The Iris is a bulb or rhizome plant, with sumptuous flowering, which belongs to the family of Iridaceae. There are more than three hundred species, so it is interesting to plant a rich collection of Irises, whether small or large. United or two-tone, the flowers come in a wide range of colors, blue, lavender, purple, chocolate, red, pink, apricot, orange, yellow, white and even black (or almost). Some strangely evoke the flowers of orchids. Here is everything you need to know to plant and maintain the Iris, an easy-to-live-with plant with spectacular flowering when they benefit from the best growing conditions.
The ideal time to plant Irises is between July and October. We thus take advantage of their flowering from the month of April of the following year because the plants have plenty of time to settle in well before winter.
If you want to create large beds of Iris, it is of course necessary to take into account the height of each species, knowing that some are limited to 35 cm while others easily reach 90 to 110 cm. A nice result is also obtained by associating them with other flowering plants. As to dwarf irisesthey are particularly well adapted to a culture in rock garden. Of course, we try to stagger the blooms for a beautiful colored effect that lasts even longer.
And for people who love these plants but don’t have a garden, don’t panic: the Iris can also be grown in pots.
Cultivate the Iris
The Irises are happy in a good garden soil, perfectly drained, fertile, not too acidic. The good idea is to install them if possible in an area of the garden slightly sloping where rainwater runs off easily. This way, they are less likely to suffer from excess humidity. They must also be able to benefit from a maximum sunshine to bloom well.
When the Irises begin to take up space, we must split feet during the summer. Just replant them immediately in different places in the garden. The division of the feet of Iris proves necessary approximately every four years because if the rhizomes or the bulbs are too tight, the flowering becomes less and less abundant.
Entertain ses Iris
The Iris is a plant very easygoingwhich is therefore suitable for everyone, even the beginner gardener.
We water very rarely the Iris because it tolerates dry soils perfectly. He fears above all the excess of humidity. In summer if it does not rain, it can be watered moderately once a month at most. Watering every 10 days is only necessary in the event of extreme and prolonged drought, especially if the summer temperatures are particularly high. But what must absolutely be avoided is that the Iris is immersed in soggy soil.
We take care of hand weed regularly the space planted with Iris to enhance the aesthetics of the massif but not only: it limits the risk of permanent humidity at the foot of the Iris.
Only one mineral mulch suitable for Iris because it does not decompose. It therefore does not risk causing rotting of the Irises. Mulch helps reduce the proliferation of weeds. The gardener can thus be more or less exempted from the chore of weeding.
Two contributions oflow-nitrogen fertilizer per year are recommended: the first in March and the second after the flowering period.
Pests and diseases
Snails and slugs like the leaves of the Iris. You can deal with a organic slug repellent or file a sawdust layer all around the plants to hinder the gastropods in their movements.
As for diseases, the Iris is not particularly sensitive. However, under poor growing conditions, it can be affected by rustor by theheterosporiosis, two fungal diseases responsible for various spots on Iris leaves. We use a fungicide to deal with the first and the Bordeaux mixture for the second. But in both cases, it is absolutely essential to eliminate all affected parts and burn them without delay.
Finally, as we have specified previously, we must not never expose the Iris to excess water because this irreparably leads to the rotting of the rhizomes.
Flowering of the Iris
Some species of Iris bloom in spring and others from late May to July, or even until August depending on the region. It is therefore not necessary to deprive yourself of multiplying the species to benefit from it as long as possible.
We can promote the flowering of the Iris by giving it a little boost in early spring and another after the flowering period. As we have seen, a fertilizer low in nitrogen is chosen so as not to favor the growth of foliage to the detriment of flowering. Some gardeners are content to fertilize the soil in spring and autumn with a mature homemade compost. It is a very good solution to enjoy abundant flowering and keep your Irises healthy.
As with many flowering plants, it is important to remove faded flowers as you go. We then cut each stem about 8 cm from the ground. In this way, we keep the neat aspect of the garden and we avoid at the same time the rise in seeds which exhaust the Irises unnecessarily.
In contrast, we must not cut the leaves of a withered Iris! They are used to replenish the reserves that will accumulate in the bulb or rhizome and thus allow the plant to flower again the following year. We can at most eliminate a very damaged leaf in summer, but we stop there. Only the yellowed or dry leaves of the Iris must be removed in the fall.
Finally, note that if the Irises produce leaves but do not flower, it is because they are perhaps installed in a soil that is too acidic, too heavy or even infertile because it is too poor in nutrients. The best solution is then to uproot them to transplant them elsewherebut being careful not to overtighten them as this also prevents them from blooming.