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Louisiana Iris Cultivation Instructions

Louisiana iris has one of the most diverse range of colors of any iris plant. It is a wild plant that occurs in Louisiana, Florida, Arkansas, and Mississippi. There are a few essential tips on growing Louisiana irises, which will result in healthy, beautiful plants in temperate to warm regions. Healthy rhizomes are the key to growing Louisiana irises, as is moist soil.

These plants prefer a soil pH of 6.5 or lower and rich, moist soil. This variety of iris can also perform well in poor or even clay soil. Choose an area of the garden where the plants will receive at least 6 hours of sunlight and set out rhizomes in late summer or fall. In beds that tend to dry out, amend the area to a depth of 8 inches (20 cm.) with compost. Plant the rhizomes shallowly, with the top just barely visible above soil. Ensure the rhizomes stay moist or even boggy. Feed in early spring with compost tea or diluted fish fertilizer. In water gardens or at pond edges, it may be useful to try growing Louisiana iris in containers. Ensure they have wide drainage holes and situate the pot in the water. In regions that can expect sustained freezes, apply an organic mulch around the rhizomes. This can also prevent sunscald of rhizomes in hot summers. After spring blooms are spent, cut back the stalks, but allow the foliage to persist.

One of the more important aspects of Louisiana iris care is water. These plants cannot be allowed to dry out and in raised beds, containers or dry sites, supplemental irrigation should be applied frequently enough that soil is consistently wet. Divide Louisiana iris in late summer. Division will revive old stands of the plant. Dig up the entire rhizome cluster and locate the rhizomes with green tips. Separate these from the old rhizomes. Replant the new rhizomes immediately, either in the bed or into containers.

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