The iris is a plant that the ancient Greeks and the Hebrews grew over 2000 years ago. Like orchid gardens, the iris combines spectacular variations of shapes and colors. Like roses, they tempt you to acquire something new each year. The iris is depicted in the French royal standard fleur-de-lis and is also the symbol of Florence, Italy.
There are around 300 species in the genus Iris. The tall (28 inches and over) bearded irises (Iris germanica) are the most familiar ones. These unique six-petaled flowers have three outer hanging petals, called “falls”, and three inner upright petals, called “standards”.
Irises may be of “bearded” or crested (“beardless”) type. Bearded iris have soft hairs along the center of the falls. In the crested iris, the hairs form a comb or ridge.
Most irises bloom in early summer. Some bearded hybrids are flowering again later in the summer.
Buying Iris Bulbs Online
We already have many varieties of iris in our gardens. The idea was to enrich the collection with a few varieties that we did not have. First, a selection was made from an «old» catalog in print. But the final sale was made on the Internet.
Irises are commercially available in nurseries and garden centers for sale by the «classic» (catalog paper) method and via an online sales site. We chose the online way for our purchase. The photos of the iris are remarkable but the graphics are generally unremarkable and confused (with black text on colored bands, for example). The text used in the presentation is very small, but you can easily enlarge it by using the appropriate button of the browser. General conditions of sale are mentioned prominently as are indications of the payment. Finally, the site seems rustic, but it seems effective to place an order. Isn’t that what counts?
Search for Varieties of Iris Bulbs for Sale
The tall bearded iris varieties come in glaring colors that lively up the garden since June.
- Immortality is a tall bearded reblooming Iris, hardy to Zone 4. It flowers in June and then offers a second crop of pristine white flowers in late summer.
- Other rebloomers, hardy at least to Zone 4, are: Feed Back, a dark purple; Earl of Essex, also purple; and the white I Do.
- If you live in Zone 5 or warmer, try the purple-pink flower Jennifer Rebecca.
- Siberian Irises, comes also in a variety of colors. They are finely beautiful than the imposing bearded irises but are equally sturdy.
- The Japanese Iris has huge, flat flowers that look like tropical birds.
It is rather simple to find a search engine that allows you to enter a name and displays a list of results. Pay attention to the spelling. More convenient and friendly is the «Quick Search» option which provides a drop-down list at the top of the screen and provides access in one click to all irises for sale. Simple but effective. Browse the list of results displayed. Go to the relevant page, and click on the product. There are no details, but it is illustrated with a beautiful photograph. The comment is brief: the name of the variety of iris, height, quick description, and selling price. The addition to the cart and checkout is very simple. Some information needs to be given conventionally and the whole thing works very well.
The conclusion? Even if buying iris plants for sale on the internet seems to be a risky experience, professional producers offer very good products and safe shipping. Why not try it?
When to plant iris bulbs
We need to plant irises in late summer to early autumn. When the nighttime temperature remains above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives the bulbs enough time to get set before the cold winter. The varieties of tall bearded iris are best planted closer to fall because they go dormant until early to mid-summer.
If you buy bare rhizomes or irises in a container earlier in the year, go ahead and plant them as soon as convenient. It’s better to bulbs get in the ground rather than wait until next fall.
How to plant iris bulbs
Preparing planting site
- Irises will need full sun to bloom. They can tolerate as little as half a day of sun, but it’s not ideal. Don’t plan to set them in a shady place, they won’t bloom.
- Furthermore, bearded irises must not be shaded out by other plants; many do best in a special bed on their own.
- Irises bulbs prefer fertile, neutral to slightly acidic soil.
- Good drainage all year-long is very important. Like the expression: “irises prefer wet feet, but dry knees. Be careful, the bulbs will not tolerate wet soil in wintertime.
- Loosen the soil with a shovel or a garden fork to a 12 inches deep, then add and mix in a 3 inches layer of compost.
- For bare-root irises, plant the rhizome horizontally with the top exposed. In hot summers climates, plant the rhizome just underneath the surface of the soil.
- Plant rhizomes singly or in groups of three, 1 to 2 feet apart, depending on the size.
- Dig a shallow hole 10 inches in diameter and 4 inches deep. Make a mound of soil in the middle and put the rhizome in it, spreading roots down both sides. Fill the hole with soil and firm it gently, leaving part of the rhizome and foliage uncovered.
- Often we make the mistake of planting irises too deeply. The iris rhizomes should be partially exposed to air and rain, or thinly covered with soil in hot climates. If they’re buried too deeply, they won’t grow properly.
- To avoid rotting, do not mulch around the rhizomes.
- Then water thoroughly and be sure the soil is well-drained.