time to plant : July to October
how to plant :
- Irises need at least half a day of sun and well-drained soil. Without enough sun, they won’t bloom.
- They prefer fertile, neutral to slightly acidic soil. If your soil is very acidic, sweeten it with a bit of lime, and forbear summer watering, which can lead to rot.
- Bearded irises must not be shaded by other plants; many do best in a special bed on their own.
- Soil drainage is very important. Loosen the soil with a tiller or garden fork to a depth of 12 to 15 inches, then mix in a 2- to 4-inch layer of compost.
- Plant rhizomes singly or in groups of three with the fans outermost, 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on the size.
- Dig a shallow hole 10 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep. Make a ridge of soil down the middle and place the rhizome on the ridge, spreading roots down both sides. Fill the hole with soil and firm it gently.
- Water thoroughly.
- When planting, top-dress with a low-nitrogen fertilizer, and again in early spring.