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Growing the perfect irises

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Named after the ravishing, rainbow- treading herald of the Greek gods, the Iris commands one of the most extensive color palettes in all of flower kingdom, each hue as vibrant and swoon worthy as the next. They look complex, but don’t worry – they’re fairly easy to grow!

Planting requirements

Iris plants will do best planted in a site that gets at least half a day of sun and has well-draining, fertile soil. Be mindful of spacing to ensure your irises don’t get crowded or shaded out by surrounding plants or trees. Prepare the planting site by removing all debris and weeds and amending the soil as required. A rich dose of organic compost before planting is always a good idea, much like top dressing with a low nitrogen fertilizer after you’re done planting.

General care

While the bulbs need to be safe underground, the rhizomes require a bit of both sun and air which is why you must make sure they don’t get covered or crowded by the neighboring plants. Keep an eye on the soil and irrigate whenever it starts to show signs of drying up. Remove seedpods formed after the flowers have faded off. This will help conserve the plants’ energies in addition to keeping the seedlings from cluttering the ground. You may cut out the brown tips if you feel like it, but avoid trimming the leaves for they’ll still be useful, undergoing photosynthesis and preparing for future growth. Come fall, prune back the foliage and clean the ground around the plants’ base.

Fertilization and division

You should ideally fertilize irises twice a year – early in spring and again right after the bloom. Use quality low-nitrogen fertilizer. Dividing will get you different results with different irises. While bearded irises are rejuvenated after division and should be divided and replanted every 3-5 years, the beardless varieties don’t take well to being divided and often fail to flower the season following their move. You can divide your irises after they’ve finished blooming, but make sure you’ve prepared the site for replanting the divisions before digging out the clumps. Be careful not to damage the roots while digging, make clean cuts and remove any infected parts you come across. Make a note to irrigate thoroughly after you’ve replanted the irises.

About Vishu Sharma

Vishu Sharma has written 37 post in this blog.

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May 12, 2017