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Iris Cultivation Instructions

The tall, beautiful Iris, named after the Greek goddess who rode rainbows, comes in many magical colors. Despite its divine origins, it is hardy, reliable, and easy to grow. Irises also attract butterflies and hummingbirds and make lovely cut flowers.

There are some 300 species in the genus Iris, each species requiring specific cultivation factors. All Iris have rhizomes (fleshy roots) that should be partially exposed, or thinly covered with soil in hot climates. Unlike bulbs, which thrive deep underground, iris rhizomes need a bit of sun and air to dry them out. If they're covered with soil or crowded by other plants, they will most likely rot. Irises may benefit from shallow mulching in the spring. 

Do not trim iris leaves after they have finished blooming. Leaves carry on photosynthesis for next year's growth. Cut off brown tips, and cut the flowering stalk down to the rhizome to discourage rot.

After 2 to 5 years, when clumps become congested or lose vitality and stop blooming, divide and replant sound rhizomes in fresh soil. The best time to replant irises is soon after bloom. Each species of iris will have specific needs as to where to transplant new plants. When transplanting, cut foliage back to 2-3 inches in length. This will allow the rhizomes to properly re-establish themselves in their new location. 

 

We carry an array of different Iris species. Below are specific cultivation instructions for the varieties we carry.

 

 

  • Japanese Iris

  • Louisiana Iris

  • Siberian Iris

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