What you need to know about irises
Modern varieties of bearded irises are complex hybrids. A characteristic feature of these varieties is a flower with a beard of colored hairs along the midrib of the outer perianth lobes turned down.
Iris hybridis a perennial plant that can be grown in one place for 5-7 years.
In our area, bearded irises bloom from 2 weeks to a month. If you have varieties that are different in terms of flowering, then you can extend flowering up to 1.5 – 2 months every summer. Iris can have from 5 to 9 flowers on one peduncle.
What are the varieties of irises
Varieties of bearded irises differ in size, color, flowering time and height of the peduncle. There are dwarf varieties with peduncles 25-37 cm, medium tall with peduncles from 37-70 cmand tall with peduncles more than70 cm.
Within these groups, varieties are classified not only by the timing of flowering, but also by the color of the flower. There are terms that are used to describe the color of a variety. All perianth lobes are of the same color (white, pink, lilac, red-brown, purple, yellow, orange, blue-blue, violet). Such varieties are called monochromatic. The outer perianth segments (lowered) may have the same color as the inner ones (directed upwards), but of a denser tone, they are called two-tone.
Varieties with different colors of perianth lobes are called bicolor (red-brown outer lobes and yellow-orange inner lobes or pure white inner and dark purple outer lobes). Varieties with bordered perianth lobes (there is a large spot of some color in the center of the lower perianth lobes) are called papkata. There are varieties with iridescent color, where one tone of color turns into another tone of a different color.
How to grow irises
The care and planting of iris is different in that it can grow in well-lit, sun-warmed places and in partial shade. It is desirable to protect plantings from cold winds. Bearded irises are not demanding on moisture either. Strong moisture and the proximity of groundwater destroy them, as they are dry-loving. Irises should be planted on ridges with a height of at least20 cm. Iris rhizomes are not afraid of drying out. During wintering, the rhizomes can withstand temperatures down to -7°C. They thrive in slightly acidic and neutral soils. Soil nutrition is not very important, as they are undemanding to nutrition. The soil must be well drained. Light loams or clean sand are preferred. The soil for irises should be dug up on a spade bayonet, carefully removing weed roots. When to plant and divide irises? The best time for dividing bushes and planting irises is 2-3 weeks after flowering. You can plant in the spring, and with a clod of earth you can transplant at any time.
When it’s time to plant irises, the root system must be cut to 10 cmfrom the rhizome, and cut out the old roots completely. Bunches of leaves are also cut to 2/3 of the length. Plant an annual link, called a shoulder blade, with a bunch of roots and a fan of leaves.
Delenka is planted in a hole, on the bottom of which a mound of earth is poured. The rhizome is not deepened, but placed flush with the soil surface. Spread the roots along the slopes of the mound and cover with earth, squeeze tightly with your hands, and then pour water. Planting distance between tall irises40 cm, and between rows 40-50 cm.
Proper care is the key to abundant flowering
Care consists in weeding and loosening the soil. Throughout the summer, especially in spring and autumn, you need to remove the yellowed leaves from the neck of the rhizome. Try not to damage the rhizome and do not leave rings on the neck of the rhizome. Then it is necessary to sprinkle the rhizome with wood ash and coal, a handful per plant. This will well protect the irises from putrefactive diseases and slugs. Be sure to cut the flower stalks after flowering2 cmfrom the neck of the rhizome. This will prevent the penetration of rot into the rhizome when the peduncle dies. At the end of September, beginning of October, the leaves of irises should be cut, leaving a stump10 cm. For shelter, you can use dry leaves, straw, sawdust, peat. You can just fill it with earth. In early spring, as soon as the snow melts, remove the shelter.
Further care consists in feeding, removing weeds and loosening the soil. In hot and humid summers, rhizomes can be affected by gray rot. Recognizing the disease is not difficult. The ends of the leaves darken, then turn brown and the fan of leaves falls to the ground. The damaged part must be cut out to a healthy tissue, and the cut should be poured with a solution of potassium permanganate or brilliant green, or covered with crushed coal and furnace ash. After 4 years, iris bushes can be transplanted and divided. You can not dig the whole bush, but dig up the ground and separate several blades (rhizome links), the transplant will only affect them.
During mass flowering, irises will please you with a variety of colors and a delicate aroma. An unexpected sight happens when the breeze blows. Numerous perianth petals, diverse in color, flutter like large multi-colored butterflies.