Iris novic--identify?

Mrs.GreeneJune 15, 2012

hello! I am new to irises. Two falls ago, the neighbor gave me a bunch of rhizomes which I planted on the southfacing side of my house. They did not bloom last year, but are blooming this year.

I have NO idea what a single one of them are. Is it appropriate to post pictures to see if you all know? Or is there a good website or book I can look at?

I was amazed at the variety. Some are almost black, a very dark purple. Another is a reddish rust orange. Some are a common bright yellow. One is a beautiful lavendar blue with ruffly edges. Just gorgeous. One is purple on the bottom and white on top. Many purple, yellow and purple, etc....I had no idea what any were, and was pleased to see all the different varieties!

Do iris need to be fed? Should I cut back the foliage after they bloom? I tend to like to leave plants to their own devices, but happily accept advice. I guess perhaps a basic book on irises might be a start. Recommendations?

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hosenemesis(SoCal Sunset 19 USDA 8b)

Hi Mrs. Greene!
It sounds like you got a lot of nice plants. You can start by looking at the American Iris Society web site. There are also a lot of iris sellers that have lovely catalogs with photos of irises, and you can compare yours with the photos. It's fun, even if you never can pin the name down.

You can post photos here and people will chime in with their guesses.

Irises do not need to be fed, but if you do, make sure it is a very low nitrogen fertilizer. They can rot from too much nitrogen. You can cut off any dead or diseased foliage, but leave the green leaves so the plant can store up energy for next year's bloom.

Kelly Norris just published a new book on irises called A Guide to Bearded Irises. It has been well received.

Some of the commercial growers with good websites include Napa Country Iris, MidAmerica, Blue J Iris, Snowpeak Iris, Iris4u... there are dozens of nice places to browse photos and buy irises. You can also check out the American Iris Society's blog World of Irises.

Renee

Here is a link that might be useful: American Iris Society Blog

    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 12:35AM
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