The vast variety of colors of the iris give the flower its name. It's named after the Greek word for the rainbow and the broad spectrum of colors found with the iris flower. They're hardy perennial flowers that grow to a height of at least 26 inches. The configuration of the flower's petals forms a perfect landing area for flying insects searching for pollen. They're also popular with hummingbirds.
The iris is grown across the world, and it grows well in most garden soil. The most popular by far is the bearded iris. They'll flower early in the summer and again later in that same season. Irises need at least six hours a day of direct sunlight. Without sufficient sun, they won't even bloom. Plant them between the end of July and the middle of September. The roots (rhizomes) of bearded irises are fleshy. When planting, you'll want to expose a little bit of the rhizome. Plant them no less than a foot apart, and make sure there's sufficient drainage for each plant. They'll do well on an elevated bed or a slope. Don't plant them too deeply. They might not flower.
Growth and watering
Irises take time to grow. You might not see any changes for two to three weeks after planting. Growth will begin with a new center leaf. They might not even flower the first spring after planting. Because the Iris roots are newly planted, they'll need watering so their root systems will develop. Only water them until the first good rain.
After three to four years, Irises will become crowded with clumps. Those result in less flowering, so the clumps will have to be divided. In the alternative, you might want to remove the clumps entirely and plant new but larger rhizomes. Make sure that you keep your garden free of weeds so that your irises get optimum sunlight. Be sure that the plants are spaced 12 to 24 apart so that there's good air circulation too. Once planted, you'll be enjoying and working on your irises every year with a minimal amount of care.
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