Saturday, June 2, 2012

White Bearded Iris

It just said "white" on the tag.  I wanted to get a bearded Iris called Merry Christmas.  I had it many years ago, and it had this fabulous white flower, with a scarlet red bee on the falls.(it is the little fuzzy spot on the top of the lower petals)  Wow, was that a knockout.  This one is pretty good, large and snowy white. 
Dig up irises every three or four years, or when they start to get crowded.  Break off all the nice plump and firm rhizomes...don't be afraid, just do it.  Burn the punky or worm riddled ones, and give any excess bits that are not diseased, or older bits to friends. Dust the broken ends with sulfur, and let them dry for an hour or two at least(perhaps even overnight), before replanting them, Then arrange them in triangles with the broken ends toward the center of the triangle,  Do not completely bury them, leave a bit of the rhizome showing above the soil.  Cut the fan of leaves down by about half at a sharp angle to reduce the strain on the Rhizome.
Poison the little bugs(Iris borers) that get to them in April and again in July.  If you do not want to poison them, pinch the leaves between your fingers very early in the season and squeeze, running your pinch upward, crushing anyone inside, or just cut off the leaf that is infected. You can see the trails in the leaves.  The trails look a little watery.
Get rid of old leaves in the fall, and always keep them clean and uncrowded.   

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