How to plant Hermodactylus bulbs


Hermodactylus are fully hardy and will be happy outdoors throughout winter without frost protection, but they do appreciate a sheltered spot. They should be planted between September and early November for best results, although they can be planted until December providing they are still firm and fresh. They won’t store until the following year.

— Hermodactylus grow from tubers which are small, elongated and yellow/cream in colour with a brown outer layer. They can be planted directly outside in borders or patio containers.

— They struggle with clay soil. If you have a heavy soil, it is best to grow in containers instead with multipurpose compost. In borders you can incorporate lots of compost and some grit or sand prior to planting to aid drainage.

— Choose a position in full sun or partial/dappled shade. They look great in stone planters and gravel gardens.

— Plant the tubers on their side (lengthways) at a depth of around 3-5cm.

— Space the bulbs around 10-15cm apart from each other or 5-10cm apart in pots for a full display. If planting in beds, group them into clusters to make a bigger impact.

— Cover back over with soil/compost after planting. If the soil is very dry, it’s a good idea to water them in after planting to settle them. They will not require any further watering through winter unless it is very mild and dry. They will only require water in spring if it is warm and the soil is dry.

Plant calendar

  • Planting
  • Flowering

Gracy knows: Hermodactylus

"Botanists reclassified this species, shifting it from the genus Iris, and when you look at the blooms, you’ll be able to see why it once fell within this genus."

Planting instructions