The Q&A Archives: Iris

Question: For Jacksonville, FL the nursery said African Iris grow best. Please tell me best growing/care conditions for my African iris...

Answer: Fortnight lily (often called African iris in Florida), are evergreen perennials with spreading fans of stiff, leathery sword shaped leaves up to 2 ft in length but only 0.75 in wide. The upright clumps of leaves are held in a vertical fanlike plane. The flowers, rather flattened and nearly 3 in across, are milky white with yellow markings on the three larger tepals. The flowering stems of fortnight lily are perennial, so don't cut them back after flowering as you might for most other iris like plants. Although tolerant of poor soils, fortnight lilies are not tolerant of salty conditions. Grow fortnight lilies in light, dappled shade to nearly full sun.
Once established, fortnight lilies tolerate poor, dry soils, but do best in a well drained soil with regular watering during the growing season. Reduce water and fertilizer after flowering. Enjoy your new plants.

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