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Iris flowers are radiant specimens that come in so many vibrant colors. The Iris was named after the Greek Goddess “Iris”, who was considered the Messenger of Love. The iris is a hardy herbaceous perennial. The Iris family includes over 200 varieties in a wide spectrum of colors, including purple and blue iris. The Bearded Iris and the Siberian Iris are two of the most common types of iris that are grown in the United States. There are two major groups of iris, rhizome iris and bulbous irises. The rhizome iris grows from rhizomes in the ground producing the sword like leaves. Bulbous iris grows from bulbs which require a dormant period each year to produce flowers and leaves. Bulbous iris are usually smaller the rhizome irises.
Irises are one of the easiest perennials to grow. Plant the iris in a sunny spot and in well drained soil. Lighter soils are preferred but if the soil is clayey, add very coarse sand and humus to promote drainage. When planting a rhizome, be sure to leave the very top of the rhizome uncovered. Mulching around the plants will help keep out weeds. Once the iris plants are established, they do not require much water. Watering during a drought period may be all they will need. Fertilize lightly with Nitrogen.