At first glance, Dianella seems to be a relative of yucca, irises or daylilies. But the humble plant is worth taking a closer look at. It is a unique perennial with decorative leaves and charming flowering, bright blue colors of flowers and berries, which can bewitch anyone. Dianella retains the status of an exotic, although a more unpretentious plant is also worth looking for.
Dianella blue (Dianella caerulea). Farmer Burea-Uinsurance.com Jan Juc
Dianella the outlandish giant from Australia
Dianella among her fellows is considered a unique beauty and a plant rather exclusive than widespread. This plant is modern in appearance and character, which has become fashionable only in recent years. And although it is not yet possible to meet Dianella everywhere, she conquers more and more flower growers with her character and tenderness. Dianella is an Australian exotic that grows naturally in a subtropical climate.
Even today, Dianella is often attributed to the Liliaceae. A diverse, bright and unforgettable blooming family has given many bright stars to indoor plants, but Dianelles have long been transferred to the much more exotic Xantoreide family, which includes mainly Australian exotics. There are many original blue and blue-flowered plants in the genus Dianella, but only one species from the genus Dianella is grown in room culture – Dianella caerulea.
The beauty of Dianella’s bloom and its vibrant leaves have been a source of inspiration and have given rise to many nicknames. The popular names of the plant include “blue fairy”, linseed lily and Diana’s lily.
Dianella blue (Dianella caerulea) in a room format is inferior in everything to its wild ancestors. If in nature Dianelles are able to grow up to two meters in height, then in a room they are limited to a modest 50 cm with almost the same diameter of constantly growing bushes. It is an evergreen herbaceous perennial with fibrous, powerful roots and a spectacular dense sod of long erect leaves, striking not only with resistance, but also with beauty, splendor of “bundles”.
Dianella foliage evokes associations with daylilies, with yuccas, with irises, reeds and even chlorophytums. But if the lanceolate shape and the pointed edge, as well as the growth of rosettes-bunches, are really similar, then in texture they are radically different. Dianella’s leaves are not sensitive and tender, but rather tough. The glossy shine only emphasizes the beauty of the almost gray color, and the leaves are surprisingly pleasant to the touch, they seem to be “fabric”.
The length of the leaves exceeds half a meter (maximum – 60 cm), and the width rarely approaches 2 cm. They grow straight, and if they deviate, then bend very beautifully. Dianella has a pronounced period of complete rest, but she retains the beauty of greenery even in winter.
Dianella’s bloom seems to be a touching miracle. It captivates with the grace of the shape of the inflorescence and the beauty of individual flowers as well as with its unusual colors. Peduncles usually exceed the height of greenery, but in indoor culture they can hide in a turf. Loose, vertical, openwork panicles of inflorescences are composed of regular soaring flowers. The star-shaped shape of the flower is emphasized by the bending of pointed petals upward.
Large golden anthers on very short filaments, forming a kind of crown, stand out brightly under the petals. Dianella flowers seem fragile and precious. The flowering period of Dianella usually covers spring and summer, allowing you to admire the touching inflorescences for many months. After flowering, Dianella can form highly decorative blue-ultramarine fruit berries, but usually in rooms you can enjoy fruiting only if the plant is used in summer as a garden tub.
Dianella’s color palette can put even garden gentian to shame. All the purest and noblest variations of blue and blue – this is the color of flowers and berries of this amazing plant.
In addition to the usual Dianella, today you can rarely find decorative forms and even varieties on sale. We have a special demand for the “Variegata” form with a cream-colored border on the leaves and the “Breeze” variety with gracefully hanging leaves and sods that resemble fountains.
Dianella can be viewed both as a non-resistant garden plant that hibernates indoors, and as a full-fledged indoor or greenhouse culture with a cold winter.
Dianella home care
Dianella blue rightfully takes its place among rare exotic species. It cannot be called a difficult plant to grow, but because of the required cold wintering, this beauty is not suitable for all growers. The most difficult moment in growing Dianella is precisely the dormant period, otherwise the care can be called standard.
Lighting for Dianella
Dianella seems to be a magical plant during flowering, and the illusion of fragility and touching flowers is quite consistent with the nature of the plant. Dianella loves secluded, soft lighting. She suffers both in strong shading and in direct sunlight, is afraid of any extremes and reacts painfully to changes in lighting. When choosing a place for Dianella, you need to find a balance between excess and lack of light. Fortunately, the plant itself clearly signals uncomfortable conditions and allows you to quickly find the optimal regime.
In the rooms for Dianella, it is better to choose eastern or western window sills. Dianella does not like artificial lighting, and its insufficient illumination cannot be compensated for.
Due to the fact that development for the winter completely stops, the plant does not need additional measures, including supplementary lighting during the dormant period. Dianella does not like changing conditions, therefore, it is undesirable to move her to brighter window sills.
The most difficult thing when growing this unpretentious beauty is to provide her with the correct wintering. Dianella does not bloom without a cool wintering and quickly loses its decorative effect, despite the status of an evergreen plant. The optimal mode of keeping during the rest period is a temperature of 7 to 12 degrees Celsius. The maximum permissible wintering temperature is 15 degrees, but even with it, the abundance of flowering suffers significantly.
