Various types of Iris are a popular choice for gardens in many climates. There are about 300 varieties and, while the general care is the same for most, there are a few varieties that require, for example, a bit more shade. Some general guidelines are below, but when planting an Iris, be sure to follow the specific instructions for the variety that you have selected.
Best Time to Plant
The best time to plant Irises is most climates is in the fall. After planting Iris in the fall, you will see blooms the following spring.
The vast majority of Iris varieties do best in direct sunlight where they will get a minimum of six hours of sunlight. If they are planted in the shade, most types of Iris will not thrive. There are a few exceptions, however, that will do best in partial shade.
Another exception to the “no shade” rule is when planting in very hot climates. In that case you should provide Irises with some shade.
Method of Planting
When planting Iris bulbs, you can simply dig a shallow hole and place the bulb inside. Of course, you will want to use quality soil for best results. When planting an Iris in rhizome form, there is a bit of a trick that will help you get the best results when planting Iris.
After you dig a shallow hole, create a small mound in the center of it. Place the bulb on the mound and then spread the roots out around the mound. This will help with draining and help to ensure the best possible results.
Some use the mound method even when planting bulbs with the thought that as the roots sprout, they will naturally spread out over the mound to assist with drainage.
Once the Iris has been planted, you should immediately provide water.
Uses for Iris
The many types of Iris look fabulous as ornamental plants along borders and when planted by fence posts or on either side of a mailbox.
They also have taken on a practical role in water purification ponds. The roots of Iris act as a natural filter and therefore are planted in large numbers next to water holding ponds. Because there are so many varieties of Iris, and they come in a wide variety of colors, they are a popular choice for cut flowers. While your cut Iris will certainly look great in a vase they will typically only last for two or three days.
Irises are subject to damage from the following pests and diseases.
• Iris Borer
• Bud Moth
• Bacterial Leaf Blight
• Fungal Leaf Spot
• Soft Rot
• Crown Rot
While this may appear to be a long list, most types of Iris are pretty hardy. Still, you should remain vigilant for signs of pests and disease.
As is the case with all flowers, when planting Iris bulbs or rhizomes it is important to take your climate into consideration. The most common types of Iris will do well in all but very cold climates.
Irises make for a lovely addition to your landscaping or garden. When you take care to properly plant them, you will greatly increase your chance for success.
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