coastal areas and water gardens.