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Irises: Soil Preparation And Planting
Irises: Soil Preparation And Planting

Video: Irises: Soil Preparation And Planting

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Video: How To Prepare Soil To Plant Irises 2023, February
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Flower of the goddess Iris

Iris
Iris

One of the favorite perennials of most flower growers is iris. The beauty of its color, the gracefulness of its forms make it possible to calmly put them on the same level with orchids.

However, they are superior to orchids in a number of ways, for example, in irises, not only the color range of the bud is pleasing to the eye, but also the beautiful foliage, which even after flowering is able to decorate the site.

With this in mind, we can say that irises decorate the site throughout the warm season.

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Features of culture

Irises, and we have another name for them - irises - are one of those flowering plants that have a rhizome close to the soil surface. Plants are characterized by rather strong branching, so they consist of annual increments. The leaves are mostly basal and fan-shaped.

Peduncles are strong, high, more than one and a half meters, 4-5, and sometimes 6-7 flowers are placed on them. The main beauty of iris lies precisely in the flowers. They are very large, in diameter they can reach 12 or even 15 centimeters, the original structure and the same original color, the options of which, thanks to the hard work of breeders, are now very, very many.

Iris flowers do not live long, about a week. If the plant is located in partial shade or it has blossomed during the cool period of the warm season, then the joy of contemplating its flowering can last another day or two, but no more. Many varieties give flowers that, in addition to beauty, also have a pleasant aroma.

There are different types of irises: bearded, Siberian, Japanese, water or marsh and others. Today, bearded irises are considered the leaders in popularity. There is nothing surprising in this, their flowers are very beautiful, and therefore are loved. Among the varieties of bearded irises, there are those that form flowers of snow-white color, bright yellow, sky blue, salmon pink, bright blue, purple and even dark brown. Flowers of bearded irises bloom at the end of May and bloom, replacing each other, within 25-30 days.

Irises are ranked not only by color, but also by the height of the peduncles. According to this indicator, they are divided into four large groups. These are medium-sized irises, the height of the peduncles of which does not exceed 50 centimeters, medium-sized irises, the height of the peduncles of which is 50-70 centimeters, and tall irises, their peduncles reaching a height of one meter or more.

Fancy dwarf irises are also in demand, they, like miniature roses, stretch only 10-20 centimeters and form bright yellow or deep purple flowers that appear at the end of spring - in the third decade of May.

In general, May flowering is inherent in the earliest varieties of irises, the average flowering period is at the beginning of summer, and late-flowering irises show their flowers to the world towards the end of July.

Irises are extraordinarily beautiful in group plantings, for example, in the center of the lawn, in the form of a rabatka, or near large trees with a sparse crown or at the base of ornamental shrubs.

Bearded irises are more capricious than ordinary irises. In addition, they are very jealous of lighting, as soon as a small shadow forms over the habitat of this iris, it will immediately refuse to bloom. Lovers of flowers sometimes puzzle for a long time over why his favorite does not bloom, and the answer, it turns out, lies in the palm of your hand.

Considering this, it is necessary to plant bearded irises in such a way that they are located in an open, warmed up, illuminated place. Do not listen to statements that bearded irises are afraid of the bright sun, in fact they are not. They belong to drought-resistant plants, but they are afraid of excessive moisture.

In addition, bearded irises are also very winter-hardy, which allows them to endure our harsh Russian winters without additional shelter. The only drawback that can be found when growing bearded irises is the fragility of their tall flower stalks. Therefore, if you do not want to find beautiful flowers lying on the ground after a gust of wind, then tie them to a peg. Alas, there is no way without it.

Preparing the soil for irises

Iris
Iris

As for the soil, for all irises without exception, it is necessary to select substrates with a neutral reaction of the environment, lungs, having a sufficient amount of organic matter, but not excessive, which can cause an active growth of the vegetative mass and reduce the degree of flowering. Also, avoid those areas where organic matter was recently introduced - irises on such soil will not grow, most likely, they will die.

But before planting irises in the selected area, the soil will need to be well prepared. It is clear that everything starts with digging, here it is better to dig with a full bayonet of a shovel. After that, you can add humus, loosen everything and level it. If there is no humus, or the soil is so poor that humus alone will not be enough, then superphosphate or, even better, wood ash can be added for digging. After applying mineral fertilizers, you need to shed the soil well, and start planting after a couple of days.

If you have just purchased a plot and do not know anything about the composition of the soil, then take your time and check at least the pH of the soil. This can be done in the laboratory, or you can just take a closer look at the plants that grow on the site. If, say, horsetail is found (everyone knows what it looks like), then the soils of your site are acidic, and they will need to be calcified to remove excess acid. Dolomite flour will also help to reduce the acidity of the soil, it is not difficult to get it, and it is much safer than lime.

After the soil is completely ready, you can start planting irises. The best time for this is the second half of July.

Division of iris bushes and their planting

Iris
Iris

You can plant both purchased irises and those obtained independently, and you can get them simply by dividing the plants available on the site. By the way, it is possible and even necessary to divide irises every three years.

This procedure is quite responsible. After all, if you do everything wrong, then not only will you not get new plants, but you can destroy the existing ones. Therefore, this work should be done slowly and only in early spring, when the plants are still dormant. The most optimal time is early morning, when the air is saturated with moisture and the risk of overdrying the roots is minimal. The most well-grown bush is chosen for dividing.

It is dug out with a small spatula, and then they begin to divide. It is better to divide the bush with a sharp knife, or you can use a pruner, but, alas, they will not be able to divide the bush into equal parts, or it will be difficult to do it. The bush is usually divided into 3-4 parts so that each of them has its own root system and a well-developed rosette of leaves. The roots and leaves on the plant must be cut in half, but they should not be cut off at all, since the plant will either take a long time to take root, or not take root at all.

From the outside, it may seem that dividing an iris bush is a painful operation for him, but if you want the plant to please you with annual flowering, this is strictly necessary. It has long been noticed that a bush that has not separated for five years simply stops blooming altogether. The explanation for this is very simple - the soil in the root growth zone over time is quite depleted and compacted, the overgrown rhizomes intertwine and begin to oppress each other.

That is why, no matter how cruel the division may look, it is necessary. The resulting parts - iris cuttings - are disinfected by dipping in a weak solution of potassium permanganate, sprinkled with ash or crushed coal and dried in an open sunny place for several days.

The cuttings are planted shallowly, practically placing them at the surface, tilting slightly so that the kidney of the cut is at the level of the soil, and the upper part of the rhizome is free from the ground.

After planting, you will only have to thoroughly water the parts of the plants, after 5-6 days, remove the weeds that have appeared and wait for the beginning of flowering. Usually, large parts begin to bloom as early as the third year after planting. At a young age, it is necessary to maintain iris plants by providing them with additional moisture, even though they are drought tolerant. It is better to water the plants in the evening, pouring water under the root. It is impossible to water during the day, as this can lead to burns of the foliage, which will negatively affect the decorative appearance of the plants.

Read the next part. Irises: shelter for the winter, diseases and pests, varieties →

Irina Guryeva

Junior Researcher, Berry Crops Department, VNIIS im. I.V. Michurin.

Photo by Natalia Butyagina and E. Valentinov

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