Irises are the Jewels of a Spring Garden
Available in shades of deep blue, white, yellow, bronze and red, the delicate, orchid-like blooms of Dutch irises are a favorite with flower arrangers. Dwarf irises are perfect for brightening rockeries and pots early in the season. Irises are fairly low maintenance plants; if you follow our advice for proper iris care, they will bloom beautifully, spring after spring.
Iris Care: Planting
Plant the small, teardrop-shaped bulbs of Dutch irises early in the fall. They should be planted in groups about 4" deep with the pointed end of the bulb facing upwards. Iris bulbs need a well-drained spot in full sun or partial shade; avoid planting them where the ground gets waterlogged as they may rot. Plant them about 3" apart to ensure the best blooms. Dwarf irises should be planted 2" deep and 3" apart.
Iris Care: After Blooming
In ideal conditions, irises will perennialize, blooming season after season. However, many gardeners treat them as annuals, planting fresh bulbs each fall. Irises bloom in mid to late spring and the stem and leaves will remain throughout the summer. They will die back in the fall, returning the nutrients they contain to the bulb where next year’s bloom is already forming. When they have shriveled up, you can just pull the stem away from the iris bulb.
Iris Care: Deadheading
After your irises have bloomed, remove the dead blossoms. This prevents the plants from using up their energy in ripening the seed heads. If your irises stop producing blooms, they may have become overcrowded. Dig up the bulbs in early fall and separate them before replanting. All irises appreciate an occasional feed with a high potash fertilizer.
Now all you have to do is to decide which varieties to plant. Would you prefer an elegant group in a single color or a mix of shimmering shades? For more inspiration, have a look at our iris collection to find the tried and tested favorites, plus some gorgeous new introductions.