Growing tips

Norm Plate
How to grow spuria irises

Choose a planting site in full sun and amend the soil with plenty of compost or other organic matter. If soil is acidic, also add lime.

Get rhizomes into the ground immediately; they can't tolerate drying out. Plant 1 inch deep in heavy soil, 2 inches deep in sandy soil. Space rhizomes at least 2 feet apart. Keep them well watered from planting through bloom period.

You'll get more blooms if you feed spuria consistently. One strategy: apply a balanced, controlled-release fertilizer in early spring and again in early autumn.

Once spuria have finished blooming, you have two options: continue watering, but less frequently, in order to enjoy foliage longer; or stop watering completely and let the plants go dormant. Gardeners in hot-summer areas like Arizona generally follow the latter practice.

When foliage declines, cut back to 8 to 9 inches. Resume watering when new foliage emerges.

Spuria irises don't like to be disturbed and should only be divided every 5 to 10 years. Expect them to go dormant briefly after planting or transplanting. Bloom might be sparse and foliage shorter the first year, too.

DownComment IconEmail IconFacebook IconGoogle Plus IconGrid IconInstagram IconLinkedin IconList IconMenu IconMinus IconPinterest IconPlus IconRss IconSave IconSearch IconShare IconShopping Cart IconSpeech BubbleSnapchat IconTumblr IconTwitter IconWhatsapp IconYoutube Icon