How to Grow Angel’s Fishing Rod Flowers in Your Garden

If you’re looking for a plant to amplify your garden’s grace, then look no further than the angel’s fishing rod (Dierama pulcherrimum). This plant produces elegant grass-like leaves and gently arching panicles of pendulous bell-shaped blossoms that bob gently in the breeze. Here, I’ll take you through everything you need to know about growing and caring for Angel’s Fishing Rod, including planting, soil considerations, light preferences, feeding, pruning, and over-winter care. 

How to Grow Angel's Fishing Rod (Dierama pulcherrimum) at Home

Angel’s Fishing Rod Plant Care Basics:

Botanical Name:Dierama pulcherrimum
Also Known As:Angel’s fishing rod, fairybells, hairbells, or wandflowers
Hardiness Zones:USDA 7 to 10
Flowering Months:July to September
Growing Difficulty:Low maintenance, easy to moderate difficulty
Type of Plant:Evergreen, perennial, flowering plant
Light Requirements:Full sun
Temp & Humidity:Germinating seeds require temperatures of at least 60°F and above. Established plants can withstand winter temperatures down to 5°F but do not tolerate high heat or high humidity.
Watering Needs:Low to moderate moisture. Soil should be kept moist but never soggy during the hottest and driest parts of the summer with supplemental watering.
Soil Preferences:Moist, well-draining soil of any pH
Feeding:Apply an all-purpose, balanced fertilizer once in spring.
Growth Expectations:3 to 5 feet tall and .5 to 1.5 feet in diameter at maturity
Toxicity:Non-toxic to humans and animals

How to Grow Angel’s Fishing Rod

A close shot of a flowering Angel's Fishing Rod (Dierama pulcherrimum) plant with pink long petals

The Best Locations for Planting

The best location for Angel’s fishing rod is a spot with rich, well-draining soil that receives full sunlight. These plants can tolerate the wind, and their flowers will bob beautifully up and down in the breeze.

Angel’s fishing rod is perfect for planting on banks, slopes, raised beds, and garden beds or borders. They look lovely in cottage, coastal, informal, courtyard, gravel, and rock gardens. Angel’s fishing tod can plant them adjacent to water if the soil is well-draining.

When to Plant

Aim to plant Angel’s fishing rod in early spring after the danger of frost has passed.

Best Soil Types

Angel’s fishing rod can tolerate a range of soil types at just about any pH. Choose rich chalk, loam, or sand. Most importantly, ensure that the soil drains quickly and remains moist but does not retain enough water to become water-logged in the winter.

Growing From Seed vs. Nursery Plants

In addition to requiring time and indoor space to allow Dierama seeds to germinate, sprout, and become established, growing from seed also means waiting longer to enjoy your plants’ first blossoms.

If you’re growing an angel’s fishing rod from seed, note they can require up to 5 years before its first flowering season. Dierama plants can take about two years to flower for the first time when grown from nursery plants or via propagation through dividing corms.

What to Do Before Planting

Before planting an angel’s fishing rod, find a suitable location with well-draining soil and full sun. Then, gather any supplies you might need, including a trowel and fertilizer.

How to Plant  

An Angel's Fishing Rod flower in bloom showcasing pink flowerheads

From Seed:

To plant an angel’s fishing rod, sew seeds on the surface of loose soil in a planting tray. Keep the soil evenly moist and above 60°F. Grow indoors for at least two seasons before transplanting outdoors in the spring.

From Corm:

Plant corms in 6-inch deep holes with the base of the plant’s stems level with the ground. Corms can be planted in spring or fall but do best when planted in spring and established throughout the growing season.

Helpful Hints:

Once established, an angel’s fishing rod can be grown in large containers but grows much better in the ground.

Angel’s fishing rod plants are not particularly enthusiastic about being relocated. If transplanting or splitting corms, do so in the early spring after the first frost to allow the plants enough time to establish themselves through the summer.

Light Preferences

Angel’s fishing rod requires full sun, so aim to plant it in a location that receives ample sunlight every day.

In areas with extreme heat and humidity, some summer shade is advisable.

Temperature and Humidity Preferences

Angel’s fishing rod thrives in USDA hardiness zones 7 to 10. It is winter hardy to 5°F and evergreen, except in the coldest zones, where its foliage dies back in the winter.

