Monday, May 17, 2010

beautiful iris!

Iris' flaunt their beauty in a wide array of colors in anything from old-fashioned blues to orchid-like-out-of-this-world scents. I'm not good at remembering the names of iris' but love their outstanding colors and scents!

Old fashioned blues bloom first here and their scent is wonderful! I don't have many of these and keep them more out of sentiment and their scent than any other reason.
But these? Their frilly orchid-like looks are a-maz-ing...and the smell? Heavenly!
These gold and silver leaved are keepers...not because of the flower which is an insignificant blue, but because of their foliage which is there all summer.
Both of these have 'knock your socks off' scents that are indescribable. I consider them 'must haves' due to the color that is there all the time.

Last summer I separated these from a mish-mash of colors. There were only several tubers and they exploded into a big clump and are now full of flower.
At twilight they glow...there is no other way to describe it...just simply awesome!

Iris' are mostly easy-care. They do best in full sun with the tubers barely covered with dirt. They do not do well if it's a rainy spring and they're in flower. Keep the flower groomed by snapping the finished bloom...this makes a huge difference in how they look as well as protecting the newly-opened iris. If there is a poor bloom show, they need to be lifted and divided.

August is the best time to divide them. I use a potato fork to lift them which helps to keep from cutting into the tubers. After lifting them, cut the leaves on a slant, throw the soft and wormy-looking tubers away in any other place but the compost bin and re-plant them on a slight rise with the tuber showing but the roots covered with dirt.

After blooming, the foliage adds structure and color in  the beds. Their number one enemy is the leaf borer and too wet soil which causes the foliage to rot or the leaves to get brown spots. Then it's time to cut the foliage back and dump them in a trash bin to get rid of the borer. It's necessary to cut the foliage back for the winter as critters will over-winter in the mess that's left and then there will be issues in the spring!

...happy gardening!


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