Thursday, April 23, 2009

What I know about IRIS

The Iris paired with Pink Climber is one of my favorite photos of previous gardens. Sorry the quality of the image is not so good. This photo was taking in spring 2001 with a digital Mavica / Sony. This camera used a FLOPPY DISC to hold the images. AMAZING how things have changed in 8 years! The iris pictured above was from my sister in law , Gloria and the rose was from Home Depot! Sometimes I truly miss life in that smaller garden when I look back at the photos I took.

Step 1 shows making a shallow hole for the divided root of the iris. It is recommended to divide this plant up every 3-4 years or as they become 'crowded'. Irises prefer a full day of sun, but will grow and bloom well if given six or more hours of sunlight. The ideal time to divide iris is when the summer heat has ended and cooler fall weather arrives. Be sure to plant the iris in a well drained area of the garden because the root does not like to get it's 'feet wet'. STEP 2 I am placing the root / plant into the shallow hole. Be sure to pay attention to the leaf. The leaf is pointing up - the root does not go straight in the ground. The root will be laying in the shallow hole. STEP 3 I am showing the root laying in it's little cozy hole. Step 4 cover the root with some yummy garden soil. Use the same soil you are in the garden.

Water at planting time and keep moist but not soggy for the first month or until the plant is established. This will allow the root to take hold. The first year be sure to water to the point that you think you have over watered to ensure the roots are established.

Irises should be fertilized in early spring about 6 to 8 weeks before bloom, and again after the blooms are gone.

Once the plant is established IRIS are a very HARDY plant and do not need much attention. Keep the bed weeded and don't be afraid to cut back the dead leafs as the season continues. After the iris blooms trip the steams back as far to the ground as you can. I use some of my blooms for inside arrangements.

If there is one thing I couldn't stress more to my Garden Friends is to take photos. Document all your garden work from the beginning to the first blooms. It is more then rewarding to look back at your work from the past and see how much you have improved from year to year. These photos to the left are from my first garden at our first home eight years ago. I was able to transplant many of these blooms at our new home six years ago and have already begun to divide these iris. I hope you are encouraged to add some of these great iris to your gardens. I promise, you won't regret it!

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. I love hearing from you all in garden blog land!

Time to head out to the garden as this mid Spring day is warming up to 60* today.

Happy Planting!


Kim and Victoria said...

We do love our iris. They bring so much late spring color to the front garden and keep it interesting before the summer plants take over. And with so little care.

Dirt Princess said...

Great post Bren! Very informative. I had to learn the hard way several years ago, if you plant an iris to deep it will grow, but not bloom. Haven't made that mistake any more :)

Carol said...

Can't wait for my irises to bloom! Thanks for the tips!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

They're lovely Bren. I really like them against the gate.

A proper gardening post.


Brenda said...

Wonderful idea about taking the photos! I love iris. Such an old-fashioned, yet timeless flower.

Renie Burghardt said...

Hi Breb,

I used to have a Sony Mavica as well. In fact, I still have it stored away somewhere. And I have a bunch of floppy's with old pictures on them. Your pictures are lovely.

I love irises. Mine are blooming up a storm. I have bunches of them. Great information on planting and keeping them nice. I must say though, I never do anything to mine, and they come up year after year, and bring a lot of color and pleasure.

All the best,


Kylee said...

Bren, your irises are beautiful! I'll never forget the clump of irises that we had in one spot that had never been divided for about 15 years. Oh my.... One iris clump that was growing nearly entirely above ground within a 12-inch diameter circle yielded over 70 individual rhizomes. It was amazing. I then proceeded to plant them with the rhizomes entirely underground. I called my mom to tell her all about it and she informed me that I'd better replant them much shallower. Such work that was! But great advice, of course!

Kylee said...

Oh, forgot to mention that I too had a Sony Mavica! I loved it ... THEN. Wouldn't want it now! LOL

joey said...

I have lots of iris, Bren ... a favorite. Thanks for sharing great tips. The weekend should be glorious ... enjoy :)

Gail said...

So lovely! Thanks for the reminder to check the depth of the iris...I notice that erosion has covered a few!

I have a lot of the same two...they are old German Iris and grow in my less then full sun situation!


Debbie said...

I have Iris's I moved quite a while back that havent bloomed. I just expanded the garden they're in and havent put in mulch yet. I'll have to get out and remedy them for next year. Peonies are the same way. If you plant them too deep they won't bloom. All yours in bloom look FAB!

TheWritersPorch said...

Bren.......your Iris are beautiful! I have a HUGE bed that is going to have to be divided and completly redone in the fall! UGH!
I dread it!

Jenns Three Graces said...

One of my very favorite flowers - pretty pretty garden! Jennifer

Anonymous said...

Hi Bren~~ It's the fragrance of the Bearded Iris that woos me. A few years ago I dug a roadside clump of our native Pacific coast Iris. It blooms reliably every May and although it is beardless, diminutive and lacks scent, it is a beauty. In the back I've got a clump of variegated iris finally taking off after having to endure a few years of my ambivalence as to its placement. They resented it big time. Now that they've settled in, they seem to be happy. After the ephemeral blooms fade, I've still got the eye catching foliage--a huge bonus. No buds yet but it's still a wee bit early.

Great post.

Judy said...

I love Iris. They are so beautiful.