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Iris (eye-riss), Iridaceae Family. More than 200 species of perennial herbs make up the genus Iris. They range in size from tiny plants small enough to fit in the cupped hand to regal plants as tall as 5 feet.

Called rainbow flower, Iris covers the entire color spectrum and obviously makes a marvelous show at bloom time. Since the petals contain a high percentage of water, the best ones have a luminous quality. Some are frilly and ruffled; others are chic and chiseled. They are highly prized for the glamour they contribute to a planting composition and for their decorative quality as cut flowers. Although most bloom in spring and early summer, a rainbow of color can be created from early spring through summer, fall and in mild climates, on into winter.

Some plants grow from bulbs, but most grow from rhizomes or modified stems that creep along the ground and send roots down into the soil. Leaves are narrow, some sword-shaped, and others thin as grass blades. Flowers have six conspicuous parts – three upper usually erect petals called standards, and three horizontal or drooping sepals called falls.

Iris are not only spectacular to look at, they are easy to grow. Iris have two requirements, lots of sun and good drainage. Irises thrive in moist soil but are least susceptible to root rot, when grown in soil of moderate fertility. Plant roots deep in a well worked bed and place the rhizome shallowly with a light covering of soil, half in half out of the soil. In areas where the ground freezes, good mulching will prevent the rhizomes from heaving out of the soil during winter.

tall bearded iris flatTall Bearded Irises will bloom relatively well with half day sun, but more sun equals more flowers. Drainage is the most critical growing factor; too much water will cause the rhizomes to rot. Bearded Irises will grow in any good garden soil with good drainage.

Irises should be fertilized 3 times per year: first in the spring when new growth appears, second right after blooming, and third in the fall. When planting for the first time or transplanting, use a no-nitrogen fertilizer such as 0-10-10.

Division is recommended every 3 to 4 years to maintain healthy plants and achieve the maximum bloom. The best time of year to plant irises is in late summer after they have bloomed. Dig the entire clump and use a sharp knife to cut apart the rhizomes. Keep only the newer ones around the outer edge of the clump and discard the old, woody center. Replant new divisions 12 to 18 inches apart to allow plenty room for new growth and good air circulation. Planting at the correct level is critical to the plant's health and flower production. Rhizomes should be planted so the soil barely covers the top of them, or 1 to 2 inches. deep to prevent soft rot.

Attributes: Use as border plants, for cut or dried flowers, drought tolerant, fragrant flowers, en mass planting, salt tolerant, deer and rabbit resistant.

Louisiana Irises grow best in wet to boggy soil or in shallow water up to four inches deep. They can also be grown in the garden with consistent moisture. However, they tend to bloom heaviest when grown in water. The soil should be acidic, as the plants will be pale in color and overall weaker when grown in soil with a higher pH. 

Louisiana Irises bloom best in full sun but will also grow in partial shade. Late spring is the ideal time to transplant the rhizomes, though late summer or early fall is also acceptable. Do not transplant them in the heat of summer or in late fall. Plants will multiply quickly if sited properly.

These plants are heavy feeders, especially in zones where the growing season is relatively short. Provide a dose of liquid fertilizer on a regular schedule for best results. Provide pine straw or other mulch in the fall, but be sure to pull away the mulch early in the spring to prevent rot.

Attributes: bog plant, border plant, cut flower, and mass plantings. Attracts hummingbirds. Deer and rabbit resistant.

Siberian Iris will tolerate a wide range of soils, but prefers very moist, organic, slightly acid soil. It will perform in boggy conditions, and will survive poor, dry soil if its thick roots penetrate deep enough. They will tolerate part shade in warmer zones.

New clumps may take two or three years to become firmly established and bloom profusely. It is best not to divide iris during bloom period, wait until fall.

Attributes: bog plant, border plant, container, cut flower, and mass plantings. disease resistance Attracts hummingbirds. They can also be grown under Black Walnut trees. Siberian Irises bloom before Japanese Irises but after Tall Bearded Irises.

  • Iris Black Gamecock 25 BR Plants

    Iris 'Black Gamecock' (25) BR Plants

    Iris 'Black Gamecock' (25) Bare Root Plants Common name: Louisiana Iris. If you’re new to Louisiana Irises, this is the right place to start! You can’t go wrong with this top award winner. It is known for having “outrageous...

