|Erin Mills Iris Gardens
2014 Iris Catalogue ...fine quality iris for your garden
Erin Mills Iris Garden
How to Grow
How to Grow Iris: You may have thought bearded Iris were only blue or purple. Or perhaps you may have thought they were difficult to grow. Today's hybrid bearded Iris come in a rainbow of colors, and they're one of the easiest perennials to grow. With a minimum of care they will reward you with beautiful blooms year after year. Here are a few suggestions for growing Iris. Proper care is simple and quite easy. Treat your garden and yourself to some of these fine flowers.
This page is available as a printable/viewable Adobe Acrobat PDF file. This may be printed off for your own reference or perhaps for a handout at garden club meetings. Follow the link: How to grow great irises
When to Plant: For best results in Canada, Iris should be planted in mid-July or August. It's important that the roots of newly planted Iris be well-established before the growing season ends. In areas with an early onset of winter early planting may be preferred (mid-July). Some of the more moderate areas may plant later (mid to late August).
Where to Plant: Iris need at least a half day of sun. In extremely hot climates some shade is beneficial, but in most climates Iris do best in full sun. Be sure to provide your Iris with good drainage, planting either on a slope or in raised beds.
Watering: Newly set plants need moisture to help their root systems become established. Specific watering information depends on your climate and your soil type, but keep in mind that deep watering at long intervals is better than more frequent shallow waterings. Once established, Iris normally don't need to be watered except in arid areas. Over watering is a common error.
Fertilization: Specific fertilizer recommendations depend on your soil type but bone meal, superphosphate and 6-10-10 are all effective. A light application about a month after bloom will reward you with good growth and bloom. Avoid using anything high in nitrogen, as nitrogen encourages rot problems.
Old clumps may be thinned by removing the old rhizomes at the centers of the clumps and leaving new growth in the ground. Alternately, you may dig up the entire clump and remove and replant the large new rhizomes.
General Garden Care: Keep your Iris beds clean and free of weeds and debris, allowing the tops of the rhizomes to bask in the sun. Bloom stems should be cut off close to the ground after blooming. Healthy green leaves should be left undisturbed but diseased or brown leaves should be removed. During early/late autumn cleanup the foliage may be cut back to approximately 6 inches. This will help the sun to reach the rhizomes and allow better air circulation around the plants.