Plant type: herbaceous.
Description: Iris flowers belong to the iris family. There are over 250 species. About 60 species of irises grow on the territory of Russia. This culture is very popular. This plant is a distant relative of gladiolus, which also belongs to the iris family.
- Lighting: it is desirable to allocate sunny or semi-shaded areas. If they grow in continuous shade, then flowering will stop, since they mainly need sunlight. Bearded and Japanese species are able to tolerate heavy shading.
- Flowering: as a rule, the flowering period is May-June, therefore, in the northern regions, flower buds are laid on the rhizome in July-August. If the summer is cold, then it is possible that the buds will not be laid, and the iris will not bloom the next year.
- Watering: the need for different varieties of moisture is not the same. If we consider the Siberian species, then it requires regular watering (especially during the flowering period), while the bearded iris does not tolerate large amounts of moisture.
- Soil type: Japanese and Siberian varieties prefer non-alkaline soils, and bearded varieties prefer slightly acidic or neutral soils. If the soil is non-chernozem, then the cultivation of irises on it requires the mandatory application of fertilizers.
The classification of irises is as follows: undersized (above-ground peduncle has a height of up to 25-35 cm), medium-sized (peduncle height is 35-70 cm), tall (peduncle height is more than 70 cm).
Bearded irises have such a name because of the colored hairs that are on the outer perianth lobes and the midrib bent down. In appearance, these hairs are very similar to a beard.
Siberian irises are grown outdoors, as well as bearded ones. The peculiarity of these varieties is frost resistance and unpretentiousness. Moreover, after cutting or flowering, the leaves of the Siberian variety are of decorative value.
Japanese irises , unlike other species, can be divided after 5-7 years, as they have a longer yield and decorative effect. Division in these species is carried out in early spring or autumn.
Different types of iris have different rhizomes. The roots are also different. There are thin, fibrous, but you can also meet fleshy, slightly branching. The foliage of the plant is wide and narrow, xiphoid, with a wax coating, green. The health of a flower can be determined by the wax coating. If the plant is healthy, then this layer is even. It is noteworthy that the foliage retains its decorative appearance until autumn. Peduncles are long, up to 90 cm high, and the flowers are quite large with different shades: white, blue, yellow, lilac, blue, pink, purple, reddish. It often happens that many of these colors can be present on the same whisk at the same time, but one-color paint is also no exception.
Iris cultivation and care
Different varieties and species have different cold tolerance. For example, Japanese irises prefer warmth, and if they are grown in the northern regions, then good growth and flowering will only be indoors. The Siberian variety is very frost-resistant, and the bearded one is somewhere in between.
It is desirable that the soil be mechanical in composition, well-drained, fertile, moist. When observing an excessive amount of moisture, it is recommended to make a groove to drain unwanted water. Before digging up heavy soils, garden soil, sand or organic fertilizers should be added to them. Any fertilizer or garden soil will need about half a bucket per square meter. If neutralization is necessary, then it is best to use bone meal, especially since Siberian species do not tolerate lime well.
Reproduction is carried out by dividing the rhizomes or parts of the rhizomes with buds. The division period is the end of summer – the beginning of autumn after 4-5 years of growing irises in one place. If this procedure is not carried out, then the iris will cease to bloom, because 4 years after planting, flower buds on the rhizome cease to form. Therefore, for abundant flowering, it is necessary to divide the rhizome or remove its apical part.
The simplest method of dividing the rhizome is the formation of annual links with a bunch of leaves in the form of a fan. Each individual annual link can be divided into pieces with buds. They must be left in a dry room for two days in order for the sections to form a protective wound tissue. Also, slices can be sprinkled with crushed coal.
Rooting of pieces with buds and rhizome is carried out in winter in boxes located indoors. The rhizomes dug up before this fall will need to be stored in a cool place. In spring or summer after flowering, during intensive root growth, rooted pieces with a bud and individual links with a blade of leaves can be planted in a permanent place. The following should be taken into account: if the roots are planted in the spring, then they must first be cut so that the length of the rhizome is 8-10 cm, and when planting in autumn or summer, the roots must be cut by two-thirds.
Since waiting for 4-6 years is quite difficult for many, seed propagation of irises can be used. But each variety and species has its own characteristics. Siberian and Japanese irises can be easily grown with seeds, but bearded ones are more difficult, since their seeds have dense covers, and seedlings will appear only after 2-3 years. According to scientists, seed propagation is best used during breeding work, as it does not provide good growth.
Care: iris during the growing season should be fed with mineral fertilizers. The composition of a complete mineral fertilizer includes potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. It is paid in equal installments over three terms. For the first time top dressing should be applied on those days when the sprouts just appear above the ground. The second time top dressing is added 30 days after the first, and the third – after flowering. Another option is also used. Nitrogen and phosphorus are introduced during the first top dressing, during the second all elements are introduced, and during the third – potassium and phosphorus. During the growing season, you only need to add 9 g of potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen per 1 m 2 . It is important to consider the following: top dressing is applied only in liquid form, since the iris rhizomes are superficial.
Usually flower growers prefer Siberian, Japanese, as well as bearded species. Also in gardens, a swamp species is often grown, which has yellow flowers. The most common types will be described below.