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Iris Care

Iris care is very easy to do, as iris plants are relatively maintenance free. It consists mainly of ensuring that the soil is kept moist and well drained. Iris plants prefer moisture, but standing water can easily cause the rhizome or bulb to rot. If there is not good drainage where the plant is, raising the soil level six inches or so will help to alleviate the stress caused by standing water.

Caring for these plants also consists of ensuring that they are getting a good deal of sunlight. If there is a tree or shrub nearby, pruning the branches to allow light to the iris is very important. Iris are known for their ability to grow and thrive if left to their own devices, but they should not be forgotten, as they are very susceptible to diseases.

One of the most common diseases in irises is bacterial soft rot. This is when bacteria enter through injuries in the rhizome. The rhizome will become mushy and have a bad odor. This is primarily caused by standing water, or use of too much fertilizer. Iris care in these cases consists of digging up and destroying any infected rhizomes, before the disease can spread.

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  • Planting & Transplanting Iris Plants

    Purple and Yellow Iris FlowerPlanting iris plants is very easy to do, and can be a rewarding experience. When an iris is purchased, it will be either in bulb or rhizome form. If the iris is in bulb form, planting it is just like planting any other bulb plant. Planting iris bulbs should be done at a depth of about three inches, making sure that the bulb is facing the correct way up. This should take place in the fall, as the plant will then become dormant for the winter and then grow in the coming spring.

    Iris rhizomePlanting iris that are in rhizome form requires a little bit more effort. The rhizome should be planted at or near the surface of the soil, while the roots shooting off should be planted down much further. The best way to do this is to dig a trench and have a mound running down the center. Place the rhizome on the mound, and spread the roots down the sides. When planting iris in bulk, it is important to ensure that all the rhizomes are facing the same direction. This will prevent crowding in early years. Continue reading

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