How to Grow Libertia Plants

Guide to Growing Libertia, Mikoikoi, New Zealand Iris, Tukauki & Snowy Mermaid,

Libertia are half hardy and hardy perennials.

Plants can reach from 30 to 90 cm (1 to 3 feet) in height.

Libertia formosa
Libertia formosa by Enez35.

They have grass like leaves. Libertia plants then produce spiky stems that are topped by white flowers.

Libertia ixioides
Libertia ixioides - Taupo Blaze by Megan E Hanse.

Flowering occurs in the Summer, once this has finished Libertia produces orange pods.

Commonly Grown Libertia Species Photographs and Plant Identification

Libertia peregrinans

Libertia peregrinans
Libertia peregrinans (New Zealand Iris), photograph by 阿橋 HQ; CC.

Libertia grandiflora

Libertia grandiflora
Libertia grandiflora (Tukauki / Mikoikoi), photograph by Leonora (Ellie) Enking; CC.

Libertia chilensis

Libertia chilensis syn. Libertia formosa.

Libertia chilensis
Libertia chilensis (New Zealand Satin Flower / Snowy Mermaid / Chilean-iris), photograph by Dick Culbert; CC.

Libertia ixioides

Libertia ixioides
Libertia ixioides (CommName), picture by Jörn S...; CC.

Libertia Growing and Care Guide

Common Names: Libertia, Mikoikoi, Tukauki, Snowy Mermaid, New Zealand Iris, Pretty Grass Flag.
Life Cycle: Hardy perennial. Half hardy perennial.
Height: 12 to 36 inches (30 to 90 cm).
Native: South America, Australiasia.
Family: Iridaceae.
Growing Region: Zones 8 to 10.

Flowers: Spring through to Summer.
Fruit: Orange seeds pods. Glossy.
Small red berries. Summer through autumn.
Foliage: Evergreen. Strap-like. Lanceolate. Linear. Green. Golden. Veined.

Sowing: 1/8 inch (3 mm). Germination time one to six months. Spacing 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm).
Seed: Method 1: Seeds should first be sown into flats in the autumn. Next sink the flat into the ground in an area that offers shade, preferably close to a wall that faces north. Provide a glass/plastic covering. Keep an eye on the flats to ensure that the soil remains moist. Bring the flats indoor at the beginning of spring and keep at 50°F (10°C). Transplant seedlings following the last frost.
Seed: Method 2: In the spring, mix seeds in a moist growing medium, then put in flats, wrap in a large plastic bag, then stratify by refrigeration for three weeks. Next bury the flat as described above. Once seedlings emerge transplant them to their final location.

Requirements and care: Full sunlight; can tolerate light shade. Good drainage. Sandy, moist soil, fertile, loamy. Grow in a wind sheltered location. Regular watering of the soil to keep the ground moist. Remove worn out plants. Propagate: Selfseeds freely; or by dividing in the spring.

How to Grow Libertia Plants

You can start to grow Libertia in either spring or autumn.

It is perhaps simplest in the spring. The seeds should be sown about 3 mm (1/8th inch) deep into flats. Then the seeds should be imbibed by placing the flats in a black plastic bin bag. Next, place in the fridge for three weeks.

After this chilling, sink the flats outdoors in the shade and cover with glass.

As soon as seedlings appear (germination takes from one to six months), transplant them at about 50 cm (20 inches) apart into a sunny part of the garden.

The location should have good drainage. Ideally the soil should be both moist and sandy.

Caring for Libertia

Although Libertia likes to grow in sunny areas, it should not be in an open area as the plant needs to be protected from strong winds.

If you require more Libertia, then they can be divided in the spring time.

Common Questions

How many members does the Libertia genus have?

The Libertia genus contains around 15 species. They are evergreen perennials that are admired for their attractive foliage and small, star-like flowers.

Do members of Libertia make a good garden or landscaping plant?

Yes, Libertia plants can make excellent additions to gardens. Their interesting foliage and flowers provide year-round interest, and they're great in borders or rock gardens.

Which Libertia species are most frequently grown by gardeners?

Libertia grandiflora (New Zealand Satin Flower) is commonly grown for its striking orange seed pods and white flowers.

Are members of the Libertia plant genus fragrant?

Libertia plants aren't particularly known for their fragrance, but their unique look more than makes up for it!

What is the perfect location to grow Libertia?

Libertia prefers a sunny or partially shaded spot with well-drained soil. It's perfect for borders, rock gardens, or as part of a low-maintenance landscaping scheme.

Is Libertia invasive in the USA, if so in which states?

Presently, Libertia species are not considered invasive in the USA.

How do I remove Libertia plants from my garden?

To remove Libertia, dig out the whole plant, ensuring all roots are removed to prevent re-growth.


The Libertia genus, a member of the Iridaceae family, comprises perennial plants native to the southern hemisphere. Known for their sword-like leaves and small, white flowers, these plants are often used in borders and containers.

Libertia prefers full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. Regular watering is necessary for optimal growth. Propagation is typically done through seeds or division, generally in the spring.

I hope that you enjoyed this guide on how to grow Libertia Plants. You may also enjoy the following Iridaceae family growing guides: How to grow Acidanthera, Tritonia, and Watsonia plants.