Tuesday, April 27, 2010
If Your Iris Won't Bloom
Iris are such staples in my garden that I forget that there was a time that I struggled to get them to bloom.
A recent guest to my gardens commented on how frustrated she was with them and had given up on this easy, drought tolerant plant that can be so stunning.
I remember the quest I went on many years ago to find out the key to success with this perennial and discovered the secret to getting blooms.
Of course they need full sunlight. That would be at least six hours of direct sun a day. But the unique requirement that most people overlook in our area is that they need to have their tubers planted at the surface of the soil. Planting too deep will mean no flowers. I always tell people what I learned about iris - plant them like a duck sits in the water. Half the tuber (with the attached roots) should be underground and the top should be above ground. They can tolerate poor soil, but do better with a bit of organic fertilizer a few times year that is not too high in nitrogen. They need to be divided every three or four years when they start to loose vigor. Meet those few simple requirements and your payoff will be rewarded! Caution! They can be addicting!