Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Plant Profile - Iris
From the stately Bearded Iries, long known as the flag iris, down to the tiny plants that grow from bulbs, these flowers provide a delicate beauty in any garden. I have many types of Iris growing in my garden but I favor the Tall Bearded Iris. They grow from rhizomes and have fleshy hairs like a beard on the outer petals, or 'falls'. Bearded Iris are classified by height, starting with the standard tall forms (at least 28 inches high), followed by four classes; border, miniature tall, intermediate and standard dwarf. The smallest bearded iris, the miniature dwarfs vary from 3 to 10 inches.
Bearded Iris grow from rhizomes in any well drained soil in full sun, but some will tolerate partial sun. They can be transplanted between midsummer and early fall. If midsummers are extremely dry and hot, early fall planting will help reduce stress on the plants. Inspect the rhizomes carefully for evidence of rot or borer damage and cut away, keeping only firm healthy rhizomes. The leaves should be cut back to 1/3 of their height. After transplanting water thoroughly, being careful not to wash the soil away from the rhizomes and exposing the roots to the sun. Irises should be watered often for up to three weeks after planting, particularly if the weather is dry.
They grow very well in my sandy, zone 4b garden. A must for any garden.