Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If Your Iris Won't Bloom

'Blue Crusader'

Iris are such staples in my garden that I forget that there was a time that I struggled to get them to bloom.

'Vizier'

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.

'Victoria Falls'

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.

'Mary Francis'

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!

12 comments:

Penelope said...

Thank you soooo much! I have some iris that are blooming their heads off and some other iris that aren't...and guess what the difference is? Yep, the non blooming ones are planted too deep. So should I wait until fall and bring them up a little closer to the top of the soil line?

Sheila said...

Penelope, I would go ahead and bring them up now. Depending on the variety you may still get a bloom this year!

Nola @ the Alamo said...

Your Blue Crusader is the darkest blue I've ever seen in an iris. They are staples in my garden too; I don't think I've ever had a garden that didn't include a few.

Turling said...

I was just going to post my Iris tonight! What timing.

Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

What gorgeous blooms, Sheila!

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

Now I know why one of mine isn't blooming. I had a feeling I planted it too deep. I'll never forget how to plant them now, I'll think of ducks and your explanation :) The color of that first one is really pretty.

sb158 said...

Your iris are gorgeous. One of my favorite flowers, but they don't grow well way down here in S. TX. Can you see me pouting? LOL!

Josie said...

Questi iris sono una bellezza! Mi piacciono molto I. Vizier e I. Mary Frances, che colore delicato!
Metti altre foto di iris se ne hai, sono la mia passione!

delia said...

Oh, I love iris, and yours are very very delicious!

Lzyjo said...

Thanks for the great tip! I have a Siberia Iris that won't flower, I think the problem is they're planted too deep, funny thing is I thought the opposite was the problem.

Pam/Digging said...

Good advice. It's so easy to forget how much sun they want. I've tweeted your post to share the info.

Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com said...

I absolutely did not know this, Sheila. I have a lot to learn, still, about the iris. I certainly am a fan of their beauty, though! Thanks for this tip! I have a suspicion I may have some of these too deeply planted ones on this property!