Iris is a genus of plants that includes around 300 varieties. They are known for their showy, brightly colored flowers and sword-like leaves. They are beautiful, easy to care for, thus very popular in gardens.
Irises can be classified into three main types: rhizomatous, bulbous and beardless iris.
- Rhizomatous irises are the most common, they spread by underground rhizomes and they produce tall, narrow leaves.
- Bulbous iris have a bulb as a storage organ and they are smaller than rhizomatous iris.
- Beardless iris is the most diverse group, and they come in a wide range of colors and sizes.
Most popular Iris Varieties:
- Yellow Iris
- Louisiana Iris
- Japanese Iris
- Siberian Iris
Iris plants are not very hard to care for, but here are a few tips to make sure they thrive:
- Plant irises in well-drained soil in a location that receives full sun. Keep in mind, that Iris prefers neutral to slightly acidic soil, with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0.
- Water your iris regularly – meaning once every week, or twice in dry summer weather -, but be careful not to over-water as this can lead to root rot. Irises prefer to be kept consistently moist, but not waterlogged.
- To promote healthy growth and blooming, fertilize your iris with a balanced fertilizer every 4-6 weeks during the growing season.
- Cut off the faded flowers, this will prevent seed formation and help to promote reblooming.
- Divide your iris every 3-4 years to maintain healthy growth and blooming. This is best done in the fall or early spring.
- Protect your iris from frost and freezing temperatures, especially if you are in a colder zone.
It’s important to note that the specific care for each iris species may vary, so it’s best to research the specific needs of the iris you are actually growing.
Iris plants can be propagated by dividing the rhizomes, using stem cuttings, and growing from seed. The most common method of propagating iris plants is by dividing the rhizomes. This is best done in the fall or early spring.
- Carefully dig up the rhizomes and cut them into sections, each with at least one “eye” or bud and a piece of stem attached.
- Plant them in well-draining soil, ensuring that the “eye” or bud is facing upwards.
- Keep the soil moist and in a warm, sunny spot, and wait for the new plants to establish and grow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does iris like sun or shade?
Iris plants prefer full sun, they can tolerate some shade, but they will not bloom as well in shaded areas.
Do irises need a lot of water?
Irises do not require a lot of water, but they do prefer to be kept consistently moist. Water them weekly or twice a week in hot summer periods.
What month is best to plant irises?
The best time to plant Iris plants is from late July through mid-August.