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Baboon iris

Babiana stricta

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Baboon iris is part of the Babiana genus and its scientific name is Babiana stricta. The stricta part of this plant's botanical name means 'erect'.

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More Info

Deciduous winter-growing, summer dormant bulb. Produces dark pink flowers in spring. Ideal for rock gardens. Sow in autumn.

Baboon iris grows as a perennial and is a flower / ornamental. Being a perennial plant, it tends to grow best over several years (approx 3 years and greater).

Expect blooming to occur in mid spring.

South Africa is believed to be where Baboon iris originates from.

This plant tends to need a moderate amount of maintenance, so ensuring that you are aware of the soil, sun, ph and water requirements for Baboon iris is quite important to ensure you have a happy and healthy plant.

This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Baboon iris have been kindly provided by our members.

How to grow Baboon iris

  • Full Sun

  • Partial Sun

  • Medium

All babianas are deciduous, either winter or summer growing. Most are winter growing. Like most other winter growing (or Mediterranean climate) Irids, they start their growth cycle in autumn when the first rains fall. The leaves push through the soil and the plants grow. They grow through the winter, and as spring approaches, they produce flower buds. Some species flower early in spring, and others late, almost into summer. Most species are in seed in early summer, and as the rains finish and the weather heats up, they go dormant again. To successfully grow them, one needs to remember this growth cycle. Start to water them in autumn, water through the winter, and stop in late spring when the plants show signs of going dormant. They will do best in a sunny aspect with free air circulation. The plants are drought tolerant and they vary in hardiness, but probably will not like anything below 25°F (about -5°C).

Growing medium – they all require well drained potting medium consisting of 2 parts sand, 1 part loam and perhaps 1 part compost, depending on the species. Because of the contractile roots, Babianas pull their corms to the bottom of the pot, and they grow best in large pots (12 inch or more).

Babianas also do well in the garden, and we have planted quite a lot out in our beds. We have some between paving stones (in a similar situation to their natural growth habit) and although our garden is watered year round, they don’t seem to rot and they flower profusely each spring. Our garden soil is very sandy and well drained, and perhaps that explains it. Most of the babianas that are commonly grown are hybrids, mainly of Babiana stricta, but many of the species are far more beautiful and rewarding. The flowers are long lasting and brightly coloured, and many are scented as a bonus.

Plant in a location that enjoys full sun / partial sun and remember to water moderately. The USDA Zones typically associated with Baboon iris are Zone 9 and Zone 12. Baboon iris requires a potting mix soil with a ph of 6.1 - 7.8 - it grows best in weakly acidic soil - weakly alkaline soil. Keep in mind when planting that Baboon iris is thought of as tender, so it is really important to ensure that the outside temperature is well above freezing before planting or moving outdoors.

See our list of companion Plants for Baboon iris to see which plants you should plant in close proximity to encourage growth.

Growing Baboon iris from seed

Sow in autumn. Water well through winter and into early summer.

Transplanting Baboon iris

Ensure that temperatures are mild and all chance of frost has passed before planting out, as Baboon iris is a tender plant.

How long does Baboon iris take to grow?

These estimates for how long Baboon iris takes to sprout, grow and harvest are from real observations from real gardeners, right around the world.

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Other names for Baboon iris

Babiana, Bobbejaantjie (Afrikaans), Katjetie (afrikaans), Baboon Bottom

Gladiolus strictus, Ixia plicata

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