Tigridia: tips for planting and caring for open ground

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Tigridia: tips for planting and caring for open ground
Tigridia: tips for planting and caring for open ground

Characteristics of the tigridia plant, agricultural techniques for planting and caring for exotic in the garden, how to reproduce, recommendations for combating diseases and pests, curious notes, species and varieties.

Tigridia (Tigridia) refers to perennials that are part of the Iris family (Iridaceae) or as it is also called Iris. According to data provided by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the genus contains approximately 55 different species. However, the most famous among fans of the garden handicap is the variety of Tigridia pavonia. The native territories of this bulbous plant are in the American continent, with these lands stretching in the north from the Mexican region to the countries of Central America in the south, such as Peru and Chile.

Family name Iris or Iris
Growing period Perennial
Vegetation form Herbaceous
Breeds Using seeds, bulbs or babies
Open ground transplant terms From the second half of May
Landing rules At a distance of 15-20 cm from each other
Priming Light, loose, well-drained, moderately hydrated
Soil acidity values, pH 6, 5-7 (neutral) or 7-8 (slightly alkaline)
Illumination level Rookie or brightly lit place
Humidity level Regular watering, daily in dry weather
Special care rules Fertilizing and garter stalks are required
Height options 0.3–0.7 m
Flowering period From late July or August
Type of inflorescences or flowers Single flowers or in inflorescences of 2-3 pieces
Color of flowers The most varied variations of colors and shades
Fruit type Seed capsule
The timing of fruit ripening Late summer or September
Decorative period A month and a half in summer
Application in landscape design Group planting in flower beds and flower beds, border decoration
USDA zone 5 and more

Tigridia bears its name thanks to the Latin word "tigris" or "tiger", put in the genitive case "tigridis" or, according to another version, it is composed of such terms as "tigris" and "eidos", which translate as "tiger" and "Similar", respectively. Any unknowing person should just take a look at the flowers of this representative of the flora, as it becomes clear where the roots of this name come from. All thanks to the bright and variegated perianth. They began to cultivate this unusual flower in European territories since the 16th century, but in their native lands, the Aztecs still possessed the ability to cultivate it because of its medicinal properties.

All types and varieties of tigridia have a long-term growth cycle and a herbaceous form. The root system is represented by corms, through which reproduction is possible. The height of simple or branched stems varies between 30–70 cm. The leaf plates have linear, xiphoid or lanceolate outlines, characterized by a folded surface. The color of the foliage is rich in shades of green.

Flowers are the real dignity of tigridia. They crown the tops of the stems both singly and can gather in inflorescences of 2-3 pieces. When fully opened, their diameter often reaches 8–10 cm and sometimes even more. The petals are mostly loose. The perianth has the contours of the calyx, while in it the lobes growing on the outside are rather much larger than the inner ones.Tigridia petals are painted, can be in a wide variety of shades and colors. With their outlines and color, the flowers are very reminiscent of exotic butterflies. Flowering begins in late July or August and lasts 5-6 weeks.


Despite its beauty, tigridia is not particularly popular among garden plant lovers. All because of its short-term flowering, which takes the first half of the day and stretches for only 8 hours, and then the flower withers.

After pollination occurs, the tigridia begins to ripen the fruits, represented by oblong-shaped capsules. They are filled with squashed seeds with angular outlines.

Despite the slight difficulty in leaving the tigridia, today it is a rare guest in the gardens of our strip. But since each of the bushes, numbering 15–20 plants every day for almost a month and a half, is decorated with 5–7 open colorful flowers, there will always be an opportunity and enough time to enjoy this view.

