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Q.Why do my bearded Iris not flower every year?
A. The main reason bearded Iris don’t flower regularly is that the rhizome is not exposed to sufficient sunlight.The rhizome should sit on surface of the soil not buried underground and foliage from adjacent plants should not be allowed to cover it . Bearded Iris need at least half a days direct sunlight to flower well.
If plants are very overcrowded they will sometimes stop flowering
Q. When do I feed my Iris?
A. I generally feed all my Iris very early in Spring with a general purpose fertiliser for example Growmore or similar
I feed the bearded Iris after flowering with a fertiliser high in potash.Do not feed with a fertiliser high in nitrogen as alhough this may promote lush growth it may well be at expense of flowers and encourage rhizome rot
Q What diseases do Iris get ?
A. Root or rhizome rot is one of most common problems.
It generally occurs in Spring or in wet weather.The rhizome becomes soft and has a distintive smell Treatment is to cut away affected part of rhizome ,if possible allow to dry and then treat with green sulfur.
Leaf Spot is a fungal disease which again tends to be worse in wet weather.Small brown spots appear on leaves .Cut off affected foliage and spraying with a fungicide will help.I alternate two brands of fungicide and spray fortnightly
Aphids are another problem and can cause distortion of leaves ans flowers.Either remove by hand when seen or spray with soapy water or insecticide
Q. I don’t understand different types of bearded Iris?
A. Bearded Iris are classified in following groups according to their height
Minature Dwarf Bearded These plants range up to20 cms tall and flower very early spring.
Standard Dwarf Bearded These plants range between 21- 40cms tall
Intermediate Bearded These plants range between 41-70cms tall and flowers are 10+ cms wide Usually 4-5 flowers per stem
Minature Tall Bearded These plants are in same height range as Intermediates but flowers are smaller and more numerous per stem
Border Bearded These plants are again in same height range and have flowers same size as intermediates but more flowers per stem usually 6 plus
Tall Bearded These plants are above 70cms tall and have larger flowers 10-20cms width
Q. Please explain terms for Iris flowers?
A. Amoena This is a flower with cream /white standards and coloured falls for example Alizes
Bicolour This flower has standards and falls in two different colours for example Betty Simon
Bitone This flower is different tones of same colours for example Raspberrt Blush
Plicata This term covers flowers with white/yellow background marked or veined in a different colour for example Pink Confetti
Self Flowers are of one colour for example Dusky Challenger