Iris, Japanese


QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE

1. Light/Sun Exposure - Full to partial sun.

2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 4 to 9.

3. Planting Distance - 2 feet apart in ground.

4. Mature Height/Spread - 3 feet tall by the second year and will form heavy clumps within three years.

5. Bloom Time - Summer beginning the second year after planting.

6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole twice as wide and twice as deep as the roots of each plant. Form a small mound of dirt in the bottom of each hole and spread the roots of each plant over same so that the crown of the plant will be just below the surface of the soil after planting. Any green tops showing should be above the soil level. Refill with soil mixture. Firm the soil around the plant with your fingers. Water thoroughly. 

GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT

Rare and exciting blooms from the Orient in a color-balanced assortment of white, pink, blue, purple, and bi-colored Japanese Iris. These glorious hybrids have huge 5 to 9 inch diameter flowers that resemble exotics orchids that float like soaring birds on long, sturdy 3 foot stems in June and July. Blooming in early summer when most other Iris cultivars have finished flowering, these unusual garden hardy Iris are excellent in the border with their rich color and elegant form. They will add an entirely new dimension to any garden planting or cut flower bouquet. Excellent for the Iris lover who wants to extend the bloom season with a special dramatic touch.

Also ideal for containers or intermixing with other perennials.  You may consider planting them in mass in a special spot that is located in full to part sun in the garden or along a walkway. In the South they will do best if planted in partial shade. They are not suitable for the very dry heat of the desert Southwest. Since Japanese Iris prefer a rich moist soil when in bloom they are ideal for planting near waterways but not necessarily in standing water.

SOIL PREPARATION

Although these plants will perform well in average garden soils of all types, we recommend having your soil tested periodically by the local County Extension Office.  These tests can determine if the soil needs any amendments to enhance your plants' growth and performance.  See below for our recommended practice to improve your soil without any additional testing:

1.  Spade or till the soil to a depth of 12-18 inches.

2.  To provide nutrients and improve drainage, add organic matter to your soil by mixing in a 2 to 4-inch layer of dehydrated manure, garden compost, shredded leaves, and/or peat moss.

3.  After active growth begins, periodically feed with Cottage Farms' water soluble Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Plants in containers need more frequent watering and feeding, especially when in active growth and bloom.

CONTINUING CARE

Water - Your plants require 1" of rainfall (or equivalent watering) each week when planted in the ground.  Do not allow plants in containers to dry out.  In a container that is exposed to full sun, water it well at least once every other day, and possibly every day, during periods of intense summer heat.  You may wish to temporarily move containerized plants to an area where they are shielded from the hot summer sun (i.e., in the shade of a tree, on a porch near an overhang).

Mulching - In-ground apply a 2-4 inch layer of shredded bark, compost or other organic mulch around your plants to promote moisture retention, maintain even soil temperatures, and to discourage weed growth.  NOTE: Do not mulch over Iris rhizomes during the growing season.

Weeding - Keep the area around your plants free of weeds. Weeds compete with all plants for food, water and light. Walk around the garden periodically and pull weeds, including the roots, as soon as you see them.

Grooming - Deadhead or remove flowers when blooms have faded, leaving as much foliage as possible.  As long as the foliage remains green it will gather sunlight and transmit energy into the root system for the following growing season.

Feeding - Feed your plants once every 2-3 weeks during the growing season with a water-soluble fertilizer such as Cottage Farms' Carefree Bud-N-Flower Booster. Discontinue feeding after September 1st so your plants can harden off for winter dormancy. Resume fertilizing when new growth appears in the spring.

Winterizing - After frost has blackened the foliage of your perennials, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straw, or leaves to in-ground plantings to prevent lifting of the plant's roots during alternating periods of freezing and thawing.

For container planting, move plants next to your home's southern foundation for added warmth and protection. They may also be moved into an unheated, protected area such as a garage or cellar. If moved to a protected area be sure you water them well once every 7 to 10 days.

In spring, remove mulch from in-ground plantings and remove any dead or damaged parts on any plants.  Also, bring containerized plants back out into the garden sunlight where they will immediately begin to repeat their yearly garden performance.

  

CAUTION: Not all plant material is edible. Though most plants are harmless, some contain toxic substances which can cause headaches, nausea, dizziness, or other discomforts. As a general rule, only known food products should be eaten. In case of ingestion, please contact your local poison control center at once and advise them of the plant ingested. Keep out of reach of children.