Welcome to Iris City Gardens

In general, your growing area should be kept clear of debris, including dead foliage, so that insects won't have a place to hide and winter over. The seed pods should also be removed as soon as possible to keep bee-pollinated seeds from dropping into your beds. Otherwise, you may suddenly find a lot of iris in your beds that you didn't order and which may not be as attractive as the plants you paid for. If you want to see what the new crosses look like, remove the seed pods and plant the seed in pots or in another bed.

Beardless iris: Species and Louisiana

Beardless iris: species and Louisiana, must not be allowed to dry out during transplant. It is beneficial to soak them in water overnight before planting. Once planted, they should be kept moist. They don't need to be in standing water, just regular perennial-bed type moisture. After they are established they will be very hardy.

Most beardless iris want a sunny location and a slightly acidic soil for best performance and bloom. The beds should be prepared with plenty of humus and the plants mulched well year round. Plant the Louisiana species iris about 1" deep. The Louisianas will grow in standing water or in moist garden soil.

Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer, we recommend 14-14-14 Osmocote slow release, in the early spring and again after bloom. Remove the bloom stalks after flowering and cut the foliage down to just a few inches in early winter. Transplanting should be done in the early fall to avoid the hot summer days.

Other beardless iris
I. virginica, I. versicolor, I. pseudacorus and I. laevigata should be treated similarly to Louisiana iris.

Bearded iris
July and August are the best months to plant the bearded iris although they can be planted almost any time of the year except winter. They prefer sunny, well-drained locations and should be kept moist until the first new center leaf appears. Take care not to overwater. Plant the rhizomes just below the surface of the soil so that after the first rain the top is exposed. A good low-nitrogen fertilizer such as 6-12-12 or bone meal can be used early in the spring. Do not mulch or overwater.