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Growing Irises

In late spring and early summer, expect to see the irises begin to bloom. Many people believe that nothing can match the beauty of an iris. They come in bright, alive colors – in wide range as well – and they are one of the first perennials (plants that come back year after year) to bloom. With a little tender loving care, anyone can grow irises and enjoy the beauty they provide.

Because of their wide range of vibrant colors, irises make excellent landscaping plants. An artist with a palate of brown and blue is limited in his painting ability. However, if he is given access to a variety of colors such as yellow, blue, pink, violet, orange, purple, dark red, and white – not to mentioned many combinations of these colors – he can paint a beautiful masterpiece. The gardener can “paint” his own masterpiece as well by planting these perennials in different shapes and patterns. Use the large variety of hues to develop a “painting” that will bloom to life in the late spring.

You can also combine species of iris as well. Different species bloom at different times and have different colors. One of the things to consider about this is to take into consideration your own climate. Not every plant grows in every climate. You generally do not see palm trees in Alaska. The best way to find the right irises is to check with the Internet, books, or a local green thumb. Sometimes the latter are your best option because they know the climate and can help you overcome the difficulties there.

When you plant your irises, make sure that you use looser soil – such as soil mixed with compost. You will need to prepare to dig deep – in some cases up to a foot into the ground – to make sure your bulb stays safe and warm during the cold winter months. Most irises need dryer soil as well, but check the species that you have to make sure. Some thrive better in the wetlands.

The iris does have some natural enemies. Like many flowers, it is susceptible to mildew and rot. Ensuring the right moisture conditions will help the plants. This includes proper soil drainage. It also attracts a borer beetle that eats through the roots and causes them to rot. Every few years, a gardener should rotate where his irises are planting, taking time to inspect the bulb. If he finds sign of the beetle, he should throw away the bulb immediately,

But as long as they remain healthy – which is easy to do - irises make a gorgeous addition to any landscape. They are a joy to plant and to see bloom. Gardeners with the artistic flair can choose a variety of colors and make his landscape his canvas, painting a picture with the colors nature made. And with the ease of growing them, gardeners can have a great deal of fun just designing the terrain.

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