Sensational Color & Fragrance for Your Garden - Reblooming Bearded Iris
Reblooming Bearded Iris
Bearded iris (Iris Germanica) are exceptionally tough, low maintenance, drought tolerant, resistant to deer and rodents, come in a rainbow of colors, and are simply gorgeous. Reblooming bearded iris are twice the joy with two (and sometimes three or four, up to eight!) bloomings each year.
Reblooming bearded iris are the answer to so many gardening questions! Do you need a blooming plant that is highly deer and rabbit resistant? Is drought tolerance critical for a plant to succeed in your garden? Does you climate swing from extreme heat in summer to bitter cold in the winter? Are you looking to attract butterflies to your garden? Are you looking for blooms in multiple seasons each year? Or are you creating a specialty garden like a fragrance garden, or an all white or blue garden? Reblooming bearded iris are the perfect answer to all of these needs!
Reblooming bearded iris bloom in a wide rainbow of colors, from red to yellow to violet with truly blue varieties, white and even nearly-black cultivars. Big, billowy blooms are carried high above the silvery green, sword shaped foliage. Though fragrance is a rare quality in bearded iris, many reblooming bearded iris are wonderfully fragrant! And the reblooming bearded iris will bloom heavily each spring, and in the climate zones specific for each variety, they will rebloom in the fall as well, with some varieties (Frequent Flyer, we're looking at you!) reliably blooming many (we have recorded 11 bloomings for Frequent Flyer) times throughout the year.
How to Plant Reblooming Bearded Iris
Lots of sunshine and not too much water in well drained soil are the keys to happy, healthy reblooming bearded iris. Plant your reblooming bearded iris in a full sun location, where it will get at least size hours of direct sun, up to all day sun. Well draining soil is absolutely necessary, with a raised bed being ideal.
Reblooming bearded iris will rot in wet soils. Ensure terrific drainage in your soil, then plant the rhizome with the top part of the rhizome exposed above the soil line. Adjust the planting depth according to your climate conditions. In a very dry climate, bury the rhizome, with the soil just barely covering the top of the rhizome. Where plentiful rainfall is the norm, leave more of the rhizome exposed above the soil line. Do not cover the rhizome with mulch. Reblooming bearded iris are incredibly cold hardy and will not need the insulation. The moisture held in the mulch could become a risk of rot if it is on top of the exposed rhizome. Mulching is a frequent cause for bearded iris not to bloom.
Fertilizing Your Reblooming Bearded Iris
For the best performance from your reblooming bearded iris, supplement their nutrition intake by providing fertilizer during their active growth. Plan to provide a low nitrogen fertilizer - a bit too much nitrogen will cause your iris to produce foliage at the expense of flowers. Way too much nitrogen will cause the rhizomes to rot. An ideal fertilizing plan is to mix a 5-10-5 with a bloom boosting superphosphate in a 50/50 blend, and then apply it in the early spring and again after the spring bloom flush is past. Sprinkle the fertilizer onto the soil around the iris, and scratch it into the surface of the soil taking care not to apply any fertilizer in direct contact with the rhizome. In September, apply a foliar feeding to the leaves of the plant.
For sensational blooms throughout the year, it is hard to beat reblooming bearded iris! Will you be planting some this fall? I would love to hear your thoughts or questions about these beauties. And stay tuned - new varieties of the reblooming bearded iris will soon be added to our selection!
- Tags: Species Spotlight
- Kathleen McCarthy