The Exquisite Tiger Flower: A Look at its Fascinating Characteristics and Cultural Significance


The tiger flower, also known as the Tigridia pavonia, is a stunning plant that features vibrant and speckled flowers. Its pink and white blossoms, with their distinctive peacock-like patterns, make this plant a favorite among gardeners. If you’re looking for a smaller plant that packs a punch, the tiger flower is the perfect choice.

These beautiful flowers are native to Mexico and belong to the iris family. They are easy to grow, but they do require some special attention. Tiger flowers need well-draining soil, as they can be sensitive to over-watering. They also thrive in full sun or partial shade and can tolerate a wide range of climates, from zones 5 to 9. Whether you’ve got a green thumb or you’re just starting out as a gardener, you can easily grow these vibrant blooms in your own backyard.

When it comes to overwintering, tiger flowers may need some additional care. As they are not the most cold-hardy plants, they will need to be protected from harsh winter conditions. If you live in an area with freezing temperatures, it’s best to dig up the bulbs and store them in a cool, dry place, such as a garage or basement. Make sure to repot the bulbs in fresh potting soil before the next growing season.

To keep your tiger flowers thriving, they will also appreciate some extra humidity. Misting the leaves occasionally or placing a small tray of water near the plant can help increase the humidity levels. During the growing season, it’s important to keep the soil slightly moist but not overly wet. Once the flowers have finished blooming, you can reduce the amount of water you give them and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.

Pruning is not a necessary task for tiger flowers, but it can help keep the plant looking neat and tidy. Removing any dead or damaged leaves and trimming back the stems can promote healthy growth and prevent the plant from becoming overgrown. Take care not to prune too heavily, as the leaves are an important part of the plant’s energy storage system.

The tiger flower is truly a plant that stands out in a crowd. Its unique blooms and attractive foliage make it a must-have for any garden. So, if you’re looking to add a splash of color to your outdoor space, consider planting the tiger flower. With a little effort and care, you can enjoy the beauty of these vibrant flowers year after year.

How to Grow and Care for Tiger Flower

Tiger flower, also known as tigridia, is a vibrant and eye-catching plant that can add a pop of color to any garden. The flowers of this plant are often speckled and come in shades of pink, orange, and red. They are sometimes even compared to the colorful feathers of a peacock. If you want to grow tiger flowers in your own garden, here are some basic care instructions to follow.

Planting: Tiger flowers can be planted in the garden or in pots. If you choose to plant them in the garden, make sure to select a location that receives plenty of sunlight. These plants thrive in full sun but can tolerate some shade. It’s also important to ensure that the soil has good drainage to avoid waterlogging.

Care: Once planted, tiger flowers require minimal care. They should be watered regularly, especially during dry periods, but overwatering should be avoided as it may lead to root rot. While the plant is growing, it’s essential to support the stems to prevent them from falling over. Some gardeners like to use bamboo stakes for this purpose.

Foliage: Tiger flower foliage can be quite attractive, even when the plant is not in bloom. The long, slender leaves are often green and sometimes have a speckled pattern. Regular pruning is not necessary for tiger flowers, but any dead or yellowing leaves can be trimmed to maintain a neat appearance.

Overwintering: Tiger flowers are not frost-tolerant, so in colder climates, the bulbs will need to be lifted and stored for the winter. Once the foliage has died back, carefully dig up the bulbs and shake off any excess soil. Allow them to dry in a cool, dry location for a few days, then store them in a paper bag or a plastic container with some ventilation holes. Check on the bulbs periodically during the winter to ensure they are not rotting or drying out.

Propagation: Tiger flowers can be grown from both bulbs and seeds. Bulbs should be planted in the spring, while seeds can be sown in late winter or early spring. To grow from seeds, simply sow them in a potting mix, lightly cover with soil, and keep them in a warm, well-lit area. The seeds will then germinate and grow into mature plants that can be transplanted to the garden.

Flowering: The flowering time of tiger flowers is relatively short, typically lasting only a few days. However, the plant can produce multiple blooms throughout the summer. Deadheading spent blossoms can encourage new flowers to develop. If you want to enjoy the blooms for an extended period, consider planting tiger flowers in groups or staggered planting to ensure a continuous show of blossoms.

Pests and Diseases: Tiger flowers are not usually bothered by pests or diseases. However, they are attractive to some animals, such as deer, which may eat the flowers or foliage. To protect your plants, consider using deterrents or fencing around the garden.

In conclusion, growing and caring for tiger flowers can be a rewarding experience for any gardener. With a little effort and attention, these vibrant and colorful plants will flourish in your garden, attracting attention and adding beauty to your outdoor space.

Tiger Flower Care

The tiger flower, also known as tigridia, is a beautiful and vibrant flower that can add a splash of color to your garden. With its unique and eye-catching blooms, it is sure to be a standout feature in any landscape.

When it comes to tiger flower care, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First, these flowers need plenty of sunlight to thrive. Plant them in a location that gets full sun for the best results.

In terms of soil, the tiger flower prefers well-draining soil. Make sure to provide good drainage by adding organic matter to the soil. Bulbs should be planted about 4-6 inches deep and spaced about 6-8 inches apart.

Watering is also crucial for the tiger flower. While they enjoy regular watering, it is important to avoid overwatering, as excess moisture can lead to root rot. During the growing season, provide about 1 inch of water per week, making sure the soil is evenly moist.

In the winter, when the foliage starts to die back, it is time to prune the tiger flower. Cut back the stems to about 2-3 inches above the ground. This will help the plant conserve energy and prepare for the next growing season.

Winterizing your tiger flowers may be needed if you live in a colder climate. Lift the bulbs and store them in a cool, dry place for the winter. Before storing, make sure to remove any dead or damaged foliage.

Repotting the tiger flower bulbs may be necessary every few years to keep them healthy and vigorous. When repotting, make sure to use well-draining soil and provide adequate space for the bulbs to grow and expand.

In terms of pest and disease control, the tiger flower is generally a low-maintenance plant. However, it is always good to keep an eye out for common garden pests like aphids or spider mites. If needed, you can use organic insecticides or simply wash the pests off with a gentle spray of water.

Overall, the tiger flower is a relatively easy plant to care for. By following these simple rules and guidelines, you can enjoy the stunning blooms and vibrant foliage of this unique flower. So, go ahead and give tiger flowers a try in your garden!


Tiger Flowers thrive in bright, indirect light. They can tolerate some shade, but the foliage may become less vibrant if they don’t receive enough sunlight.

During the winter, when the temperature drops, it’s best to place your Tiger Flower in a well-lit area, such as near a south-facing window. Although they can survive lower light conditions, they may not produce as many flowers.

When grown indoors, it’s important to find the right balance of light for your Tiger Flower. Ideally, they should receive around 6-8 hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day.

If you notice that the leaves are turning yellow or the plant is not producing as many blossoms as usual, it may be a sign that it needs more light. Similarly, if the leaves start to droop or the stems become leggy, it could be a sign that the plant is not getting enough sunlight.

To provide additional light, you can use a grow light or fluorescent tube. These can be placed above the plant to supplement natural light.

It’s important to follow the light requirements for your specific type of Tiger Flower. Some varieties may require more or less light than others, so be sure to do your research and adjust accordingly.

If you’re planting Tiger Flower bulbs in a pot, make sure to position them in a spot where they’ll receive adequate light. If you’re planting them in the ground, choose a location that provides the necessary sunlight.

Overall, providing the right amount of light for your Tiger Flower is crucial for its growth and blooming. With the proper care and attention to light, you can enjoy the vibrant blossoms of this beautiful plant.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.