How to plant iris Reticulata and Specie iris
These delightful dwarf iris bulbs will sparkle in the late winter sunshine! Perfect for container planting or the front of a border, plant them in a sunny position and provide them with a well-drained neutral to slightly alkaline soil. If the soil is prone to be heavy, add organic matter with added grit to aid drainage. Plant around 10 cm deep allowing for around 75 to 100 bulbes per square meter and feed every couple of weeks with high potash feed. If you garden organically, liquid seaweed is ideal since it’s organic and comes from a sustainable source.
Always wear gloves when handling your bulbs since they can cause skin irritation. All parts of the iris are poisonous to humans, dogs and cats and should not be eaten.
Always unpack and store in a cool place until ready to plant.
Potential problems, pests and diseases:
Iris can suffer from fungus, virus or bacteria which affects the foliage as follows:
- Leaf spot: usually seen on the leaf either as sooty growths or spots which will eventually turn brown with a yellow margin. The leaves will eventually die.
- Ink disease: this can be seen on the bulbs as black botches. The leaves will develop black botches before turning yellow. The bulbs should be dug out before being destroyed. It is advisable not to replant irises in the same place for a few years to ensure any infection has gone from the soil.
- Virus: the leaves will become flecked or mottled and the flowers may also become infected. Only remove the infected leaves.
If in doubt, destroy any infected bulbs.
Slugs and snails will happily munch your irises. Apply sharp grit around the flowers to try and discourage these garden pests!