How to Plant Iris flowers correctly is not difficult. This is an easy technique on how to plant Irises for the best flowering and healthy plants and years of enjoyment.
I have shared plenty of the iris in my garden and I thought to share how I plant bearded iris for those that are beginners in gardening or with Iris flowers.
Sometimes I forget that not everyone knows the ins and out of planting and caring for different plants.
I am reminded when I give some to a friend and they end up killing them because they really did not know the right way to plant Iris bulbs and I failed to tell them.
So here you go, How to plant iris correctly yet easily!
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When to Plant Irises
Iris are usually shipped from growers in August and September.
This gives most gardeners the chance to get the in the ground in time for the rhizomes to settle in and start rooting.
This is also the time that you would dig up and divide your currently growing Iris in your garden.
After you have either dug up and divided your rhizomes or you have just received some from an iris farm you need to plant them correctly to get the most from them.
Garden Location for Iris flower planting
Pick a spot in the garden that gets a good 6 hours of sun each day and has good drainage.
Iris can withstand drought but not soggy feet.
Note: You can plant them with other plants that like more water by planting them in small hill of soil. They can drain off while the other plants get all that water.
Prepare the Soil
I have sprinkled some bulb fertilizer on top of the soil. This is optional, it is said to help but can attract critters, usually it has a bone meal base that is irresistible to wildlife.
Stir the fertilizer into the soil, mixing it in lightly. I mix the fertilizer in to the soil rather than just placing in the hole.
Rain fall will deliver the fertilizer where it needs to go.
How to Plant Iris Rhizomes
Plant your Iris rhizomes in the soil you just mixed the BulbTone into making sure to keep them close to the surface.
Note: I have been battling voles this year. They have been eating my plants including the Iris rhizomes, to deter them eating my newly planted Iris I put some of this under and around the rhizome.
Do not bury deep your Iris rhizomes too deep.
This is the mistake many make. Iris like to be close to the surface.
I leave a bit of the tops showing when I plant, that way I know they are not too deep.
Iris love the sun on their backs, the top part of the rhizome. If you live in a very hot area you can cover the backs of the rhizomes lightly with soil.
In cold, cold climates do mulch a bit before hard cold starts but be sure and rake it back as soon as warmer weather begins.
Replanting Iris after dividing
When replanting Iris that I have divided I like to plant three together.
Plant them with the pointy nose of the rhizomes facing each other in a circle. Spacing is not critical but I like to place mine about 3 inches apart.
I firm them in with my foot, you can see my footprints in this photo.
Planting them this close together means you will get a good show of blooms next Spring but you will also need to divide them sooner than if you planted the further apart.
Above the soil is moist but if you are doing this during a drier part of the year water them in and keep watered through the summer but not soggy.
If you are planting a newly acquired rhizome you will most likely only have one, and that is fine. Plant it the same way just not in a grouping.
In a few years you will have enough to divide and replant.
Next Spring you will have some lovely Iris to enjoy.
Most reputable Iris farms and gardens send out good sized rhizomes that will bloom the first year.
When dividing your Iris you may have some smaller sized ones attached to the larger rhizomes.
The smaller ones will many times take another season to grow in size before blooming. So don’t get discouraged if yours don’t bloom the first season.
I hope this helps all those out there that were skittish about growing Iris.
Growing Iris is truly very simple and so rewarding.
Happy Iris Planting!
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