How to plant Tigridia bulbs

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How to plant Tigridia bulbs
Tigridia pavonia. (Getty Thinkstock)

Tigridia bulbs flower in the summer, reach 45 to 60 cm (18 to 24 inches) in height, and produce gladiola-like leaves and a tri-petal flower ranging in color from white, yellow and cream to orange, pink, red and scarlet. The Tigridia, also known as the Tiger Flower or the Mexican Shell Flower, is considered a semi-hardy bulb. It prefers drier conditions and when made happy you can count on this exotic beauty to flower in July and August.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Select a place in your garden that will allow the Tigridia bulbs full sun throughout the day.

  2. 2

    Add some sand to the planting bed to ensure good drainage. Tigridia bulbs rot easily and don't tolerate standing water or perpetually wet soil. Keep the soil somewhat dry if you plant the Tigridia in a climate with humid summers.

  3. 3

    Dig your planting holes 10 cm (4 inches) deep and 10 to 12.5 cm (4 to 5 inches) apart.

  4. 4

    Plant one Tigridia bulb per hole.

  5. 5

    Water the newly-planted Tigridia bulbs but do not saturate the soil. Mulch the Tigridia bulb.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the soil drier than you would with any other bulb as the Tigridia bulb rots quickly in wet soil, or in areas with humid summers where the soil is apt to stay wetter than in areas with drier air.
  • Harvest and store the Tigridia bulbs in peat or vermiculite during the winter in a cool, dry place to prevent damage to the bulb.

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