Agrotechnology of planting and caring for tigridia in the open field

Tigridia flower
  1. Landing place This flowering plant is recommended to be selected well-lit, protected from gusts of wind. This is because the stems of some species can grow up to indicators of 70 cm, although they have a strong appearance and do not need to be tied up. A semi-shaded location may also come up, then in this case it will affect the flowering stems, they will become thinner and weaker, then you will definitely have to tie them up. Tigridia, despite its thermophilicity, is able to withstand light frosts. It is recommended that groundwater does not run nearby, and that moisture does not stagnate from precipitation in the flower bed.
  2. Soil for tigridia pick up light, moderately moist and loose, well-drained so that water and air can easily pass to the bulbs. The reaction of the soil must be maintained within a pH range of 6, 5–7, that is, the composition must be neutral, but a soil mixture with a slightly alkaline reaction (pH 7–8) may be suitable. If the substrate on the site is heavy, then to lighten it, it is recommended to mix river sand or sawdust.
  3. Planting tigridia in open ground should be carried out no earlier than the end of May, but the first June decade is best suited. They try to place the pits at a distance of 15–20 cm from each other. When planting in rows, the row spacing will be 20 cm. The depth of the planting holes is approximately 50-60 mm, but this figure directly depends on the size of the bulb. If it is small, then it is deepened by only 5 cm, for large sizes this value can be increased to 10 cm. A drainage layer must be laid at the bottom of the hole, the thickness of which will be 20–25 cm. Broken brick, crushed stone or horse stone can act as such a layer manure. A layer of soil mixture of the same thickness is laid on the drainage, and only then a tigridia seedling or a sprouted bulb is placed. The seedling is sprinkled with soil and abundant watering is performed. Before planting, experienced gardeners recommend treating tigridia bulbs with a fungicidal preparation. You should use, for example, the "Maxim" tool, on the basis of which the solution is made - 2 milligrams of the drug are diluted in a liter of water. In such a solution, the bulbs are kept for a couple of hours.
  4. Watering when growing tigridia, moderate and regular is recommended, but when the weather is hot and dry for a long time, the soil is moistened daily. The amount of water is poured out so that the substrate is soaked to the depth of the roots of the corms. It is important not to let the soil dry out, but also not to bring it to acidification. On too hot days, you can spray the aerial part of the plant from a finely dispersed spray bottle with warm settled water. Just make sure that drops of moisture do not fall on the petals of tigridia flowers. It is recommended to perform such sprinkling in the evening, when the sun's rays will not cause burns, drying water droplets.
  5. General advice on care. Like any flowering garden plant, tigridia also need weeding from weeds, loosening the soil near the bush after watering or rainfall. Also, to prevent the intensity of the growth of weeds and the rapid drying of the soil, the soil surface can be mulched with peat chips or compost. When the flowers begin to wither (if you do not need to get the fruit-boxes), then they should be removed immediately. This will prevent fruit from setting and depleting the plant. If necessary, the stems can be tied to pegs.
  6. Fertilizers when caring for tigridia, it is recommended to apply only if they were not added at the time of planting. If the soil has not been fertilized or cultivation takes place in poor and depleted soil, then a couple of dressings should be performed during the season. The first time, about a month after the leaf plates unfold, the second - during the budding period. In this case, complex mineral preparations are used (for example, Fertika or Kemira-Universal). In a liter jar of water, 3 grams of the product are dissolved.
  7. Storage preparation. Usually, tigridia should not be dug out of the soil only in areas with a southern and mild climate. Otherwise, it is required to dig them in the autumn. But in order for the bulbs to survive until the spring planting, it is very important that they are ripe. For this, it is recommended to choose the right digging time. The signal for extraction will be the moment when all the leaves on the bush become wilted. If there is a possibility of early frosts, and the leaf plates of the tigridia are still green, then the bushes must be dug out without destroying the earthen lump. They try to take such a lump of a sufficiently large volume so that it is not possible to damage the mother's corm and the children growing nearby. Such plants are transferred to a room with sufficiently good lighting. Only when the leaves acquire a yellow color and completely fade can one begin to prepare the tigridia planting material for the winter storage period. So all the bulbs are recommended to be cleaned and rinsed in running water, freeing them from soil residues. After that, all the obtained bulbs must be etched using fungicidal preparations, for example, Maxim, and then spread out to dry thoroughly. Dry the bulbs for 30-40 days. Usually, the division of the bulbous nest is carried out already in the spring, before planting is carried out 3-4 days, but in no case in the fall before storage.
  8. Storage of tigridia bulbs. Corms and their children are removed from the soil in mid-autumn (around October). They are then transferred to a storage room until the next spring heat. The collected planting material is placed in containers filled with peat chips or dry coarse sand. The place where the boxes with tigridia bulbs will stand should be cool with a heat reading of only 3-10 degrees. It is recommended to maintain humidity within the normal range (approximately 40-60%). Some gardeners store bulbs in heavy paper bags that are placed on the bottom vegetable shelf of the refrigerator. There, the temperature readings will be in the range of 0-5 degrees. It is important to check the material regularly throughout the winter storage of tigridia bulbs. If rotten or damaged specimens are noticed, they are immediately removed.
  9. The use of tigridia in landscape design. The plant will be an excellent decoration for any flower bed or flower garden, however, due to its short flowering cycle, it is worth taking care that more “long-playing” representatives of the garden flora take the place of fading bushes. With the help of such flowering shrubs, it is possible to arrange borders. Planting tigridia against the background of dark green foliage of shrubs or conifers would be a good combination.You can plant Tigridia near artificial or natural reservoirs in your garden or by framing large stones with it. Good neighbors will be subulate phlox, stonecrop, thyme or arabis.

