Bearded iris care.
Irises are bulbous or rhizomatous herbaceous plants, and are fround across the whole world. If you look at these flowers, you’ll immediately understand why ancient Greeks have given them this name. ‘Iris’ means ‘rainbow” when translated from Greek.
Bearded iris is a certain variety, which has ‘beards’ of hairs on the outer petals of perianth.
Bearded irises can come in the following types:
Bearded Irises, Aril Irises, and Beardless Irises. All these species are very beautiful and popular in landscape design.
The bearded iris kinds are divided by size:
1. Miniature dwarf bearded iris, 8 inches (20 cm) high, is used in carpeting and rockery. There is a specific variety, called ‘Ditto’, with light-blue flowers on the edges, a white beard, and gleaming violet and salmon colored petals. ‘Cinnamon Apples’ is just as attractive with its brown-violet petals and yellow inner ones.
2. Dwarf bearded irisgrows up to 16 inches (41 cm). There are ‘Big Blue Eyes’ that are white in color with a lilac petal center; and ’Cachet’, with delicate shades of milk, peach colored, including a lavender beard.
3. A middle-sized standard bearded irisreaches up to 27.5 inches (70 cm) in height and blooms with large flowers on strong stems. It is a magnificent sight in group and individual plantings. The variety known as ‘Alamo Joe’ comes with a white beard and gentle violet petals. The reflected petals are a brick color with light purple rim. ‘Ashanti’ has golden petals with bronze rays.
4. Curbing bearded irisis a compact plant of average height, but it comes in a wide range of colors. Flower-bearing stems have a few flowers. The ‘Autumn Wine’ variety has velvet petals from light to dark burgundy wine color, almost mirroring black. ‘Batik’ features purple petals with white stripes.
5. Theminiature tall bearded irisis named this because its flowers in group plantings resemble some delicate cloud of butterflies on long, thin, and flexible peduncles. The bush height ranges from 16 inches to 27 ½ inches (40-70 cm). The variety ‘Abridged Version’ comes with light pink flowers and an apricot beard; but ‘Blue Chip Stock’ comes with blue reflected petals and blue inner ones. ‘Baubles and Beads’ have flowers with yellow inner petals and red-violet reflected ones.
6. Tall bearded irishas strong stems, 27 ½ inches (70 cm) high and greater, along with branched sturdy peduncles. Large flowers can be of various colors. This bush is a beautiful sight in single plantings and in flower beds. The iris ‘Game Plan’ is 3ft 1.2 inches (93 cm) high. Its flowers are large orange-brown with corrugated petals and an orange-red beard. A bearded iris ‘Almaden’ can grow up to some height of 3 ft (90 cm). It has a large burgundy flower with velvet petals and a bronze beard.
These are just a few examples of bearded iris varieties, which can hardly be looked at without a sense of admiration.
How to Plant Bearded Iris?
1. The best time to divide the rootstock is at the end of summer.
2. The place for planting the bearded iris should be sunny, as it does not bloom in the shade.
3. The soil for the bearded iris should be moisture-permeable, neutral, or slightly alkaline with a pH in the 6.7 range. Small stones can be added into the soil. Bearded iris cannot tolerate high levels of ground water and excess moisture. Fertilizers should be in the form of moderate compost. The fertile soil helps the bearded iris to bloom, but causes it to suffer with fungal diseases. It is best to fertilize it before planting, with Lucerne pellets mixed in with the compost.
4. Hill the soil in a prepared hole 4 - 6 inches (10-15 cm) deep. Then, straighten the roots so that the soil contains the roots and a part of a rootstock. The top of the latter must be on the surface. The distance between the holes for large bearded irises has to be at least 1 ft 4 inches (40 cm).
After planting, bearded iris is pruned and watered. It will bloom next year.
Caring for Bearded Iris
One should care for iris by loosening the soil and weeding. Complex fertilizers are applied in the spring, when the plants finally start growing. After blooming, the bearded iris is to be fed with fertilizers, containing twice as less nitrogen when compared to other components. Bearded iris can also be fed with Lucerne pellets.