Dierama plants struggle to tolerate extremely high heat or high humidity.


How to Care for Angel’s Fishing Rod

Watering

Angel’s fishing rod requires evenly moist soil that is never soggy. Depending on your climate and the moisture you receive, an angel’s fishing rod might not need supplemental watering.

In sweltering hot or dry conditions, check the soil frequently, watering when the top 2 inches are dry. In hot weather, water in the early morning to avoid evaporation and high humidity around the plant base.

Do not water Angel’s fishing rod during winter dormancy.

Fertilizing

To encourage healthy growth and abundant flowering, apply a well-balanced, all-purpose fertilizer to Angel’s fishing rod in the spring after the danger of frost has passed.

Pruning and Cutting Back

Angel’s fishing rod requires little pruning or maintenance. Dead or unattractive foliage can be removed or cut back using sterile pruning shears. You should perform all pruning in the early spring before new growth emerges.

Propagation

Angel’s fishing rod can be propagated by seed or by dividing the plant’s corms with secateurs and planting outdoors in spring.

In fact, a Dierama plant’s flowering will slow after about five years of blooming. At this time, digging up your plants in the spring, splitting the corms, and replanting them in the ground will reinvigorate the plants and encourage the production of more flowers.

Overwintering

Plants growing in the ground within the Dierama‘s appropriate USDA hardiness zone do not require special winter care, except to stop all supplemental watering and ensure proper soil drainage.

Container-grown angel’s fishing rod should be moved indoors to a cool, dry location. Watering should be drastically reduced throughout the plant’s winter dormancy, keeping the potting soil only very slightly moist.

Repotting

Grown in containers, an angel’s fishing rod only survives as an annual plant, so there is no need to repot these plants.

If starting from seeds indoors, you can transplant plants into the ground outside in the spring. This allows the plants ample time to get established throughout the growing season.

Common Problems and How to Treat Them

Angel’s fishing rod is not prone to many problems or common garden pests. The following are the most common issues you might encounter:

Signs of Common Problems:

  • No Flowers – Dierama plants do not produce as many flowers when they do not receive enough sunlight. They might also begin producing fewer flowers as they age beyond 5 seasons of blooming.
  • Foliage Turning Yellow – Yellow or otherwise sickly-looking foliage could indicate root rot caused by overwatering. Use a moisture meter to measure the water content in your soil and adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Common Pests and Diseases:

  • Rust Fungus – Rust fungus appears as rust-colored spots or blights on the plant’s leaves. Treat and prevent rust fungus with a weekly dusting of sulfur or with neem oil.
  • Red Spider Mites – Spider mites create white, web-like fuzz around leaves. The mites themselves look like tiny, red dots. Regularly misting leaves can deter mites in a moist environment.

Essential Tools

A selection of gardening tools
  • Pruning shears
  • Secateurs
  • Trowel
  • All-purpose fertilizer
  • Moisture meter or water probe

Growing Angel’s Fishing Rod FAQs:

Is angel’s fishing rod hardy?

Angel’s fishing rod is winter hardy in USDA growing zones 7 to 10. It is an evergreen in all but the coldest of these zones.

How big does angel’s fishing rod get?

Angel’s fishing rod grows to be about 3 to 5 feet tall and .5 to 1.5 feet around.

What do you do with angel’s fishing rod over winter?

If growing in the ground, stop watering your angel’s fishing rod in winter. If growing in containers, move them indoors to a cool, dry location for overwintering.

Is angel’s fishing rod invasive?

In the right conditions, an angel’s fishing rod can spread pretty fast and become invasive.

Is angel’s fishing rod a perennial?

Angel’s fishing rod is a perennial plant that grows and reblooms yearly.

Will angel’s fishing rod grow in shade?

You might be able to get an angel’s fishing rod plant to grow in the shade, but it likely will grow extremely slowly and not produce any flowers.

Is angel’s fishing rod (Dierama pulcherrimum) poisonous to humans?

Angel’s fishing rod is not toxic to humans or pets.

Go Fishing With the Angels in Your Garden

If your garden offers the right growing conditions, cultivating angel’s fishing rod is a safe bet. The plant’s unique beauty and graceful silhouette will transform your backyard into a heavenly oasis.

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