Easy Growing Siberian Irises

Purple Siberian Irises
Purple Siberian Irises

If you’re looking for an easy way to add color and grace to your garden, Siberian Irises are a great choice.  They grow in poor soil and tolerate wet, shady areas as well as drier soil and sunny areas.  In other words – they’re very adaptable.

The tall, graceful, grass-like foliage adds height and structure to the flower beds.  The blooms are smaller than bearded irises and Siberian Irises don’t sport a beard at all.

Siberian Iris are native to Europe and northern Asia.  They’re available in an array of colors including purple, blue, yellow, pink and white.  The Caesars Brother Siberian Iris is very popular and is especially hardy.  As with all other irises, the rootstocks or rhizomes are toxic if ingested, so keep them away from children and animals.

Siberian Irises are especially beautiful by a water garden or in low -lying areas where it may be difficult to grow other less tolerant perennials or shrubs.  They are resistant to deer and groundhogs, and aren’t as prone to root diseases and iris borers, like the bearded irises.

Siberian Irises multiply quickly and should be planted in an area that is large enough to allow for growth, and can be planted up until the end of the summer.  Plants should be divided after they bloom in early summer.  They’re great for sharing with friends and family, who will love to receive a few plants for their gardens, after the irises have spread enough to outgrow their location.  Irises are a perennial that can be handed down through generations, allowing the whole family to enjoy the dainty, colorful blooms for many years to come.

Bearded Iris Flower – Spin Off

Reblooming Iris Flower - Spin Off
Reblooming Iris Flower - Spin Off

It could be called a late bloomer, since it is about 10 days later than the others, but then again, some haven’t bloomed at all yet.

The Spin Off is rightly named, I’d say, with the striped white and purple beards.  It is not as tall as some of the others that get the same amount of sun and water, like the Mother Earth, but it’s just as splendid.

A heavy rain last night knocked most of the irises over, even the ones with a single bloom and the Spin Off has just one bloom as of yet.  I suspect that it will produce a few more before it’s done this time around.

Bearded Iris Flowers

Bearded Iris Flowers add years of low-maintenance, vibrant beauty to your garden.

Bearded Iris Flowers
Perennial Bearded Iris Flowers create a Harvest of Memories

There are a number of reasons why one of my favorite perennial is bearded iris flowers. They’re very low maintenance, can grow in relatively poor soil, require little water, and come in a vast array of beautiful colors. There are varieties that have been passed down through generations, as well as new hybrids created by passionate iris gardeners every year.

Alice Harding Bearded Iris Flower

When I moved into my home 26 years ago, I inherited two varieties in the front yard garden.  The yellow Alice Harding which was introduced in 1933, and the Princess Beatrice that was listed in a 1931 edition of the Indian Spring Farms catalog and possibly dates back to 1898.  I think it is amazing that there are perennials in my yard that have been blooming every year since long before I was born (it’s one of the many reasons why I love perennials so much).

Bearded Iris Perennial Flower
Princess Beatrice Bearded Iris Flower. This variety possibly dates back to 1898

There are a few things to consider when planting and growing bearded iris flowers.  They can be grown from seeds (which can be very rewarding, but also requires a fair amount of patience), but more commonly are grown from rhizomes.  The rhizomes should not be fully covered with soil, but rather planted so that the top of the rhizome is slightly exposed above the ground.

The bearded iris flower rhizomes will grow in most soil types but should be in an area that is well drained.  They like a lot of sun, but will also bloom in partial shade.  Do not cover the soil with mulch as they roots need air to breath.

A common pest of the bearded iris flower is the iris borer which makes it’s home in the root and spreads easily from plant to plant as they develop into moths as adults.  Evidence of a borer infection is brown spots on the leaves.  Bearded iris flowers should be divided every 2-3 years so they don’t become overcrowded, which is apparent when the middle section of the plants start to recede in growth.

A good time for dividing and transplanting bearded iris flowers is after they’ve bloomed.  Dig them up and trim off the green tops.  Inspect the rhizomes for evidence of the iris borer and remove any infected portions.  The rhizomes can be soaked in a solution of 10% bleach water to kill any remaining eggs or borers.

Reblooming Iris Flowers

Reblooming Bearded Iris
Reblooming iris flowers offer color in the garden throughout the summer.

The reblooming variety of bearded iris flowers bloom once in the spring, and under optimum growing conditions, bloom a second time in the fall.  For more information on choosing and growing bearded iris flowers, check out the iris gardener’s encyclopedia.