Ideas for Iris Day

Across the pond in the USA, our American friends celebrate Iris Day on May 8th each year. This gives us a good excuse to look at growing tips for these pretty garden blooms, so that you can sit on your Supremo Bari garden furniture and appreciate them to their fullest.

Iris in bloom

Irises flower according to size, beginning with dwarf bearded irises in April and ending with tall bearded irises in May. Those of intermediate size tend to flower between the two, and once in bloom, irises tend to last for around six weeks. Remontant bearded irises flower once again in late summer.

What irises love

Irises are easy to grow, and are hardy plants that can be relied upon to provide lovely flowers, but they do require certain conditions.

Irises need a sunny spot, without shade or shadows cast by other plants. They also prefer soil that is well-drained, and neutral or just a little acidic. Heavy clay is unsuitable. They can be grown successfully in separate raised beds.

The rhizomes (fleshy roots) of irises should be partially exposed, especially during later summer, and must be ‘baked’ in order to flower the following year. The best time to plant irises is during August or September.

It is important that the rhizomes get light, and they also should also be spaced well apart. They require propagation every three to five years, during late summer.

What irises hate

Irises usually fail to flower because they are either too shaded or too damp, or they are planted too deeply or placed too close together. They also need their leaves to be left in place (until they wither) for photosynthesis, as this prepares for next year’s growth.