Iris Plants: Perennial Stalwarts
Japanese ( Iris ensata), beardless
[the look] bloom in July, with full fancy flowers in delicious shades of color. Page of Japanese iris.
[the needs] they require more water and a definitely acid soil, same conditions as ferns, astilbes or impatiens. They like a rich soil and should be transplanted in fall or early spring; thoroughly soak and keep well-watered while getting settled. Planted 2 to 3 inches deep, they need good winter protection in the north and benefit from mulching (2 – 3 inches). Divide every three to four years.
[the look]bloom in July; ideal for plantings around pools, ponds and low spots. With yellow flowers, it grows 4 to 5 feet tall. Best for a natural, wild site, not so satisfying for cultivated gardens.
[the needs] It tolerates well-drained areas, but is happiest in 3 to 6 inches of water or areas that stand in water periodically.
- First two are drought tolerant, the second two need lots of moisture. One feeding in spring is important for Irises. In garden design they make a good vertical accent.
- Falls are three segments of petal-like sepals that droop down on irises. The upper set of petals, three upright segments, are called “standards.”
- Thrips on the flowers? Control by using insecticidal soaps and hanging blue sticky traps next to the iris beds.
- Bearded iris especially like heavy feeding of low-nitrogen fertilizer, but all types appreciate some extras of compost and soil kept fertile
Iris – Lion King
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