3 Tips For Growing Bearded Irises

Variegated and bearded irises are two popular varieties whose blooms in a rainbow of colors will captivate you just as they have artists Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet. 

 Despite their seemingly delicate appearance, irises are hardy and adaptable perennial.  There are over 300 species and most grow to about 28 inches tall. 

An iris’s meaning spans history.  In France, it is the royal fleur-de-lis.  In Greek mythology, Iris, which means rainbow, is the messenger of the gods.  Her flower represents communication and messages. As a flower species it now represents eloquence with different colors having different meanings:  a purple iris symbolizes wisdom; blue, faith and hope; yellow, passion; and white, purity.  

Follow these 3 tips for growing bearded and other irises and these beauties will be enjoyed for many summers with minimum care.

When to Plant:

While spring is not an ideal time to transplant irises or plant bare root bulbs, you can give it a try.  You won’t get detention failing to do this in the fall like you should have, but you may have a few blooms to show this summer for taking immediate action. Here at GreenwoodNursery.com, we offer container grown irises in spring and summer that are already growing and often sporting bloom buds and blooms. Container grown irises can be planted any time of year.

If you already have a group of irises that needs dividing, you can do so in the spring.  Carefully dig up the clump of rhizomes, which is a horizontal stem that grows lateral shoots, and separate them.

Give Irises Space to Grow:

Irises do need their space.  The bearded iris prefers full sun while the variegated iris is more shade tolerant than other varieties.  Plant the rhizomes or bulbs 12-24 inches apart.  Mound a bit of soil inside the hole and spread the shoots.  Fill with 2-4 inches of compost and loosened soil.  The soil mix for irises is not as important since they are adaptable.  It’s more important the soil drains well to prevent water damage to the rhizomes. 

The rhizomes should be visible through the soil so they can gather sunlight. 

Once the flowers bloom, you will want to break off seedpods.  This will allow the energy to be stored for the future.

Winterizing Your Irises:

To winterize irises requires minimal work.  It is advised to keep the garden free of debris and to cut all the iris’s dead leaf matter one inch above the soil.  This will help prevent disease.  You want a bit of the rhizome to be seen also.  

This is also the ideal time for dividing and transplanting irises that have been growing for three to five years.  They’ll appreciate the space.

Buy Irises Online here at GreenwoodNursery.com.