Iris. The name conjures images of gorgeous flowers blooming in every color fathomable! Your garden might be filled with the rarest or the most prized botanical entities… without irises, however, it’s simply incomplete. Invaluable for landscaping and ornamentation, irises also make beautiful cut flowers and are a great idea for gifts. Iris plants are one the easiest to cultivate of all plant species. That being said, I know a lot of people who are either unaware or unsure of the ideal conditions and timing for planting irises. Well, it’s a new year, lets’ make a new start and clear out them doubts!
First, the growing conditions that iris plants require. Full sun is the iris’s best friend. Iris flowers have been seen flourishing in soil types ranging from slightly acidic to heavy clays, all they really need is well draining soil. Organic materials like peat moss or rotten manure can be added to enrich the soil in case it isn’t very fertile.
As in all aspects of life, timing plays a decisive role when it comes to planting iris. Fall is undoubtedly the most favorable time for planting as it gives the young plants ample time to establish. Plant the bulbs 2-3 inches deep, with the top portion partially exposed to the light. Allow a gap of 15-25 inches between adjacent bulbs to avoid overcrowding when the plants grow up. Regular watering will take care of their moisture requirement. Standing water is harmful to the plants so water just enough to keep the roots moist.
The spring that follows will turn a new leaf for your garden, rendering it more attractive than ever. The fabulous, flamboyant iris blooms promise to make your garden a place with spectacular beauty. Sounds exciting? Go for it!
While all good things end, some make a comeback! Reblooming irises follow this rule to the hilt, beautifying gardens and gladdening hearts in the process. These amazing hybrids are very endearing, significantly hardier and bloom magnificently in spring and then again in late summer or fall. The exquisite range of flower colors makes growing reblooming irises all the more exciting. Reblooming irises are famed prolific bloomers, a wonderful option for every form of garden design.
Reblooming irises mainly comprise of tall, bearded iris varieties, with some beardless, standard and miniature bearded varieties. The rebloomers can be classified as under.
Iris varieties that produce once during the spring, remain low in the summer season before growing afresh and reblooming in fall.
Beardless iris varieties that produce fresh blooms only a little after the spring produce has faded, thus, extending the blooming period by a couple of months.
All Season Bloomers
Iris varieties characterized by their irregular blooming pattern. All season bloomers produce at different times, right through the season.
Bulbs of reblooming iris plants should ideally be planted in fall, in sunny locations that offer fertile, well draining soil. The plants have a high growth rate and are virtually problem free. They do, however, require regular irrigation and spring time fertilization for their prosperity.
History of Reblooming Irises
Iris derives its name from the Greek word for rainbow. Traditional iris flowers have always found favor with both gardening enthusiasts and nature lovers. Their ravishing beauty notwithstanding, the irises are susceptible to several problems that, at one point of time, began affecting their popularity. This prompted hybridizers to look for hardier varieties of iris plants. Decades of cross breeding finally led to the recent breakthrough that the world’s come to know as the reblooming iris. With the advent of rebloomers, the popularity of irises has grown manifold. New varieties like Best Bet Reblooming Iris, Pass The Wine Reblooming Iris in Pink and Pink & Purple Reblooming German Iris Trio are all exciting candidates for spring and fall garden.
Growing reblooming irises is a wonderful experience, highly recommended to all!
Every so often, just as the idea of planting something new gets into their heads, people dive into the cyberspace or rocket out to the nearest nursery to make the purchase. Sure, life’s short and we must try to get to what makes us happy A.S.A.P. But what if a little planning can increase that joy manifold, wouldn’t it be worthwhile? That’s exactly how it goes with growing Irises.
The very first thing is to decide the location you’re going to cover with the iris. Iris plants thrive on full sun and can be grown both outdoors and in pots with equal ease. Irises are ideal border plants, can add delightful colors to the drab spots and are great to have in rock gardens.
Next, select the species of iris to grow. Different types of iris vary in terms of their height, foliage and bloom size and time of blooming. Depending upon the background and the landscape, zero in on the ones that will suit the requirements.
When selecting the color, keep in mind the texture of the grass and surrounding plantation. If you’re planning on a mix of colors in a group, I’d suggest you avoid shades too bright or too dark in the same grouping as light pastels. Dominant colors like yellow and red look good when paired together. My advice, always look at the larger picture and select colors that blend in well within the big portrait that is your garden.
Catalogs and photographs do give you an idea of the way the plants look but there’s nothing like the real thing. I’d recommend a visit to local iris gardens to catch the plants in their growth habitat and get a feel of the subtle differences and varied characteristics of different species. Give planning a break and let your eyes take in the astonishing beauty. Then, go home and order your irises!
Discolored leaves with powdery, rust colored spores- clear indicators that your beloved Iris plants are under attack! The enemy- a parasitic fungus that finds pleasure in systematically destroying irises. But how do you fight a nemesis embodied by over a million microscopic spores? By understanding its nefarious nature, learning how to take guard and fight back. Iris rust spreads through fungal spores that overwinter on iris leaves and become active in spring. The spores are carried by air currents and water splashed on the leaves. Appearance of yellowed or brown colored leaves is the most common symptom of iris rust. The pustules give rise to rust colored spots that give the disease its foul name.
Fungal spores relish moist, humid conditions. Prevention of iris rust therefore revolves around eliminating these conditions. Avoid overhead irrigation. Also, make sure not to irrigate irises late in the evening. Sanitation is the sworn nemesis of all forms of diseases. Keep the garden clean, regularly removing spent leaves and debris.
Monitor your plants on a regular basis. This will facilitate early detection of diseases, giving you the opportunity to act before it’s too late. Once you’ve noticed the infection, don’t lose time. Immediately cut off the infested foliage and dispose of. Make sure to sterilize the tools after use. Treat the plants with standard fungicides.
Iris rust might be one of the most dangerous iris plant diseases, it’s by no means unstoppable. A little caution and timely action will help keep your plants healthy and beautiful!
They’re beautiful, charming and are fun to grow. But hardy as they are, our favorite spring blooming plants still need protection against diseases. Bulb Rot is one of the most devastating diseases that target Iris plants. Irises affected by bulb rot soon lose their vigor and can die if left untreated.
Iris bulb rot is characterized by softening or rotting of the bulbs. Symptoms of bulb rot include appearance of orange, white or blue-green growth on the iris bulbs. Affected bulbs also release an unpleasant smell. As the disease spreads, it cause yellowing of iris leaves, slows down the plant’s growth, eventually causing it to die.
Prevention of iris bulb rot isn’t too hard. All it takes is a few simple steps. Poor drainage plays a major part in promoting bulb rot. Make sure the site for planting irises offers well drained soil. Irises growing in shade or crowded locations are more susceptible to diseases. Make sure to keep these factors in mind while picking the planting site. When planting bearded iris rhizomes, make sure they’re partially exposed to the surface. Store iris bulbs in a clean, dry location and check the bulbs carefully before planting. Bulbs that are only partially affected by rot can be saved by removing the affected part with a clean, sharp blade. Make sure to disinfect the blade before further use and dispose of the infected portion.
Treating Iris Bulb Rot
Immediate remedial action is the best way of preventing the spread of disease. Cut off all affected tissue with a clean, sharp blade and place the bulb in a sunny spot. Once the bulb dries, you can proceed to replanting it.
The fungi responsible for causing bulb rot can be present in the soil. In such a situation, it’s best not to plant irises in the soil for at least 3-4 years. Remove the infected bulbs and removed tissue and dispose of at a safe distance.