Sunday, June 13, 2010


TALL BEARDED IRIS are truly one of my very favorite blooms in the beds.  Their color range rivals nearly all plants--in every imaginable hue and tone, except maybe a true red.  It's hard to put into words or even with a picture their true beauty.  I have been growing iris for about 12 years now, but my parents and Grandma Holland had a garden with hundreds of the tall beauties, and so I've been around them my whole life.  They are in their prime bloom season right now, and will soon be done, ending a year of beauty until next spring.  The order companies are presently taking orders for iris, and they will be shipped whenever you want them.  July and August are the best times to plant new rhizomes in our area.  When planting, choose a spot that gets full sun, is not too wet (this rots the rhizomes), and in a place where the soil drains well.  They are usually planted about 12-24 inches apart.  The closer, the sooner you'll have to divide them, but the effect will be immediate if you plant closer.  I  usually plant mine about 12 inches apart, knowing that I will divide them every 2-3 years, which is what works best for me.  If your plants become over-crowded, the blooms will suffer, and disease problems will be intensified.  New plants need water to develop their roots, but  remember that deep, infrequent watering is much better than frequent, shallow waterings.  After they are established, you really don't need to water them  much, because they do well in dry, warm regions.  Over-watering can be fatal.  I always plants mine with a handful of super triple phosphate.  Don't use anything with high nitrogen levels, because this will also cause root rot.  Have the rhizomes tops exposed--they like to bask in the sun. Another mistake is planting them too deeply.  You can increase bloom time by planting cultivars that bloom early, mid and late in the season.  I keep small markers with their name on to identify varieties.  With 151, this has come in handy.  I also have planted mine in groups that look good together throughout the yard.  My parents had theirs in rows, and irrigated them in a big garden.  I don't have that luxury, so mine are interspersed in the yard , but I like the look.  I paid $10 to register and belong to the AMERICAN IRIS SOCIETY.  You can go online to do this. I also have a master list of iris--probably 10,000 or more of the cultivars.  Although it doesn't have pictures, it has come in very handy to look up iris with all their information.   My love of iris has brought new and special friends come into my life, and I look forward to many more iris friends in the future! 
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

No comments:

Post a Comment