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About Iris


   An iris is a tall, slender flower with long foliage. An iris is one of the easiest perennials to grow. The minimum care needed for an iris to thrive, however, does not limit the beauty that these plants have. The bloom is large and bright, and most of them have a combination of colors on the petals.

   An iris plant has a thick, fleshy root called a rhizome. The rhizome is where most of the nutrients for the iris are stored. For best results, an iris should be planted in a sunny spot with well-drained soil. The rhizome should be closer to the surface of the soil than the rest of the root system. As the rhizome grows, new bloom stalks will emerge in later years. These flowers will be identical to the original iris. This process is called vegetative propagation.

   Iris plants grown near each other will become crowded from the ever-growing rhizomes. To help spread them out, they should be divided every two or three years. To divide an iris, cut the newer parts of the rhizome from the older ones. The older rhizomes can be discarded, and the newer ones transplanted. This is another way to propagate iris plants, and should be done about one or two months after the bloom season, usually in July or August.

   Most iris plants are heavy feeders and should be fertilized regularly. The soil should be light, and the roots must be planted firmly to hold the iris in place. Iris should not be forced to compete with grass or weeds for water and nutrients. Proper care of an iris will provide for years of enjoyment of the lovely blooms.

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