With over 200 species of irises, how
does the amateur gardener know which ones are the best to grow?
Durability and easy maintenance make the tall bearded irises some of
the easiest to grow. Add some beauty to your garden with tips from
Francis & Ruth Rogers from Meadowbrook Gardens and Lynn Bausch, a
member of the American Iris Society. All seven varieties will grow in
Rogers shares some pointers for the
beginner iris grower.
Iris seedlings require the brightest
possible light. In dim light, the seedlings will become weak and
Plant the seeds at the end of July to
get a good start for winter. Make sure the top part of the
"rhizome," or fleshy root, is showing. Plant at least 18
Irises require regular, well drained
soil. Donít use too much fertilizer; it makes them rot.
Plant the seeds at a depth three to
four times their diameter. Planting the seeds one-inch deeper is
sometimes recommended for colder climates, such as Wisconsin, where
the alternating freeze/thaw weather may heave them out of the ground
if planted too shallow.
The flowers multiply rapidly and need
to be moved every two to three years to avoid crowding.
The aroma of irises is extraordinary,
making them a perfect flower for a beautiful bouquet.
This 34-inch iris has billowing ruffles
and magnificent coloring. Wide falls and a bright orange beard round
out the colors.
Broad, well-formed flowers that are
heavily ruffled are what set this iris apart. This 36-inch flower is a
late to very late bloomer.
This 38-inch tall iris is a mid- to
late-season bloomer. Lavender beards are tipped with yellow and the
flower is heavily ruffled.
This tall bearded flower is a
mid-season bloom. This highly-fragrant flower has beards of blue with
a yellow tip.
This flower gets its name from the
ruffled rich dark purple-black standards. This 34-inch iris is a mid-
to late-season bloom.
This iris has a pronounced sweet
fragrance and is heavily ruffled and laced. The 38-inch iris is a mid-
to late-season bloom.
This new flower was hybridized by
Francis Rogers and registered in 2008, but has not yet been
introduced. The border bearded iris is 25 inches tall and has a sweet