Iris, Dutch


QUICK REFERENCE PLANTING GUIDE

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

2. USDA Hardiness Zones - 3 to 8.

3. Planting Distance - 3 to 4 inches apart in ground.

4. Mature Height/Spread -  18 to 24 inches tall.

5. Bloom Time - Late spring to early summer. 

6. Planting Instructions - Dig a hole twice as deep and twice as wide as each dormant bulb. When dug, the hole should be big enough to allow the dormant bulb to be covered with 1 inch of soil.  Place bulb in hole and cover with soil, firming the soil with your fingers. Water thoroughly. 

GET THE MOST ENJOYMENT

Bulbs are the easiest, fastest, and most diverse way to add color to your garden.  The Dutch Iris will provide color and plenty of blooms to enjoy in your home for years.

In using Iris bulbs, begin with the notion that they look best on clumps or clusters of multiple individuals. Nature does it this way and she is a reliable guide. Never plant in rows like little soldiers. Whether your taste runs to clean solid colors or the riotous abundance of a cottage garden, you will never regret planting as many bulbs as you possibly can. 

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 - 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.

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 - Flower stems should be cut when petals begin to really fade.  You don’t want the flower heads to go to seed.  Seed formation drains off the food needed to produce next year’s growth, which is essential for further bulb development.  Leaves should be allowed to die back naturally before removing.  The green leaves are the last things to wither and dry up but they do provide the nourishment for your bulb growth.  DO NOT remove the foliage while it is still green. 

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 - The time to protect your plants in the garden is after the ground has frozen. At that time, apply a winter mulch of evergreen boughs, straws or leaves 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.