See also the rules for planting and caring for crocus outdoors.

How to properly reproduce tigridia?

Tigridium in the ground

In order to have such a flowering plant in your garden, it is recommended to use the seed method or plant corms.

Reproduction of tigridia using seeds

With flowering, which falls in the bushes from mid-to-late July, it becomes possible for fruit-capsules filled with seeds to ripen. It is recommended to collect them before the time when the first frosts hit. All excess fruits that appear must be removed so that they do not weaken the bush. Sowing is recommended to be carried out at the end of February and, which is typical, it is not required to carry out pre-sowing preparation of the seed. Tigridia seeds are distributed in a seedling box on the surface of a nutrient substrate (peat-sand mixture is often used). You can sprinkle it on top with a thin layer of the same soil or river sand.

The room in which the seedlings will be kept should be with a good level of lighting and a temperature within 20-25 degrees. The seedling box with tigridia crops can be covered with plastic transparent wrap or a piece of glass can be placed on top. Self-care will include daily airing (to remove accumulated condensation) and spraying the soil when it dries out from a spray bottle with warm water. When tigridia seedlings appear, it is necessary to remove the shelter, and when they grow a little and get stronger, dive into separate pots. They do this no earlier than when the plant acquires a pair of full-fledged leaf plates.

Care must be taken when diving tigridia seedlings because of their very fragile and delicate roots. Therefore, it is recommended to take them with a lump of soil surrounding the bulb, that is, to use the transshipment method. This method makes it possible to enjoy flowering after six months or a little more.

Reproduction of tigridia by bulbs

Every year, each of the bulbs is replaced by a certain number of small babies (often 5 or more pieces), and then dies. These young bulbs form a nest. Before planting, young bulbs are separated from the parent specimen. All places of faults must be sprinkled with generously crushed charcoal. If this is not found, you can use pharmacy activated carbon. After that, an immediate planting of the "young" is carried out. Young tigridia bulbs are planted in the last week of spring or in early May. The bulbs are planted to a depth of about 10-12 cm. The distance between the holes is maintained at 15-18 cm.

To carry out the cultivation of corms, they are planted in early spring in pots or greenhouse conditions. In one container filled with a peat-sand mixture or garden soil, 3-4 tigridia bulbs are placed. The diameter of the pot should be no more than 12 cm, and holes are made in its bottom to drain excess moisture. The planting of the bulbs is carried out to a depth of 3 cm, and this distance should be from the crown of the corm. It is recommended to lay a layer of river sand under the bottoms. Its thickness is maintained at 1, 5–2 cm.

