When growing Siberian iris (Iris sibirica), gardens will burst with early season color and intricate, frilly flowers. Planting Siberian iris en masse adds an elegant charm to the spring garden. Use these beautiful plants as a background border for other early spring bloomers.
How to Grow Siberian Iris
Learn how to grow Siberian iris for its lush, long-lasting blooms and low-maintenance, narrow foliage, which remains attractive after the blooms are spent. Easy Siberian iris care involves regular watering during the first year, limited fertilization and division of the clumps every three to five years. Through division and learning when to plant Siberian iris, you can ensure continuing blooms each year. Smaller and less common than the spring blooming bearded iris, Siberian iris offers a reliable perennial bloom for many years. Blooms of this flower have three petals on top, with three drooping petals below, known as falls. Siberian iris plants can reach as little as 12 inches (.3 m.) in height or grow taller than 3 feet (1 m.).
Planting Siberian Iris
You may wonder when to plant Siberian iris to enjoy the frilly blooms in your garden. The Siberian iris is adaptable to a range of planting times. To enjoy the blooms most readily, plant Siberian iris gardens from corms in late summer or autumn. If fall planting time has passed you by, and in more northern areas, planting Siberian iris in spring is perfectly fine; just don't expect blooms the same year. If you wish to add a few Siberian iris blooms to a container, you can plant them at any time. Planting Siberian iris gardens is best done in a rich, fertile soil with good drainage; however, Siberian iris will perform in lean or poor soils as well. The rhizomatous or fibrous roots can be planted in full sun to partially shady areas.
Siberian Iris Care
Keep the soil consistently moist until the plants are established, about a year. Water the established plants regularly when drought conditions exist. Feed Siberian iris plants in spring with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer and fertilize again when blooms are spent. This is the basis of Siberian iris care; they are rarely bothered by rots and borers as are the bearded iris. When planting Siberian iris flowers, consider the color scheme you desire for your garden and choose from the wide variety of colors available in pinks, whites, blues and purples. While many types are found in purple, here are some others you might find interesting:
- ‘Butter and Sugar' cultivar has white petals on top with yellow falls
- ‘Sultan's Ruby' offers deep magenta blooms
- ‘Wing on Wing' and ‘King of Kings' both have white blossoms
Numerous cultivars exist, so get creative with your color scheme when planning your Siberian iris gardens.
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Becca Badgett was a regular contributor to Gardening Know How for ten years. Co-author of the book How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden, Becca specializes in succulent and cactus gardening.
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