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The Purple bearded iris (Iris germanica) is one of the most popular iris varieties to grow and is also one of the most difficult to cultivate. It provides a stunning addition to hot, sunny borders, with its sword-like leaves and spectacular flowers from May to June.
Ruffs and falls are the terms used to describe the big outer and inner petals that make up a flower’s bloom. The name “bearded iris” comes from the hairs that develop in the center of the falls, which give the flower its appearance.
Bearded Iris Varieties that are Easy to Cultivate
- The iris Before the Storm is the darkest kind of iris presently on the market. Flowers bloom in May or June and grow to a height of around 90 cm when fully mature.
- One of the most popular iris varieties, Iris ‘Bold Print’, features white flowers with a ruffled blue-purple border, and it is one of the most widely grown. When it is in bloom, which occurs in early June, it may reach a height of up to 75 cm.
- Iris ‘Bluebeard’s Ghost,’ also known as Bluebeard’s Ghost, has white blooms with blue beards and a slight smell. The blooms are in full bloom in May or June. It may grow to a maximum height of 35 cm.
- Susan Bliss is an old variety of iris that blooms in June and has lilac flowers on its stems. 80 cm is the maximum height.
- Flowering in July, Iris ‘Sable’ is distinguished by its inky blue flowers and lovely fragrance. It may grow to a maximum height of 75 cm.
Where should Bearded Iris be Planted?
Bearded iris thrive in a location that receives direct sunlight. Avoid crowding them with other plants since the rhizome has to be supported by light in order to produce blossoms. A bed devoted only to the iris may thus be seen rather often.
They will thrive in soil that is neutral and well-drained. An ideal border would be one that faces south and is protected by a wall.
How to grow bearded iris in a container?
Bearded iris should be grown in full sun in wet but well-drained soil. Make sure the rhizome is elevated above the soil level and receives direct sunlight for most of the day; this will guarantee that it blossoms consistently. Every three years, divide clumps to prevent them from becoming congested.
Bearded iris may be planted in either the fall or the spring season. If you’ve purchased potted plants, be certain that they are planted at the same depth as they were when they were in the container. If the plant is acquired as a bare rhizome, it should be soaked in water for a few minutes before planting.
In poorly-drained soil, add some horticultural grit to the planting hole to help the soil drain better. Plant the rhizome so that the top of the rhizome is barely above the surface of the soil. If possible, place the rhizome so that it faces south. Ensure that the plants are well watered.
Purple Bearded Iris: How to Take Care of them
After the flowers have finished blooming, deadhead the plants in case you get fortunate and receive a second flush. Trim the evergreen leaves down to around 15 cm in height in the fall to make them more manageable.
Maintain a good level of weed control in iris beds since shade from weeds will be detrimental. In the spring, fertilize plants using a general-purpose fertilizer.
Plants should be divided every third year.
How to Grow Bearded Iris from Seed
Bearded iris should be divided every third year for the benefit of the parent plant as well as to produce new plants. In the course of a few years, the center of an established iris might turn woody and unproductive.
Lift the rhizome with a garden fork when it has finished blooming. Remove the healthy, young rhizomes from the plant’s perimeter and discard the woody center. Replant the young plants as soon as possible, and trim the leaves to around 12 cm in length. This stops the plants from being tossed about by the wind while they are growing.
Problems & Solution for Purple Bearded Iris
Rhizome rot is a disease that may affect bearded iris. As is true of all rotting objects, the rhizome will begin to smell and the base of the leaves will become yellow as the decaying process continues. It is possible that you will not notice the issue until the foliage has fallen to the ground. The most effective method of treating this fungal infection is to trim parts of the afflicted growth and discard them. In humid and hot weather, the issue tends to worsen, making it even worse.
Iris leaf spot, a fungal disease that affects iris, may also impact bearded iris. In damp conditions, fungal spores are readily dispersed and might enter the body via damaged leaves. Clear away leaf detritus from surrounding plants and avoid injuring leaves and stems needlessly to reduce the likelihood of a fungus infestation.