INFORMATION ABOUT HOW TO GROW BEARDED IRIS…
Image by Amanda Slater The iris is perhaps the most frequently grown flower in residential gardens. And many people would agree that the bearded iris is one of the most spectacular in the iris family.
The first thing to do even before you plant your bearded iris is to prepare the flower bed that you will be planting the iris in. And iris bed should have three elements, sun, sweet soil and good drainage. Without these your bearded iris will not grow as well as they could or worse, your bearded iris will not grow at all! Choose a sunny spot that drains well. Add some lime to the soil to “sweeten” it. After you have done this, you are ready to plant your bearded iris.
Ordering your bearded iris through a reputable internet company or through a mail order catalog is best. This way you can be sure that the bearded iris rhizomes that you will receive will be healthy and hale. You will also have the added benefit of having a larger selection of bearded iris to choose from.
When your bearded iris arrives in the mail, you will find that they are loosely packed, bare root and that the leaves have been cut. A quality bearded iris will have a large rhizome that is neither moldy nor damaged. Most likely the leaves will be cut in a triangle shape.
Your bearded iris will arrive in a dormant state. This is a good thing. The fact that the bearded iris is in a dormant state means that you do not have to plant them immediately. If you need to wait a week or two before you can get the bearded iris in the ground, you (and the iris) should be okay.
Once you are ready to plant your bearded iris in the iris bed, plan how you will plant them. A bearded iris will spread in the direction that the leaf end of the rhizome (where the leaves grow out of the rhizome) is pointing. For this reason, you want to make sure that you don’t plant bearded irises pointing towards each other. If you do, they will eventually grow into each other and crowd each other.
Plant your bearded iris at least 18 to 24 inches apart from each other. Dig a hole about 8 to 10 inches deep and about twice as wide as the rhizome you will be planting. Build a small mound in the hole and place the bearded iris rhizome on top of it with its roots trailing down the sides. Back fill the hole with soil. The top of the rhizome should be just above ground level and soil should be mounded up over it so that the bearded iris plant is sitting in a small hill.
After you have planted your bearded iris, water thoroughly. As long as you are getting a decent amount of rain, they will not need to be watered after this. In dry weather, water lightly. Enjoy your beautiful bearded iries!