Care for such plantings of tigridia in the first weeks should be moderate soil moisture. If it becomes noticeable that the corms have started to grow, then it is recommended to increase watering.


With such watering, moisture should saturate the soil at a depth at which the roots of tigridia bulbs are located.

Some gardeners place a deep tray under the pot so that it is possible to perform bottom watering, then the plant will take in as much moisture as it needs, and there will be no threat of waterlogging of the soil.In addition, a substrate that does not undergo acidification will exclude the development of fungal diseases. When arrows develop from the bulbs, the pots with tigridia plantings are moved to a warm, well-lit place (for example, on a windowsill). It is important to provide protection against drafts. Until the end of spring, the plants will grow up, they can be planted in prepared holes in the open field.

Recommendations for the control of diseases and pests when growing tigridia in the garden

Tigridia blooms

Like many bulbous plants, Tigridia can be difficult to maintain until spring planting. This is because a large number of corms simply rot. Those bulbs that did not have time to ripen before the time when they are sent for storage are affected. Therefore, it is recommended to devote sufficient time to the preparation of the planting material. That is, it is important to make sure that the tigridia bulbs are ripe. Before being sent for storage (put in boxes), each must be processed; for this, any fungicidal preparation is used. There are a sufficient number of such in flower shops, Fundazol, Maxim or Benlat have proven themselves well.

Often, when growing tigridia in open ground, its bushes are affected by diseases such as scab or rust… These diseases are manifested by the appearance of neoplasms of brown, black, olive-brown or reddish-brown color. The cause of the occurrence is the increased humidity of the environment at moderate temperatures (15–20 degrees). The general appearance of the plant takes on distorted outlines, and it dies. To carry out cure measures, it is necessary to carry out a treatment with fungicidal agents such as Fundazol or Bordeaux liquid. As a preventive measure, Fitosporin-M, Topaz or Ordan will help.

If spots of various colors (mainly yellow or whitish) are found on the leaves of tigridia, the plant is most likely affected by mosaic, which is a viral disease. There is no cure for it, and then all affected specimens must be removed from the site. The best recommendation for prevention is quality care.

Pests that can infect tigridia bushes are thrips or cabbage scoops, as well as bears (their larvae) and slugs. In order to get rid of thrips and their caterpillars, it is necessary to treat with an insecticidal agent (for example, Aktara or Aktellik). The slugs will have to be collected by hand or metaldehyde preparations such as Meta-Groza will have to be used. Against the bear, experienced gardeners are recommended to use a soap solution that is poured into their moves. If the pest tries to crawl out of the soil, then it is destroyed.

Curious notes about tigridia

Tigridia grows

In ancient times, for the Aztecs, this flowering plant played not only a decorative role, but rather they grew tigridia because of its medicinal properties. So the roots of the flower were the material for the preparation of potions, which were used to treat stomach diseases or as an anti-febrile remedy.

It is interesting that most of the travelers who were lucky enough to see the blooming thickets of Tigridia for the first time adopted their simple tulips, which took on unusual shapes.

Types and varieties of tigridia

Although there are quite a few varieties of tigridia, it is customary to use a small part of them in gardening, on the basis of which very decorative varieties were bred by the works of breeders:

In the photo Tigridia peacock

Peacock tigridia (Tigridia pavonia)

or Tigridia pavonia. It originates from the territory of Mexico, but also occurs in the lands of Guatemala. The height of the stems can vary from 25 cm to 70 cm. The bulbs are irregular in shape. Their entire surface is covered with dryish membranous scales. The color of the scales is dark brown. The length of the bulb reaches 6 cm, with a diameter of about 4 cm.When the growing season takes place, the old mother bulb is completely depleted, but it is replaced by the formation of a large number of children (small bulbs). Through such children, bulbous nests are formed. In this case, the number of formed baby bulbs, as well as scales on the surface of the parent bulb, is usually almost equal.

