Bearded Iris is Mediterranean flowering plant that come in a variety of hues ranging from the ever popular purple to orange and even black. This beautiful breaded lady’s can be grown from rhizomes that grow underground. Rhizomes resemble large roots like potatoes and ginger. Unlike other flowers with rhizomes the Bearded Irises rhizomes are not edible, in fact the whole plant is inedible to both humans and animals. Below are growing can care tips to help you grow these eye catching flowers in your garden.
Sun – Bearded Irises need 6-8 hours of full sunlight a day with shade in the heat of the day in warmer climates.
Soil – They like well draining loose soils with very low nitrogen levels.
Spacing – Space flowers 12-24in/30-60cm part to insure the rhizomes have space to spread out an grow.
Water – Bearded Irises do not like water if you live in an area with little rain they will need to be deeply watered every 3 to 4 weeks. If you live in an area where it rain frequently they will only need to be watered durning the dry seasons of the soil start to dry out completely near the roots.
Food – Fertilize these plants twice a year, once in spring and again when the start to bloom. The best fertilizers for Irises are bonemeal or superphosphate.
Annual or Perennial – These flowers are perennial and will not only come back year after year but they will also double in number year after year as will. Leaving you with more beautiful flowers to coo at every spring.
Climate/Hardiness – Bearded Irises have evergreen leaves and are very cold tolerant. Even when it gets so cold that their leaves die back their rhizomes are safe and warm underground. This means even if your leaves die back your flowers will come back when the weather gets warm again.
Harvest – You can harvest Bearded Iris flowers when the flowers are in bloom. To harvest the rhizomes you will need to wait until after the flowers have bloom.
Transplant – After you harvest the rhizomes you can rather dry them for next year or transplant them to another spot in your garden.
Tips – Bearded Irises do not like nitrogen as much as some flowers do. For this reason it is important to plant them in soil low in nitrogen and to use fertilizer with little to no nitrogen in them. They do still need nitrogen but very low amounts, pay close attention to the flowers and add more or less as needed once or twice a year. If you live in a climate where it rains frequently it will help to plant your irises on highs or in containers to help the water run off and away from their roots and rhizomes to prevent root rot from over watering. If you live in an area were it snows often or is cold most of the year make sure to buy Tall Bearded Irises as they are more cold hardy and have deeper roots.