Iris are strong…sturdy…colorful…happy…welcoming…easy to grow…and nearly indestructible. Iris are one of the easiest and care-free flowers a gardener can grow and are perfect for most every flower bed.

The very word, ‘iris’ means rainbow. The appropriateness of its name is proven in the over-200 species of this beautiful flower. Iris range in price from just a few dollars to $20 or more for the more exotic varieties.

The iris’ blooms consist of large petals that weep or curtsey outwardly. They come in a multitude of colors and color mixes; sitting on top of a thick, tubular stalk with long, pointed leaves that look like knife blades. Some of the most vibrant colors in the spring garden come from the iris that towers above the daffodils, hyacinths and other spring blooms. Among the favorite colors are orange, yellow, pink, black, coffee brown, deep red and the ever-popular traditional purple iris.

HOW TO GROW

There’s really very little needed to grow iris. The rhizomes or tubers are simply placed in the soil-barely covering the top. In fact, cover the tubers with just enough soil to hold them securely in place. Iris need soil that drains well. They are often used as ground covering to prevent erosion.

Iris need a few hours of shade a day and while they do well in hot weather, during their blooming season, they like a fair amount of moisture.

During blooming season, pinch the dying blooms off. Once the blooming season is over, allow the green foliage to remain until fall. You can then cut it back so that the plant can rest and regroup for the following spring.

You can propagate new iris by separating the tubers and breaking them apart. Just be sure there is at least 2 inches of root coming from the bottom of the tuber you break off to plant anew.

The iris is symbolic of eloquence and wisdom; making a perfect statement in every garden it graces.

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