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  • Iris a Ming Treasure 30ct Flat

    Iris a. 'Ming Treasure' (30)ct Flat

    Iris ampliflora 'Ming Treasure' (25) Bare Root PlantsCommon Name: Ampliflora Iris A new hybrid discovery of the past decade, I. ampliflora is an unknown interspecific hybrid possibly involving I. tectorum (Japanese Roof Iris) and is sterile. The original...

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  • Iris p. 'Shiryukyo' (25) BR Plants

    Iris p. 'Shiryukyo' (25) BR Plants

    Iris pseudata 'Shiryukyo' ('Purple Dragon's Valley') (25) Bare Root PlantsCommon Name: Pseudata Iris This midseason to late season bloomer produces reddish purple standards with a deep purple marking that outlines the bright yellow signal above dark...

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  • Iris pseudata Yarai 25 BR Plants

    Iris pseudata 'Yarai' (25) BR Plants

    Iris pseudata 'Yarai' ('Night Thunder') (25) Bare Root PlantsCommon Name: Pseudata Iris One of the first pseudatas to bloom! This tall plant will bring height to your garden with a unique peach blend flowers that have deep purple veining. The standards...

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  • Iris s Cape Cod Boys 25 BR Plants

    Iris s. 'Cape Cod Boys' (25) BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Cape Cod Boys' (25) Bare Root PlantsCommon Name: Common Name: Siberian Iris Just like the famous shore community of Cape Cod, this Siberian Iris will make you think of beaches and the ocean. Periwinkle blue flowers have darker blue veining...

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  • Iris s Contrast in Styles 25 BR Plants

    Iris s. 'Jewelled Crown' (25) BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Jewelled Crown' (25) Bare Root PlantsCommon Name: Common Name: Siberian Iris This showy selection of Siberian Iris is perfectly named for its incredible contrasting color patterns. 3-5 flowers have rich wine purple standards and falls and...

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  • Iris s Over in Gloryland 25 BR Plants

    Iris s. 'Over in Gloryland' (25) BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Over in Gloryland' (25) Bare Root PlantsCommon Name: Common Name: Siberian Iris Siberian Iris are a welcome sight in early summer, and ‘Over in Gloryland’ is an especially showy selection. 5" wide, deep blue-purple standards...

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  • Iris s. 'Purring Tiger' (25) BR Plants

    Iris s. 'Purring Tiger' (25) BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Purring Tiger' (25) Bare Root PlantsCommon Name: Common Name: Siberian Iris Dusty lavender flowers sit above golden yellow petals. The golden yellow petals are lined with purple veining that matches the heart of the flower. 'Purring Tiger'...

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  • Iris s. 'Sunfisher' (25) BR Plants

    Iris s. 'Sunfisher' (25) BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Sunfisher' (25) Bare Root PlantsCommon Name: Common Name: Siberian Iris With the addition of 'Sunfisher', this will be the deepest yellow Siberian Iris that we offer. Light yellow standards and deeper yellow falls form a beautiful display...

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  • Iris siberica 'Caesar's Brother' (25) BR Plants

    Iris siberica 'Caesar's Brother' (25) BR Plants

    Iris siberica 'Caesar's Brother' (25) Bare Root PlantsCommon Name: Siberian Iris Deep purple self; yellow and white blaze with black veining One of the oldest and but still one of the best Siberians on the market Blooms profusely in early summer...

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  • Iris sibirica 'Butter and Sugar' (25) BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Butter and Sugar' (25) BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Butter and Sugar' (25) Bare Root Plants Common name: Siberian Iris. Creamy white standards and butter-yellow falls, both with greenish yellow veins Excellent flower form Blooms in early summer with a possible rebloom later in the...

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  • Iris sibirica Ruffled Velvet 25 BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Ruffled Velvet' (25) BR Plants

    Iris sibirica 'Ruffled Velvet' (25) Bare Root Plants Common name: Siberian Iris. Red-purple standards, darker purple, velvety falls, and a black and gold blaze, blooms in early summer.Siberian irises are haled for their elegant, delicate flowers and...

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