Beautiful Dianella, which can be grown in the south even in open soil, simply loves fresh air. In the summer, the plant can be moved not only to the balconies, but also to the garden. Even in winter, Dianella blue requires regular ventilation with protection from drafts and sudden temperature fluctuations.
Watering and air humidity
Dianella will feel good if no extremes are allowed in watering. It is believed that the blue fairy equally dislikes waterlogging and drying out of the substrate. But from their ancestors, indoor Dianella inherited drought resistance, and it is precisely the omission of watering that the plant tolerates much better than dampness.
Watering should not be too abundant, they are carried out often, but not allowing strong waterlogging of the soil during this procedure. For the winter, with the transition of the plant to a dormant period in cool conditions, watering is sharply reduced and they are carried out only in order to maintain light soil moisture, allowing it to dry out almost completely between waterings.
This Australian exotic, although it comes from the subtropics, is insensitive to dry air. Tough Dianella leaves look good without additional measures to increase atmospheric humidity. There is no need for spraying or installing humidifiers for Dianella. But it is very important to wipe dust from the leaves and keep them clean: pollution in Dianella significantly increases the risk of pest infestation, it also affects the intensity of growth.
Dianella blue food
Dianella does not like excess nutrients and rare feeding is suitable for her. During the active growing season for this crop, fertilizers are applied with a frequency of 1 time in 4 weeks or with a standard frequency of 1 time in 2 weeks, but reducing the standard dose of fertilizers by half. During the rest period, feeding for Dianella is not carried out.
For Dianella, it is better to combine two types of fertilizers. At the beginning of active growth, complex fertilizers with a balanced ratio of macronutrients are used for the plant. During the period of budding and flowering, it is preferable to switch to fertilizers for decorative flowering plants. Despite the fact that greens dominate by weight, the plant’s need for nitrogen is less pronounced than for potassium and phosphorus.
Dianella transplant and substrate
You should not rush to transplant this Australian exotic. The plant prefers stable conditions and does not like contact with roots very much; it reacts very painfully to any transplant. Since Dianella does not grow too quickly, transplantation can be carried out for it only as a last resort, as the substrate is mastered by the roots, even at a very young age.
The plant is never transplanted annually, delaying the transshipment procedure as long as possible. But the topsoil must be replaced annually. If Dianella has obvious signs of complete soil development, the transplant is carried out in the coming spring before budding begins.
Dianella is grown in classic containers equal in depth and width or slightly larger in height. Planting containers are usually chosen large enough to give the plant room to grow and expand for many years. The minimum size for Dianella pots is 30 cm for young plants.
Any universal substrate is suitable for Dianella, if only we are talking about high-quality loose soil mixtures. When choosing ready-made substrates, it is better to pay attention to special soils for flowering plants. If the soil is mixed independently, then a standard soil mixture of 2 parts of compost with 2 parts of turf soil, 1 part of sand and 2 parts of peat or a mixture of peat and compost with sand is suitable for Dianella. To improve water permeability, it is better to add perlite or similar loosening agents to the soil.
When transplanting Dianella, a very high drainage layer is laid on the bottom of the tanks. The plant is passed over without destroying the old earthen lump and removing only loose dirty soil from the upper layer. After transshipment, the plant needs increased attention: gentle lighting, cool temperatures and very gentle watering until growth resumes.
Dianella diseases and pests
Dianella can hardly be called a resistant houseplant. The leaves of this beauty are adored by aphids, which can be dealt with by any insecticide. Often found in Dianella and powdery mildew, which is best dealt with immediately with fungicide treatments.
Common problems in growing Dianella:
- lack of flowering during warm wintering;
- stretching shoots in poor lighting;
- the appearance of spots on the leaves, drying and shedding of leaves in the sun.
Reproduction of Dianella
Dianella constantly forms new shoots and grows, forming full-fledged sod. The easiest way to propagate this houseplant is by simply dividing the mature plants. If you do not separate individual shoots, but use large delenki and take the separation process as carefully as possible, trying to keep the earthy clod around the roots intact, Dianella adapts to new containers quickly enough.
Other vegetative methods for reproduction of Dianella are not used.
Dianella seeds are rarely found on the market, but if you can get them, then you can grow new Dianella from seeds. Sowing is carried out in any low bowls, superficially, on a well-watered substrate. For sowing, you can use both a mixture of soil and sand, which is usual for Dianella, and a mixture of peat and sand.
The containers are covered with foil or glass and exposed to bright lighting in rooms with high temperatures, from 25 degrees Celsius. The screen is removed from the plates immediately after the first shoots appear. It is better not to rush with a dive, allowing the plant to grow up to the second true leaf.
After planting in individual containers, young plants are best handled with care. Any sudden changes in substrate moisture or temperature, careless care can destroy the plant. But as soon as Dianelles grow, they will become much more resilient.