ID #1004

How do I plant iris?

There are a number of types of iris.  When planting rhisomatous iris make sure that the roots are fully buried but that the top of the rhizome is exposed. For bulb iris the general guideline is to set the bulb 2 to 3 times deeper in the soil than the height of the bulb.

As a general rule, rhizomatous iris do better as near to the surface as possible as long as the roots are buried and the rhizomes are not being sun-burned or gnawed on by pests. The following is the recommendation for planting from the American Iris Society:

    "The roots must be buried firmly to hold the plant in place, but the rhizome should be near the surface. An easy way to achieve this is to dig two trenches with a ridge between them, place the rhizome on the ridge and spread the roots carefully in the trenches. Be sure to firm the soil tightly and allow enough for settling to keep the rhizome above any possible standing water. Then fill the trenches with soil, letting the top surface of the rhizome be just barely beneath the surface of the soil."

Iris also do well with a few inches of mulch applied in the fall. This helps protect the rhizomes and also slows weed growth in the soil around the iris. The American Iris Society has a website with lots of helpful iris growing information. 

Tags: bulb, flower, iris, mulch, rhizome

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