How to cultivate and maintain vibrant, colorful iris blossoms

Border irises need a sunny position, but apart from this the choice is wide in terms of color and height. There are two main types of border iris:

The most famous border iris is Iris germanica, sometimes known as bearded iris, whose flowers come in all colors and often have elaborate frills. The leaves are robust fans of green-blue foliage
Iris sibirica (Siberian Iris) has flowers in a range of blues and creams and long, light green grassy leaves
Height
Border irises range in size from less than 30 cm (1 ft) to more than 1 m (3¼ ft) in height when in bloom.

How to Buy Border Irises
Iris is sold in two forms:

As

Rhizomes are creeping swollen root-like structures that are actually adapted stems. Roots, stems with leaves and flowers are produced along its length. See plants such as Anemone nemorosa, bamboo, canna, border iris.

rhizomes (swollen root-like structures that are actually adapted stems)
In full growth in containers
Iris sibirica has no rhizomes and is only sold in containers.

Planting
When to plant irises
Plant new iris

Rhizomes are creeping swollen root-like structures that are actually adapted stems. Roots, stems with leaves and flowers are produced along its length. See plants such as Anemone nemorosa, bamboo, canna, border iris.

rhizomes from July to October
Plant irises in pots between March and mid-November
Where to plant irises
Border and Siberian irises love a sunny spot, although Siberian iris varieties will tolerate some dappled shade.

Both types of iris thrive in any well-drained soil, but Siberian irises tolerate moist soil as well.

How to plant irises
Plant irises in pots as you would any other perennials
For border rice purchased as rhizomes, dig a hole large enough for the rhizome and roots. If you raise the soil slightly in the center of the hole, it can make it easier to place the rhizomes. Work the soil back between the roots so they are covered
Plant them with the upper part of the rhizome partially exposed so they get baked in the summer sun; this encourages good flowering
Plant in groups, with 30 cm (1 ft) between larger plants and 15 cm (6 in) between dwarf plants
Ongoing care
Watering
Water newly planted

Rhizomes are creeping swollen root-like structures that are actually adapted stems. Roots, stems with leaves and flowers are produced along its length. See plants such as Anemone nemorosa, bamboo, canna, border iris.

rhizome well into the planting year. After this, you should not need to water routinely, unless there are periods of severe drought. If you are potting irises, these will need

Can refer to either homemade garden compost or seed/potting compost:• Garden compost is a soil improver made from decomposed plant waste, usually in a compost bin or pile. It is added to soil to improve its fertility, structure and water-holding capacity. • Seed or potting compost is used to grow seedlings or plants in containers – a wide range of commercially produced composts are available, made from a mixture of different ingredients, such as loam, coir, peat, sand and fertiliser, although you can mix your own.

compost to just keep moist.

Feed
Border irises are not hungry plants – just apply a layer of well-rotted garden compost around the irises, not over the crowns or rhizomes in early spring.

Pruning and training
Pruning
No specific pruning is required, but as the season progresses you may want to remove the occasional yellowing or damaged leaf from bearded irises.

Siberian irises generally look good throughout the summer and into the fall.

Once the flowers have faded, you can remove the flower stems and cut back to where the stem meets the foliage.

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