June 23, 2012

How to grow great Iris

 Ric Silver, from Groton, Ct.,  grows beautiful Jackson & Perkins Iris.
We asked him to share some tips on growing beautiful iris.
Many thanks Ric.

I guess the main thing is to soak the corms in water for about 1/2 an hour before planting - then place them just slightly under the soil - the tuber should protrude from the soil at the plant end - and can even be slightly exposed the full length of the tuber.
Full sun is a must as they will die in the shade - I do have some that are in a spot that is shaded in the afternoon and they bloom later than the others and also the blooms are smaller - they like good brown dirt - but will grow in rocky soil as well - just so it's not gravel or sand. I fertilize once a year with MiracleGro Shake and Feed. If your Iris have stopped blooming - it's probably because they are crowding themselves out - every few years you need to tear up the whole lot - and start over - making sure to separate them well. clip the leaves in an inverted "V" about 2 inches above the corm. Using a 3 prong spade, lift from below and break into sections - even the corms with no greenery will come back if not rotted. I usually do this every 4 to 5 years . Till the soil to clean out the weeds and broken roots and space the corms about 8 to 10 inches or more apart. -Ric Silver-

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