Irises are fairly easy to grow, and with the right conditions, will give you year after year of late spring color.
Do iris flowers need sun or shade?
I have told the tale of my first iris experience, and learned the slow way that iris do enjoy the sun. After 2 years of lovely greens, I finally moved my plants to a sunny location, and wala! I chose the perfect location since iris appreciate 6-8 hours of direct sun daily. A well-drained soil is important as well.
What kind of fertilizer should I use for iris?
Fertilize in mid to late April with bone meal, superphosphate, or a fertilizer low in nitrogen such as 6-10-10 (see my discussion of organic fertilizers here). Fertilizers high in nitrogen tend to cause bacterial rot and lush, but weak, foliage growth. When selecting fertilizers for irises, be sure that the 2nd and 3rd numbers are bigger than the 1st.
What do you do with irises after they are done blooming?
Once all of the flowers have wilted, cut back all the flower stems to the base of the plant. Cut out any brown or damaged leaves. Once the leaves start to yellow in the fall, you will want to cut the leaves down to about 6 inches. My dad always cut them back to form small fans, probably because they just look better that way.
How do you divide irises?
To divide your iris, start by lifting the clump of iris plants out of the ground with a spade or fork. If possible, lift the entire mass out whole, but if you are unable to do this, carefully break the clump into smaller parts and lift these out.
When should you divide irises?
The best time to plant and transplant rhizomatous iris is late July through September. Iris loves the heat and drier weather of summer and the summer dividing will reduce the incidence of bacterial soft rot. Most rhizomatous iris should be divided every three to five years.
Trying to stay ahead of this game is nearly impossible! But the I’s have it today!