Iris plants make a stunning and beautiful addition to any landscape. Their tall slender flowers are eye-catching and colorful, and being a perennial means that you can enjoy these lovely blossoms year after year.
Interestingly, these flowers were named after the Greek goddess, Iris, who was thought to be the personification of colorful and happy rainbows!
If you would like to add some iris’ to your landscape here are several important steps that will lead to long term success.
First, as with many perennials, iris plants require a minimum half day of direct sunlight. The bottom line here is that without sufficient direct sunlight these plants will fail to bloom, or the growth will become stunted. With this in mind make sure to pick some light and sunny planting areas.
Keep in mind that iris’ do not do well when planted in the shade of other taller plants so you may want to consider planting iris’ together in their own unique planters and beds.
Second, soil drainage is very important to consider to grow successful iris’. A good plan is to till up the soil down approximately 15 inches, then add in about 2-4 inches of compost into the loosened soil.
Next, once the iris plants are established, ensure that the roots remain near the surface, even slightly exposed, so that they receive some sunlight and stay slightly dried out. Iris plants are opposite of traditional bulbs that do best when planted fairly deep. If the roots of the iris plants are covered too deeply in the soil they will quickly become susceptible to root rot.
Fourth, in order to maintain good air circulation and space between plants, every 3-4 years you should divide the clumps of iris’. This gardening task should be completed in late summer, just when the weather starts to cool.
Finally, water requirements for thriving iris plants changes over time. When they are freshly planted the soil should be kept moist in order to encourage the root structure to set. Once the plants are established the watering can be decreased. Iris plants really only need to be watered when the top approximately three inches of soil dry. Many gardeners are surprised by the drought-tolerant nature of these beautiful blossoms.