Each of the peacock tigridia bulbs gives rise to 3-5 flower-bearing stems, the top of which will later be decorated with about five flowers. The outlines of the leaf plates are wide, the shape is xiphoid. Their color is greenish or light green, and the entire surface is characterized by folding along the leaf. When blooming, the buds are able to open up to 10-15 cm in diameter. They are made up of three pairs of shares. The flowers of the tigridia pavonia unfold alternately. The color of the outer perianth lobes has a rich blood-red or orange-purple color scheme. The inner lobes are smaller than the outer ones and their color becomes yellowish-orange with a mottled pattern of dark markings. The pharynx has the same color.

The flowering process in this species of tigridia falls on the period July-August, but each flower remains fresh for only 8-10 hours, then withers. But if you count the entire duration of flowering, then it stretches for 2-3, 5 weeks. The fruit is a capsule filled with a large number of seeds. The size of the seeds is large, the color is brown. Their outlines are flat, angular. Such plants can winter only when grown in a southern climate, like gladioli.

The most popular among gardeners are the following varieties of peacock tigridia:

  • Alba the color of the petals is snow-white, on their surface there is a pattern of spots of red color.
  • Aurea petals in flowers are painted in a dark yellow shade, spotting on their surface is carmine tones.
  • Carminea (Canninea) the flowers of this variety of tigridia pavonia are characterized by an orange color, the spots on the petals are yellow.
  • Lilacea justifies its name because of the lilac-reddish color of the petals in the flowers, the surface of which is decorated with specks of carmine shade.
  • Rosalind the stems are crowned with flowers of a pale pinkish tide.
  • Canariensis among the petals of a yellowish color, the middle of a rich red tone stands out brightly.
  • Speciosa is a variety of peacock tigridia, possessing scarlet-red petals in flowers, the core of which is decorated with a spot of yellow-golden and reddish hue.
In the photo, Tigridium tubular

Tigridium tubular (Tigridia buccifera)

… The native habitat of this species in nature is in the mountainous territories of Mexico. It is distinguished from the previous variety by the stem, the length of which is shorter, but there is good branching. The leaf plates are characterized by a narrowed shape. When blooming, flowers open, the diameter of which varies in the range of 5–7 cm. In flowers, the outer perianth lobes have rounded outlines and are painted in a pale pinkish tint. The stigma has a capitate contour.

If we talk about other popular types of tigridia, it is worth noting the following, which are applicable in works on hybridization:

  1. Tigridia seleriana (Tigridia seleriana) the owner of flowers with bluish-lilac petals.
  2. Tigridia violacea it is distinguished by a perianth, in which the outer lobes have very sharp drooping outlines.
  3. Mexican Tigridia (Tigridia mexicana) has bright yellow flowers.
  4. Tigridia meleagris (Tigridia meleagris) possesses flowers, the shape of which resembles fritilliria - the corollas are turned with their heads down, and the top of the petals is characterized by a sharpness.
  5. Tigridia galanthoides, according to the specific name, it is clear that it resembles galanthus (snowdrop) with its flowers - the flower on the stem is lowered to the soil, while the lobes have a rounded top.
  6. Tigridia Ferraria mixed (Ferraria mixed) is a mixture of varieties.Plants entering it with their stems reach a height of 60 cm. The leaf plates are characterized by xiphoid contours. Flowers can open up to 15 cm in diameter. The color of the outer petals is monochromatic and can be red, orange, lilac-pink, snow-white or yellow. The surface of the three inner lobes is covered with spectacular specks.

Related article: Ixia planting and outdoor care.

Video about growing tigridia in open field conditions:

Photos of tigridia:

Tigridia Photos 1 Photo of Tigridia 2 Tigridia Photo 3 Tigridia Photo 4 Tigridia Photo 5

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